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Volume 5, No. 2
Lisa Coniglio, PhotoRun.NET
Permit #50 Fort Atkinson, WI
PA I D PRST STD U.S. Postage
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COACHING AT H L E T I C S 6
Cross Country Shoes
by Larry Eder
by Mary Helen Sprecher by Cregg Weinmann
Hydration and Running Performance for Your Teenage Runner
2010 Fall Shoe Review
Dealing with Over-Involved Parents: Getting Parents to Work with You, not Against You, in High School Track and Field
by Roy Stevenson
How High School Coaches Should Communicate With Their Athletes
Indoor Track of the Year by Mary Helen Sprecher
Volume 5, Number 2 Winter 2010/2011
COACHING AT H L E T I C S
Group Publisher: Larry Eder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 920-563-5551, ext. 112 Group Editor: Christine Johnson, email@example.com Advertising: Larry Eder, firstname.lastname@example.org, 608-239-3785 Writers/Contributors: Don Kopriva, Mary Helen Sprecher, Roy Stevenson, Cregg Weinmann Photographers: Lisa Coniglio/PhotoRun, Victah Sailer/PhotoRun Layout/Design: Kristen Cerer Editor: Toby Cook Pre-Press/Printer: W. D. Hoard & Sons Company, Fort Atkinson, WI Special Projects: Adam Johnson-Eder, email@example.com,
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Runnersâ€™ Injuries and How to Handle Them by Don Kopriva
How High School Track and Field Athletes Should Warm Up by Roy Stevenson
by Cregg Weinmann
by Roy Stevenson
by Roy Stevenson
Outdoor Track of the Year
Special Athletes, Special Events by Mary Helen Sprecher
On the cover: David Oliver, photo by Lisa Coniglio, PhotoRun.NET
Special Thanks To: Kristen Cerer, Sue Hall, Alex Larsen, Debra Keckeisen, Tim Garant, Tom Mack, Mary Ward and Sydney Wesemann Dedicated to: Fr. Ralph Passerelli, S.J., Jim Marheinecke, Steve Pensinger, Dan Durante and Terry Ward, a.m.d.g. phone 608-239-3785; fax 920-563-7298 Coaching Athletics Quarterly is produced, published and owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc., PO Box 67, Ft. Atkinson, Wisconsin 53538-0067, Christine Johnson, President, Larry Eder, Vice President. Copyright 2011 by Shooting Star Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Publisher assumes no liability for matter printed, and assumes no liability or responsibility for content of paid advertising and reserves the right to reject paid advertising. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Publisher. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in any form without written permission of the Publisher. Coaching Athletics Quarterly is not related to or endorsed by any other entity or corporation with a similar name and is solely owned by Shooting Star Media, Inc. Publisher recommends, as with all fitness and health issues, you consult with your physician before instituting any changes in your fitness program.
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publisher’s note Welcome to the Fall/Winter issue of Coaching Athletics Quarterly. This issue is coming to you right after the holiday break. I hope that you enjoy the columns from Roy Stevenson, the ASBA awards, and the footwear updates. We’re in the midst of planning for 2011. Your next issue will arrive in late February or early March. Toby Cook and I will be working on these issues and we would love your input. Please send any suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We wanted to congratulate David Oliver and Allyson Felix for winning the Jesse Owens Awards for Male & Female Athlete of the Year. We also wanted to congratulate Ashton Eaton and Queen Harrison for winning the Bowerman Award, which recognizes the best collegiate athletes of the year. The Bowerman, which is run by the USTFCCCA, is the Heisman Trophy of collegiate track and field. We want to also congratulate Brooks Johnson, who just won the Nike Coach of the Year award. At the recent USATF Hall of Fame dinner, where Brooks took his award, he was concise in his comments. He thanked all the athletes he coached and noted that, as with all coaches, he had athletes who got hurt along the way. He also thanked David Oliver’s mother and the mother of his two sons for being there. As most of us know, coaching is a rarified profession. I have to admit that I miss not coaching each and every day. It was the time around the track with my fellow coaches; it was the moments with my athletes. Those are the moments, some hilarious, some bittersweet, that one remembers. As a coach, you not only can make a young athlete a better jumper, sprinter, runner or thrower, you can also help them on the journey to be a good person. Sport, our sport of athletics, is about lessons learned, giving it one’s best and, after the competition, learning from your competitors. As the late Sam Adams, UCSB’s former director once told me, Coaches are, most of all, educators.
Larry Eder, Publisher
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Photo by: Victah, PhotoRun.NET
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Cross Country Shoes Fall 2010 by Cregg Weinmann
ross Country 2010 toes the starting line with something fresh—fresh air, fresh school year, and a fresh batch of spikes and flats designed to dig into the terrain of the toughest courses around. Here we take our annual look at eight newly released or updated cross country shoes for fall. All are low-profile models that skimp a bit on protection in favor of performance. Deciding whether you should go for traditional XC spikes or a spikeless model should be based on the racing surfaces you’ll encounter during your season. Cross country spikes are slightly better than spikeless shoes at gripping muddy or soggy ground, but they are limited to use on all-natural courses and are not allowed for high school use in California. Spikeless models work almost as well as spikes in the mud and in addition, they manage pavement, sidewalks, and rocky surfaces and work well on indoor or outdoor tracks. Finally, always try to get in a few speed sessions in your racing shoes before the actual race, since the low profile of the shoe coupled with the intense effort of racing can be tough on your soft tissue if you haven’t prepared well. Okay, that’s out of the way, so it’s on to the shoes …
adidas XCS The XCS is the update to the RLH from a couple seasons back. The XCS features the same Traxion outersole of the RLH in both a six-spike configuration and the more versatile spikeless version. The upper is the same in each: a mini airmesh and a supportive, extended heel counter with a low-volume, foot-hugging fit. The midsole is low even for low-profile shoes and is molded EVA. The EVA provides adequate cushioning on its own, and gets an assist from the Traxion lugs that supply not only traction, but some cushion (via deflection). The close fit, deft touch of cushioning, and excellent traction help the foot efficiently negotiate whatever the cross country course puts between you and the finish line.
ASICS Hyper XC & Hyper Rocketgirl This update retains the same midsole/outersole in last season’s version: low-profile, molded EVA and a hightraction, lugged sole that, judging by the significant number of runners who wear them, are extremely effective. Changes have been implemented in the upper, particularly some upgrades to the meshes which make them sturdier. The smooth and well-finished interior is supportive and breathable. The extended heel counter and added medial overlays deter picking up mud while offering better support this time around. Overall, the ASICS fit, gender specificity, traction, and quality deliver good value.
SPIKE $60/SPIKELESS $55
Sizes: men 7–13,14,15; women 5–12 Weight: (men’s 11) 8.3 oz. spike; 7.8 oz. spikeless;
Sizes: men 4–13,14,15; women 5–11,12 Weight: (men’s 11) 9.2 oz. spike, 8.6 oz.
(women’s 8) 7.5 oz. spike; 7.0 oz. spikeless Fit: snug throughout
spikeless; (women’s 8) 7.9 oz. spike; 7.3 oz. spikeless Fit: snug heel, close forefoot
Brooks Mach 12
Mizuno Wave Kaze 6
The Mach 12 marks the first significant change in these shoes since version 5 way back in 2001. New are the last (the foot model that the shoe is built around) and the pattern of the upper. These changes align the Mach 12 with the Wire, Brooks’ new distance spike, and give the BEST RENOVATION shoe a bit lower profile. Noticeably more Cross Country pronounced is the toe spring that propels the foot FALL 2010 forward. The fit has been improved by adding webbing in the midfoot lacing to better cinch the shoe around the foot. The interior has a sueded ankle collar and arch wrap that secure the foot comfortably—even if you run in them without socks. The cushioning is familiar: just enough for the varied terrain, but not so much as to add extra weight. In fact, the new midsole and upper shave almost 10% from a men’s size 11. It all adds up—fit, cushion, weight—to earn our Best Renovation award.
Five versions of the Kaze have integrated the Wave technology with a breathable, supportive upper. And now we can make that six. The Kaze 6 maintains the molded EVA midsole with the modified Wave plate designed for cross country. The lugged outersole is also carried over in both a 6-spike configuration and a spikeless version. The new upper features fewer overlays (eliminated to save weight and improve breathability) with a more sheath-like fit (some runners may want to go up a half-size for a more comfortable fit). Runners familiar with the Kaze will find the performance they expect, while those searching for traction, good cushioning, and a secure fit have one more possibility in a racing shoe.
Sizes: men 7–13; women 6–11 Weight: (men’s 11) 8.9 oz. spike, 7.7 oz. spikeless;
Sizes: men 5–12; women 5–12 Weight: (men’s 11) 7.6 oz. spike, 6.8 oz. spikeless;
(women’s 8) 7.8 oz. spike, 7.0 oz. spikeless Fit: snug heel, very snug forefoot
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New Balance 507 The 507 picks up right where the 506 left off. The midsole and outersole are carried over. The same solid rubber, lugged outersole provides durable traction with a TPU plate for protection and springy responsiveness and molded EVA for a measure of cushion on harder surfaces. The familiar story of changes to the upper here results in a more supportive midfoot saddle. (It was previously just a couple straps from the eyestay to the heel counter.) Now the heel is locked down more securely and the forefoot is better supported with a full rand that also helps keep the elements out. The barefoot interior feel has even been improved a little, as the closed mesh breathes well and synthetic suede on the tongue and low-cut ankle collar has a soft, non-irritating feel. And the availability of men’s widths broadens its reach (no pun intended). The effect is a well-executed cross country performer.
