How They Train: Ward Melville's Caroline O'Hea


Name: Caroline O’Hea



Age: 14

School: Ward Melville

Coach: Tom Youngs

Personal Bests:

5k Sunken Meadow 19:26.90 2.5 Van Cortlandt Park 15:15.53 Bowdoin Park 19:15.4

Outdoors: 3000m 10:14.74 1500m 4:49.32 800m 2:21

Championships: (any league, county, section, state championships can be put here)

All-State XC 2007, Top 8th grader in New York State, Finished 23rd at Feds

Spring Track 2008- All-County, State Qualifier (3000m and 4x800m Relay)

Typical Training Week:

a. Pre-Season

Sunday: 60 minutes easy recovery miles.

Monday: Tempo Run. Core work.

Tuesday: Workout- 6 x 800m with 1 minute recovery or 4-5 x 1000m (this is our staple workout that we do ever 3 weeks to gauge our training progress).

Wednesday: Strength and Agility (Preventive Routines, General Body Strengthening)

Thursday: 45 minutes easy recovery miles. Core work.

Friday: Workout- Hill work at Sunken Meadow (Snake, Picnic Area, and Cardiac repeats)

Saturday: 35 minutes easy recovery miles or active rest.

b. Season

Sunday: 45-60 minutes recovery miles or active rest depending on race schedule

Monday: Tempo run or fatleck run. Core work.

Tuesday: League Dual Meet @ Sunken Meadow 3 mile course. After the race, either a 35 minute recovery run or hill repeats.

Wednesday: 45 minutes easy recovery miles and 7 x 150m strides. Core work.

Thursday: 4-5 x 1000m intervals with 2-3 minutes recovery depending on the pace.

Friday: 35 minutes easy recovery miles and 7 x 150m strides

Saturday: Race


I have great teammates and a great coach and our goal together this season was to defend our county championship and qualify for the Federation Championships for the sixth year in a row. Unfortunately, we fell short of our goals, but we were able to overcome much adversity throughout the season, helping us to become a closer team. I am very happy that I qualified for the Federation Championships and my goal in that race is to proudly represent Ward Melville and to beat my time from last year. I will be competing indoors for the first time this winter instead of playing basketball. I look forward to spending long Saturdays at the Armory (haha). I hope to continue to improve and to get faster than I was last year. My main goals for the future are to gradually improve my times, to have fun with my teammates, and to help lead my team to victory.

Coach's Philosophy: “Where we go one, we go all”.

From the very first day of practice over the summer, each and every girl is made aware that they are important and that they play an integral role in our success (no matter how fast or slow they are). They quickly learn that there is no one person who is as important as the other. I feel that this mentality has helped us to build a strong program and a belief that tradition never graduates. The girls understand that they are only one person and one person alone cannot lead to team success. They understand that they cannot do everything, but they can do something and they will not let what they cannot do interfere with what they can do. Each and every day they are constantly reminded to make each other work. Make each other better.

For me running and coaching has always been a part of my life. My father was a cross country and track coach for 35+ years and my brother Kevin (Edgemont HS) is also a cross country and track coach. They have taught me a great deal over the years and I wouldn’t be the coach I am today if it weren’t for them. I also look up to and admire “The Legends” in our area such as Steve Borbet (Bayshore), Jim Mitchell (Bronxville) and Dan Doherty (Pearl River). These are terrific guys and great coaches who are passionate about our sport. As a young coach I try to watch and learn from all the good coaches and past athletes. When you stop learning or you start thinking you are too good, that’s when the bottom falls out. I try to pass that along to my athletes. I want them to be humble and to be thankful for the opportunities that running has given them. I care a great deal for my runners and I put a lot of time and effort into helping them reach their fullest potential both on and off the track. I feel that is very important. If I am asking them to be dedicated and to make a full commitment to the team, then I feel that I should give them that same amount of attention and respect in return.

In terms of training, there is really nothing special or secret that we do that makes us any better than any other team. We keep our mileage relatively low. My goal is to help each athlete make improvements from year to year. I want their senior year to be their best and most memorable. In this day and age it’s hard to get that point across when kids and sometimes parents want to see immediate results. Basically, my main goal is to get my athletes to believe in their abilities and in those around them. What do I expect my athletes to get out of each season? The answer is simple: enjoyment, physical well-being, self-discipline, a sense of achievement, and a family full of life-long friendships.


Previous How They Train's

Shelby Greany - Suffern
Mike Hickey - Pearl River
Caitlin Hudson - Bronxville
Emily Lipari - Roslyn