Frustrated with coach

by Glenn

My son is running distance track - one and two mile events. Today the team was given a 2400 meter tempo run on the track; targeted mile paces as follows:

group one -- PRs from 5:03 to 5:30 -- target pace 5:30
group two -- PRs mid to high 5mins -- target pace 5:45
group three -- PRs 5:55 to 7+ -- target pace 6:00

Please tell me these targets are insane and I'm not.

btw: my son was smart enough to run 6:40 pace (he runs 12 mins for 2 miles; with proper training I think he could drop that to 11 mins)

btw2: this coach produced boys & girls xc team that went to state so "obviously" they are great; they also had a 60+% injury rate with their athletes; mostly knee tendonitis, shin splints, and IT band.

I guess the point being to parents, don't just leave it up to the coach. Educate yourself and your child. Even if a coach appears to have success -- beware of overtraining and improper training. Pay attention to how your child is responding to their training - any type of injuries, change in eating habits or sleeping patterns. Changes or issues in these areas can be an indicator of a problem.

Hello Glenn,

Yes. I don't see the logic in this workout. How can you run these paces when they are basically your PR pace for a race.

The best thing your son can do is work hard enough to make himself "pleasantly tired" on these days instead of killing himself. Pushing yourself to the edge is what race day is for.

I interviewed a legendary coach from Colorado and his best advice was to "avoid death-defying workouts."

Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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by: Jenimina

yes, i definently agree with what the person before me said!

Mar 19, 2012
then there is more
by: Frustrated with coach

so last week, this same coach asks the runners how they are doing and several of them say they have shin splints. The solution? move off the cushioned track and onto the roads and run hills.

Mar 12, 2012
60% injury rate? That speaks volumes
by: Illinois Running Dad

With that kind of injury rate, the coach really should re-evaluate the amount of intensity he's prescribing. How can he afford to have that many runners injured?

Moreover, I wonder where he came up with those paces. Clearly, that's not a tempo effort.

Last summer I recall talking an freshman in HS whom I knew as a not-very-good 8th grade runner. He was something like 14 minutes for 2 miles in XC. Well, he told me their HS team went out for a 5 miles tempo run at 6 mpm pace. More than one doubt crossed my mind about what he was saying.

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This article was written by David Tiefenthaler, the founder and main contributor for In addition to running, he's also an author, and a full time teacher.

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