Nike Zoom Waffle XC/Racer VII & Zoom Jana Star XC/Waffle The Waffle Racer pioneered the track spike/ racer/cross country hybrid. Version VII upgrades a few features while maintaining its most effective components. The midsole/outersole is unchanged with a four-nibbed waffle tread and a co-molded shank that works equally on tracks, hills, and dales. The upper’s no-sew technology enhances the support with a smooth interior and, though it gains a few grams in the process, it’s a worthwhile trade-off as the full rand and overlays reinforce the mesh throughout. The fit is unchanged—it’s close—but with good curvature and snugness to match the racing foot. The matching lasts of the spiked (Zoom Waffle XC) and spikeless models, the gender specificity of the Jana and Waffle Racer, and broadest cross country size range in the industry offer runners and teams a wide variety of XC options.
SPIKE $60/SPIKELESS $50 Sizes: men 4–13,14,15 (D,2E widths); women 5.5–10,11 Weight: (men’s 11) 7.5 oz. spike,
SPIKE $55/SPIKELESS $45
6.8 oz. spikeless; (women’s 8) 6.7 oz. spike, 6.0 oz. spikeless Fit: snug heel, close forefoot
Sizes: men 1–13,14,15; women 5–12 Weight: (men’s 11) 7.4 oz. spike, 6.8 oz. spikeless; (women’s 8) 6.5 oz. spike, 5.9 oz. spikeless Fit: snug heel, close forefoot
Puma Complete Haraka XCS
Saucony Shay XC 2
Haraka is a Swahili word best translated as “hurry,” which aptly describes the new Complete Haraka XCS that’s built on the strength of Puma’s recent track and cross country successes. The outersole is an aggressively lugged, six-spiked configuration designed to maximize traction. The midsole is a healthy slab of molded EVA that seems at home on the hard surfaces without being too spongy off-road. The upper is a closed mesh with good breathability and a combination of welded overlays and soft synthetic suede. The interior is cozy enough for bare feet, with a velour-lined tongue and innersole offering a plush feel. The performance says hurry, but the attention to detail didn’t cut any corners.
Round two of the Shay XC features improved tailoring and a neat way to customize the shoe. The fit has been tailored to wrap the foot more snugly, especially through the arch. The upper has a sturdy rip-stop fabric on the sides of the BEST SHOE vamp with an open stretch mesh on the tongue Cross Country down to the toes while wrapping the forefoot FALL 2010 inside the shoe. Overlays anchor the eyestay under the midfoot/heel. In a nice touch, various colors of vinyl film can be inserted into the overlays to customize the shoe with your team colors. The proven midsole and outersole carry over from round one, providing good cushioning and outstanding traction. The combination of fit, cushioning, and traction earned the Shay XC 2 our award for Best Cross Country shoe.
SPIKE/SPIKELESS $65 Sizes: men 7–12,13,14; women 5.5–12 Weight: (men’s 11) 7.6 oz. spike, 6.7 oz. spikeless; (women’s 8) 6.6. oz. spike, 6.0 oz. spikeless Fit: snug heel, close forefoott
SPIKE $75/SPIKELESS $70 Sizes: men 7–13,14; women 5–11,12 Weight: (men’s 11) 8.0 oz. spike, 7.1 oz. spikeless; (women’s 8) 7.0 oz. spike, 6.2 oz. spikeless Fit: snug throughout
CREGG WEINMANN is footwear and running products reviewer for Running Network LLC. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com. Copyright © 2011 by Running Network LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of Running Network LLC. Reprinted here with permission. Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Winter 2010/2011
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Hydration and Running Performance for Your Teenage Runner By Roy Stevenson
eenage runners are at high risk for heat injury because they tolerate heat less efficiently than adults. Compared with adults they have fewer sweat glands per square centimeter of skin surface area and a lower sweating rate. This doesn’t mean that teenage runners don’t sweat; in fact, they can lose prodigious amounts of sweat. On a hot, humid day an average-sized teen (110–165 lbs.) can lose 1.6 to 2 liters of fluid, or 2.5% to 3.5% of body weight. In addition, when young runners train, their bodies produce more heat than adults because they have a larger relative surface area than adults. The combined physiological effect of these in teenagers is excessive core heat gain in high temperatures when they get dehydrated, decreased ability to transfer heat from the muscles to the skin for cooling, shorter exercise tolerance time and a longer time to acclimatize to heat and humidity. Over one hundred research papers show that the more sweat lost during a race, the more drastically our running performance declines. Therefore, the key to maximizing teenage distance running performance and avoiding heat injury is by proper hydration.
What Should Teenagers Be Drinking? Hundreds of studies have found that carbohydrate and sodium in sports drinks have performanceenhancing effects. Carbohydrate solutions between 6% and 8% (or 30–60 grams of CHO per hour) have been shown to improve distance performance by replacing depleted muscle glycogen stores. Sodium helps retain water, stimulate thirst and prevent lowplasma sodium. However, the problem with some commercially available sports drinks is that they are too salty or too sugary for some people, causing a delay in gastric emptying and absorption, so they don’t get to where they are needed quickly enough. Avoid the imposters that are loaded with sugar— they’re no better for you than soft drinks. If electrolyte drinks make you feel nauseated or cause gastric distress, they’re too concentrated; dilute them by 50% to 100% to a concentration that works 10 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Winter 2010/2011
for you. This is often all that is needed to make it tolerable to your system. Some research indicates that the fluid should be cooled for maximal absorption.
Post Race and Post Training Rehydration Many studies show that carbohydrates consumed immediately after and two hours after exercise enhance muscle glycogen restoration. This is most effective if ingested from fluid, as fluid is absorbed faster. Many studies also show that electrolyte balance is restored almost to pre-exercise levels when an electrolyte beverage is drunk immediately after exercise.
Hydration Tips for Surviving High Heat and Humidity and Maintaining Performance Intensity Training Advice • Drink lots of cold water before, during and after your training efforts. Select running routes that have water fountains along the way. Drink 200–500 mls 15–20 minutes before starting and drink at least one cup of water every 20 minutes during long distance training. Carry a water bottle. • There is nothing macho or intelligent about the archaic practice of shunning water on your training efforts thinking it will toughen you up—it could kill you. • Post training or post race rehydration: Weigh yourself before and after your race or training effort. Make sure you drink that weight back on within an hour or two of finishing. Choose carbohydrate-rich fluids such as juices that replace both water losses and muscle glycogen. Juices contain more carbohydrates than sports drinks, so drink your fill of your favorite fruit juices. • You’ll be able to tell whether you are hydrating adequately by the color of your urine. Dark yellow indicates low hydration, and pale to light yellow is good.
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How High School Coaches Should Communicate with Their Athletes By Roy Stevenson
igh school coaches walk a fine line when working with teenage athletes. They have to know how and when to discipline athletes whose behavior is unacceptable or who are not fully committed to the team. The exact rules of what coaches can say and what they should avoid saying are unclear, but the repercussions can be devastating when things go wrong. The wrong choice of words by a coach can lead to his or her dismissal or a court case. Track and cross country teams attract their fair share of whiners, needy kids and drama kings and queens, and working with them and turning them around can be challenging, to say the least. And just when you have your team where you want it, the next year you get a different mix and dynamic, and you have to adjust your coaching and communications style again. But you do have some things going for you, as coach and teacher. First, most high school coaches are teachers who know the athletes and their dispositions from classroom experience. And if you don’t know the student, you can always track down a teacher who does know the student for advice. Second, if you’ve been coaching (and teaching) for several years, and have established a good reputation and formal code, the athletes will know about it before the first day of practice, which makes your life much easier. Insist that being on your team is a privilege, and not a right.
Here are some refresher tips for you to use when communicating with your athletes. At the first session in the cross country or track seasons, review your expectations of your team. This should include your behavior expectations, team code and disciplinary measures you may take for infractions. Emphasize that the athletes are part of a team, and get away from the “me first” attitude. The old adage, “Praise in public, criticize in private,” is well worth following when working with your athletes. However, there are exceptions to this, especially at the beginning of the season when you want to show that you enforce your rules of conduct.
You should not have to put up with misbehaving athletes. For example, if some of your athletes are talking when you’re addressing the team, it’s OK to call them out publicly, but do it nicely, leaving them some shred of dignity. Make sure you look at them directly, so they know you’ve got their number. One important thing to remember when disciplining an athlete privately—always have another coach present. Always nurture leadership in all forms by developing good team leaders, and not just from the senior students. Insist that they lead by example and demonstrate good values. This will save you much time as the season progresses. Often the team leaders will take care of minor infractions by other team members by talking with them quietly after practice. And don’t be disappointed when they fall short occasionally—they’re just teenagers and still trying to figure things out for themselves. The male coaches’ communications with female teen athletes can be especially problematic—one thoughtless word from the coach or misinterpretation by the girl, and she’s traumatized or runs to her parents or the principal. One of the worst taboos is making comments about a girl’s weight—do not do this. If a girl is genuinely overweight, pass this problem on to a professional sports nutritionist. And never, ever, make any comments that your male or female athletes can construe as sexual innuendo. What about the boy or girl who likes to tell others on the team about their sexual escapades? Make it very clear to the athlete that their personal life does not come with them onto the track team. Tell them point blank, “I don’t want to hear about your personal affairs. This is not going to happen here.” Ultimately, communicating with teen athletes boils down to one thing. If you ask this question after you’ve dealt with a troublesome teen athlete: “Would I like my daughter or son to be treated as I have just treated that kid?” If you can answer “yes,” then you’ve probably said the right thing.
