2016 Ultimate Fitness Training Seminar Notes.

The following notes are from a presentation I gave in May 2016. This is a good idea of how we training our Cross Country athletes at Dallas Baptist University…but I believe that it can be applied to all levels in regards to the periodization and types of workouts that we use.

INTRO: 
Jacob Phillips
11 years, head coach at Dallas Baptist University
Ten straight conference championships in XC for the women (2nd longest streak in NCAA).
Two-time NCAA National Championship qualifiers, 2009 and 2015.
Kelsey Bruce – 4th at NCAA XC (2015), US Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier (2016), 8th at US Half Marathon Championships (2016), 6th at US 25k Championships (2016.
Dawn Grunnagle – Runs for NIKE, US Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier (2016), 2:07 for 800 meters, 4:15 for 1500 meters.
Caitlin Keen – Ran for SMU, All-Regional performer, 35:01 for 10,000 meters.

WHY AM I HERE?
Because Arthur Lydiard said that there are champions on every street corner, we just had to train them properly.

I believe that fully.

It’s important for me to share my knowledge and experiences and wise to continue learning and growing as a coach.

MY PHILOSOPHY:
I believe that Lydiard got it right!

That means that Aerobic Conditioning is #1!!! The absolute most important factor in training distance runners is developing their aerobic condition.

That means having proper periodization; building to a specific peak.

I believe in consistent, high-end aerobic training! There are no short-cuts!

As Lydiard said, Miles make the champion! The more you run the better you get at it!

I am not a scientist. I believe in the sight-test and in the trial and error test!

PROPER PERIODIZATION:
Work backwards. For high school cross country that should be November back to June.

2-3 weeks to taper / sharpen.
4-6 weeks of cross country specific training.
6+ weeks of Base #3.
4-6 weeks of Base #2.
4-6 weeks of Base #1.

TAPER / SHARPENING PERIOD: 
The work is done! Time to feel good!!!

This phase is made up of easy running, strides and 200s, time trials and races, and light tempo work.

The goal is to feel good and to feel ready. Hard training in this period only takes away from feeling good and being ready.

Two week snapshot of the Taper / Sharpening Period:
M. Easy run
T. Easy run w/ 4-10 x fast strides
W. 2-mile time trial; finish with 4-8 x 200 meters
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 4-6 x fast strides
S. Light tempo run; 3-4 miles slow to fast tempo + 4 x 200-400 meters at 2-mile to 1-mile pace.
S. Easy run or rest

M. Easy run w/ 4-10 x fast strides
T. Easy run
W. Easy run w/ 2 x (4-5 x 200 meters); Working down from 2-mile to just below 1-mile pace.
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 4-6 x fast strides
S. Championship Race
S. Rest

SPECIFIC PERIOD:
This is the time to mimic race effort and pace. This is the most specific phase in our training build up for cross country.

This phase is made up of longer race pace reps, race simulation workouts, strides and 200s, light tempo work, and races. During this phase you have to be careful as the goal is to hit race effort or pace and be recovered for the next workout or race.

Two week snapshot of the Specific Period:
M. Easy run
T. Easy run w/ 4-10 x fast strides
W. Race paced reps: 4 x 1600 meters at 5k pace working to 2-mile pace for the last rep.
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 2 x (4-5 x 200 meters); Working down from 2-mile to just below 1-mile pace.
S. Easy longer run
S. Easy run or rest

M. Race simulation: 4000 meter tempo + 4 x 1000 meters at fast tempo working to 5k pace.
T. Easy run w/ 4-10 x fast strides
W. Light tempo run; 3.5-4.5 miles slow to fast tempo + 4 x 200-400 meters at 2-mile to 1-mile pace.
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 4-6 x fast strides
S. Race
S. Easy run or rest

BASE PERIOD #3:
This is the hardest training phase that I assign. I believe it is the most important phase for cross country success, but you have to do Base Period #1 and #2 before you can attempt #3.

This phase includes hill repetitions, tempo running, hilly runs, long steady running, hilly long runs, fast finish long runs, strides and 200s, and early season races. Everything involving quality in this phase should be moderate to hard; nothing forced. Only touching ‘hard’ at the end of a session.

Two week snapshot of Base Period #3:
M. Steady run; 6-10 miles w/ last half of the run at high-end aerobic effort.
T. Easy run w/ 4-10 x fast strides
W. Hill Reps; 10-16 x 400 meter hills w/ jog down rec. 10k effort and work to 2-mile effort.
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 2 x (4-5 x 200 meters); Working down from 2-mile to just below 1-mile pace.
S. Fast finish long run or Hilly long run; second half of the long run should be picked-up.
S. Easy run or rest

M. Hilly run; maintain effort over the hills.
T. Easy run w/ 4-10 x fast strides
W. Tempo run; 3.5-5 miles slow to fast tempo. Finish with 2-4 x 200 meters at 1-mile pace.
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 4-6 x fast strides
S. Race
S. Easy run or rest

BASE PERIOD #2:
This is more structured than the first base period; but still something that is low-key and low-stress for your runners in the summer-time. At this point they should feel like they are training, but nothing should be forced.

