Education
Add Strength Training To Your Running Routine

Add Strength Training To Your Running Routine

Are you ready to become a faster and more injury proof runner?  Here is a 10 minute routine for you to add after your run! 1.  Body Weight Squats. Position your feet shoulder width apart, with your toes facing forward or only slightly splayed out.  Raise your arms (this will engage your lats and back) and look forward.  Sit back, as if there were a chair behind you, and don’t
Shin Strengthening

Shin Strengthening

Anterior tibialis drills for shins I was wandering around the web and found this really good set of drills that should do a great job of preventing shin splints, and I wanted to share this with you all.  As we ramp up over the summer–or start training for the first time–shin splints become a common problem.  Let’s see if we can stamp out shin splints at MV this year! “Shin
Building An Aerobic Base:  Off-Season Mileage

Building An Aerobic Base: Off-Season Mileage

Your distance coaches say the same thing again and again about your off-season training–we want you to run lots of easy-paced miles, consistently, all summer and all winter, between your track and cross-country seasons.  We encourage you to do little or no racing or intense speed and track training during the off-season. We believe that there should always be a scientific basis to our coaching.  So why do we want
The Art of Fartlek

The Art of Fartlek

“Fartlek” is Swedish for ‘speed play’, and that tells you the main thing I want you to know about a fartlek workout—this workout is meant to be fun!  Unlike the other quality workouts that we run (such as intervals, repeats, or threshold runs), fartlek workouts are more unstructured.  During a fartlek workout, the running group alternates relatively short moderate to hard efforts with easy running throughout the run.  The fartlek
Ten Weeks To Stronger Legs and Core

Ten Weeks To Stronger Legs and Core

We don’t have to get into the weight room to build all the strength we need for effective running…it’s not that the weight room is not great, it can be!  However, for distance runners, body-weight resistance training can help us accomplish almost everything we need for a good cross-country season. Here is a routine for a 10-week program that will give you stronger legs and core.  Do this routine once
Why Consistency Matters

Why Consistency Matters

‘80% of success is showing up.’ –Woody Allen Many runners struggle to be consistent with their training.  It’s hard for anyone in the modern world to be consistent with training, and high school athletes face some particular challenges.  First of all, we are simply younger and are still learning the discipline and self-regulation needed for long-term, persistent effort.  We are still learning how to work for months and years towards
Guide to Easy Runs

Guide to Easy Runs

We take our easy runs for granted.  Many high school and college athletes—and athletes your coach’s age!—think that an easy run day is a day to just shuffle along the road, or even think that an easy run is a run that an athlete can skip.  Au contraire, mon ami!  You are so very wrong!  Let’s take a longer look at the humble easy run! Easy runs provide substantial paybacks.  A
Running Form:  Run Tall!

Running Form: Run Tall!

Often we get the question from athletes, ‘what can I do to improve my running form?’ In most cases, we don’t want to tinker too much with your natural running form.  Go watch the runners at an elite race such as the Olympic trials, and even at this level you will see a wide variety of body times and running form.  Our bodies tend to find the biomechanics which work
More Hydration (XC2105 Notes)

More Hydration (XC2105 Notes)

It’s not a surprise–the hotter the weather, the more an athlete will sweat. What we don’t always appreciate is how much the original state of hydration will determine how much heat we can tolerate. Here is the bottom line—if you are well hydrated before you start exercising, you are infinitely better off than if you start your workout dehydrated.  Remember that!  Now, let’s discuss the science, and how to take care of
Learning From My Heart Rate Monitor:  The Warm Up

Learning From My Heart Rate Monitor: The Warm Up

How many of these athletes have warmed up enough before starting their race? As many of the athletes in MVXC16 know, at the urging of the MIT track & field coach, I’ve passed out a few heart rate monitors and am using one myself.  As I use my HR monitor and look at the results, I’ve been getting quite a bit of data that I did not have before.  This new information
Extended Tempo Back From Stevens Canyon--New for MVXC16

Extended Tempo Back From Stevens Canyon–New for MVXC16

Tempo Back From Stevens Canyon:  The Start Anna Hsiao, Anjali Thontakudi and I mapped out a new tempo route today. The Traditional Stevens Canyon Tempo Route starts at the base of the bunny hill before the dam, and heads back to McClellan Road, runs through McClellan Ranch and hops back out to Byrne when we get to Blackberry Farm, and then returns to the MV track.  This route is 2.75
Be As Strong As Iron

Be As Strong As Iron

I was talking with the head coach of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s cross-country and track & field programs, and I asked him what he thought was important for Monta Vista athletes to do in order to be ready to compete as part of MIT’s team.   Coach Taylor rattled off several topics to focus upon.  Monta Vista track & field/cross-country does try to work on most of these areas: A
Training Your Core

Training Your Core

We have talked about how important it is to have a strong core–in fact we have talked about your core so much, I hope you are still listening! Your core is key to strong, injury-free running, and hardly any of us work our core as much as we could. Here’s a great article based mainly upon interviews with Greg McMillan (one of my favorite coaches) and Lolo Jones (one of
Four Easy Stretches