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How High School Track and Field Athletes Should Warm Up By Roy Stevenson
he warm-up addresses a number of physiological and psychological needs for the high school athlete to prepare for training sessions and competition. Warming up increases blood flow and oxygen to the working muscles, and boosts the oxygen concentration in hemoglobin. It dilates the alveoli to our lungs, increases our heart rate, enables us to tolerate more lactate production, and enhances our free fatty acids’ fuel burning efficiency. For field event athletes, warming up speeds up the contraction speed and force of our muscles, giving them more power and making their movements more efficient. It meshes their neuromuscular, skeletal, cardiovascular and respiratory systems in that phenomenon we call “second wind.” And, just as important, warming up helps nervous young athletes to stabilize that adrenalin rush before competition, helping them control pre-event nervousness. A compilation of the research to date indicates that different types of warmup are needed for different events, something that track and field coaches are well advised to consider. A one-size-fits-all warm-up is not effective for all high school athletes on a track team, although there are certain common segments that all high school athletes should do in their warm-up. All athletes should start with 5–10 minutes of jogging to increase body temperature, followed by 10 minutes of dynamic stretching exercises to reduce muscle stiffness. Dynamic (ballistic) stretches work best because they are closer to the athlete’s actual movements in competition, and research shows that static stretching exercises do not simulate rapid running movement and may actually cause a reduction in leg power.
This section should be followed by 10–15 minutes of general and event-specific drills to prepare the athlete for his or her event. Here are some examples: For high-power output events lasting a few seconds like the 100, 200 and 400 meter sprints, five minutes of practice starts should be followed by several short sprints (50 meters) that gradually increase in speed to about 7⁄8ths of top speed, with a long recovery between each. However, this warmup needs to be controlled so that it does not deplete the sprinter’s high-energy phosphates ATP and PC. For distance events lasting up to 10 minutes (800, 1600, 2-mile), warm-up improves performance, but not if the intensity is too low (<40% of VO2 max) or if the recovery time before the start is too long (5–10 minutes). The goal of warming up for middledistance events is to get to the start line with an elevated VO2, while sufficiently recovered from the warm-up. A prolonged warm-up for distance runners (mile and 2-mile) runs the risk of overheating and dehydrating the athlete, and depleting his or her muscle glycogen stores. Distance runners should include leg drills or technique drills such as three to six easy runs over 50 meters (but no longer than this), while focusing on correct running technique (staying relaxed and turning their legs over quickly and efficiently). Field eventers should follow the same basic warm-up, including sprints, then progress through event-specific drills. Following these simple guidelines will ensure your teenage athletes are adequately prepared for their event, and a reduced incidence of injury should follow.
A one-size-fits-all warm-up is not effective for all high school athletes on a track team, although there are certain common segments that all high school athletes should do in their warm-up.
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Indoor Track of the Year
by Mary Helen Sprecher
oing more with less. Changing with the times. Putting 10 pounds of material into a 5-pound bag. Being proactive. Multi-tasking. They’re all terms that are tossed around frequently—but somehow they all came into play at once during the reconstruction of a college’s fieldhouse. The facility, Mount Union College’s Peterson Field House, had become outdated. Administrators wanted to enlarge it and replace the building’s 20year-old, 160-meter track with a new 200-meter facility. This called for a number of overhauls, according to Kiefer Specialty Flooring, Inc. of Lindenhurst, Illinois, who sent Brion Rittenberry to look at the project. The building, a steel-frame structure with cinder-block walls, presented some unique challenges, noted Rittenberry. Varying levels on the flooring were just one obstacle. “The enlargement posed significant issues as it related to new and existing surface heights,” noted Rittenberry. “Once we tore back the existing floor, we realized the concrete was at a higher level near the old wall placement, and the joint between the old and new buildings was very uneven.” Once a decision was made to pour the new concrete substrate ½" below the old floor height, thereby providing a level surface across the span of all concrete being used, preparations began in earnest. “Grinding was necessary to even out the two surfaces,” noted Rittenberry. “Moisture test results gave high readings on the new concrete; therefore, a moisture sealer was needed to protect the new floor. The concrete was shot-blasted, and then the sealer was applied, taking special care at the joint to protect it from moisture.” Work on the facility included taking the time to ensure that moisture infiltration wouldn’t become a chronic problem that could cause problems down the road, and that there would be lasting integrity of the joint between the old and new floors. “We used a flexible, self-leveling product to even the joint and provide for possible movement,” notes Rittenberry. “We installed a ½" rubber underlayment with a special shore hardness to bring the height of the new subfloor in line with the old floor. We then abraded the old surface to promote an enhanced mechanical bond and overlaid the entire surface with a new pre-fabricated sheet rubber surface.” With flooring in place, it was time to turn to the athletic amenities of the building. The new 200Photo by: Jiro Mochizuki, PhotoRun.NET
2010 Indoor Track of the Year, American Sports Builders Association Mount Union College-Peterson Field House Alliance, Ohio The newly renovated Mount Union College–Peterson Field House in Alliance, Ohio is exceptional in a number of ways, but the one visitors never guess is the fact that it presented multiple challenges to designers, builders and suppliers involved in the project. Photo courtesy of Keifer Specialty Flooring, Inc., Lindenhurst, Illinois Specialty Contractor: Keifer Specialty Flooring, Inc. Suppliers: Mondo USA (rubber sports surface) Architect/Engineer: Hastings and Chivetta Construction Manager: Hammond Construction
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The dark grey indoor track that is the centerpiece of the Mount Union College–Peterson Field House encircles a multi-purpose space that can allow athletes to train for any number of sports offered by the college. Photo courtesy of Keifer Specialty Flooring, Inc., Lindenhurst, Illinois
meter track has six lanes with a nine-lane sprint and the entire surface slopes in one true plane with a tolerance of ⅛" in 10 feet. The surface is a premanufactured blend of virgin rubber, vulcanized with the base. The colors are dark grey and cognac. In addition to its excellent track facility (and its accompanying field events including long jump and triple jump, located on the southwest and southeast sides of the building) the facility can host a multitude of sports, including practices for many of the athletic programs of the college, according to the college’s website. (A virtual tour of the facility includes mention of the space for four indoor tennis courts, a part of the NCAA program). The project was completed on December 31, 2009. The end result has been a facility that not only is a showcase for student athletes, but a showpiece for the school system. And it didn’t escape the notice of the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, which recognized the facility in its annual awards of excellence, naming it the Indoor Track Facility of the Year. Awards are presented each year to facilities built by ASBA members that best exemplify construction excellence. Projects are scored individually and anonymously by a committee of ASBA members, based on considerations such as layout and design, site work, drainage, base construction, surface, amenities, innovation and overall impression. Winning entries are those whose cumulative scores meet or exceed the standard. While administration and students are proud of their enhanced and updated facility, Rittenberry is happy with a project well done. “Despite significant design obstacles and time constraints, we were able to provide Mount Union College with a completely flush world class track surface on time and within budget,” he notes with satisfaction. Note: The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a non-profit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality construction of many sports facilities, including track and field. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities including tracks, tennis courts, athletic fields and multi-purpose indoor sports buildings. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. Info: 866-501-ASBA (2722) or www.sportsbuilders.org
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Outdoor Track of the Year
by Mary Helen Sprecher
here are tight deadlines and then there are the deadlines that are so tight the finished project practically squeaks. And when it came time to do the Ponderosa High School’s outdoor running track facility, school officials and sports facility contractors had one of the latter. The challenge? Well, perhaps it’s best to envision it as a memo: TO: Beals Alliance and all participants FR: Ponderosa High School Please help us replace the high school’s existing decomposed granite track and its accompanying natural turf field. Replace it with a new all-weather track and a synthetic turf field with inlaid striping for football and soccer, as well as field event facilities. Oh, and we start on April 1. Can you have it ready in time to host commencement on May 29? “The project was the first portion of a recently passed bond and was critical to the success of the overall bond campaign,” said Chris Sullivan from Folsom, California-based Beals. “The project began during track season and had to be completed to a level that would allow commencement ceremonies to be held on the field. “ It was, by all accounts, a rush job for the ages and work had to start immediately. And even that part wasn’t without its challenges, added Sullivan. “The existing facility had five feet of grade change south to the north end, with the adjacent bleachers, concession and restroom structures to remain. The track was built to meet the existing grade at midfield with retaining walls at each end for a balanced earthwork site. Tolerance, drainage and accessibility issues dictated that the field would need to balance earthwork on site and remain accessible from all the adjacent amenities to remain.” Construction began in earnest and proceeded on an incredibly expedited schedule. “The project progressed to a point that base work was completed to accommodate graduation in order to maintain the overall schedule.” According to Sullivan, the project stayed on schedule because of constant communication including weekly construction meetings, submittal processing, ASIs, RFIs, punch lists and project closeout. “The lease/lease-back delivery method was utilized to insure integration with the selected contractors and the design team from start to finish. Each element of the design was reviewed from concept to construction to insure the end product was feasible from a budget, schedule and construction standpoint.”