This phase is made up of hilly runs, progression runs, steady running, hilly long runs, fast finish long runs, strides and 200s. Nothing should be forced.

Two week snapshot of Base Period #2:
M. Hilly run; maintain effort over the hills.
T. Easy run w/ 4-10 x fast strides
W. Progression run; start easy and negative split the run.
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 2 x (4-5 x 200 meters); Working down from 2-mile pace to just below 1-mile pace.
S. Hilly long run; maintain effort over the hills.
S. Easy run or rest

M. Hilly run; maintain effort over the hills.
T. Easy run w/ 4-10 x fast strides
W. Steady running; longer run at a high-end aerobic effort.
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 2 x (4-5 x 200 meters); Working down from 2-mile pace to just below 1-mile pace.
S. Fast finish long run
S. Easy run or rest

BASE PERIOD #1:
This is the least structured period of training. Since we are just getting back into the training there are no quality days. We are really just mixing it up between some easy running, some hilly runs, long runs, and implementing strides and 200s.

Two week snapshot of Base Period #1:
M. Easy run
T. Easy running w/ 4-10 x fast strides
W. Hilly run
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 2 x (4-5 x 200 meters); Working down from 2-mile pace to just below 1-mile pace.
S. Easy long run
S. Easy run or rest

M. Hilly run
T. Easy running w/ 4-10 x fast strides
W. Hilly run
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 2 x (4-5 x 200 meters); Working down from 2-mile pace to just below 1-mile pace.
S. Easy long run
S. Easy run or rest

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BASE PHASE:
We always tell our team before the summer: CHAMPIONS ARE MADE IN THE SUMMER.

Barry Magee once told me that 80% of the season’s potential is the base; all other phases of training only made up the other 20%.

Your entire year is built on this base phase (your foundation).

We break it into three different phases that progress from easy to moderate to hard.

These three phases are the most important in training.

BASE #1 IN DETAIL:
This is the “Easy” base phase. 4-6 weeks in length. Younger teams need closer to 6-weeks, while older, more experienced teams can get away with just 4-weeks.

Easy =/= Slow! Learn how to run. Teach them how to run. We believe that ALL RUNS should start easy and naturally progress as your body wakes up and warms up. You should never finish a run slower than you started.

The focus during this phase is:
1. Build volume; daily and weekly.
2. Build the long run; be consistent with your long runs.
3. Implement strides and 200s.
4. Implement core, strength, and flexibility program.

Extras:
Vary the terrain! Run on grass, hills, roads, dirt, the track.

The weekly structure:
M. Easy run or Hilly run
T. Easy run w/ strides
W. Easy run or Hilly run
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 200s
S. Easy long run
S. Easy run or rest

BASE #2 IN DETAIL:
This is the “Intense” base phase. 4-6 weeks in length. Again, a younger team needs the full 6-week period, while an older, more experienced team can get away with just 4-weeks.

Now you should feel like you are starting to train. Should be more structure than in the first base phase, but still pretty relaxed and low-key.

Types of runs and their descriptions:
1. Hilly runs. The goal here is to run over hills with the same effort that you do on your easy runs. Should not slow down on the hills. The maintaining effort should allow for muscular strength and improved aerobic fitness as it’s harder to run uphill than it is to run on the flats.

2. Progression runs. These runs should start very easy and naturally build up throughout the run. The goal is to feel good at the end while running smooth and fast. FAST however does not mean HARD. Nothing should be forced in this phase; including these progression runs. Should be a good aerobic workout.

3. Steady running. These runs are very similar to a progression run, except that you are staying at the ‘fast’ section of running for a longer period of time. This should not be a ‘hard’ effort; but a controlled, high-end aerobic effort. If you are forcing this run then you are running too hard.

4. Fast finish long runs. These are just as they sound; it’s a progressive long run. Start easy and just work up throughout the run. The last few miles should be smooth and fast, but UNDER CONTROL. Again, nothing forced – just a good solid run with a quick finish at a high-end aerobic effort.

5. Hilly long runs. Same as the hilly runs, just over a longer distance and duration.

6. Strides and 200s. These are done twice per week; once as a set of 4-10 x 15-20 second build ups and the other time as two sets of 4-5 x 200 meters working from 2-mile pace down to 1-mile pace.

Extras:
Nothing should be forced in training. High-end aerobic running is just that…good, strong, aerobic running that you can continue on with even past the assigned duration. Always be in control on these workouts.

