Alabama - Zelwak Series

Coaching Distance Runners: Understand and Adapt Michael Zelwak Jul 12, 2017

Every runner is different.  Coaches who understand this and adapt are usually more successful.  The physiological demands of distance running have not changed, but how coaches approach training their teams to meet those demands varies year by year depending on the needs of the athletes.

Cross Country Courses: Posting Fast Times or Proving Your Toughness Michael Zelwak Jul 27, 2016

Cross country is a unique sport in the way it challenges distance runners. We take distance runners and expect them to travel over various types of terrain as quickly as possible while working as a team.  The physical demands placed upon a distance runner in a cross country race are different because the terrain (course) can be like another opponent trying to break the runner.

The Fighter Within: Distance Willpower Michael Zelwak Jul 26, 2014

Distance runners are fighters who face battles with every step. Every step provides aninternal and external struggle. You battle the voice in your head trying to convince you to stop running. You fight a fatigued and exhausted body. You fight against the terrain. You fight other runners who are trying to break you down and beat you. These opponents will not relent until you give up. When it comes down to it, distance running is a test of willpower.

Distance Running Training: You can’t just run and expect to be successful Michael Zelwak Jul 15, 2014

People generally don’t understand what it takes to train distance runners.  Competitive distance running is more involved than recreational jogging.  Because just about anyone can jog, people assume anyone can be a distance runner.  It is comical when people assume all we do as coaches is tell our athletes to go for a run.  I smile and allow what people say about assuming to be true- for them.

Understand and Adapt Michael Zelwak Jun 23, 2014

Every runner is different.  Coaches who understand this and adapt are usually more successful.  The physiological demands of distance running have not changed, but how coaches approach training their teams to meet those demands varies year by year depending on the needs of the athletes.  This is a common theme throughout the country.  Coaches must understand and adapt to the specific needs of the events and, more importantly, to the specific needs of their athletes.