2010 Outdoor Track of the Year, American Sports Builders Association Running Track Facility at Ponderosa High School Shingle Springs, California Looking down at the running track facility at Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs, California, it's easy to see only a great project—and impossible to guess that it was completed in record time. Photo courtesy of Beals Alliance, Folsom, California Architect/Engineer: Beals Alliance Suppliers: ACO Sport (slot drain) Sportsfield Specialties (goal post and soccer goal system, takeoff boards, pole vault box, sand catchers and shotput toe board) Mondo, USA (track surface) Robert Cohen Co. LLC (Mondo track surface installer) FieldTurf (artificial turf)
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The running track facility at Ponderosa High School meets the standards of both the National Federation for State High School Association (NFHS, the governing body for high school sports), and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF, the governing body for high school sports in the state). Photo courtesy of Beals Alliance, Folsom, California.
The running track facility at Ponderosa High School has an eight-lane track surfaced with vulcanized rubber, and a synthetic turf field that utilizes perforated drain pipes and has a composite base layer.
Final completion of the project came in August of 2009, making the facility ready for the opening of the 2009-2010 academic year and the Bruins athletic seasons. The finished facility is adjacent to the school’s tennis courts and baseball diamond. The facility is aesthetically pleasing and in compliance with the standards of both the National Federation for State High School Association (NFHS, the governing body for high school sports), and the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF, the governing body for high school sports in the state). The eight-lane track is surfaced with a premanufactured vulcanized rubber system. It slopes inward to a slot drain that ties into the existing storm drain system. The synthetic turf field, which has football and soccer markings, utilizes perforated drain pipes and has a composite base layer. The end result has been a facility that not only is a showcase for student athletes, but a showpiece for the school system. And it didn’t escape the notice of the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national organization for builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities, which recognized the facility in its annual awards of excellence, naming it the Outdoor Track Facility of the Year. Awards are presented each year to facilities built by ASBA members, which best exemplify construction excellence. Projects are scored individually and anonymously by a committee of ASBA members, based on considerations such as layout and design, site work, drainage, base construction, surface, amenities, innovation and overall impression. Winning entries are those whose cumulative scores meet or exceed the standard. And while the Bruins of Ponderosa High School can take a lot of pride in the fact that their facility impresses track and field designers, builders and suppliers nationwide, they probably care about something more down-to-earth: impressing their opponents when they run along the grey and green track, or out onto their new field of dreams. Note: The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a non-profit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality construction of many sports facilities, including track and field. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities including tracks, tennis courts, athletic fields and multi-purpose indoor sports buildings. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. Info: 866501-ASBA (2722) or www.sportsbuilders.org
Photo courtesy of Beals Alliance, Folsom, California.
18 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Winter 2010/2011
Photo by: Victah, PhotoRun.NET
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SHOE REVIEWS: Performance 21 • Neutral 22 • Motion Stabilizing 23
ach season, the overall direction of the footwear industry is revealed in trends. For more than four years, we’ve reported that companies have been lightening up many of their shoes and this continues. The growing influence of minimalism and “barefoot” running, in conjunction with improved technologies and formulations of components and refined design, has resulted in more shoes with less structure, lighter weight, and fewer motion-controlling features. Our racing shoe reviews have always looked at shoes that feature the least amount of support, weight, or inhibiting features, but this trend extends deeper than ever into the training shoe category. A number of high-mileage shoes have also benefitted from this trend, slimming down without compromising their protective cushioning. And there is a shrinking but significant offering of heavier models that cater to runners who need extra cushioning or even more significant structure to counteract overpronation.
Geometry is another significant trend in the design of running shoes. Attention is being focused on more critical midsole shaping, the flare (depth and shape) of flex grooves, the size and positioning of crashpads, and the ratio between heel and forefoot heights. Along with these considerations, designers and development teams are carefully considering the material of each of these elements, appraising their rebound and dampening effects, in addition to their durability and comfort. The results of this focus on geometry can be seen in two types of offerings: highly engineered models and spare, simplified designs. These two trends are refining the way that running shoes perform when you take them out on a run, making it easier than ever to find a shoe perfectly suited to your biomechanical and situational needs. —Cregg Weinmann, Running Network Footwear Reviewer
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WELCOME TO THE RUNNING NETWORK’S 2010 FALL SHOE REVIEW
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In the spring of 1991, it was my great good fortune to meet Emil Zatopek, winner of three Golds at the 1952 Olympics (5000m, 10,000m, marathon) and two medals in 1948 (Gold in the 10,000m and Silver in the 5000m). I was in awe.
American Track & Field www.american-trackandfield.com
After Emil served as our honorary assistant coach at the Ed Adams Invitational in Salinas, my coaching partner Joe Mangan and I drove him to Carmel, California so he could see the beauty of Big Sur. During the drive, there was a twinkle in his eyes as he told us about his friendly rivalry with Alain Mimoun, who finished second to him in numerous European and Olympic championships. It wasn’t until 1956, when Emil had injured himself training for the marathon, that Mimoun was victorious over Emil, and then he waited at the finish line as Zatopek finished an honorable sixth place. When I asked Emil how he got started running, he told me that he had needed a new pair of boots and that was the prize for winning a local 5K race. So in the cold winter of 1944, Zatopek ran his first race, won, and was given a new pair of boots—a necessary item in the cold, snowy winter in occupied Czechoslovakia. The right footwear is a necessary item for all runners, no matter what their level. At the Running Network LLC, we’re committed to making that search easier for you with this 2010 Fall Shoe Review. You don’t have to win a race to get a great shoe—you simply need to visit your local running specialty store and try on a variety of shoes until you find the perfect one for you. Best wishes!
Athletes Only www.atf-athlete.com Athletics (Canada) www.otfa.ca Austin Fit www.austinfitmagazine.com California Track & Running News www.caltrack.com Club Running www.rrca.org/clubrunning Coaching Athletics Quarterly www.coachingathleticsq.com Colorado Runner www.coloradorunnermag.com Get Active! www.healthclubs.com Greater Long Island Running Club’s Footnotes www.glirc.org Latinos Corriendo www.latinoscorriendo.com MarathonGuide.com www.marathonguide.com
Larry Eder President, Running Network LLC AWARD WINNERS
BEST SHOE Neutral
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 12 Best Shoe Neutral
FA L L 2 0 1 0
BEST SHOE Performance
Saucony ProGrid Kinvara Best Shoe Performance
Fa ll 2 0 1 0
BEST SHOE Motion Stabilizing
Nike LunarGlide+ 2 Best Shoe Motion Stabilizing
FA L L 2 0 1 0
BEST NEW SHOE FALL 2010
BEST RENOVATION FALL 2010
BEST VALUE FALL 2010
K-Swiss Blade-Light Best New Shoe
Mizuno Wave Precision 11 Best Renovation
Reviewer: Cregg Weinmann Project Coordinator/Editor: Christine Johnson Designer: Kristen Cerer Proofreader: Marg Sumner, Red Ink Editorial Services Shoe Photography: Daniel Saldaña, Cregg Weinmann Advertising Sales: Running Network LLC, Larry Eder, President, 608.239.3785, firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher: Larry Eder, 608.239.3785 Website: www.runningnetwork.com For a Media Kit, please visit our website. This 2010 Fall Shoe Review is produced independently by Running Network LLC for its partner publications. All shoes reviewed were tested by experienced, competitive runners who were matched to the biomechanical purpose of each shoe model. Copyright © 2010 by Running Network LLC. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be stored, copied, or reprinted without prior written permission of Running Network LLC. Running Network LLC and its partner publications suggest that, as with all fitness activities, you meet with a healthcare professional before beginning or changing your fitness regimen.
Brooks Summon 2 Best Value
Michigan Runner www.michiganrunner.net Missouri Runner & Triathlete www.morunandtri.com Running Journal & Racing South www.running.net RunMinnesota www.runmdra.org RunOhio www.runohio.com Track & Field News www.trackandfieldnews.com USATF’s Fast Forward www.usatf.org USATF–New England’s Exchange Zone www.usatfne.org The Winged Foot www.nyac.org The Winged M www.themac.com Youth Runner www.youthrunner.com
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PERFORMANCE adidas adiZero Boston
To runners, “Boston” means the Boston Marathon; the adiZero Boston also takes its name from that race. Taking a page from the minimalist’s design book, it nestles into the adiZero line, the pure performance range of adidas running. The upper is a thin, open mesh with an internal framework of soft, synthetic suede supports and external overlays at heel and toe. A thin layer of foam at the ankle collar and in the tongue only where the laces tie provides just enough padding to secure the shoe comfortably without adding unnecessary weight. The midsole is a resilient chunk of EVA with a surprisingly low-profile feel. The heel is a combination of the effective ForMotion cassette and a substantial crashpad to manage the touchdown. It’s mated to a forefoot of flexible adiPrene+. The result is an effective performance shoe that withstands the demands of high-mileage training. “Well cushioned, even for daily training. Not bad in the weight department; light enough for faster running. I’ve been very pleased with the performance.” Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 11.5 oz. (size 11); Women 9.7 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, adiPrene Strobel board (heel)
Brooks Summon 2
The original Summon was a yeoman-like neutral shoe that generated a rather neutral response. The Summon 2 looks to change that with some upgrades and a price reduction. The upper uses a more open mesh—an improvement, to be sure—though it’s just a bit spare on the ankle collar foam. The fit is secure and overlays are well-placed; in fact, the medial side is shored up, especially at the first metatarsal head, though the tradeoff is that it’s not very bunion-friendly. The midsole is the new BioS-257, Brooks’ reliable foam made eco-friendly without compromising performance. In fact, it’s more responsive than the original formulation. The contouring of the foam gives the shoe a much-improved transition through the footstrike and a lower profile appearance. Runners looking for a lightweight, neutral, high-mileage shoe may be well-served by the Summon, honored as our Best Value.
