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Cover: strength training for distance runners
Strength Training for Distance Runners

with Jake Moore;
DPT; APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor;
Collegiate Strength & Conditioning Coach Certified,
Physical Therapist/Strength and Conditioning Coach, Gilbert (IA) High School;
USA Weightlifting Club Coach

Strength training plays an important role in running economy, anaerobic power, and race times. Numerous studies have shown that strength training develops power that leads to running faster.

Jake Moore has developed a strength training program that helps athletes run faster, decreases injury risk, and allows for quicker recovery from workouts. This allows the athlete to train at a high level daily with less fatigue. Moore's training program challenges athletes to hold proper technique and body posture longer to enhance strength and power at max speed.

Core and Lateral Hip Stability

Coach Moore begins by explaining why it's necessary for distance athletes to train for strength and explosiveness. Moore, along with athlete demonstrations, present his preferred core and lateral hip stability routine. Each exercise is demonstrated with proper technique as explanation of coaching points and athlete cues are given. Additionally, bounding and low impact plyometric exercises are demonstrated that help develop power, which correlates to faster running times.

Strength Training Lifts and Flexibility Program

Next, Moore covers several traditional lifts that he uses with his athletes in the weight room. Many of these exercises involve the athlete training the extension of the posterior chain, which correlates very closely to running speed.

Finally, Moore demonstrates the flexibility program he utilizes with his athletes that helps improve their running performance, addresses any deficiencies in flexibility the athletes may have, and helps aid in injury prevention.

This video from Coach Moore includes numerous drills that can be used to teach movement skills, strength, power, speed, and endurance. These exercises are essential in training athletes to run at a lower percent of max effort in order to run longer and faster. If you're a track or cross country coach, this video is sure to give you an edge over your competition!

"One of the most comprehensive strength and power training videos that I have viewed in a very long time. Coach Moore covers just about all the bases from the importance of strength training, its benefits and how to implement specific protocols to attain better ground contact forces, body alignment and improved track times. He does an outstanding job breaking down body segments and giving specifics on how to improve each of these areas. One of the most overlooked areas are the hips - both flexors and extensors - for any strength protocol and coach; Moore gives very nuanced explanations on how to improve this area using plyometrics and some innovative exercises like the use of a four wheeled scooter. Perhaps one of the best pieces of advice on this video is the fact that strength and power training are a year - round / season long regime that should eventually become a lifelong activity for the athlete once he or she has stopped competitive training. Really enjoyed watching and learning from this video - fast paced and comprehensive. A must for all high school school sports programs." - Customer Review

67 minutes. 2019.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: the best of championship productions - track & field: 85+ distance/middle distance training drills
The Best of Championship Productions - Track & Field: 85+ Distance/Middle Distance Training Drills


  • Corey Ihmels - Boise State University Cross Country Head Coach
  • Pete Rea - Elite Athlete Coach and Coordinator, ZAP Fitness Team USA Training Center
  • Will Freeman - Grinnell College Head Coach
  • Andrea McDonough - University of North Carolina Head Cross Country Coach
  • Rose Monday - 2012 U.S. Women's Olympic Distance Coach (featuring Maggie Vessey demonstrating)
  • Dennis Barker - Former Augsburg College Women's Head Coach
  • Pat Tyson - Gonzaga University Head Coach

The key behind every great distance runner is the ability to run tall, utilize great running economy, and remain focused. This complete video featuring some of the best distance coaches in the world will give you drills on every aspect of training athletes who can combine speed and endurance.

Warm Ups

Before athletes can perform at high levels, they must prepare their body for the stresses of the workout. This segment is loaded with drills from A Walks, Marches and Skips, through various ground based movements designed to help athletes improve their range of motion, rehearse key postural cues, and prepare for practice or competition.

Broken Tempo Mid Distance Workouts

In this segment, Rose Monday shares a couple broken tempo workout designed to help mid distance runners adjust to pace changes in races, while improving their aerobic and anaerobic capacity in training. One example of this type of workout is a 1,000 meter broken tempo repeat, where athletes alternate between their Vo2 Max and aerobic threshold every 200 meters during the run. Using professional runner Maggie Vessey to demonstrate, Coach Monday breaks down coaching cues and shares insights on the positive implications these workouts will have on your runners.

Strength Training

Strength training is essential to help safeguard distance runners against the common injuries and stresses associated with high volume training. In this segment, multiple coaches break down their core strength training exercises. Using various body weight exercises, their goal is to improve core strength and balance, while also improving range of motion and strengthening high risk areas, such as the ankles, feet, and hips. Additionally, Coach Monday discusses her views on weight training and Olympic lifting and its value within a well-balanced training program.

This video is packed with drills and workout ideas from some of the world's top coaches. However, one of the more unique segments in this video belongs to Coach Andrea McDonough, who takes her athletes through a variety of ladder drills to improve their multi-directional capabilities and work out stabilizing muscles in a unique way.