The weekly structure:
M. Hilly or Progression run
T. Easy run w/ strides
W. Progression or Steady run
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 200s
S. Fast finish long run or Hilly long run
S. Easy run or rest

BASE #3 IN DETAIL:
This is the ‘hard’ base phase. It is 6+ weeks long and you should attempt to get in all six weeks or more if you have the time in training.

This is the hardest phase in training and I believe the most crucial to cross country success. However, you cannot attempt Base #3 without completing the first two base phases.

Types of runs and their descriptions:
1. Hill repetitions. These are 300-1600 meters in length uphill with a jog down recovery. We run these usually as 400 meter repeats (10-16) with a strong run up and an easy jog down. We keep this workout continuous as it is a great stressor muscularly and aerobically.

2. Hilly runs. The goal here is to run over hills with the same effort that you do on your easy runs. Should not slow down on the hills. The maintaining effort should allow for muscular strength and improved aerobic fitness as it’s harder to run uphill than it is to run on the flats.

3. Progression runs. These runs should start very easy and naturally build up throughout the run. The goal is to feel good at the end while running smooth and fast. FAST however does not mean HARD. Nothing should be forced in this phase; including these progression runs. Should be a good aerobic workout.

4. Steady runs. These runs should start very easy and naturally build up throughout the run. The goal is to feel good at the end while running smooth and fast. FAST however does not mean HARD. Nothing should be forced in this phase; including these progression runs. Should be a good aerobic workout.

5. Tempo runs. These are TRUE tempo runs. Most people run their tempos runs way too fast. We start ours pretty slow and progress them down in pace every mile. These are typically 3-5 miles in length. I think anything longer than 5 miles is too long for a true tempo run. Always finish these with some 200-400 meter repeats at 2-mile to 1-mile pace.

6. Fast finish long runs. These are just as they sound; it’s a progressive long run. Start easy and just work up throughout the run. The last few miles should be smooth and fast, but UNDER CONTROL. Again, nothing forced – just a good solid run with a quick finish at a high-end aerobic effort.

7. Hilly long runs. Same as the hilly runs, just over a longer distance and duration.

8. Strides and 200s. These are done twice per week; once as a set of 4-10 x 15-20 second build ups and the other time as two sets of 4-5 x 200 meters working from 2-mile pace down to 1-mile pace.

Extras:
This phase you really want to maintain mileage even with the increased intensity. None of the workouts should be hard; all workouts should be under control and progressive in nature.

The weekly structure:
M. Hilly or Progression run
T. Easy run w/ strides
W. Hill repeats or Tempo run or Steady run
T. Easy run or x-training
F. Easy run w/ 200s
S. Fast finish long run or Hilly long run
S. Easy run or rest

SUMMARY:
1. Spend the majority of the season in the base phase (1, 2, and 3).

2. You cannot do the proper specific work / phase without the base training.

3. Find what works for you and your athletes.

4. Be passionate.

5. Be consistent.

SAMPLE TRAINING SCHEDULES:

Kelsey Bruce — 16:34 (5000 meters); 4th at NCAA DII Championships


Base Phase #1:
M. 11 miles easy
T. 8 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 5 miles easy PM
W. 8 miles easy
T. 11 miles easy
F. 8 miles including 2 x (4 x 200 meters) in 34-36s AM // 5 miles easy PM
S. 15 miles easy
S. 5 miles easy
Total Miles: ~75 miles

Base Phase #2:
M. 11 miles hilly AM // 5 miles easy PM
T. 8 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 5 miles easy PM
W. 10 miles progressive
T. 13 miles easy
F. 10 miles including 2 x (5 x 200 meters) in 34-36s AM // 5 miles easy PM
S. 17 miles hilly
S. 5 miles easy AM // 5 miles easy PM
Total Miles: ~95 miles

Base Phase #3:
M. 11 miles progressive AM // 5 miles easy PM
T. 10 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 5 miles easy PM
W. 12 miles including 16 x 400 meter hills AM // 5 miles easy PM
T. 13 miles easy
F. 10 miles including 2 x (5 x 200 meters) in 34-36s AM // 5 miles easy PM
S. 18 miles w/ last 8 miles sub 6:20 pace
S. 5 miles easy AM // 5 miles easy PM
Total Miles: ~105 miles

Specific Phase:
M. 10 miles w/ 3 mile tempo + 3 x 1 mile @ 5k pace AM // 5 miles easy PM
T. 10 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 5 miles easy PM
W. 10 miles w/ 4.5 miles tempo + 4 x 400 meters @ 75s AM // 5 miles easy PM
T. 13 miles easy
F. 5 miles easy w/ 6 x strides
S. 10 miles including 5k race (16:34)
S. 5 miles easy AM // 5 miles easy PM
Total Miles: ~85 miles

