Saturday, March 28, 2015


Thoughts on a tough workout & this week's training plan.


Coach Eisele and I were very impressed today. Saturday morning's workout (3/28) was the best workout, as a TEAM, that you have completed this season! In our opinion, this was the hardest workout yet, followed closely by last Monday's grind. Not only did you all hit your paces, those that struggled at one point or another, gutted it out and finished faster and stronger than every before.

Kristen, after hearing that she was accepted to one of the most prestigious schools in the country, jumped right back into the thick of training and took up her rightful place in the Cheetahs!

Amber, who has been the most consistent member of the Cheetahs, knocked one out of the park yet again. No complaints, just quietly getting it DONE!

McKenna, after saying this workout didn't feel that hard, went out and crushed it like it was easy! That strong race is coming McKenna!

Hailey, after falling off the pace just a bit mid-workout, didn't let the elastic snap and reeled herself back into the Cheetahs, and finished right there. I see big PRs in her future!

Brooke is quickly running herself back into shape and is taking a lead roll in guiding the Peregrines to quick times and strong reps.

Shawnie ran the best workout of the year, even after missing a key workout this week. I see PRs in her future as well!

Haleigh, showing up after a week of illness and missed workouts, gutted it out through most of the workout. I had to make her pull the plug, only so she wouldn't run herself into the ground.

Tanlee, the new kid on the block, latched onto the Peregrines and killed this workout. I kept giving her the option to cut the workout short, but she just dove right into the mix and ran like a champ. More PRs coming for sure!

Katelyn, another casualty of illness, still showed up to give it a go. After a few laps it was clear that she isn't ready for training yet, but she showed grit for even trying!

Madison, the queen of speed, showed her speed, and endurance today, by finishing with a 78 second last 400. Eye of the tiger for sure!

Chandler, who, like Amber, can be counted on for consistently strong efforts, demonstrated her usual endurance, but threw in some flashes of her developing speed with a 79 last 400.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend,
Coach Horton

Training Plan April Week #1

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Irvine Invitational Summary & Lessons Learned + Training Plan


I bet it feels good to get your first track meet of the season under your belts. Coach Eisele and I saw a lot of good things on Saturday. Hopefully you take away the lesson that there is no need to get stressed about racing. Excited? Yes! Nervous? No!

(I know the following entry looks long, but I promise there is good stuff throughout. So please read it! It took a really long time...)

1600m races:
- There were strong efforts from both Chandler and Haleigh in the f/s 1600m. Chandler ran a steady and patient race to steadily move up through the field. Her nervousness about being the last seed was unnecessary since she finished mid-pack with a new PR!

Haleigh went out fast, demonstrating her natural speed, but struggled with the pace on the second and third laps. She hung tough and used that speed to kick down a number of people in the last hundred meters.
- Lessons Learned: Both speed and aerobic strength are needed in the middle distances. Chandler's aerobic strength carried her to a PR, but she will need to work on her speed to be able to kick it home. Haleigh has the speed, but will need to get her miles in to develop the aerobic strength necessary to carry her through the middle laps.
- Another group of strong efforts by the ladies running in the varsity heats. Kristen continues to chip away at her PR, while McKenna and Hailey are rounding into shape after missing some key workouts due to other commitments or illness.

Kristen ran a gutsy and tactically outstanding race. After letting a few ladies go off the front at an unsustainable pace, Kristen moved to the lead of the chase pack. This is a psychologically difficult position. With the leaders 20m up the track, it is easy to doubt that you can close that gap alone. The safety of the group is hard to leave. Did Kristen take the safe route? Nope! She went for it and quickly reeled the lead group in and fought for victory in the last 100m!

McKenna also ran a smart race and continues to chip away at her times this season. This, even though she missed one of the hardest workouts we have done this season while she was away in Yosemite. Maybe the high altitude did it!

Hailey, using her natural speed and aggressiveness went out at 5:20 pace. This, after battling illness and missing over a week of workouts recently. Gutsy. As with Haleigh, she hung tough and didn't give up.
- Lessons Learned:
- Pacing is difficult; everybody feels good during the first 400. We will continue to do race pace workouts to help you get used to what race pace feels like.
- Patience can pay off. For Kristen and McKenna, they placed well because they didn't freak out when girls went off the front. It is very hard to recover from going out too fast.
- If you think too much, you are likely to not "go for it" and then regret it later. Kristen went for it and reaped the rewards of a new PR.
- There are a lot of races during track season, so these early races are perfect opportunities to try different strategies. No pressure. There will be another race next week, or possibly in two days!

800m races:
- Both Brooke and Shawnie came into their races with many reasons to lack confidence. Both have battled illness and lack of training, and while they could have let this fact negatively impact them, they both attacked their race with guts and determination.

Racing is hard. Every one of your competitors is hurting too, but it is easy to quit when you start to feel the pain. Shawnie dug deep on the last lap and chose to face the pain and finished strong!

Brooke attacked the first lap, and even though she didn't have the fitness to maintain the pace, she battled on and still finished with a respectable time. I also wanted to give Brooke kudos for being such a great teammate to Katelyn. Prior to their race, Brooke was giving advice and helping to soothe Katelyn's nerves.

- Wow! There was a whole lot of goodness in the varsity 800. Pre-race in Irvine, Madison and Katelyn had a bit of nervousness. Did they let that get them down? Nope! Both girls were patient and ran smart races. They didn't let their nerves get the better of them.