BEST VALUE FALL 2010
“Fit well with good support. Very good cushioning, nice responsive toe-off. Pretty light for a high mileage trainer, though a bit heavy for a performance shoe. A good running shoe, plain and simple.” Updates the Summon • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15; Women 6–12 • Weight: Men 11.6 oz. (size 11); Women 9.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, BioS-257 Strobel board
The Blade-Light advances the concept behind the UltraNatural Run series, but with a little more heft. Surprisingly lightweight, its appearance may cause concern about handling heavy mileage, but its performance confirms that it can take just about whatever you’re willing to throw at it. It’s very neutral—there’s no extra support in the shoe—and it provides plenty of cushion and great flexibility. The upper features a supportive saddle that keeps the foot centered over the midsole, which is a generous slab of molded EVA that has excellent flexibility. The outersole is minimal (largely exposed EVA) but with carbon rubber in the high-wear areas and a forefoot insert of blown rubber and Superfoam assisting the toe-off. What you get is much more than you see at first look—so much so, that the Blade-Light earned honors as our Best New Shoe.
BEST NEW SHOE FALL 2010
“These worked great for me, no matter what kind of running, but especially fast running.” Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–11,12 • Weight: Men 10.5 oz. (size 11); Women 8.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, Superfoam Strobel board
Mizuno Wave Precision 11
The Precision has had a faithful audience through 10 updates and the Precision 11 may be the best yet. The upper is lightweight and the open mesh breathes well. The newly designed eyestay connects to three separate internal straps to cinch the upper where it needs to conform to the foot. A soft, sueded liner wraps the ankle and instep and an Ortholite innersole adds cushioning and comfort. The midsole is AP+, providing a much-improved ride to the shoe that’s further enhanced by an articulated version of the Wave Plate, a re-beveling of the heel, and an additional deflection zone in the midfoot to accommodate a variety of footstrikes and gaits. The outersole has more flex grooves to improve flexibility while maintaining durability in the high-wear areas thanks to the carbon rubber. The performance is perfect for fast running—tempo, speedwork, even some long races— yet durable enough for day-to-day use for the biomechanically efficient, earning it honors as our Best Renovation.
BEST RENOVATION FALL 2010
“They fit snug mid-foot and have ample toe room. They feel comfortable and have good cushioning for their light weight.” Updates the Wave Precision 10 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 6–11 • Weight: Men 11.0 oz. (size 11); Women 9.3 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted
New Balance 759
The New Balance approach to updates has always been conservative. The overall changes to the 759 appear minor when looked at individually, but in combination, they’re enough to nudge the shoe into the Performance range. The consistent execution, fit, and ride have been little altered, but each of these areas benefits from the industry-wide trend of trimming weight from a shoe wherever it reasonably can. The upper is a wide open mesh outer layer with a fine mesh lining. The overlays have been redesigned, cleverly anchoring the foot to the midsole in a few strategic places while freeing it in the forefoot, providing support while saving weight. The midsole is still ACTEVA Lite with the same basic N-ERGY set-up in the heel, though minor alterations to the components do improve the transition. The outersole is a bit more flexible and maintains the blown rubber forefoot/carbon rubber heel that has worked well in this series. Runners will find the 759 to be a consistent and protective highmileage trainer, which happens to weigh less than one might expect. “I liked the shoe and the neutral colors. I noticed that NB did not use the ‘crinkly’ laces that tend to stay tied so well. The upper materials are very breathable to help keep my feet dry and cool. They wore well, but the cushioning was about average.” Updates the 758 • Recommended for: low- to medium-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (D,2E,4E); Women 6–12,13 (2A,B,D) • Weight: Men 11.7 oz. (size 11); Women 9.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, polyurethane Strobel board
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PERFORMANCE/NEUTRAL Nike Pegasus+ 27
The Pegasus has been updated more than twice as many times as the next-longest model series in this review. That’s a lot of work poured into a shoe that continues to reflect the best in materials and know-how. The biggest story of #27 is its weight: It’s almost 5% lighter than last season. The light weight, however, doesn’t undermine its ability to handle the mileage demanded by serious runners. The upper features a routine airmesh with an effective saddle design that secures the midfoot and lines up the foot over the midsole. The midsole features Cushlon for the first time (replacing the stalwart Phylon). Although there’s a bump in price, it matches the bump in value. The outersole—waffle-fill in the forefoot and BRS 1000 in the heel—has excellent durability with traction to match. The sum of these parts adds up to one of the best versions yet of the Pegasus. “They seemed a little snug [on] the first few runs, but I think now I would say they are supportive. The shoes have a lightweight bounce to them. Very impressed with these shoes—good durability, fit, and cushion.” Updates the Pegasus+ 26 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 11.8 oz. (size 11); Women 10.0 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board
Saucony ProGrid Kinvara
BEST SHOE Performance Fa ll 2 0 1 0
The Kinvara is the most innovative shoe Saucony has produced this year, and it may well influence its line for some time to come. The philosophy of “less is more” is on full display here. The upper is a gossamer-like, fine mesh over an open mesh liner; the combination is both protective and breathable. Instead of a full ankle collar, twin ovals of memory foam guard each side of the Achilles tendon and provide both secure fit and comfort. The midsole is a new EVA compound with more rubber for increased resilience. An insert of ProGrid Lite in the heel smoothes the touch-down and a tweak to the heel/forefoot ratios— lowering the heel a bit with a generous forefoot—actually improves the overall cushioning as well as provides a more natural biomechanical position. Its combination of innovations and its feather-like weight earned the Kinvara honors as our Best Shoe in the Performance category. “Nice, secure fit. No slipping in heel even though it has little structure. Light as a feather, surprising how well they work for daily training. Any reservations I may have had about how light they were have been dispelled by their performance on the road.” Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 4–13,14,15,16,17; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 7.7 oz. (size 11); Women 6.7 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted
Zoot Ultra Kane
Its light weight places the Ultra Kane squarely in the Performance category, but make no mistake about it: This is a full-featured motion stabilizing shoe. The upper takes a cue from their racer, the Ultra Speed, using compression fabric for a skin-tight fit that flexes just enough to give support while still allowing the foot to move. The midsole is a beefed-up layer of full-length Zbound over a high-quality EVA. These dual-density inserts sit on top of each other separated by a carbon shank and work as a unit to stabilize overpronation. The outersole—carbon rubber in the high-wear areas with blown rubber in the lateral forefoot— is segmented and pared back to save weight, while providing traction, flexibility, and comfort. Overall, the Ultra Kane brings stability, cushioning, and performance to runners and triathletes serious about their run. “Very snug, comfortable, and supportive. Pretty doggone light, especially for the stability and support. Great shoe, I have to say. No real drawbacks for me.” Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to very mild overpronation • Sizes: Men 6–14,15,16; Women 6–11 • Weight: Men 10.7 oz. (size 11); Women 9.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board
ASICS Gel-Cumulus 12
The Cumulus fills an important role in ASICS’ impressive line of neutral shoes and Round 12 provides the expected quality and cushioning. A larger heel Gel component increases resiliency, and minor changes to the midsole sculpting and outersole adjustments add stability while refining the transition from heelstrike to toe-off. The ride is much the same as before, just more dialed in. The upper is a nice, open mesh and employs HF-welded supports in the open areas and the logo stripes extend back toward the top of the heel. Other overlays have been reduced or eliminated in areas that are now better supported by the alternate methods. The height of the ankle collar has been lowered to reduce possible irritation but the remaining memory foam conforms well. The interior has a plusher feel and forefoot cushioning has been upgraded by changing the 3⁄4-length Solyte Strobel board to full-length. These modifications and additions result in a better shoe, which is welcome news to Cumulus fans. “Very secure fit, with plenty of padding—maybe more than needed. These have been reliably well-cushioned since the beginning, and I appreciate the ride they provide. They are a bit heavy, but that trade-off seems necessary for the cushioning.” Updates the Gel-Cumulus 11 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15 (D), 7–13,14,15 (2E,4E); Women 5–13 (2A,B), 6–13 (D) • Weight: Men 13.5 oz. (size 11); Women 11.1 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, Solyte Strobel board
ASICS Gel-Nimbus 12
BEST SHOE Neutral
FA L L 2 0 1 0
The flagship of ASICS’ neutral shoes isn’t what it used to be—it’s better. A men’s size 11 is 5% lighter than last year, the biggest weight loss (0.9 ounces!) among the slimmed-down mid-weight shoes in this review. The upper has retained the stretchy mesh, Biomorphic Fit panels, and asymmetrical lacing, but the individual eyelets have been separated into what ASICS calls Discrete Eyelet Construction to conform to the contours of the foot, improving the fit. The memory foam in the ankle collar has been upgraded in quality and the collar height is lower to reduce the possibility of irritation. The midline flex grooves on the underside of the midsole and as well as those in the outersole have been opened to allow the foot to follow a more natural path in its gait—put simply, the shoe flexes better with the foot. The plush ride, weight savings, and outstanding fit earned the Nimbus 12 our Best Shoe award in the Neutral category. “I am new to running, but these shoes really give me the desire to run farther than before. I have never worn any shoes more comfortable than these.” Updates the Gel-Nimbus 11 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 6–14,15,16 (D), 7–14,15,16 (2E,4E); Women 5–13 (B), 6-13 (2A,D) • Weight: Men 12.6 oz. (size 11); Women 10.6 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, Solyte Strobel board
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MOTION STABILIZING Mizuno Wave Alchemy 10