This video is ideal for beginner to intermediate coaches of high school age athletes, but it also contains information that is useful to help maximize workouts for coaches of more advanced athletes. The workouts and suggestions contained within can be easily adapted to a variety of settings and resources. Consider this your one stop shop for developing distance runners!

86 minutes. 2019.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: middle distance & distance: training & technical phase-based approach to seasonal planning
Middle Distance & Distance: Training & Technical Phase-Based Approach to Seasonal Planning

with Tim O'Neill,
Assumption High School (IA) Boy's & Girl's Head Track Coach, Boy's & Girl's Head Cross Country Coach;
2x USTFCCCA High School Girl's Track & Field Iowa Coach of the Year (2014, 2017);
8x Iowa Track and Field Coaches Association (IATC) Coach of the Year; 5x Girl's Track & Field State Championships;
coached the 1600 M Medley Relay National Champions at the 2017 New Balance Indoor National Championships;
USATF Level I Certified Instructor; USATF-Level II Certified Coach (Sprints/Hurdles/Relays, Throws, Jumps & Endurance)

Tim O'Neill, the head coach at Assumption High School (Davenport, IA), begins this excellent presentation by explaining his philosophy regarding middle distance training. O'Neill diagrams each week of his in-season and pre-season programs, including individual workouts for each session along with how to progress volume and intensity throughout the season.

Coach O'Neill gives you several types of workouts, including long & slow distance, long intensity, short intensity, recovery runs, anaerobic threshold, and aerobic threshold training. You'll see how he alternates high volume and high intensity in order to build the fitness level of every athlete. Additionally, O'Neill shows how to tailor each workout to each individual on your team.

In-Season Practice Plans & Strategies

You will learn how to plan workouts for the competitive season. O'Neill's in-season workouts build on the athlete's level of fitness established during the pre-season phase. He explains how to plan workouts around your meet schedule to maximize the training effect and explains how he tapers his workouts in order to help athletes peak for championship meets. Altogether, you'll learn to:

  • Program in-season workouts to avoid over-training and burnout.
  • Utilize the competitive meet schedule as part of the training schedule.
  • Taper volume for post-season peaking.

Strength Training

Coach O'Neill concludes by describing his philosophy on strength training and how to fit it into your overall training schedule. He also demonstrates the dynamic warm-up exercises, sprint mechanic drills, weight lifting exercises, and plyometric drills that make up the strength training portion of his program. You'll see several lifts demonstrated in the weight room using proper techniques, supplemented with coaching points, including:

  • Warm-up drills
  • Core strength exercises
  • Sprint mechanic drills
  • Plyometric drills

This video is a great addition to any track coach who wants to boost the performance of distance and middle distance runners. Coach Tim O'Neill, who has coached his middle distance and distance runners to great success over the past 18+ years, does an excellent job in this video of describing and demonstrating the methods he uses to produce championship athletes.

85 minutes. 2018.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: championship speed and power drills: middle distance/distance
Championship Speed and Power Drills: Middle Distance/Distance

with Andrea McDonough,
Iowa State University Head Women's Cross Country Coach;
2014 NCAA Cross Country Runners-Up;
Back-to-Back Big 12 Champions (2-13-14);
2008 Canadian Olympic Trials 10,000 meter Champion, 2x Canadian National Titleist, 7x National Canadian Team Member, NCAA All-American at 1500 meters

with Troy McDonough,
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist;
Physical Therapist and Assistant Track Coach at Iowa State University;
NCAA Division 1 All-American in Decathlete, Member of 2006-2007 United States Bobsled Team

Traditional distance running coaches have primarily focused their efforts toward, and spent their training time on, increasing the aerobic running volume of their athletes. They have little consideration of one simple fact: running is the prolonged repetition of a series of one-legged hops-an activity that demands far more functional strength and power than most coaches (and runners) realize or train to enhance.

Using a progressive approach intended to address the needs of the beginning (or low-strength, low-coordination) runner, up to and including elite-level competitors, coaches Andrea Grove-McDonough and Troy McDonough demonstrate a range of progressive and challenging exercises. These range from static and dynamic core strength and stability enhancements, to a multi-joint-focused medicine ball series, to a highly advanced agility and power ladder progression. Employing high-level male and female distance runners to show how to do each activity properly , the McDonoughs include detailed, essential explanations of key coaching points and make technical corrections of the demonstrations.

Strength and Power Series

In this teaching unit, learn how and why to incorporate strength training exercises with functional plyometrics designed to improve your runners' ability to maintain speed on the stable, but unlevel terrain that characterizes cross country running. You'll also learn to enhance in-race acceleration as well as finishing speed for middle and distance track racers. Included are:

  • Properly executed back squats with a barbell and an appropriate amount of weight followed by a squat jump to expand an athlete's strength, power, and neural functionality.
  • Single-leg body weight squats from atop a 24" box in combination with single-leg squat jumps to increase a runner's power plant.
  • Box step-ups with a barbell followed by alternating-leg box jumps to develop functional strength and power and provide a significant, meaningful challenge for even the highest level runners.

