Joan and her husband, Marc, are in their 4th year of coaching cross country at Loudoun Valley HS, in Purcellville, VA. For 10 years in the 1980’s and 1990’s, Joan coached at James Madison HS and South Lakes HS, where she and Marc had the privilege of being Alan Webb’s 9th grade coaches. During this time, they coached numerous state qualifiers and a handful of state champion relays and individuals.
After an 8 year hiatus from coaching while raising their many kids, Joan and Marc started a youth running club, NOVA Athletic Club, which enabled them to be involved in the sport without the huge time demands of high school coaching. However, once their son Drew began running in 9th grade, the Hunters saw his potential and wanted to ensure he would have every opportunity to develop, so they began volunteering at Loudoun Valley and eventually took over the distance program spring of Drew’s sophomore year.
The Hunters have led the Viking boys XC team to 3 consecutive state team titles, and 3 Viking boys (Drew Hunter, Peter Morris, Sam Affolder) have won the last 6 individual state titles. In 2017, the Viking boys scored 15 points at their state meet- something no Virginia team has ever done. That team went on to win the 2017 Nike Cross Nationals. Drew Hunter qualified for Foot Locker in 2014 and 2015, winning in 2015. Last year, Peter Morris qualified for NXN. The Viking girls have been state runners-up in XC for the last four years, have had one individual state champion (Natalie Morris, 2017) and have had one individual girl, Ciara Donohue, qualify for Foot Locker in 2014. In track, the Viking boys have won 2 outdoor state team titles. Last year, in Loudoun Valley’s first full official indoor track season, the Viking boys were state runners-up. Other important wins include the 2016 NB indoor nationals DMR and the 2016 Penn Relays DMR.
Key mid-season workout: CV reps plus hills
Warm-up (Ebbett’s drills, posture check, joint rotations, lunge matrix, runner’s touch, 100 ups, heel flicks, easy jog about 800 meters, skips, strides, and dynamic flexibility). 10 mins of running plus 3 mins tempo. All this takes about 30-35 minutes.
1st season kids:
8 mins easy run, then 2 mins at tempo effort.
4-6x 800 meters at CV pace, with 90 second jog recovery (about 175 meters or so, I don’t worry about how much ground they cover.)
3-4x 200 meter hill, mile race effort, with easy jog down for recovery.
Easy run till they get to 55-60 minutes, total time.
Veteran, but non-varsity level kids:
10 mins easy run, then 2 mins at tempo effort
5-6 x 800 meters or 1000 meters at CV pace, with 90 second jog, same as above.
4x 200 meter hill, same as above.
Easy run till they get to 60-70 minutes, total time.
Varsity level boys and some girls (freshman girls would do 800s or a mix of 800s and 1000s, most girls have 90 sec jog recovery)
10-12 mins easy run, then
5-7x 1000 meters at CV pace, with 75 second jog (about 175 meters)
4-5x 200 meter hill, same as above.
Easy run till they get to 65-70 minutes.
CV, or Critical Velocity pace, is about 90% of VO2 max pace. We estimate this using our kids’ current 5K race times, or a time trial in the early season. We also adjust the times based on what we think they could run the day of the workout, based on weather, terrain, etc. We use Tom Schwartz’s pace calculator: http://runfastcoach.com/calc2/index.php
Typical varsity week of training, late September, early October, no race that week:
Total mileage for my top boys was about 60-67 miles, depending on doubles. My top girl was about 55 miles on single runs, and my other girls were between 38-45 miles on single runs (freshmen were less.)
Monday: 50 mins easy [Read more…]