The Alchemy continues to be Mizuno’s most consistent motion stabilizing shoe. The midsole now features the AP+ foam formulation, adding noticeable responsiveness. The forefoot area of the midsole unit has been slightly broadened for better stability and the midsole sculpting allows better articulation with both the ground and the Wave plate. The medial forefoot flex grooves in the outersole have been greatly reduced without inhibiting the transition from heel to toe and the outersole has been even more differentiated by gender: The women’s lateral forefoot is more flexible, while the men’s is a bit stiffer, accommodating average weight differences. New overlays supporting the eyestay wrap the foot better, while the top lateral eyelet is hinged for better customization. The interior sports a new sueded material made even more comfortable by the memory foam ankle collar. The stability, cushioning, and comfort features make the Alchemy 10 Mizuno’s motion stabilizing MVP. “It has a very nice balance of padding and ‘feel’ of the road. My foot feels well protected. After 100 miles, these shoes look and feel brand new. I am pleased to notice that the dark gray collar (lining) around the ankle is a bit more durable than I have seen on most running shoes.” Updates the Wave Alchemy 9 • Recommended for: low- to medium-arched feet with moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16 (D,2E); Women 6–12 (AA,B) • Weight: Men 13.9 oz. (size 11); Women 11.2 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted
New Balance 1226
The 1226 is New Balance’s most performance-oriented motion stabilizing shoe and it updates the 1225 with some reshaping to improve support and secure the midfoot. Cushioning has been optimized by modifying the rubbery heel crashpad, and the 1225’s three small rubbery inserts are now a single, dual-winged unit in the lateral midfoot that acts as a crashpad under the fifth metatarsal. Stability has been dialed in with adjustments to the Stability Web shank support, as well as a new iteration of Stabilicore that’s thicker where the forces are greatest and a bit thinner where they’re less. The outersole has been completely reworked: Flex grooves have been repositioned and there’s a bit more blown rubber in the forefoot that’s die-cut to allow good flexibility. The fit has also been refined with webbing loops running the length of the eyestay that we found to secure the foot a bit better. The result is a stable, well-supported, well-cushioned shoe. “Initial fit is comfortable and snug. It seems that these have a nicer and softer feel with some ‘squish.’ Remarkably, these don’t have the same clunky feel that I’ve experienced in previous New Balance stability shoes. It’s a good, comfortable shoe.” Updates the 1225 • Recommended for: low- to medium-arched feet with moderate to maximum overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15,16 (B,D,2E,4E); Women 6–12 (AA,B,D) • Weight: Men 13.8 oz. (size 11); Women 11.5 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, polyurethane Strobel board
Nike LunarGlide+ 2
BEST SHOE Motion Stabilizing
FA L L 2 0 1 0
The Nike Lunar shoes have been a work in progress, leapfrogging innovation with minor modifications and adjustments. The LunarGlide+ 2 takes the platform and philosophy of the original and refines the final product. The upper has been tailored for a better fit and a new configuration of Flywire in the midfoot provides support that holds the foot securely so it doesn’t slide around inside the open forefoot, a weakness of the initial round. The midsole and ride will be familiar as the Lunarlon foam and components have been retained in their original form. The outersole is essentially unchanged, providing a good combination of traction and durability. The improvements to the upper, the continued great ride, and the welcome price freeze all contribute to earning the LunarGlide+ 2 honors as our Best Shoe in the Motion Stabilizing category. “Love the way they fit—nice and smooth, and hug your foot and arch. Super light, springy feeling while I run, but they still have plenty of cushion and support. The stability of the shoes is good. They cinch up around my foot nicely and hold it in place quite well.” Updates the LunarGlide+ • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 6–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 12.2 oz. (size 11); Women 9.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel sliplasted, EVA Strobel board
Pearl Izumi IsoShift
The new IsoShift debuts Pearl Izumi’s new technology called the Graduated Guidance System. This is the most efficient midsole geometry that Pearl Izumi has used in a motion stabilizing shoe to date. It keeps the weight down by using a cradle of second density EVA foam to assist the foot through the gait cycle. The shoe affords plenty of stability with good cushioning that has a bouncy response. The upper has the seam-free construction the brand is known for, along with HF-welded overlays adding a touch of support at the top and bottom edges of the eyestay, and sturdier synthetic overlays in the heel and toe. A new outersole configuration of carbon rubber provides durability and traction. If Pearl Izumi has been a satisfying choice for your training, the IsoShift should be a quality performer for you. “Fit well; it really secured my foot. Decent cushion, better after a few break-in miles. The stability was about as good as Pearl Izumi has done, and it feels a lot lighter.” Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with very mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7–13,14; Women 5–11,12 • Weight: Men 12.6 oz. (size 11); Women 10.4 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, EVA Strobel board
Puma Vectana 2
For Puma, the Vectana ushered in a return to a traditional approach to motion stabilizing shoes and Version 2 irons out some bugs while refining its strengths. The fit has been adjusted, in part by tailoring, in part by the rake of the heel, and the shoe now fits true to size (the original ran about a half-size small). The upper—from the stretchy mesh to the memory foam ankle collar—is still very plush, while supportively securing the foot over the midsole. The cushioning is first-rate, thanks to a combination of components: mostly EVA and a blend of rubber, but the DuoCell unit in the heel contributes, as do the Ortholite innersole and ldCell Strobel board. The M2D (medial second density) extends farther from the arch toward the heel for better stability. The outersole has increased decoupling in the heel to slow overpronation and more segmentation in the forefoot to provide better flexibility for toe-off. The net effect is a plush, stable, high-mileage training shoe. “Love them. My foot is healing and I upped my miles in these shoes—I liked the stability they provided. I put about 150 miles on these and they still are wearing really well.” Updates the Vectana • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 7.5–13,14; Women 5.5–12 • Weight: Men 14.0 oz. (size 11); Women 11.6 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, ld Cell Strobel board Running Network 2010 Fall Shoe Review 24 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Winter 2010/2011
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NEUTRAL/MOTION STABILIZING Brooks Ghost 3
The Ghost has evolved on its way to joining the hot-selling Adrenaline GTS as part of Brooks’ Go 2 Series. The upper is a wide open mesh over a smaller mesh inner layer that moves moisture away and ventilates the foot. The pattern used for the upper has changed a bit and those nips and tucks result in a better fit over the foot’s contours. The shoe has gained some weight, a fair tradeoff for better cushioning and a plusher interior. The biggest improvement is the move to Brooks’ sprung last, which is used in the Glycerin and a few other styles. The profile of the forefoot sweeps up, providing a better transition and more energetic toe-off. The midsole is BioMoGo with its durable responsive ride and great flexibility. The HPR outersole and blown rubber forefoot are familiar and provide the expected performance: good traction, durability, and a little cushioning for your high mileage. Runners looking for responsive cushioning and durability in a mid-priced, neutral shoe should consider the Ghost. “These shoes fit great. I have found them to be the shoe I have been reaching for when heading out for tempo runs, or this morning’s 1200s. My feet are happy even after 15 miles in them.” Updates the Ghost 2 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 7–13,14,15 (B,D,2E); Women 5–12 (2A,B,D) • Weight: Men 12.4 oz. (size 11); Women 10.6 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, S-257 Strobel board
Reebok Premier Aztrec 2
The Aztrec was an excellent entry-level, neutral trainer that’s now ready to play with the big boys, thanks to some excellent updating by Reebok. It’ll cost you an additional five bucks, but it’s money well spent. The upper has upgraded foam, improved tailoring, and a redesigned tongue, all improving fit and comfort. The injection-molded EVA midsole gets some help from the DMX Foam Strobel board, which is now full-length, and the ride is more responsive and quick instead of somewhat spongy as it was before. The flex grooves have been reworked and newly configured DMPRTEK provides its measure of cushion, as well as durable traction. The heel has a slightly larger outersole pod to improve medial stability, while the lateral side works with the crashpad to keep the foot from drifting inward. Here, design and execution were accomplished with value remaining front and center in the designers’ vision. “This shoe is light, stable, with the right amount of cushioning, [at] a decent price. What’s not to like?” Updates the Premier Aztrec • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 12.7 oz. (size 11); Women 10.8 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, DMX Foam Strobel board
Reebok Premier Verona Supreme
The Verona has gone through three iterations, each punctuated by methodical improvement. Though not intended for overpronators, the geometry of the midsole is now more forgiving of the efficiency breakdown that can occur with fatigue. There’s a lateral Shear unit, TPU arches that give a bit on impact and direct the foot from the lateral side, while a convex-shaped medial midsole prevents the foot from rolling inward. The segmented outersole, flex grooves, and lateral crashpad provide additional guidance to the foot for improved biomechanical efficiency, while the DMPRTEK outersole offers durable traction and a bit of extra cushioning. In concert, these changes provide a responsive, cushioned ride. The upper employs a stretch mesh that’s a bit more open for coolness and moving moisture. The tongue has been reshaped and softer lining materials used. The Kinetic Fit Panels are now combined with a SmoothFit interior to improve step-in comfort, even with barefoot use. The midfoot is supported by the saddle created from the Vector stripes. The result is a responsive, mid-weight, mid-priced success story. “They felt good from the first time I put them on. There’s a lot of padding around the collar. The toe box has a good amount of wiggle room for the tootsies. I felt like I was running (dare I say?) barefoot inside my socks and shoes.” Updates the Premier Verona KFS 2 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14; Women 5–11,12 • Weight: Men 12.4 oz. (size 11); Women 10.6 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, DMX Foam Strobel board