Agility Power Ladder Progression

Faster running in races begins with training to run faster, and having strong stabilizer muscles around the hips, knees, and ankles is essential to fast running and injury prevention. In this unit, learn how to incorporate a speed/agility ladder via a myriad of physically-and mentally-challenging coordination and quickness exercises.

  • The Double Forward Quick Foot exercise, though relatively low-impact, is a drill that encourages explosive forward movement designed to reduce ground contact time, which is the key to running speed.
  • The Single Forward Quick Foot exercise makes the transition to single-leg support and challenges the athlete to maintain quickness and posture in a highly functional drill.
  • The highly functional, highly challenging Single-Leg Zig-Zag Hop demands focus, dynamic strength and coordination from the athlete. As with all the higher-level exercises, McDonough emphasizes that this drill should only be undertaken when the athlete has mastered the preceding exercises.

You will notice that the use of high-level athletes to demonstrate these exercises-from the most fundamental to the most advanced-allows you to see them performed properly, which is an invaluable aid when it comes time to incorporate them into your training sessions.

McDonough provides a wide array of functional, challenging, and fun exercises that you can incorporate right away-whether you are in-season, off-season, or somewhere in between.

"I don't always have access to a weight room, so I loved how Coach McDonough provided alternate strength drills I can use virtually anywhere, regardless of the number of athletes I have to work with. I also liked hearing explanations as to why I might use a particular drill and what its purpose was. I like to know why I should be doing something and my runners do, too." - Customer Review

35 minutes. 2017.

Buy at Championship Productions

Cover: all access wartburg track & field practice: distance/middle distance
All Access Wartburg Track & Field Practice: Distance/Middle Distance

with Marcus Newsom,
Wartburg College Head Coach;
6x United States Track Coaches Association DIII Indoor Women's Coach of the Year;
3x USTFCCCA DIII Outdoor Women's Coach of the Year;

featuring Steve Johnson,
former Wartburg College Cross Country Coach and Assistant Track & Field Coach
23x Iowa Conference Cross Country Coach of the Year;
2012 USTFCCCA NCAA DIII National Track and Field Assistant Coach of the Year;
9x USTFCCCA DIII Central Regional Coach of the Year

The Wartburg Track program has grown into a national power under Coach Newsom's watch. Wartburg has won 14 straight indoor women's conference championship titles and nine men's indoor championships. The women have a string of 17 consecutive outdoor titles. The men have won eight league outdoor titles since 2002. In 2009, his women's teams became only the seventh team in NCAA Division III history to sweep indoor and outdoor national titles in the same season, and earned the inaugural Deb Vercauteren Program of the Year award from the USTFCCCA. The program also won the award in back-to-back-to-back season (2012-14). The 2012 women's team swept the National Championships and set new all-time meet records in team points in both venues.

Under Steve Johnson, the Wartburg Cross Country teams have won 25 Iowa Conference and 12 NCAA Central Region titles. Three times the cross county team has been awarded the USTFCCCA Deb Vercauteren Cross Country and Track and Field Program of the Year honor. The 2012 women's team finished as the National Runner-Up, while the men's team has four top-10 finishes. During his career, Johnson has coached 140 All-Americans, featuring eight different individual national champions. He has coached at least two national champions at each distance event: 800m, 1500m, 5,000m, 10,000m and the distance medley relay and has 12 finishes ranked in the NCAA DIII all-time top 10 List.

Get a unique, 'all access' inside look into the practice routine for the highly successful distance program at Wartburg College.

Many coaches have to deal with athletes of multiple ability levels and both male and female athletes. Coach Steve Johnson, along with coach Marcus Newsom, detail how to set up, perform, and complete a week of practice that uses many energy levels for a heterogeneous group.

You'll see a how to structure a comprehensive distance running schedule that allows you to have a logical progression of workouts that work all the energy systems that a distance runner needs to perform their best. You'll also get ideas about core workouts that athletes can do in a self-accountable way.

The secret to the Wartburg program starts with everyone working together - warm-up together, train together, cool-down together. Coach Johnson explains that his basic philosophy consists of six specific runs during a two week cycle:

  • One race
  • One designated long run
  • One tempo run
  • One uphill run
  • One long repeat
  • One short repeat

This basic philosophy evolves from three key coaching points: distance runners need to run distance to become better, distance runners need a progression to their training, and distance runners need to train to race.

The components of each of these runs are broken down using his athletes to demonstrate the different runs in a video format. Discover the secrets behind how to:

  • Run strong
  • Run in a pack
  • Pick-up the pace on the second half of the race
  • Maintain your pace
  • Stay relaxed
  • Stay under control

This video will help you formulate a productive practice plan and ensure your program can handle the high diversity of multiple talent levels.

94 minutes. 2017.

Buy at Championship Productions

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