Four Easy Stretches

Runners’ muscles get tight–it’s the nature of our sport and the life we have chosen!  It’s easy to skip stretching; I admit, stretching can get tedious.  However, stretching can be your secret weapon, your path to longer strides and more speed, and your shield against common running injuries. Here we are going to present four good static (or long-hold) stretches.  Static stretches are best done after a workout when your
Nutrition

Nutrition

Nutrition is truly the new frontier in the quest to increase athletic performance.  After you have spent hours and hours running, training, stretching, lifting…doesn’t it make sense to eat right?  And not just for athletic performance–for your life.  Eating right will help you feel better and live longer! Luckily, you generally know what you should be doing–don’t eating junk food, don’t eat packaged crud, stay out of fast food restaurants,
Guide to a Track Meet

Guide to a Track Meet

For all of you uncultured masses who are just learning about track and field, we are here with a brief guide that will help you become sophisticated participants and spectators of the greatest sport ever! The Events There are 16 events in a standard California high school track meet.  Some invitational meets will run some other non-standard events (mostly these are unusual relay combinations, such as the Distance Medley (DMR),
Pre-Race Check List

Pre-Race Check List

Racing Preparation   The Night Before Eat a healthy well-balanced dinner. Drink plenty of water. Look at the Meet Sheet so you have all the information you need (race time, etc.) Packing checklist for the race: –Uniform –Training shoes for warming up and for after the race –Racing shoes if you have them; racing shoes are recommended for competitive runners –Sock for racing –Dry clothing for after the race (dry
Hydration

Hydration

Hydration:  Why We Should Care   As runners, we all hear about hydration.  However many of us just drink when we feel thirsty and really don’t think much further about hydration.  We hope this web posting helps you understand what is going on in your body, and what you should be doing to keep hydrated—and keep your body operating at it’s best. Why Water is Important Water carries out a
Recipes from Whole Foods

Recipes from Whole Foods

The download below has the recipes that we practiced in our first cooking class at Whole Foods on November 2.  Let’s see if we can perfect our skills–maybe by trying these recipes for our families??? I have a couple ideas of other recipes you might want to try!  After the season winds down, I’ll post these on the site if you’d like to try them. Happy cooking!
Nutrition For Recovery

Nutrition For Recovery

We have talked a lot about the importance of nutrition in general, and a little bit about how important good nutrition is to recovery.   Good nutrition after a hard workout or after a race will help you recover faster, maximize the benefits and adaptations you can get from your training, and get your ready for your next workout. Many people on the team have taken this message to heart
Pass the Raisins!

Pass the Raisins!

  Good nutrition is important for your life—not just for your athletics. Last week, Monta Vista XC talked about nutrition before our Wednesday practice.  I had several great conversations with athletes afterwards and throughout the week regarding specific nutritional concerns.  These conversations had me thinking about nutrition all week long.  One of my specific concerns when I think about our team:  Iron. Most of you know that iron is important
Shoes:  Not Just a Good Idea

Shoes: Not Just a Good Idea

  Hey Monta Vista XC– Think about your kicks! There is not much equipment that we need as XC runners; shorts and a ratty old t-shirt will get us most of the way ready for a run (though a nice, technical MVXCOUNTRY shirt is pretty sweet, don’t you think?).  But shoes…folks, I want you to think about your shoes. Shoes are crazy important.  Your feet hit the ground about 1,000
Running Logs

Running Logs

Having a running log is a key tool of the serious runner.  There are lots of ways to keep a running log and it does not have to be complicated: –An Excel spreadsheet or Word document (your coach has a log on Excel that goes back for years). –Notes on a calendar. –A ledger or lab notebook. –On-line logs exist too. It doesn’t take much!  In addition to tracking mileage
Goals

Goals

Hope is not a Strategy. On race day, everyone would like to win (or set a PR).  If we go to the start of any race and ask the runners on the line, would you like to win today, the answer will be ‘Sure…why not?’  Everybody wants to win on race day. But what was each competitor doing over the last year to prepare for race day?  What were they
Getting your ZZZZZZZZs...Sleep is necessary!

Getting your ZZZZZZZZs…Sleep is necessary!

Monta Vista students are notorious for their late night study and homework sessions.   My friends and I are amazed at how late you all stay up on a regular basis!  I didn’t pull an all-night study session until college, and I’d guess that I only stayed up after 2am studying a dozen times or so in college and graduate school combined.  The hard work and dedication that you all demonstrate
Foam Rolling

Foam Rolling

Every serious runner should own a foam roller.  We pound our bodies constantly and repetitively, thousands of impacts per mile.  The constant work we endure is good for our bodies, but our muscles do rebel a little bit too.  That’s where a foam roller comes in. A foam roller can augment stretching, as with the IT band.  Rolling your IT band (in your coach’s opinion) is enough to justify owning
Getting Started:  Prepping for your First XC Season

Getting Started: Prepping for your First XC Season

“Simple Ain’t Easy.” –Thelonious Monk Running is one of the simplest sports you can imagine:  Get on the starting line, fire a gun, the first one to the finish wins.  Simple! Training for cross country is simple too–just go running.  But just because training is simple does not mean that training is easy.  It’s hard to get out the door again and again to start running*.  It’s hard to be