Coaching Clinic: Distance Training Roundtable

This past Monday Christian Brothers Academy Coach Sean McCafferty hosted another virtual coaches clinic as part of a recent series of videos published throughout the postponed track season. This time inviting an elite panel of coaches from around New Jersey and nearby states to discus various aspects of distance training. 

As expected there were in-depth knowledgeable answers throughout the video. A great snapshot into the inner workings of the training behind some of the best athletes and teams in area history.   

The questions below and the video above were put together by Sean McCafferty, you can follow him on twitter @Coachseanmccaff. 

Distance Coaches Round Table Lineup 

General Questions

  • How do you motivate a full team of runners?
  • How do you handle workout and recovery balance?
  • How do you add supplemental training into practice?
  • What is a typical warm up for your team?
  • What is a typical hard effort?
  • How do you determine mileage for athletes?
  • What are some keys to your successful program?
  • What difficulties do you face in your coaching? How do you deal with these challenges?  
  • How do you define success?

Specific Questions


  • How do you prepare a team for a national event, like NXN?

  • What are the challenges in coaching at a school with just boys? 


  • When you coached at Voorhees, your girls were consistently one of the top teams in NJ.  What were the keys to your success?

  • At Ramapo, you have been building a solid program.  First you coached Jeremy Hernadez to a sub 4, first in D3 history and in the Fall, your men won their first conference title in a tight 10 second spread.  How are you building your program?  


  • You have had two amazing opportunities in the IVY League.  At Princeton, you took over a powerful XC team from Mike Brady.  Their track program was one of the best in the northeast. You then took over Penn, a struggling program.  At both Penn and Princeton, you excelled and improved the teams.  How do build upon a team's past to make them successful?  What are the keys rebuilding? 

  •  Can you talk a little about how high school coaches can prepare athletes for college running? 


  • You coached two of the most ferocious competitors I have ever seen.  How do you cater to their needs and keep a team moving in the right direction?  How do you keep them from wrecking each other and the team with their daily efforts?


  • What do you take from your own professional training to give to your athletes?

  • How do you develop a freshman?  Is it difficult to put yourself in their shoes?  


  • What are some keys to building an MD relay centric team?

  • How do you prepare a team for a big 4 x 800 like MOC or Penn?


  • You have coached high level boys and girls.  How does training differ for the genders?  

  • You coach at a highway-locked campus.  How do you train runners with little space? 


  • You coaches one of the best milers and XC runners in US history.  What did a week look like for DJ Principe?  

  • What is it like coaching in a small state with your biggest rivals nearby?  Is it hard to motivate athletes when they race the same guys every week?  What are some strategies you have used to get kids ready to race big races outside of RI?


  • How do you balance coaching a distance team and still produce a 4x4 MIOC winner?

  • How do you balance a large team with success?