Madison, after a week of outstanding workouts, must have rolled into this race with a bit of confidence. She was patient enough not to go out too hard, and then, on the  second lap, she moved up into position and attacked on the back stretch. It would have been very easy for her to doubt herself. Was she going too soon? Did she have enough to carry her home? Well, you never know unless you try, and try she did! At 200m out, she made her move and stormed home for a commanding second place!

Katelyn, running her first true 800m race was a bundle of nerves pre-race, but she went out and executed a smart race plan and also finished strong.  No need to worry about not breaking 3:00!

Amber, after a week in which she was sick, and then two days later busted out a solid tempo effort, chose to run the OC Classic, where she knew she'd be racing tough competition. She ran a gutsy race, especially considering the week she had.

Lessons Learned:
- See the lessons above, and also remember that it is just running!

Training Plan March Weeks 3 & 4

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pre-Race & Race Day Nutrition

Athletes & Parents,

As we finally begin our race season, and the accompanying hard workouts, nutrition becomes even more important than ever. To get the most out of yourself and the workouts you are doing, a proper balance in your diet is paramount. In a later blog entry, I will go into more detail about daily dietary needs and nutrition. For today, I’ll focus on the “night before” and “race-day” nutrition.

The Night Before a Race:
The good old days of the “carb-load” dinner are, if not dead, close to getting there, especially for the middle distances. The night before a race, your meal should consist of foods that are, in fact, relatively carbohydrate-rich. You just don’t want to go crazy with three plates of pasta. Trust me, I know!
Carbs are your main fuel source when running middle distances. Things like a moderate plate of pasta, rice, or similar meal will provide you with the necessary fuel to top off your stores for the next day. Vegetables and fruit can also add carbs and important nutrients. Just watch out for the fiber. You’ve all seen the lines at the bathroom before a race. Fiber only makes things worse. (Note that fiber is an important part of your diet on a regular basis, just not right before a race.)
Protein and fat are also important components of a healthy diet, but they are harder for your body to digest, so while they should be present in a pre-race meal, the amounts should be smaller than normal. (A bit of chicken, fish, tofu, etc. would suffice.) Difficult to digest nutrients cause your digestive system to require more blood, which means there is less blood going to your leg muscles, which means you won’t be running as fast.
To top things off, staying hydrated, even the day before, will make your race day performance more successful! No need to go crazy. Just keep sipping. A common mistake in regards to hydration is drinking loads of water and not getting enough electrolytes. These substances, such as sodium and potassium, are essential for the normal function of your nervous and muscular systems, among others.

    Race eating is one of the most challenging parts of performing well. What to eat and when to eat it can be different for different athletes, but there are some general guidelines that should be followed.
    If you are racing early, you may want to have as little as a banana or a piece of toast and jam 90 minutes to two hours before your race, and then supplement with an easily digestible energy gel 20-45 minutes before your race. Diluted sports drinks can also serve double duty in providing hydration, carbs, and electrolytes. At full strength, these drinks can sometimes cause stomach issues. It is best to sip water/sports drink, but be careful not to go too crazy. You don’t want 20oz of liquid sloshing around in your stomach come race time. The trick here is to have as little blood as possible going to your digestive system while you are racing, so more is carrying oxygen to your legs!
    If you are racing later, have a light breakfast, probably something similar to what you have on a daily basis (oatmeal, cereal, yogurt). Just stay away from the bacon, sausage, and eggs (or any other difficult to digest foods). Just don’t try something radical and new right before a race. Then, follow the suggestions for the early racers.

See you Saturday morning, and run hard to Amber on Friday night!
Coach Horton

P.S. For those that can't make the second run on Saturday afternoon, come prepared to do some additional miles after the 1600m races. We should have a small group getting a post-race workout in, and then you can cheer on your teammates in the 800!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Irvine Invitational Info

The schedule and entries for the Irvine Invitational at Irvine High School are as follows:

F/S 1600m 7:45am heat #101
- Haleigh B.
- Chandler
- Nicole
- Christina

V 1600m 9:13am heat #107
- Kristen
- McKenna
- Hailey M.
- Sara B

F/S 800m 12:46 heat # 121
- Brooke
- Shawnie

V 800m 12:59 heat #122
- Madison
- Katelyn
- Cece

* These times are approximate, but please be at the stadium no later than one hour prior to your heat.
* Find Coach Eisele or Horton when you arrive and get ready for your warm-up.
* For those running the 1600m heats, Coach Eisele and I will be staying for the 800m heats and can give rides home if you'd like to stay and cheer for your teammates. Just remember to bring food and water.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The week of March 9th (Shhh... it's Cece's B-Day on Wed.)


Please see the updated training plan and note that we will be celebrating Cece's birthday a day early. Surprise, surprise!

Coach Proodian should have entries for Irvine finalized by tomorrow, so we'll keep you posted.

Revised training plan

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Flexibility- Can you touch your toes?

We are not talking about stretchy muscles!

Due to the lock down, we missed out on our first dual meet of the season:( With this in mind, Coach Proodian needs to get some times for everyone prior to filing entries for the Irvine Invite on 3/14. Please see the updated training schedule for the new plan.

As a team building and inspirational activity, we'll be gathering to view McFarland USA on Friday at 7:10. This movie is a "feel good" story about running. What more could you ask for? If you'd like to join us for dinner, we'll be at Wahoo's around 6:20.

Training Plan March Weeks 1 & 2

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Inaugural Post- Training Plan for March Weeks 1 & 2

Athletes & Parents of the "Sisterhood of Sweat", 

I am starting this blog/website to hopefully communicate training plans, etc. in a more successful way (Email is so yesterday!). Please bookmark this site so that you can quickly access training plans and updates.

Coach Horton

Click to view: March Weeks 1 & 2