LetsRun: Week That Was
Like: Q&A with steepler Shalaya Kipp
Bob Binnie has WRXC Day 4 photos
If you really want to know Santa Clarita, walk (run or bike) it, like two guys did in New York City. More. Don and mate biked most every block in Saugus, and much of the rest of SCV, documenting it with a yellow highlighter on a paper map. How quaint. ...Walking is so much better as that's how you can meet people. Mostly, in Santa Clarita, you catch them in their driveway (their garages too jammed for cars).
Nikki's Haven: What Does Ideal Look Like? Women Embracing a Strong Body Image
Every time we get interrupted by something external, it takes us about 23 minutes to refocus after the interruption. More.
Why elites DNF or just don't race. Here. Sometimes it's the smart thing to do.
Interview with Jim White, the real coach that was the inspiration for Disney's McFarland USA. Video.
MileSplit has Saugus girls 15th. Link. Kaylee Thompson not in their calculations.
Bob Binnie has West Ranch Day 3 photos. Ashley Welker led the gang through a Navy core workout.
Who wants to host the Olympics? Story.
Five facts about chiropractic. Link. Don handled chiro malpractice claims, and 10,000 accident claims involving dubious injuries and worthless chiro treatments.
Nothing to cheer about. One horrific cheer injury cost the County of Los Angeles $6,000,000.
LetsRun: The End Of Women’s Sports As We Know It?
Are you getting enough recovery time? Story.
Alex Hutchinson on the importance of fueling after a workout. Here.
MileSplit: Interview with California state 3200 meter champion, Caleb Webb
NYT: A Way to Get Fit and Also Have Fun
Track needs another Michael Johnson.
Bob Binnie provides West Ranch Day 2 photos. The sunset photo is unusual due to a forest fire.
Andrew Wheating is very, very tall. ..."The big American" video.
Is Dibaba’s 1500m Record “Believable”?
2024 Olympics in Los Angeles? Story.
Flotrack: Gear change workout video. Unless you're in a coached group, where are you going to find a training buddy of like ability to do these workouts weekly?
Scientific American: The Problem with Artificial Willpower
Alan Abrahamson, L.A. resident: Hey, Boston 2024, it’s not US(OC) — it’s you.
...It worked for Los Angeles in 1984, without deficits, but now... Read. And then there is the 100 billion, unfunded and unbuilt, high speed choo-choo.
Q&A with Brenda Martinez
The California International Marathon is your last, best chance to qualify for the Olympic trials marathon. Story. Katrina Marie Graham, Master's alum, will be there. Imagine being able to mention -oh, just in passing, inadvertently - that you ran in the U.S.A Olympic Marathon Trials. How many times could you say that over a lifetime.?
3 Myths that are Destroying the Youth Sports Experience
Drug bans should be for life – or we might as well give everyone keys to the dispensary
What Pro T&F Athletes Can Learn from Michael Jordan
Outside: Welcome to the Quietest Square Inch in the U.S. It's outside.
Matt Fitzgerald: Eat Like a Kenyan, Run Like a Kenyan. Fitzgerald wrote a book: Racing Weight.
Daily Relay: The Monday Morning Run
New York Times: The Evidence Supports Artificial Sweeteners Over Sugar
Canyon is at Mammoth. Saugus is at Big Bear. And West Ranch is at Lake Tahoe. Bob Binnie has the photos. ...Parents are doing the cooking and slave labor at all camps. Is it just run and fun and sun, we asked? A parent (under the Witness Protection Program) writes: They are broken into 4 teams, with rotating responsibilities including kitchen duty, dining room & bathrooms. It does appear that some of the students are better than others as far as fulfilling those responsibilities. Of course, that is much like the athletes who short change a run on distance or pace. In the end, they only have themselves to blame.
1. Now your in fourth year, time moves on from the 12/10/12 and 12/12/13 Q&As. Any changes in staff and philosophy?
As for the staff, I now have head coach accountability for both boys and girls sides of the West Ranch Cross Country team. Girls side was added last year. The same day that happened, I called Cyndi Hoelzel, to ask if she could help me with our girls XC and distance team. After one meeting and a few more phone calls, she agreed. Now, as her 2nd XC season begins, Cyndi is responsible for the girls training strategy and plan. Cyndi's background is her own XC and distance career, Warriors youth coaching and as a trainer of adult marathon runners. Our direction for the girls team is to have them aspire to the same goals that we have focused on for the boys – Foothill and State titles. The girls culture and team are still in transition. See #3. As you may have heard, Jeff Jackson, has left the program for an extended time as he pursues a career in law enforcement. He has three weeks until graduating from the Fremont, California police academy. He was also a finalist for a position with Glendale PD, which would have kept him here, but Fremont struck first. He is here in spirit all the time and happens to be visiting this weekend. He will run with the team from Lowes on Saturday. Mike Sterkel, Timmy's father, is beginning to help with the boys coaching. His influence will evolve as we increase our understanding of each other. As for the philosophy, we continue to build on our high-mileage framework. As we become better, stronger and more veteran, we increase the plan to match the ability of the runners. This summer we are focused more heavily than ever on building deep aerobic endurance bases. Tempos, mile repeats, etc. will be phased in, in due time. July has been about 8s in the AM and 7s in the PM for 15-mile two-a-days a few times a week. Long steadies, 10+, thrown in for good measure periodically.