Taper Phase:
M. 10 miles w/ last 4 miles steady (6:05 pace) AM // 4 miles easy PM
T. 8 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 4 miles easy PM
W. 8 miles w/ 2 miles time trial in 10:24 + 4 x 200 meters AM // 4 miles easy PM
T. 10 miles easy
F. 8 miles including 2 x (5 x 200 meters) in 34-36s AM // 4 miles easy PM
S. 10 miles w/ 4 miles tempo + 4 x 400 meters @ 75s
S. 4 miles easy AM // 4 miles easy PM
Total Miles: ~75 miles

Cashlee Rayas — 17:15 (5000 meters); 16th at NCAA Regional Championships

Base Phase #1:
M. 5 miles easy
T. 4 miles easy w/ 4 x strides
W. 4 miles easy
T. 45 minutes x-training
F. 5 miles including 4 x 200 meters in 36-38s w/ 200 meter jog rec.
S. 6 miles easy
S. Rest
Total Miles: ~25 miles
Base Phase #2:
M. 6 miles hilly
T. 5 miles easy w/ 6 x strides
W. 6 miles progressive
T. 60 minutes x-training
F. 6 miles including 2 x (4 x 200 meters) in 36-38s
S. 8 miles hilly
S. Rest
Total Miles: ~30 miles
Base Phase #3:
M. 8 miles progressive
T. 5 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 3 miles easy PM
W. 8 miles w/ 10 x 400 meter hills
T. 75 minutes x-training
F. 6 miles including 2 x (4 x 200 meters) in 36-38s
S. 10 miles in 68:30; last four miles sub 6:30 pace.
S. 35 minutes x-training
Total Miles: ~40 miles
Specific Phase:
M. 8 miles w/ 4000 meter tempo + 4 x 1000 meters @ 5k pace
T. 5 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 3 miles easy PM
W. 8 miles w/ 3.5 miles tempo + 2 x 400 meters @ 80s
T. 75 minutes x-training
F. 3 miles easy w/ 4 x strides
S. 7 miles including 5k Race (17:38)
S. 35 minutes x-training
Total Miles: ~35 miles
Taper Phase:
M. 6 miles w/ last 2 miles picked up
T. 5 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 3 miles easy PM
W. 6 miles w/ 2 miles time trial + 4 x 200 meters @ 34-36s
T. 60 minutes x-training
F. 6 miles including 2 x (4 x 200 meters) @ 36-38s
S. 7 miles w/ 3 miles light tempo + 4 x 400 meters @ 80s
S. 35 minutes x-training

Total Miles: ~35 miles

Trent Phelps — 25:17 (8000 meters); US Jr. Qualifier in 3000m Steeplechase
 
Base Phase #1:
M. 6 miles easy
T. 6 miles easy w/ 6 x strides
W. 6 miles easy
T. 6 miles easy
F. 6 miles including 2 x (4 x 200 meters) @ 32-34s
S. 9 miles easy
S. Rest
Total Miles: ~40 miles
Base Phase #2:
M. 8 miles hilly
T. 6 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 3 miles easy PM
W. 8 miles progressive
T. 8 miles easy
F. 6 miles including 2 x (4 x 200 meters) @ 32-34s
S. 12 miles hilly
S. Rest
Total Miles: ~50 miles
Base Phase #3:
M. 8 miles progressive AM // 3 miles easy PM
T. 8 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 3 miles easy PM
W. 9 miles w/ 12 x 400 meter hills
T. 8 miles easy
F. 8 miles including 2 x (5 x 200 meters) @ 32-34s
S. 14 miles w/ last 7 miles sub 6 min pace.
S. 3 miles easy
Total Miles: ~65 miles
Specific Phase:
M. 10 miles w/ 3 miles tempo + 3 x 1 mile @ 5k pace AM // 3 miles easy PM
T. 8 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 3 miles easy PM
W. 9 miles w/ 4 miles tempo + 4 x 400 meters @ 68-70s
T. 8 miles easy
F. 4 miles easy w/ 6 x strides
S. 10 miles w/ 8k Race (25:50)
S. 3 miles easy
Total Miles: ~60 miles
Taper Phase:
M. 8 miles w/ last 4 miles steady (sub 6 min pace) AM // 3 miles easy PM
T. 8 miles easy w/ 6 x strides AM // 3 miles easy PM
W. 8 miles w/ 2 miles time trial + 4 x 200 meters @ 30-31s
T. 8 miles easy
F. 6 miles w/ 2 x (4 x 200 meters) @ 32-34s
S. 8 miles w/ 3 miles tempo + 4 x 400 meters @ 68-70s
S. 3 miles easy
Total Miles: ~55 miles

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