Monday Motivation: State Meet Week Preparation

Welcome back to the "Monday Motivation" series. We invite coaches around the state to give insight into their teams recent performances and have them relay messages that they have shared with their teams at various points in the season.

It is State Meet week here in Indiana! We have reached out to several coaches around the state to find out what the state meet week is like for them and how they go about preparing for the State finals. Do they do any training differently? Is there anything different they talk to their athletes about? How do they keep their teams calm and focused in a big meet atmosphere?

Here are some of the responses we got from coaches around Indiana ahead of the State Meet!

Karl Knerr- Brebeuf Jesuit - Defending Boys Team State Champions

First off, it's a real honor to make it to the IHSAA State Finals. State meet week is all about routine. We encourage kids to stay with what's worked all tournament. We really won't change our training this week. We stick with our usual Monday Wednesday workouts with Tuesday Thursday maintenance runs and Friday pre race. We also realize the State meet race time isn't close to what we've done throughout the tournament with the first three Saturday races at 11:15am, and now at State we have a 2:30pm start, so we will need to adapt. State meet day will be similar to other big meet days. We will leave on the mini-bus with arrival time two hours before race time which is what they are accustomed to doing. Runners will then go through their regular routine at LaVern Gibson.  Varsity runners sticking together helps with big meet nerves. 

Rick Sluder- Columbus North - Defending Girls Team State Champions

We try to treat this week like every week and every day we have had all season. The more we treat it differently, the more anxiety and the more stress that comes with that new behavior. We don't really train any less, either.  We keep nearly everything the same.  We "game plan" a little early in the week and then let that sink in over the week leading up.

Colin Altevogt- Carmel - Top Ranked Boys Team with Top Ranked Individual 

We know what workouts help us race well and tend to do them just twice in a season: before the LaVern Twilight meet and then before the state meet. Obviously, anything could happen with illness or small injuries popping up so we might need to make adjustments for an individual, but we're pretty excited about our training plan for the week of the state meet each year. 

Gabe Porras- Zionsville - Team Podium Contender and Best Zionsville Boys Team

For this week, we are keeping a similar schedule with training with our Monday long run for our top 7 while our alternates ran a 1600 time trial (5 of 9 set new personal bests!) and our interval session on Wednesday with our steady runs on the other days and strides and core throughout the week. We are fortunate that 5 of our 7 runners have state meet experience.  Our focus this week will be on keeping our practices and preparation as similar as possible as our recent weeks and focusing on what we can control.

John Arredondo- Valparaiso - New Prairie Semi-State Champions

We don't do much different. We do reduce volume a little but we just really try to keep our runs comfortable. We will have a day or two of some hard running, but the main goal for the week is to keep everyone healthy. No one helps us on Saturday if they can't run!  As mentioned, we will keep our longer repeats close to pace so we remember what last Saturday felt like & some faster turnover stuff, but for the most part, I try to keep everything similar/familiar to what we've done to get us to this point.

Thank you to the above coaches for contributing to this piece ahead of the State Meet. It is clear that a common theme for many top teams is to continue what they've been doing all season and keeping things relatively the same training and strategy wise. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. 

Also, thank you to all the coaches that have helped contribute to the "Monday Motivation" series this season. We are hoping it gave great insight into many programs around the state and gave lessons for other coaches to use on their own teams. 

Good luck to all teams and individuals as you navigate the week of ahead of Saturday's IHSAA State Championships!

As the week goes on be on the look out for more preview coverage of the State Meet on the MileSplit Indiana website and our social media pages!