This is the last day of the 2017 cross country season. Many of you have been training since June, right after your break post track season. First of all, thanks for following our daily program. Second, thanks to Lee Cox and Mike McManus of HOKA ONE ONE, who continued the belief in the grass roots support of the sport that their predecessors began at HOKA ONE ONE . And remember, check out the 2017 HOKA ONE ONE Postal Nationals to inspire you for 2018! It is a fantastic program and many of the finest programs at high school in the country are adding it to their fall program schedules.

We at @runblogrun and @theshoeaddicts, feel honored to work with the 16,000 high school cross country programs and 560,000 high school boys and girls who ran cross country this fall. The idea is to provide a starting point for coaches and athletes for their training programs. We like to build a program around long runs, tempo runs, hill runs, and then, fartlek and some speed work on the track. Our programs have been influenced by many, key are Arthur Lydiard, Pat Clohessy, Franz Stampfl, Emil Zatopek, Bill Bowerman, Bill Dellinger, and of course, Terry Ward, Rich Grawer, Jim Marheinecke, Dan Durante, and David Frank. In some ways, I look at training forensically. I like to look at our sport's history.


Where are my lungs? I had them 300 meters ago, photo by Justin Britton


Ever wondered how the great cross country shots are taken during major cross country races? Well, Victah Sailer of PhotoRun sent us this link from for Awaze Video. It is pretty amazing. Just click on link in next paragraph, and watch last video on page. The nearly 90 second video gives you a rough and tumble view of the challenges of providing fans great video from the race.

We were sent this over the weekend. One of the long time photographers, Victah Sailer can be seen on the video sampling the FootLocker Cross Country with, Brad Olander. Note Brad holding the video camera and Victah Sailer bouncing to his right, taking shots of the runners. This is not one of the easiest rides that Victah Sailer or Brad Olander have done to get us incredible video.

After you watch the Brad Olander video, go back to, and check out both of the official race videos from FootLocker! Click here to see both races:

Joe Newton was a man of some complexity. That is the highest honor I can give a man, or a woman. To live a long life, to be involved in something that is avocation and vocation, to love and be loved, to give respect and get respect, those are the things that a coach does. The four stories below, put together by Jeff Benjamin, one of my longest writers and friends in this business, are special. If they do not tear you up, you should check your heart.

I ran in Saint Louis, Missouri from 1972 to 1974, before moving to California with my family. I knew how good cross country was in Illinois during my time and became aware of Coach Newton over the years. I believe we met once or twice and I had the luck to speak with Joe a few times. What a character, and what a man.

Jeff Benjamin cared for Joe Newton very much. Last year, Jeff went to Joe's retirement event, and recorded that event with pictures and commentary for RunBlogRun. In honor of Joe Newton, we will be reposting several stories today on the fine coach of York High School in Elmhurst, Illinois.

FullSizeRender.jpgJoe Newton, and Jeff Benjamin, November 2016, photo from Jeff Benjamin (noted the Reebok jacket)

For most, the cross country season ended over the last few weeks. The HOKA ONE ONE Postal Nationals ended at the stroke of midnight on December 12. After each cross country season in college, I would find a fast, flat race with which to finish the season. One year, I ran the USA Xc nationals, always held on Thanksgiving weekend, then, a week later, a marathon. I would suggest a 5k if you are a freshman or sophomore, and perhaps, if you are a junior or senior, try a 10k and see how you do (always speak with Coach before hand). A nice way to end your season.

We will finish up with a long run tomorrow and then begin a two or three week recovery time.

CHALL121215-9983.jpgLast racing show for season, photo by Justin Britton

Saturday, December 16, 2017. warm up, Big season cross country race, cooldown finish up with , 4x150 meters,


With cross country over for most high schoolers last weekend. Why would you train for one more week? End you season with a Santa Hustle run 5k or 10k race and see how much you have improved over last season (RunBlogRun does not recommend 14-18 year olds race over 5k, and suggest that they actually run the 2017 HOKA ONE ONE Postal Nationals as the end of their season (rankings ended December 12).

We will post the results of the 2017 HOKA ONE ONE Postal Nationals season today. Amazing season and great participation.