Saucony ProGrid Ride 3
A bit bulkier than last year, the Ride now offers a plusher ride as the midsole features a larger lateral crashpad and forefoot insert. The midsole compound and ProGrid in the heel are durable and provide cushion without mushiness. The upper has a smaller percentage covered with overlays, favoring HF-welded supports in the interior of the forefoot, with fewer spots that might irritate. The fit is secure where necessary and there’s no slipping in the heel, thanks to memory foam in the collar. A moisture-wicking lining prevents the problems associated with wetness. The outersole has newly configured flex grooves, and what appears to be a more substantial shank (though this is difficult to ascertain due to the nature and placement of the device) which helps keep the foot lined up through the footstrike. The durable carbon rubber heel and the blown rubber forefoot contribute their well-known strengths to the layers of cushioning, providing a plush ride to the Ride. “Quite a bit of cushioning, evenly distributed. They felt a bit heavy but they’re protective, I’ll say that much for them. They did a good job.” Updates the ProGrid Ride 2 • Recommended for: medium- to high-arched feet with neutral biomechanics • Sizes: Men 6.5–13,14,15; Women 5–12 • Weight: Men 13.1 oz. (size 11); Women 10.9 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted, HRC Strobel board
Karhu Stable Fulcrum Ride
Though the name doesn’t indicate it, the Stable Ride is an update to last year’s model. What else is the same, you ask? The midsole components—including Karhu’s Fulcrum, here in the stability version—and the outersole are essentially the same. There are always tweaks, especially in updated shoes, but they’ve left the cushy ride and good transition unaltered. The upper has several improvements, primarily for better fit and comfort. The ankle collar and inside heel area have been smoothed out and combine with exterior heel overlays to offer better support. The logo stripes have been scaled down slightly, and thin, individual HF-welded straps now secure the midfoot to the eyestay to provide support while conforming to the foot. The open forefoot has been maintained, allowing the foot to spread comfortably. The weight is up slightly, but the stable, cushioned ride and secure fit may be just what you’re looking for. “Fit well from toes to ankles. Good stability and cushiness, but the heel felt a little tippy and took some getting used to.” Updates the Stable Ride • Recommended for: low- to medium-high–arched feet with mild to moderate overpronation • Sizes: Men 8–13,14; Women 6–11 • Weight: Men 13.8 oz. (size 11); Women 11.2 oz. (size 8) • Shape: semi-curved • Construction: Strobel slip-lasted Running Network 2010 Fall Shoe Review Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Winter 2010/2011
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Dealing with Over-Involved Parents: Getting Parents to Work with You, not Against You, in High School Track and Field By Roy Stevenson
here’s not a track coach in the country who hasn’t come across overzealous parents at one time or another. I’ve heard coaches refer to some parents as TPs (terrorist parents), CPs (controlling parents) or HPs (helicopter parents who hover over every moment of their teen’s life). This over-involvement and interference with athletes, and coaches who are only trying to do their job, can be a major burden on the unprepared coach. Some of these over-involved parents are simply misguided; thinking their son or daughter is the best, when results indicate otherwise. Others expect their athlete offspring to win everything so they can get a scholarship at University. Many parents want their kids to win as an extension of their own ego or for bragging rights in their social circles or because they were good athletes back in their day. Whatever the reason for the parent’s expectations, their behavior is often shocking. You’ve seen it before: chewing out the coach, swearing at him or her, or even their child or athletes on other teams. Here are some tips on how to deal with overzealous parents. Following this advice will make your life easier and take some of the stress off the teenage athletes. Onerous as it may be, it is your responsibility to clarify your expectations with parents. First, realize that 99% of all parents are sane and workable; they just need to be trained like their athlete progeny. A common strategy is to actively educate them with verbal and written material. State clearly, in writing, your coaching philosophy and style, and school policies regarding athlete and parent conduct, including meet and practice behavior and consequences of ignoring this code. Emphasize that parents should show respect for athletes competing against your school, and they should cheer their athletes in a positive manner. Some coaches have parents sign an
agreement stating that they understand the commitment their teen athlete is making, and that they agree to support him or her. State that you promote strong ethics, sound principles and high ideals through track and field and cross country. This should include mentioning that coaching is something you do and parents don’t, and parenting is what they should be doing, and that it is your job to run things the way you see fit. Define a common mission for your team, and how parents can help you and their children reach these goals; for example, booster club, officiating at meets, ensuring that the athlete is getting good nutrition, etc. Tell the parents that you expect their cooperation, support, and loyalty, and that you expect parents to be role models of sportsmanship. Establish your coaching credentials and your expertise. When parents challenge you, be the expert in a nondefensive way and be professional. This means you do not respond to problem parents emotionally, and you must always maintain self-control. Avoid crisis intervention mode with parents at all costs. Waiting for problems and emotions to arise before you are forced to deal with them is a disaster in the making. This means you must communicate with the parents. This means keeping the lines of communication open with parents and being approachable. Encourage them to discuss problems with you, instead of taking them over your head. Listen to them, and let them know that you hear them, even when you don’t agree with them. Always do this respectfully. Following these basic guidelines will avoid most problems you are likely to encounter with overzealous parents. Over time you will develop additional skills to work with parents to support your efforts.
Onerous as it may be, it is your responsibility to clarify your expectations with parents.
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Runners’ Injuries and How to Handle Them By Don Kopriva hether we like it or not, injuries are W an important part of track and field— especially, it would seem, for the most talented middle- and long-distance runners. In fact, of the 79 elite runners I interviewed for my new book, Coming Back Strong, only three reported that they had never suffered an injury important enough to affect their performance. Injuries happen because runners— and their coaches—tend to push the runners’ bodies to extremes, up to, and then over the “fine line” that divides healthy from hurt. Too many miles, too much intensity, too many repeats too close together—and something gives way. The intentions are noble, but the results can be disastrous. Who’s to blame? Nobody, unless striving for excellence is to be considered bad. Runners try too hard because they want to be better runners. Coaches go for one more repetition because they can see that last repetition as the difference between a winner and an also-ran. Alberto Salazar, who has seen injuries close-up both as a champion runner and a coach of champion runners, argues that you have to get really close to the fine line to excel. “Remember,” he says, “you’re running against a lot of other people who are flirting with that fine line, too.” And although he acknowledges that some of those others will fall victim to injury, he adds, “Not everyone’s going to be unlucky. Some will get very close to it and not get injured and that’s who you’ve ultimately got to compete against.” Salazar admits that some coaches feel you should never let a runner get too close to that fine line. “But,” he responds, “unless you’re so superior to everybody else that you don’t need to go near your limits to beat them, you do, out of necessity, have to go near that line.” What do you do? Coaches and athletes all agree that the first thing to do when an athlete feels pain or discomfort while training is stop. Even if the pain is hardly noticeable, stop. To put it simply, “playing through the pain” is just plain stupid. For a runner, playing through the pain is an excellent way to turn a minor injury into a major injury. If the pain disappears, the athlete can start the exercise carefully and 26 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Winter 2010/2011
gradually work up to the previous intensity. If the pain or discomfort returns, that finishes the exercise, and the next step is to see a trainer or a doctor. Says Salazar, “Even when it’s just a soreness that the runner feels, I believe you have to immediately get on it.” Once an injury is diagnosed, of course, a plan of rest, of alternate training methods or, perhaps, a rehabilitation program can be put together. Making the plan is not usually very difficult, but making it work often is. Coaches and athletes agree that the key to recovering from an injury and getting back into hard training is p-a-t-i-en-c-e. Whether or not the athlete has already been doing some kind of cross training, swimming, riding a bike, working on ellipticals, pool running, etc., are excellent ways to maintain optimal fitness. And a specially designed rehab program is often required on the road back to fulltime running training. But none of these are running. Progress is often slow, and runners can get discouraged. Speaking of his days as a 13:49 5000 meter runner, Wisconsin–Parkside coach Micah VanDenend says, “There is eventually a breaking point, where you feel fed up and feel you can no longer continue.” This, I feel, is one of the real challenges a coach faces. In the next issue of AT&F, we’ll talk about the long road to recovery, the problems of rehab and how rehabbing can help an athlete can come back—not just strong, but stronger than ever. Don Kopriva’s new book, Coming Back Strong is based on extensive interviews with many of America’s top distance runners and coaches, covering their experiences with injuries and how they came back from those injuries even stronger and faster than before. Since almost every runner who races over 800 meters and up encounters some kind of injury—and certainly everyone who coaches runners deals with a constant parade of injured athletes—Don’s book is indeed one that everyone in the running business will want to own. When issued Nov. 1, Coming Back Strong will have a cover price of $29.95 (including shipping). There is a discount for pre-publication orders, which will be $24.95 (including shipping). To order, send a check to RightOn Communications, PO Box 3830, Lisle, IL 60532. For more information, please call (630) 964-5496.
