EDITOR'S NOTE: Joe and Josh Molvar are coached by their dad John. He shares some of the training the boys have been on.


Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2011

They ran 5:21 and 5:22 breaking the old 10-12 record of 5:37 by Kevin Sullivan set in 1999. Joe is 12 but Josh is only 11 so he can lower it more next year. They now hold all the age group records from 8 through 12. It was pouring rain which might have slowed them by about 5 seconds. Here are their splits:

8/7 High Street Mile 15 and under Race 70 degrees, pouring rain, 10 mph headwind

Joe 5:21 6th /185, 1st in 10-12 age group broke record by 16 seconds (Splits 1:21, 2:42, 4:02, 5:21) 81/81/80/79

Josh 5:22 7th /185, 2nd in 10-12 age group also under old record by 15 seconds (Splits 1:21, 2:42, 4:02, 5:22) 81/81/80/80

Here is their progression:

2008: Joe (9) 6:00 Josh (8) 6:07

2009: Joe (10) 5:45 Josh (9) 5:46

2010: Joe (11) 5:39 Josh (10) 5:39

2011: Joe (12) 5:21 Josh (11) 5:22

For training I have been using a combo of my own ideas which are based on Lydiard and Mick Grant's ideas. Mick's stuff gives them a huge advantage over other kids because they have no special talent, although like most of Mick's Lynx Elite kids will believe they were special LOL. This resulted in their biggest 1 year improvement so far. The program continuously (year round) works on building endurance and improving basic speed while avoiding anaerobic interval training and racing like the plague. For 355 days in the year they worked on endurance and basic speed and only did anaerobic work the final 10 days which consisted of a 400 trial (68) and 2 200s, then a couple days later an 800 trial (2:30) and 2 200s and then a couple days later a 1200 trial (3:59) and 2 200s then 3 day taper, then the race.

They run 7 days a week year round. For the first 10 months after last year's HSM they averaged 18 mpw including a 2 mile road tempo run once a week at HR range 160-180. Twice a week they technically "doubled" by working on basic speed mid day. One day is 5 x 40 at 90-100% effort with a full 3 minute recovery. The other day is 5 x 200 with a 100 walk/100 jog recovery. This may look like anaerobic interval training but is not as they are fully recovered before each one with no lactic acid accumulation. If you are not fully recovered you are doing anaerobic interval training which will improve lactic acid tolerance for racing but does nothing to improve basic speed. The last 2-3 months they increased mileage to 28 mpw by running 6M runs with the Newburyport high school kids in the woods at Maudslay 3 days a week. They also do a 10 minute free weight training daily workout each day hitting a different muscle each day to improve basic speed and improve durability. So far so good, neither has had an injury in the 5 years they have been running and they both say they have never even experienced muscle soreness even once.

The plan for the coming year is exactly the same - constantly working on endurance and basic speed while avoiding anaerobic work until the last 10 days before the race. If a week goes by you can assume they have a little more endurance and are a little faster than the previous week. Mileage will be increased to about 35 mpw. The tempo run will be increased from 2 to 3 miles. I may also add a 2nd tempo run each week but do a broken up one such as 3 x mile but only slightly faster than the continuous tempo run so they don't cross over into the anaerobic range