Dr. Jeff Messer
Having coached 8 of the last 9 state championship teams, Coach Jeff Messer is viewed as Arizona’s most successful high school running coach in the 21st Century. As someone with a PhD in Exercise Physiology, Coach Messer takes an even more scientific approach than most to his training development.
When you hear Coach Messer talk you will hear him talk about two things over and over again. The first is the process. Some coaches call this the culture, for Messer it’s about the process. The process is what the athlete needs to do daily to get better. This includes rest/sleep, proper nutrition and hydration and the prescribed workout for the day. The second is aerobic development. Almost all of Messer’s runs are aerobic in nature with very little anaerobic work.
Some key points about Coach Messer and his program
- Weekly training patterns, most Mondays are structured the same as far as the goals of the training session. This allows student athletes to know what to expect and for easier program scheduling.
- Development of the student is long term. Each athlete is looked at as someone who has 208 weeks over four years to improve.
- Messer’s teams are never looking for home runs in a workout. Each workout should be either a single or double, with an occasional triple. This will help minimize overtraining and injuries.
- Testing limits are not for training, they are for racing.
- Top athletes race only 1-2 times a month, this allows for much larger blocks of training.
- Volume is determined by time, not miles. This makes it easier to control increases in total time/volume running per week.
- Great importance on the weekly long run.
- Athletes regularly sprint for speed development.
- Strength training is running specific. All workouts are done in a way to mimic running specific motions.
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