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Ric's 10 Peak Performance Principles

  1. Planning

    1. Personal Scheduling

      1. Personal Day-Timer

      2. Schedule yourself first

    2. Event Selection

      1. Choose based on preference and preparation

  2. Personal Inventory

    1. Recent or historical information

    2. Past training and performance patterns, and/or current fitness level

      1. Based on miles per week, interval training, tempo runs, and races.

  3. Prediction

    1. Using a proven system

      1. “Jack Daniels Running Formula” (JD)

      2. Race Calculators

    2. Knowing your limits will enable personal breakthroughs

      1. JD provides a reliable prediction tool.

      2. Developing a good prediction can save effort, energy, time, and heartache

      3. Will allow optimization of training/minimization of guesswork.

  4. Preparation and Programming

    1. Training program

  5. Progression

    1. May include performance improvement depending on your career life-cycle

      1. In many cases, performance maintenance is more likely.

    2. Training Meso- and Micro-cycles will include performance progression.

  6. Practice

    1. Consistent and Continuous

    2. Planned exercise deprivation

    3. Training gaps may result in goal modification

  7. Persistence

    1. Staying with it when things don’t go well

    2. Complete all workouts, even if results are not satisfactory.

  8. Patience

    1. Give the program time to work

    2. Generally two Meso-cycles will produce performance results.

  9. Pacing

    1. Learn training and racing pacing strategies

    2. Perform frequent pacing and strategic racing simulations.

  10. Performance

    1. Peak performance

      1. Self-referential

      2. Task Mastery oriented

    2. Mental rehearsal

      1. Relaxation/Kinesthetic visualization

      2. Goal Oriented

Keys to Peak Performance

Peak Performance may seem elusive to many athletes, but it is certainly not the exclusive domain of highly competitive runners. Peak performers share common characteristics which are easy to identify: clear goals and a progressive training plan; consistent training and coaching; and "being in the right time at the right time" when it comes to competing. These essential elements don't happen by accident. Athletes need a structured training program, scheduled competitions, and coaching and logistical support to achieve their goals. 


In Colorado, athletes face challenges in managing weather-shortened competitive seasons and, for events over 800m, altitude constraints.


Weather conditions on Colorado's Front Range effectively truncate the spring track season by at least two weeks. Most teams can count on at least two snowed-out track meets accompanied by snow-covered outdoor tracks. In addition to snow-outs, inclement weather will severely hamper high quality performance at a number of meets in March and April. For varsity athletes, a 12-week season effectively becomes a 10-week season with an only a few favorable-weather competitive opportunities. For JV athletes, a 10-week season is shortened to 7 or 8 weeks since they will not run district and state championships. Running in high school hall-ways and gyms is no fun and limits the training effectiveness for any event.


Progressive coaches have historically recognized these weather limitations and implemented training and racing alternatives that allow their athletes to compete on a level playing field with other athletes around the country. 


These alternatives are not difficult to identify and understand, but actually implementing them is difficult.  Most high school coaches, although well-intentioned, lack the personal competitive experience, coaching experience, or financial wherewithal to implement an effective year-round training and competitive plan for their athletes. 


First, competitive athletes at any level need to have a year-round training and competitive program. Off-season conditioning programs commonly offered by local high school coaches are good, but are too often confined to simply running miles or undertaking generic training without competition. With this formula, athletes miss the essential competitive component which allows progressive improvement over their high school careers. 


A year-round program by definition means that athletes participate in summer and winter programs which include an appropriate number of competitions. Most summer cross country programs consist of simply logging miles - this is better than doing nothing - but omits essential speed work, strength work, and explosive power training, not to mention lack of completion.


Second, Colorado athletes need to travel to competitive venues where favorable weather/low altitude conditions exist. This means traveling to sea-level track meets in California or Arizona in the summer and spring. This model has been used by top high school athletes for decades and should be considered by any athlete seriously interested in competing at the NCAA level. 



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