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2016 HOKA ONE ONE Coaching Interviews: John Trautmann gives us Ten tips for high school cross country and distance runners

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RunBlogRun opines: Jeff Benjamin did this interview with John Trautmann, one of the assistant coaches at HOKA ONE ONE New Jersey New York Track Club, a month ago. I am just getting to it, and while ther tips are great for high school cross country, they are also perfect for high school distance runners.

You have to love John Trautmann. A 1992 Olympian over 5000 meters, John had his career cut short due to injuries.He stopped running and gained 72 pounds, only to start running again in 2009. In 2015, John had lost 60 lbs and broke the 45-49 year old world record for the indoor mile, running 4:12.33 at Boston University Valentine Invitational in 2015 ! RunBlogRun had been lucky enough to watch John run 4:18.72 to win the master's mile at the 2015 NB indoor GP.

John took six years to loose the 62 pounds. RunBlogRun had watched him in 2014 run a pretty good mile for a master (in the 4:30s) as he got back into shape. Who did he ask? Why, former coach Frank Gagliano, aka "Gags", his coach from college. Now John coaches with "Gags" at the HOKA ONE ONE New Jersey New York Track Club.

Ten Tips for High School Cross Country and Distance runners

1. Get on a Schedule. My college coach used to say this all the time. It's easy to waste time and get lazy over the summer. Get on a schedule and follow it every day.

2. Get the miles in. Take a break of no running after spring track, but then, start back up gradually. By August, you should be up to your maximum amount of mileage per week. Try to get a lower mileage week every three weeks or so. Talk to your coach about how much mileage that he wants you to get in during your buildup, but try to increase it every summer. As you get older, you will be able to handle more miles.

3. Strides. Every week you should have 2 or 3 days where you follow up your run with 8-10 strides. If you have a grass area you can experiment with barefoot strides, which help you to land on your mid-foot. Strides are very important over the summer, as they prepare your body for the faster workouts to come.

4. Do some light fartlek and tempo work, but stay away from anaerobic work.

5. Cross train. Experiment with different types of cross training. Learn how you respond to different types of cross training and waht works best for you! Someday, you may be injured and it is helpful to know what works for you!

6. Drills. The earlier that you start doing drills and focusing on correct form the more economical you will run. Find drills that focus on hip mobility, stability and balance.

7. Flexibility program. Learn the proper way to stretch and incorporate it into your training program. I have found that active isolated stretching works the best for me and it is very easy to find information on it.

8. Strength program. Find a functional training program that focuses on core, strength and power. Try to implement this into your training 2-3 times a week.

9. Sleep. Sleep is the time when your body repairs and regenerates and it is essential that an athlete gets the appropriate amount of sleep. Try to get 10 hours a night if possible.

10. Keep your mind occupied. If you do ont have a part time job or take classes. Find something to do and thing about besides running. The less you do, the lazier you feel and this can lead to interuptions in your training.