Coach Soles is one of the most successful high school cross country and recently had three girls go under 4:50 in a 1600 in the same race. Coach Soles, like almost all the successful programs featured, will focus his training the aerobic development of his athletes. A long run is standard every week. Coach Soles also makes a strong emphasis on core work, but found out as time went, core work was often the first thing cut when time was short. Core is now done early before they even do the run.
On thing Coach Soles does different is he has a first period class at school. This allows them to get in a little more mileage and strength work before they even get to workouts in the afternoon practice. He also makes cuts from the track team. Runners need to come into the season in shape, because they will keep only 50 boys and 50 girls, which means there will be cuts made.
Some key points about Coach Soles and his program
- Core strength has greatly cut injury rates on the team.
- Focus on core from knee to chest.
- Own your program, this is what we do, this is how we do it. Own it and stick to it.
- Does HIT’s (High Intensity Interval Training).
- Believes many coaches cut mileage back way too soon at end of season.
- Sits with kids and outlines goals and get them to buy into their goals.
- Freshman and sophomores race a lot more so they can learn how to race.
- Need to know your focus. Don’t be paralyzed by parents. Be a kid driven program and help them achieve their goals.
- Have to ask kids to make sacrifices.