KEEPING TRACK

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KEEPING TRACK

Written by Rod O'Donnell on 27 November 2017.

The 2017 cross-country season is behind us, and distance runners are preparing for the upcoming track season. If one point could be made to summarize the two sports, it would be that times are getting much faster. There are a variety of reasons for this.

In the fall, many courses are much faster with the challenge of hills now a thing of the past. For example, Scioto Downs, site of the state championship meet from 1985 until 2011, has been replaced by the much less-challenging site at National Trail Raceway. Course accuracy, surfaces, conditions, number of turns, and how sectors are run also affect the times; however, regardless of venue, more athletes are running faster.

It is even more evident in the spring, where facility conditions are uniform. This fact is clear when averaging the top eight times for the 1600 from 2010-2017 in the Boys’ Division I State Championship. The improvement is significant: 2010-4:16; 2011-4:14; 2012-4:17; 2013- 4:11; 2014- 4:12; 2015-4:14; 2016- 4:12; 2017-4:10.

Times in the 3200 also show significant improvement: 2010-9:19; 2011-9:27; 2012-9:13; 2013-9:10; 2014-9:09; 2015-9:11; 2016-9:04; 2017-9:11. In the latter event, factors to be considered are the number of runners doubling and the weather conditions, but the trend of the two events is similar.

So, what ARE the factors that are causing the improvement? There are many, but two stand out as major contributors:

1)    The availability of indoor facilities that provide athletes with a place to practice and compete throughout the winter. In Ohio, there are 20 indoor tracks. This availability has led to more interest and support for the outstanding state championship that is sponsored by the OATCCC. The 2018 meet will be held at SPIRE on March 3.

2)    The amount and quality of training information that is available to coaches. Among the many contributors, five men stand out as having been instrumental in passing along valuable knowledge:

 

**Jack Daniels – Daniels’ Running Formula

**Steve Magnes – The Science of Running

**Greg McMillan – McMillanRunning.com

**Frank Horwell – Serpentine Running Club and founder of the British        Milers’ Club

**Joe Vigil – Run to the Top

 

There are many other outstanding individuals who have played a role in the improvement of distance running, but many coaches have studied, combined, and applied ideas from these men.

 

In conclusion, there are many factors that are affecting the improvement of times, but, undoubtedly, the knowledge that coaches have obtained, along with the availability of training facilities, are very important contributors to the exciting trend of high school athletes running faster.

 

Yours in track,

Rod O’Donnell

 

Read more of Coach O'Donnell's articles on  www.runohio.com

Keeping Track -  CROSS COUNTRY - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1405-keeping-track-cross-country

Keeping Track - Number 7 - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1377-keeping-track

Attending a Running Camp - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1330-keeping-track

Can we do anything else to alienate sports fans -   http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1310-keeping-track

Keeping Track - National Governing Body for High School Sports (NFHS)  -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1281-keeping-track- 

 Keeping Track - Cross Country -  

http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1248-keeping-track-cross-country

Keeping Track - Frank Shorter - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1219-keeping-track-frank-shorter

KEEPING TRACK, Two Iconic Coaches- http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1181-keeping-track-two-iconic-coaches

KEEPING TRACK -  Caldwell Story -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1114-keeping-track

KEEPING TRACK - Furman Elite Training Group -

http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1089-keeping-track-furman-elite-training-group

Keeping Track - 2 Divisions for 120 Lacrosse teams? http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1064-keeping-track

Boy's Division II and Division III -http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1029-keeping-track

Boy's Division I - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/999-keeping-track?utm_source=News+from+RUNOHIO+-+August+2015&;utm_campaign=july+2015+news&utm_medium=email

 KEEPING TRACK - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/926-keeping-track

KEEPING TRACK - Football and Track Athletes -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/893-keeping-track-football-and-track-athletes

 The Ohio High School Athletic Association State Cross-Country Championships - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/872-keeping-track

Cross Country - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/839-keeping-track

 Track Faces Challenges that could have adverse effects thus causing severe damage -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/823-keeping-track

Marketing Track & Field - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/774-keeping-track

Student Athlete’s Questions - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/750-keeping-track-student-athletes-questions

The Need to Speak Up - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/714-keeping-track-

A new book by John McDonnell - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/701-keeping-track

KEEPING TRACK - From September-October 2013 print RUNOHIO - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/659-keeping-track-from-september-october-print-runohio

Random Thoughts - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/536-keeping-track

Another Division I institution has dropped its men’s track program - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/498-keeping-track

 Ohio University Athletic Department's Worst Decision - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/497-keeping-track-ohio-university-athletic-departments-worst-decision

Life Lessons from Cross Country - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/140-life-lessons-from-cross-country

Ten Pledges for Cross Country Coaches - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/108-ten-pledges-for-cross-country-coaches

London Olympics - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/news/419-keeping-track

 Improving as a Coach – http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/322-keeping-track-1

You Only Go Around Once - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/3-keeping-track

Dear Jesse Owens – http://www.runohio.com/index.php/news/215-keeping-track

West Virginia State Cross Country Championship –  http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/472-keeping-track

SPIRE Institute - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/160-keeping-track

Why is the OHSAA Treating Cross Country Different than All of the Other Sponsored Sports?  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/838-why-is-the-ohsaa-treating-cross-country-different-than-all-of-the-other-sponsored-sports

 www.rnohio.com

 

The 2017 cross-country season is behind us, and distance runners are preparing for the upcoming track season. If one point could be made to summarize the two sports, it would be that times are getting much faster. There are a variety of reasons for this.

