Tips from a Coach to a Coach:
Use hills instead of speedwork early in the season, i notice they seem to get burned out on intervals fast, unless they are gunning for a certain time (less than 10% of our 55 distance runnners are realy chasing a time for reasons beyond pr'ing) Where as running up a hill, no matter what pace, will improve there overall anerobic conditioning, also it cuases a shortening of the stride which in turn helps turn over and is less likely to cause injury (this is going to start an arguement)
If you want them to run easy, send them in groups of similiar abilities and give them times to run, not miles
Girls have perfected the easy runs becuase they gossip. Send them on a tempo there is a good chance it will revert to an easy run
Boys have perfected the tempo/fast finish run becuae they are compettitive. Send them on a easy run and there is a good chance they will pr their previous CC time…..
If you want them to run in the summer, have unofficial practices and do everything you can to get the girls out there. Girls = Boys in the summer.
Buy lots of Dreyers Popsicles.
Watch how they walk up to you b4 practice and how they walk to their car after practice. They will not speak up about injuries if they are chasing a PR, but they will limp.
Finally, my best piece of advice.
Explain why your doing a workout, and never say “Just do it, or becuase i say so” This requires you to know why their doing there workout. If you treat them like adults they will act like them. Explain an easy run is to increase there aerobic fitness and if they run hard it will just hurt them, it will lesson the chance of them running hard.
If you have some hard headed kids that will not slow down or do the workouts correctly ask them this
“Do you want to have a fast practice or a fast race? Becuase you can't have both.”