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C A M E R A AT H L E T I C A : S A LU T E S Q U E E N H A R R I S O N A N D A S H TO N E ATO N
We want to congratulate Ashton Eaton and Queen Harrison for winning the Bowerman Award, which recognizes the best collegiate athletes of the year.
Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Spring 2010
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Special Athletes, Special Events by Mary Helen Sprecher
f you’ve ever watched any “special” track event— from Special Olympics to the Wheelchair 800 at the Olympic Games—you know that the joy of competition and winning are just as exciting for the athletes as any “normal” competitor. These days, we’re seeing an increasing number of track and field events for handicapped athletes. High school athletic associations are reporting an increase in requests for accommodations for students with mobility limitations. Assistant director Becky Oakes of the National Federation of State High School Associations reports that several states—including Minnesota, Georgia, Alabama, Iowa and Washington—currently offer adaptive, wheelchair events within their state track and field championships. And in other states, increasingly, local high school and college tracks are being requested—or drafted—to serve as venues for special competitions. Fortunately, adapting most facilities to meet the needs of special athletes doesn’t have to mean drastic changes. Designers of athletic facilities, sports contractors and material suppliers have all worked with individual high schools and with state associations to help break down barriers and make athletic programs available to all. Changes, large and small, can be implemented now. It might be things we as able-bodied folks wouldn’t even notice, like a gate that’s a bit too narrow to get a wheelchair through. Changing a few simple things like that can turn a facility from being merely usable into an arena that allows the athlete to relax and use his or her skills. According to industry insiders, it all starts with attempting to understand the needs of the kids and—in a huge part—to understanding how much that need is growing. And while the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) certainly plays a part in the design of many facilities, its work can only do so much to include athletes with physical challenges.
Some Examples Schools with wheelchair racing programs tend to offer at least one throwing event—shot put, javelin, etc. The athletes are referred to as “seated throwers.” Wheelchairs are generally secured to the ground or to an immobile object for the throwing events. According to Gary Phillips, assistant executive director at the Georgia High School Association, 28 Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Winter 2010/2011
GHSA partnered with the American Association of Adapted Sports Programs, which helped identify and develop programs that would serve athletes with disabilities. At present, says Phillips, athletes in wheelchairs compete in their own division in three track and field events, the 200m, 800m and the shot put. “We thought some kids might be better suited for short races, and some for long races,” said Phillips, “and we wanted the shot as a throwing event. We divide the shot into two divisions based on the student’s handicap.” The state of Washington offers not only track and field programs, but also cross country, for athletes in wheelchairs, according to Teresa Fisher of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. One state working to grow its programs is Maryland, according to Ned Sparks, executive director of the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association. “All our school systems are required to have accommodations for students with disabilities, and many are going to have a track and field component,” notes Sparks. “I would think that, yes, it is one of those things that is going to be there in the future, and also that it’s going to be one of those things that is just offered automatically, rather than having to have students ask for it.” One of Maryland’s high school track and field athletes went on to medal at the Paralympics. Sparks notes that, although Maryland has been one of the first states to allow athletes in wheelchairs to share the track with their able-bodied counterparts, “I don’t think we’re going to be the last.” The National Federation for State High School Associations’ 2008–09 High School Athletics Participation Survey shows that responding schools offered adapted sports programs in basketball, bowling, floor hockey, soccer, softball and track. These are far from the only programs open, however. The U.S. Tennis Association promotes wheelchair tennis on a grassroots level, and many local parks and recreation departments offer adapted sports programs, including golf and bocce. Other schools have offered special programs in skiing, baseball and more. Swimming has long been a sport that has attracted individuals with mobility impairments. It’s all a matter of student interest and willingness to adapt programs to their specific needs.
Photo: Victah, www.photorun.NET
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On the Track Perhaps the first thing to address is making sure that athletes with special needs can get to a track. Gates used by athletes should have at least a 48" opening, which allows athletic wheelchairs (those whose wheels have a camber, or slant) to pass through. The last thing an athlete wants to do is get out of his or her chair and have someone pass it over the gate while he or she “scoots” along the ground through the opening. While high-level professional athletes can afford to be choosy about the surfaces they use, high schoolers generally don’t have that option, and that goes for athletes using wheelchairs, as well as the runners. Sparks says Maryland hasn’t researched the surface/wheelchair tire interaction (the sport is still in the developmental stages at most high schools), but hazards a guess that “maybe the harder the surface, the better.” According to Jim Stalford of Mondo USA (Tega Cay, South Carolina), “Wheelchair track racers prefer the consistency of a vulcanized rubber surface. This allows them to have some traction on all areas of the surface and to minimize how far the wheels penetrate the surface, enabling them to push faster with less energy.” Other tips for those designing or setting up facilities for athletes in wheelchairs? Adequate warm-up areas. “These are hard to accommodate,” Stalford notes. “It is best if there is a large open parking lot, road or warm-up track near the competition track for athletes to warm up. The warm-up area also needs a safe and easy way pathway for the athletes to get to the competition area.”
Other Considerations Then there are the aspects of competition that many people don’t even know about, according to Matt Hale of Halecon in Bridgewater, New Jersey. Having these, he notes, can mean all the difference between a facility that’s not just accessible but welcoming. “Something I believe is critical, yet often missed, is adequate shade for temperature control,” Hale notes. “Many individuals with spinal cord or brain injuries are extremely sensitive to temperature, particularly to heat. Some can have life-threatening heat reactions which can occur with little warning. Plan as much shade as possible. I would just stress that surface that throws off heat
should be avoided. The more shade, the better.” Plan for athletes’ needs both on and off the track or playing field, he adds. Of course, having water sources at or near the facility is a must, but so are some other things. “If possible, a cool-down area would be helpful, possibly an enclosed space attached to a bathroom facility, air-conditioned, with electric outlets and water. This space could not only provide emergency cooling, but also a private area for suctioning. Many people with high spinal cord injuries have difficulty breathing, and often use ventilators for assistance. At times, the airway can get blocked with secretions, thus creating an urgent need for suction. Proper suction would require a source for water and electric.” Other types of disabilities can also be accommodated, Stalford adds, with the right facilities. “Visually impaired runners prefer a high contrast track. A solid-colored red or black track with white lines is best. Blind long and triple jumpers have difficulty with raised runways. It’s best to have the runway even with the surrounding ground and plenty of room at the end of the sand box (no light poles, gutters, etc.). The sand should be even with the end of the box so that they can easily run through the back and not trip on the box or run into anything when they do run-throughs.”
Legal Issues ADA legislation was an enormous help to individuals with physical challenges, but it’s far from the end of the road. New laws are being enacted all the time. One that has the potential to impact all athletic programs in schools across the state of Maryland, says Ned Sparks, and which will take full effect in 2011, is the Fitness and Athletic Equity Law for Students with Disabilities. In short, it ensures that students with disabilities are provided equal opportunities to participate in physical education programs, and athletic activities in Maryland schools. The Maryland Dept. of Disabilities and the Maryland State Dept. of Education will work with local school jurisdictions to improve policies and implement the new statute and improvements to adaptive physical education and interscholastic athletic participation. While Sparks understands the necessity of accommodating all athletes, and believes that all students should be able to participate in athletics if they can, he also recognizes the difficulties that lie ahead for schools and athletic programs. Coaching Athletics Quarterly - Winter 2010/2011
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“This is a heck of a budget time, and to be mandating/adding sports at a time when a lot of cuts are being made—that’s difficult. It’s difficult to launch new programs when you’re trying to fight to keep the old ones.” Other states, which are not mandating as many new measures, find it easier to accommodate students with physical challenges. For David Anderson, assistant executive director with the Iowa High School Athletic Association, “the only possible financial challenge is transportation.” When working to make accommodations for athletes with disabilities, remember that events may begin to draw spectators who have mobility limitations, as well. Adjust seating so that someone in a wheelchair is able to have good sightlines—and to have adequate seating around them for their friends, either able-bodied or not. No spectator should be made to feel they have to sit in an area isolated from the rest of the crowd.
Summing Up While there have been challenges, Gary Phillips found that he was pleasantly surprised by the Georgia public’s reaction to the wheelchair division of races.
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“The first time [we had a track in which athletes in wheelchairs competed], I had anxiety, anticipation—I was wondering, ‘How will the fans react?’ We ran the 200 and the fans were cheering for the kids. They were great. Even when there’s a big distance between the kid who wins and the one who comes in last, the spectators stayed right there and cheered for everyone. We were able to ask all the kids in the race, ‘Did you hear them cheering for you?’ and they all said, ‘Yes, sir, I heard that!’ They were very happy.”
Note: The American Sports Builders Association (ASBA) is a nonprofit association helping designers, builders, owners, operators and users understand quality construction of many sports facilities, including track and field. The ASBA sponsors informative meetings and publishes newsletters, books and technical construction guidelines for athletic facilities, including running tracks and sports fields. Available at no charge is a listing of all publications offered by the Association, as well as the ASBA’s Membership Directory. Info: 866-501-ASBA (2722) or www.sportsbuilders.org.
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C A M E R A AT H L E T I C A : S A L U T E S DAV I D O L I V E R A N D A L LY S O N F E L I X
We want to congratulate David Oliver and Allyson Felix for winning the Jesse Owens Awards for Male & Female Athlete of the Year.
Jiro Mochizuki and Victah, www.photorun.NET
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