In the fall, many courses are much faster with the challenge of hills now a thing of the past. For example, Scioto Downs, site of the state championship meet from 1985 until 2011, has been replaced by the much less-challenging site at National Trail Raceway. Course accuracy, surfaces, conditions, number of turns, and how sectors are run also affect the times; however, regardless of venue, more athletes are running faster.

It is even more evident in the spring, where facility conditions are uniform. This fact is clear when averaging the top eight times for the 1600 from 2010-2017 in the Boys’ Division I State Championship. The improvement is significant: 2010-4:16; 2011-4:14; 2012-4:17; 2013- 4:11; 2014- 4:12; 2015-4:14; 2016- 4:12; 2017-4:10.

Times in the 3200 also show significant improvement: 2010-9:19; 2011-9:27; 2012-9:13; 2013-9:10; 2014-9:09; 2015-9:11; 2016-9:04; 2017-9:11. In the latter event, factors to be considered are the number of runners doubling and the weather conditions, but the trend of the two events is similar.

So, what ARE the factors that are causing the improvement? There are many, but two stand out as major contributors:

1)    The availability of indoor facilities that provide athletes with a place to practice and compete throughout the winter. In Ohio, there are 20 indoor tracks. This availability has led to more interest and support for the outstanding state championship that is sponsored by the OATCCC. The 2018 meet will be held at SPIRE on March 3.

2)    The amount and quality of training information that is available to coaches. Among the many contributors, five men stand out as having been instrumental in passing along valuable knowledge:

 

**Jack Daniels – Daniels’ Running Formula

**Steve Magnes – The Science of Running

**Greg McMillan – McMillanRunning.com

**Frank Horwell – Serpentine Running Club and founder of the British        Milers’ Club

**Joe Vigil – Run to the Top

 

There are many other outstanding individuals who have played a role in the improvement of distance running, but many coaches have studied, combined, and applied ideas from these men.

 

In conclusion, there are many factors that are affecting the improvement of times, but, undoubtedly, the knowledge that coaches have obtained, along with the availability of training facilities, are very important contributors to the exciting trend of high school athletes running faster.

 

Yours in track,

Rod O’Donnell

 

Read more of Coach O'Donnell's articles on  www.runohio.com

Keeping Track -  CROSS COUNTRY - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1405-keeping-track-cross-country

Keeping Track - Number 7 - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1377-keeping-track

Attending a Running Camp - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1330-keeping-track

Can we do anything else to alienate sports fans -   http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1310-keeping-track

Keeping Track - National Governing Body for High School Sports (NFHS)  -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1281-keeping-track- 

 Keeping Track - Cross Country -  

http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1248-keeping-track-cross-country

Keeping Track - Frank Shorter - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1219-keeping-track-frank-shorter

KEEPING TRACK, Two Iconic Coaches- http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1181-keeping-track-two-iconic-coaches

KEEPING TRACK -  Caldwell Story -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1114-keeping-track

KEEPING TRACK - Furman Elite Training Group -

http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1089-keeping-track-furman-elite-training-group

Keeping Track - 2 Divisions for 120 Lacrosse teams? http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1064-keeping-track

Boy's Division II and Division III -http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1029-keeping-track

Boy's Division I - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/999-keeping-track?utm_source=News+from+RUNOHIO+-+August+2015&;utm_campaign=july+2015+news&utm_medium=email

 KEEPING TRACK - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/926-keeping-track

KEEPING TRACK - Football and Track Athletes -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/893-keeping-track-football-and-track-athletes

 The Ohio High School Athletic Association State Cross-Country Championships - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/872-keeping-track

Cross Country - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/839-keeping-track

 Track Faces Challenges that could have adverse effects thus causing severe damage -  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/823-keeping-track

Marketing Track & Field - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/774-keeping-track

Student Athlete’s Questions - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/750-keeping-track-student-athletes-questions

The Need to Speak Up - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/714-keeping-track-

A new book by John McDonnell - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/701-keeping-track

KEEPING TRACK - From September-October 2013 print RUNOHIO - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/659-keeping-track-from-september-october-print-runohio

Random Thoughts - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/536-keeping-track

Another Division I institution has dropped its men’s track program - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/498-keeping-track

 Ohio University Athletic Department's Worst Decision - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/497-keeping-track-ohio-university-athletic-departments-worst-decision

Life Lessons from Cross Country - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/140-life-lessons-from-cross-country

Ten Pledges for Cross Country Coaches - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/108-ten-pledges-for-cross-country-coaches

London Olympics - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/news/419-keeping-track

 Improving as a Coach – http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/322-keeping-track-1

You Only Go Around Once - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/3-keeping-track

Dear Jesse Owens – http://www.runohio.com/index.php/news/215-keeping-track

West Virginia State Cross Country Championship –  http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/472-keeping-track

SPIRE Institute - http://www.runohio.com/index.php/features/160-keeping-track

Why is the OHSAA Treating Cross Country Different than All of the Other Sponsored Sports?  http://runohio.com/index.php/features/838-why-is-the-ohsaa-treating-cross-country-different-than-all-of-the-other-sponsored-sports

 www.rnohio.com

 

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