Friday, July 4, 2008

Training Tips from Craig Virgin

-Run negative splits in interval training to develop strength,
increase biomechanical efficiency, and promote mental toughness

-Visualize your top competition on your shoulder during workouts,
especially at the end

-Always run last interval hard like the end of a race; learn to change
gears (without thinking about it) even when you are tired

-Train on both flat terrain and hills. Be a “complete hill runner”; run
both uphill and downhill aggressively

-Run your goal pace not theirs; except in a few situations. Record and
study splits in every race; planned vs. actual. Look for recurring weak areas
and strive to shore up in next competition

-Run back to school 3 to 5 miles after away meets (short interval workout
at out-of-town race site if running short of day light in the fall)

-Run all your intervals on grass in cross country and even some during
the track season to give your legs a break and different biomechanics

-Blend in speed with strength all season long – just change the emphasis
or proportions as the season progresses

-Establish both team and individual goals between coach and athletes before
season starts write them down and post them in appropriate places. Set the
goals high enough! What is considered good and what is considered great?

-Commit to “attacking the finish” whether you’re in a battle or not. Don’t
ease up until you’re well past the official finish line.

-Strive for consistent training; day after day, week after week, month after
month. Major break-throughs in racing performance usually come as a
result of training momentum generated over considerable time.

-Coaches should actively promote the team’s results/accomplishments
to the general student body and to the media every week to reinforce
their athletes’ commitment, effort, and sacrifices

Craig Virgin was a 2x world cross country champion, former American record holder for 10,00 meters, runner-up in the 1981 Boston Marathon. He once held the high school outdoor 2-mile record (8:40.9).

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