First Interval Workout


I don’t think I would have survived as a high school coach if I hadn’t, at some level, mastered the art of forgetting about previous seasons and starting over every September. That’s not to say there’s no continuity year-to-year, but every new season brings an influx of novice runners who haven’t had exposure to any of the things that experienced runners take for granted — progressive increases in mileage, warming up and cooling down, running strides or hills or intervals, or anything, really. Continue reading

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“Catharsis (from Greek κάθαρσις katharsis meaning ‘purification’ or ‘cleansing’) is the purification and purgation of emotions—especially pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration.” – Wikipedia Continue reading

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Hi all — sorry for not posting these last three weeks. All is well, I’ve just been extremely busy with work, coaching, hosting a large meet, and trying to hold down the home front while Ann is in Washington supporting Joni and Dennis as they welcome new additions to the family.  I’ll begin posting again soon, targeting  Monday, Oct 17.
– Jon

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Fun Run!


Running is a lot of things, but is it fun?

In the first weeks of the cross-country season, when summer heat lingers, and no one has actually raced yet, our team organizes a 5K “fun run” for ourselves and for anyone else at the school who wants to join in. Our guests usually include one or two other teams from the school (boys and girls JV soccer joined us this year), about a dozen adults from the faculty and staff, and a few students who aren’t on any team, but have their own reasons for participating. It’s a good way to remind ourselves what meet day feels like, and a chance to practice the whole warmup routine. Continue reading

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Compassion and Sportsmanship


“It’s the first race that I’ve ever really had where I crossed the finish line and thought there wasn’t even another second that I could have made up at any point in that race… If you can say that honestly to yourself I don’t think you can be disappointed in any result. The second I saw the video I didn’t think it was anything worth disqualifying him [the Japanese walker] over. And so we had the option to appeal the Japanese decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and I just told our team that I didn’t want to pursue that, that I was happy with the decision that had been made by the initial appeal.”

“When I think about winning an Olympic medal there’s that of jubilation or joy… it’s the coming together of everything we’ve worked for. It’s the pinnacle of our sport, and when I saw that [his name in third place] up there. it was just kind of mixed emotion, kind of empty feeling, kind of like ‘what’s going on here?’ ‘Dude, is this right?’… And I think that initial gut reaction told me a lot later on about — am I going to be able to live with this decision…”

“I’m no worse off in fourth place… I’m really proud of fourth place. Anyone who lives their life for the medal and based on the medal, they’re not going to be happy when they get it, and I think they’ll never be happy. You know, I’m much happier pushing myself, doing sport for myself, and trying to get the most I can out of myself. And yesterday I think I definitely did that, and so I can really proud of that.” – Evan Dunfee, 4th place finisher in the 50K walk at the Rio Olympics Continue reading

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From the Archives: On Running Hard in Dual Meets


[The beginning of cross country practices and the post-Labor Day surge at work has made it  difficult for me to think clearly, let alone sit down and write. So with apologies for the re-posting, here’s something from the archives: a consideration of whether high school runners should “train through” dual meets with (often) much weaker opponents. Originally published September 24th, 2009] Continue reading

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Book Review: How Bad Do You Want It?


“Endurance athletes, by definition, endure. They endure long hours of training, the privations of a monastic lifestyle, and all manner of aches and pains. But what endurance athletes must endure above all is not actual effort but perception of effort. this is the phrase that scientists now use to refer to what athletes normally describe as “how hard” exercise feels in a given moment, and it represents the central concept of the psychobiological model of endurance performance.”
– Matt Fitzgerald  (“How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle“) Continue reading

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