Anaerobic Training

As we near the start of cross country season, I thought I would post a couple of videos from Scott Christensen, USTFCCCA Lead Endurance Instructor and experienced high school coach. Coach Christensen’s teams have been ranked in the Top 10 nationally 6 times, won multiple state championships , and been named Senior Team Leader for World Cross Country Team. He is without doubt a coach many of us could learn from.

Hopefully most of your runners have been putting in some great work this summer and have improved their aerobic fitness levels. Now as they return to school in a few weeks, you can begin to work of their anaerobic fitness.

Aerobic training can be improved by putting in many miles and results in structural changes in the body. This requires a time frame of approximately 20-24 weeks. Anaerobic training causes biochemical changes.  While anaerobic training requires less time, it still takes 9-11 weeks to make the necessary changes for maximal performance. For this reason it is important that coaches do not wait very long into their season to begin anaerobic training.

In the two clips below from Complete Track and Field Coach Christensen discusses anaerobic training. In the –  first video he shares an example of a 9 day Multi-Paced Microcycle and in the second an example of a speed workout.

Both of these clips are taken from Coach Christensen’s Complete Cross Country Training Program.  The program consists of four parts:

Part 1 – Aerobic Training

Part 2 – Application of Speed and Strength Training

Part 3 – Influence of the Peaking Period

Part 4 – Psychological Issues, Inventories and Motivation

The YouTube videos below have sound, so please make sure that your sound is turned on and that you have access to the site. Please note that some schools block access to YouTube.


Cross Country Training – Anaerobic training


How to Develop Speed in Distance Runners


If you are interested in learning more about Coach Christensen’s program  Click on the image or link below.

Complete High School Cross Country Training

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