HOW THEY TRAIN: Caitlin Hudson

Name: Caitlin Hudson
Age: 17
School: Bronxville
Coach: Jim Mitchell

Personal Bests:
Cross Country: Bowdoin 5K 19:52
Randolph, NJ 5K 19:44
Sunken Meadow 5K 20:07
Van Cortlandt 2.5mile 15:29
Track: 800: 2:14
1000 2:59
1200 3:39
1500 4:46

Championships: All-League, All-County, All-Section, All-State (spring 2008: 800m, 4x400), State Champion (spring 2007, 2008: 4x800), Eastern State Champion (spring 2007: 4xmile, spring 2008: 800m), All-American (winter 2007: 4xmile, 4x800, winter 2008: 4xmile, 4x800, spring 2008: 4xmile)

Typical Training Week:

a. Pre-Season
Sunday – 45 Minute Road Run
Monday: 5 x 1200 (at 4:50-4:20)
Tuesday: 3 x Van Cortlandt Back Hills (between 9:00 and 8:30)
Wednesday 45-60 Minute Road Run
Thursday: Run at Van Cortlandt (40-50 minutes)
Friday: 45 Minute Run
Saturday – 30-40 Minute Run

b. Season
Sunday: Run on our own, 30-45 minutes
Monday: Warm Up 1 mile. Repeat 1200s (4 between 4:40 and 4:20) or 800s (6, between 2:36 and 2:45)
Tuesday: Warm up 1 mile. Van Cortlandt Back Hill repeats (3 between 8:20 and sub8:00)
Wednesday: Road Run (45-60 minutes)
Thursday: Run at Van Cortlandt (steady pace or tempo) (35-50 minutes)
Friday: Mile and Strides
Saturday: Race

Goals: As a team, our goals include winning the County and State title. Personally, I am always trying to lower my times and run with the front pack in a race.

Coaches Philosophy (by Mitchell):
Keep everyone healthy and get them to the states in one piece. Get all to develop gradually and make every workout count. Mostly, it's a watch and listen philosophy in that I try to pick up on what each girl is saying each day. For example, if they are complaining of tired or sore legs, we might avoid all hills for a week. The coach has to be on the same wave-length as the runners and look for signs and indications. I don't follow any one school of thought although I suppose I believe in the "hard/easy" philosophy. We seldom do two demanding sessions in a row and when we do usually it is because of weather predictions.

We never do "junk miles" to pad the log. Almost all of our running is quick (of course quick depends on who you are - so for Caitlin, Tori, Henrietta, Olivia, Amelia, and Meredith, quick is quick for them while for the rest of the team quick is considerably slower). In cross country we really push "pack" running perhaps to the detriment of the development of that one really great runner and that may be why we have never had a Footlocker runner and why during track season we have had many qualify for nationals. I really believe that most good runners are more often ruined by over-coaching, than developed because of it.

The girls are teenagers and they are growing, going to school, taking a myriad of tests, involved in countless social situations, expected to do too much probably by parents and teachers, and consequently the last thing they need is an overbearing coach with a "win at all cost" philosophy. As Caitlin has written, we seldom do as much as 35 miles a week although what we do is demanding running. I always tell the girls that if they arrive by 3:15 each day, I will get them done by 4:30. If I don't then I am not doing my job. If they want to do more such as weights and flexibility, then they can but that is their option.

Also, I never look at cross country as an end in itself but as the start of the running year. We intend to be competitive during indoor season and at the June State Championships and beyond so that is always in mind. Probably, that adversely affects our cross country performance although we have been second at Feds three times and Class State Champion six times. And remember, our size does not give us the flexibility that many very large schools have with very large teams. Caitlin, Tori, Olivia, Henrietta and Amelia will run cross country and then anything from the 400 to the 3000 for the rest of the year. Their survival is the single most important facet of our running philosophy.