20151212-ROSA0260.jpgHere's the HOKA ONE ONE Northern Arizona Elite team, at USATF XC 2015, photo by

I loved running the Postal 2 mile. We not only ran them in high school, but also unofficially in college. It was a great way to end the cross country season. Eight laps on the track after 25-30 weeks of cross country! You are an animal.

Also remember, your fitness level will help you with your indoor season. If you train similar to what we have given you this season, your indoor season could be full of PBs.

And remember, HOKA ONE ONE has supported our training programs since June 5, sent to 16,000 high school cross country programs across the country for the second year in a row. Support the brands that support the sport. Check out HOKA ONE ONE shoes: HOKA ONE ONE training shoes

Friday, December 15, 2017. warm up, easy 45-50 minute run with four 150 meter stride outs, then cooldown

I recall reading through the two weeks of workouts of training by 1976 Olympic 1,500m champion John Walker prior to the first sub 3:50 mile in August 1975. Walker had this two mile run sprinting the straights and jogging the turns, which he ran in 8:45! The two mile of sprints and jogs here is not at that type of pace, but it is about changing gears, one of the keys to being successful as a cross country runner.

20151212-ROSA0035.jpgHeading to the race, photo by Justin Britton

Thursday, December 14, 2017, warm up, warm up, two miles on track, sprint straightways, jog turns, cooldown


Claudia Lane, photo by

Jacobs_DylanFH-FLcc17.jpGDylan Jacobs, photo by

Here's the complete videos of both races from December 9, 2017. Dylan Jacobs won the boys' race and Claudia Lane won the girls' race. Both wer worthy champions and the races featured many of the finest cross country runners in the country. The 39th FootLocker is now history, next up, the 40th anniversary of FootLocker in 2018.

After I posted a column by Cathal Dennehy on his issue with Turkey hiring Kenyan runners who did not embrace Turkey, but represented the country in athletic competiton, Justin Lagat sent the following column to me.

Can-Akda-EuroXC16.jpgEuropean XC 2016, is it okay that Kenyan athletes represent Turkey in European championships, after a fast change of allegiance?

photo by

Justin Lagat makes some very good points, as it is not only Turkey, but USA, with US Army team using Kenyan runners to represent USA, a fast track to citizenship and all for racing for the US. Justin asks what the problem is, and that is a good question. Justin makes the arguement for athletes being able to take their talents to countries where they can make a living.

But, sport is note merely a profession, it is much more than that. I tend to agree with Justin Lagat that athletes should be able to go to any country they choose to live, based on economic value. I do think that there is a big difference training in Europe to race their in big city races, and being paid to represent a country in global or regional championships.

I am not sure how to describe that, but I will take a stab at it.

For now, here's Justin Lagat's thought provoking column the plight of professional athletes.

Reese_Brittany1a-PreC17.jpgBrittney Reese, photo by

MONACO (MON): World long jump champion Brittney Reese is fired up to contest another year, she tells the IAAF website. ""We may alter some things in the off-season since I'm getting older. But other than that, I continue to feel strong. And mentally I have a life coach who helps me twice a week. So I'm good," she said. The four-time global champion confirmed she wants to bow out after Tokyo 2020 and ruled out continuing for the Worlds on home soil in 2021.

Reese_Brittney-Brussels17.jpgBrittney Reese, photo by

Huddle_Molly1a-Baa5k17.jpgMolly Huddle, photo by

Posted originally on November 3, 2017

Reposted December 13, 2017.

Molly Huddle will run her second marathon at the 2018 Boston Marathon. We thought that this piece from November 2018 by Caroly Mather, the long time writer for Running Journal and Racing South, on the focus on Molly Huddle.

Molly Huddle is one of the finest American distance runners of her era. Totally focused, Molly Huddle has developed her racing skill set from 5000 meters to the marathon. Her future, obviously, is with the marathon. Molly told me yesterday that this next year is about learning more about the 42.195 meter distance.

Carolyn Mather caught up with Molly Huddle on November 1, 2017. We thank Carolyn for her writing and Molly for her candor.

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