2. The boys are ranked 11th in CA, even favored (sorta) by Brando for a Foothill Championship. Fair assessment? More positives or worries? Good summer so far?
That #11 ranking is as fair as it gets, derived directly from 3-mile bests of returning runners. We believe that winning Foothill is an achievable goal. We rate ourselves in the top 5 for Division 2 in both the Southern Section and State. That's based on how our returning talent measures up against the rest. Meeting and perhaps exceeding those is still a monumental challenge. Nothing happens without the tremendous amount of work the boys still have ahead of them. To date it has been going well. We feel we are on track at this point in the summer.
3. Prospects, predictions for the Wildcats girls?
Shhhhh! JK! For a month, we pretended that we were off-the-radar. The folks-in-the-know and coaches-that-care, do know that we have a strong class of incoming frosh girls. Those frosh girls are invigorating some very talented senior veterans along with some key talent in the sophomore and junior classes. As I said, the culture is in transition. We have some steely-eyed girls that are making that transition into their own personal mission. Since our girls team finished 7th at State in 2009, we always have girls teams that are CIF threats or contenders. But, we have not been able to put a "State Meet November" together again. This year, we may have the best set of talent since 2009. We are laser-focused on helping this year's girls team achieve their dreams. It's too early to put a definitive measure to how far they might go. I will tell you this, there is so much energy on the girls team now because they believe that they are big difference makers. Our girls are fired-up and that energy is really exciting to see.
4. You recently shared secrets with an elderly, former local area legend (still sharp enough to coach his boys to a 2014 WA state championship). Anything you can share with us?
Gene Blankenship shared what he had written on the back of his Medical Lake, Washington, XC summer training shirt: FREQUENCY, DURATION, INTENSITY, RECOVERY, BELIEVE. All five of those concepts sync closely to what we are applying to our program. It was reassuring to know that our key strategies and tactics were in close alignment. And yes, he is sharp – as a tack!
5. A few words on team chemistry. Captains? Emphasis on team training/racing as a major, even key goal and expectation?
If so, how do you get the buy-in, from raw Freshmen to the vets?
Pack training and racing is still something with which we struggle. We have some strong personalities and egos involved. Which are good things in their own right. They all know that training and racing together are tactics that may be beneficial. As "hazing" is now "frowned down upon" – high school athletes must be reasoned into abandoning their egos and selflessly committing to the team. With my daughter, Taylor, the second of our children to be working her way through a Plebe Summer at the United States Naval Academy – I am reminded of the power of "structured hazing." That is what military basic training is all about. The goal is to create selfless commitment to your shipmates or fellow soldiers. As life or death determines the urgency level for our military, it goes without saying that the end justifies the means at USNA. I doubt that parents at a West Ranch Cross Country meeting would be happily nodding along if I took them through a slideshow outlining our plan to strip their children of their egos so that we could go to state! Although, because we are talking about West Ranch and our highly intellectual student athletes – when they read this, we will be one step closer to achieving selflessness through reasoning!
6. How much time is spent in drills/stretches to start/finish the day?
I could not possibly make this answer as interesting as the last one. Just the right amount! We do stress that "physical conditioning management" is also their own responsibility throughout the day. For every minute spent running or training with the team, an equal amount of time should be spent massaging/rolling-out, stretching and icing during the remainder of the day. That's what elite athletes do.
7. Strictly hypothetical. You/another Foothill coach sees pot or beer fall out of a varsity runner's backpack. The runner confesses it's his/hers. What should/must happen?
Because we're in California, if it is marijuana, I believe we're obligated to check for a doctor's prescription!? If illegal, then that is a matter for the school administration and district policy to determine punishment, sanctions and additional reporting to law enforcement. School admin would be notified. Once that is dealt with, any athlete of ours will get the full force of my understanding, support, and guidance to help them through any difficulties with which I may be able to help. I am not a professional drug or alcohol abuse counselor. However, I do believe I could be a profoundly good influence in helping an athlete to find better ways to channel their excess energy or address their malaise.
8. What is the (week) day in the life of Coach Welker?
Work. Work. Work. Work makes me happy. If someone wants to send me on a vacation, I will WORK to enjoy that!
9. You were pals with Jim O'Brien, one of the best coaches in CA, and a memorable character. Name five other CA (not Foothill) coaches, both outstanding and memorable characters. ...BTW, what's new with Jim and the O'Brien's Army?
