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Coaches see in you what you don't yet see in yourself.

COACHING PHILOSOPHY

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At Golden Running Academy, we believe that every athlete needs intense, consistent training, as well as an off-season to allow the athlete to refocus and rejuvenate, determine new goals and have time to see friends and lose the rigorous schedule. Running at the top can be demanding and a mixture of discipline and downtime are necessary to prevent burnout and keep an athlete hungry.

Our program is built on a seasonal schedule. During the early winter months we maintain a minimum mileage and focus on strength conditioning and continuous running vs. intervals and tempo. As spring approaches, we focus on building up mileage and in late spring we begin to reintroduce intensity. As summer sets in, athletes will encroach on a moderate-to-high level of fitness, positioning them to perform at 95% and saving the biggest 100% efforts for the true A-races. As the colors change, we shift our focus to short-interval intensity and longer intervals to prepare for cross-country and long distance races in the late fall. As we transition to early winter, we incorporate indoor track to try new events, and get comfortable with the intensity of track racing.

COACHES

ANDREW SIMMONS, Competitive Coach

Andrew is an accomplished runner who has competed in several marathons, half marathons, and Iron Mans. In 2015, Andrew was the top American finisher in the Colfax Marathon. Although he competed in a myriad of sports as a youth, the native of Kalamazoo, Michigan didn’t discover running until his 20’s. As the coach of the Competitive Program, Andrew focuses on strength, speed, and endurance:  the building blocks for successful runners. He teaches the importance of learning pacing and integrates form drills to develop the mechanics to perform at the highest level. He works to get the most out of each training session in order to develop competitive, injury-free young runners. Andrew is passionate about running, and enjoys sharing his passion to inspire the boys and girls of Golden Running Academy.

KATIE WHIDDEN, Development Coach

Katie is a former NCAA Division I collegiate athlete with multiple overall female wins in triathlons. Katie’s passion for coaching was fostered in high school, where she mentored younger athletes in the weight room. Katie holds the highly regarded CSCS (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) certification, along with USA Cycling Level 2, USAT Level 1, and Training Peaks coaching certifications. As the coach of the Development Program, Katie has a unique ability to understand an athlete’s needs, and create fun and challenging training plans. Katie views every training as an opportunity to teach athletes about their body and guide them towards their full potential. She loves being instrumental in the transformation that can occur in an athlete’s self-confidence when they set a goal and achieve it.

TRAINING APPROACH

Golden Running Academy utilizes a 3:1 Training / Recovery stimulus. Athletes have 3 weeks of continuous build in intensity, length, volume or frequency of workouts. The 4th week is a down week where volume is decreased to 60%. This 4th week is normally used to test athletes for progress, or the final ‘Block’ as a prep week for racing.

Trainings are composed of ‘Blocks’, where a block is a 4-week stretch of training, or one full 3:1 cycle. Each cycle has a theme or ‘Phase’ to produce a specific response or adaptation.

TrainingOverviewBase Phase: Focuses on aerobic miles, with no intervals or high intensity work.

Strength / Build Phase: Focuses on maintaining base mileage and integrating hills as moderate to high aerobic intervals.

Form Phase: Focuses on maintaining a good level of fitness, while serving as a launch pad to perform well at races without fully/completely peaking. This phase consists of Tempo runs and long intervals (over 400 meters) as a precursor to the maximum volume in the Specific Endurance Phase.

Specific Endurance: Focuses on high aerobic/anaerobic conditioning to develop race pace. This phase consists of peak mileage and longer intervals, as well as 200 meter repeats to promote quick closing speed or ‘kick’. This phase is also used to increase mental strength and confidence for race day.