Jeff has a unique background as a coach, in that he was a distance runner in high school and college. He moved to Boulder, Colorado, to train, and found himself coaching the jumps at Lyons High School, just north of Boulder.
He took the challenge of becoming a great jumps coach seriously, and that meant taking a deep dive into the speed and power world. Jeff has a tremendous understanding of how distance runners can benefit from that training.
We get a bit technical during the interview, which I love because a successful coach, one who already knows how to develop athletes and has a culture where kids work hard and love the sport, can better understand how lifting and multi-throws may fit into their training plans.
Example: Jeff coached Paul Roberts, who finished fifth at Footlocker and made the world cross country team as a junior in high school (and I should note that Lyons HS has less than 300 students). Jeff shares that before they did focused work in the weight room, Paul would run his last 400m of a 1,600m race in 61-62, and run his last 400m of a 3,200m in 64-65.
Fast forward to Paul’s senior year and he was closing in 58, and even 57-point, in the 1,600m, and was able to close in 61 in the 3.200m.
Finally, Jeff has had the chance to not only go through the Altis coaching education offerings, but he has a close relationship with Dan Pfaff, one of the best track and field coaches in the world (many say THE best). I really enjoyed hearing how those experiences have shaped him as a coach.
This episode of the Coaching Runners podcast is brought to you by the Fundamentals Education Course and the Boulder Running Clinics. Two great resources for coaches who are looking to take their program to the next level.
If you have questions or comments about the show, please email me – Jay@CoachJayJohnson.com