Pals? If that means we say hi and try to catch up with each other at meets and when our training paths cross, yes! He's where I got 8s and 7s from (see #1 above). At last two COC races, Jim's Army was as big as ever. Still, basically, what becomes the entire Arcadia team when school starts. He is also coaching at Whittier College now. Caught up briefly, two weeks ago. Last two comments: ME: If you're ever interested in coaching at West Ranch let me know. JIM: I may seriously be interested in that. Five other characters, beyond Foothill, in CA? I need to be more social. Will work on that for next Q&A.
10. Books you like?
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. Daniel's Running Formula by Jack Daniels. Mao: The Unknown Story by Juan Chang and Jon Halliday,
11. Coach Welker in 2020?
Fired, because years from now someone finds this Q&A and takes a blurb from answer number 5 out of context!
LetsRun recaps Friday in London. Lagat, 40, lost his kick? Mary Cain going backwards (at age 19)?
Not exactly about running, but... Stories on Chip Kelly. ...Sabermetrics. ...Jerks.
Molly Huddle does a ladder workout before London. Video. If possible, like Molly, do this with a buddy to keep you/buddy on pace, honest. Good luck doing it by your lonesome.
Complete London DL results. Molly Huddle goes 14:57.42 and gets 2nd.
Check back later for a you-won't-believe Q&A with Steve Welker.
COC #3 results.
2015 USATF National Masters T& F Championship results. Que pasa? Our names are missing.
BBC: More than one in 10 athletes could be doping - Wada chief
Q&A with Bill Rogers
He Hiked From Mexico To Canada And Filmed One Second Each Day. This Is What He Saw
Alex Hutchinson/The New Yorker: How trees calm us down and make us happy. Central Park needs more trees. Runners can/should make it happen.
Remember Mel Lawrence, quite the prep xc star about 10 years ago, now with Oiselle? She ran a 9:56 yesterday in the 3K steeple at the Hayward Field All-Comers. With 50 others in the race! ...Don ran the mile last week with 60 others. ...TrackTown.
This just in. Boise foothills fire caused by pooping cyclist
Four Cougar runners commit to four year schools. Story.
Wheating wins 1500. Americans Higginson and Kipp go 1-2 in 3000 steeple. Pan Am results. ...Steeple video. ...1500 video.
Bishop bests Montano video.
Ethiopian Federation does not select Dibaba for Worlds 1500. Story.
Q&A with Shannon Rowbury. She attended Sacred Heart Prep in San Francisco, 800 state champion with a 2:08.52.
Q&A with Lauren Fleshman.
Probably all you want to know on how to avoid overdrinking.
As a force for bad, Lance Armstrong remains unstoppable. More.
It was unusual, as birthday presents go... Chicked.
LetsRun: Week That Was
Is there a Colleen Quigley at your school, on your team, unrecognized? Story.
Ditch your trainers on race day. The Case for Racing Flats. And wear flats for your track/speed workouts.
Pan Am results. Alysia Montano and Phoebe Wright qualify for the final.
What If World Records Had Started Anew In 2000?
Ross Tucker/Science of Sport on Froome, Tour de France. Link.
Jamaicans dominate running because they do it for a better life and they are not messing around
Is Overdistance Training Beneficial For Runners? But what if you're an experienced, even chronic marathoner or ultramarathoner? A 30 miler, with plenty of stops for fueling... It's good AND really fun. Bring back Saugus to the Sea! (Actually, downtown Newhall to Ocean Blvd, Santa Monica, 30 miles, 4+ hours. Blame Gene Blankenship and Jeff Boyd --Hart people.) Mostly, the overdistance sorts get injured because of imbalances and insufficient recovery. ...Ross Tucker should tell us what percent of runner injuries are due to stupidity. We think it's 80-90%
Chris O'Hare, 1500m specialist, does 400-200 track workout. Video. Sure you don't need track work? "Stop all this weeping, swallow your pride/
You will not die, it's not poison," said Bob Dylan
Alysia Montano get 2nd at the Pan Am. Results. Has any SCV runner ever medaled in international competition?
Two we missed from Women's Running. What Nike Zoom Camp Taught Me About Running. And What Running Looks Like For A U.S. Soccer Player
Armchair sports scientists have had a field day with the power numbers of Tour de France leader Chris Froome, proving the release of such information is a no-win situation. More.
Updated from T&FN. 2015 World Championships Medal Predictions
Get out the hankie and read We’re Letting Mountain Lions Down. We had an up-close-and-personal with a lion near Mentryville. No. 1 son had the same many times in the Pine Mountain Club area. Once to save his mutt, "...and so I got between the lion and Duncan." ...We read somewhere you're roughly 2000 times more likely to be killed running or cycling on the streets of Santa Clarita than by a mountain lion. ...Probably a million times more likely as there has never been a human killed by a lion within fifty miles of Santa Clarita.
Track & field gets underway today at Pan American Games in Toronto. Alysia Montano is women's team captain. ...TV details. ...Athletes and schedule.
Embracing The Battle Scars. It's life, and life only, said Bob Dylan (not a runner).
Tonight's OTC Masters workout in Read More.