How They Train: Chenango Valley's Max Straneva

Name:  Max Straneva


Age:  16


School:  Chenango Valley


Coach:  Jerid Jones


Personal Bests: Bowdoin Park:  16:23;  Van Cortlandt:  16:36;  Marathon Invitational:  15:39;  STAC Championship:  16:14.  Track PR's:  800m:  2:02;  1600m:  4:25;  3200m:  9:31;  5k:  15:31.


Championships: STAC Champion (1 year); Section 4 Class C Champion (1 year);  Class C State Champion (1 year).


Typical Training Week:


a. Pre-Season

Sunday:  6 miles easy.  Core workout.

Monday:  6 to 9 miles with a decent to a lot of hills.  Relatively easy.

Tuesday:  5.5 to 7.5 miles easy.

Wednesday:  4 mile tempo run on the track.  6 to 6.5 miles total.  Core workout.

Thursday:  5.5 to 6.5 miles easy.

Friday:  Long run.  9 to 11 miles at about Marathon pace.

Saturday:  Off.  Core workout.


b. Season

Sunday:  7 to 8 miles easy.

Monday:  Long run.  10.5 to 11 miles easy.

Tuesday:  Dual Meet (about 5 miles total including a 5k tempo run) or 6 to 7 miles with either a decent amount of hills, two 800's at 5k pace or two 1600's at 5k pace (negative splits).  Core workout.

Wednesday:  5 to 7 miles easy with a lot of hills.

Thursday:  6 to 10 miles easy.  Core workout.

Friday:  3 miles easy.

Saturday:  5k Invitational.  4 to 5 miles total.  On Saturdays with no invitationals:  Speed workouts, negative splitting, about 6 miles total.  Core workout.


Goals: My goals are/were to win States and Feds.  Go to NXN Nationals and place high, and stay healthy and injury free.  Winter goals are to do well at Junior World quals and go to NIN for the 1600m or 3200m.  Outdoor goals are yet to be determined.


Coach's Philosophy (by Jones):  When I ran cross country for Chenango Valley under Coach Steve Baxter, my teammates and I used to say, “no team has more fun than CV.”  Now that I have the honor of coaching the Warriors, I make it a point to make sure that my runners can say the same.  Priority number one for me as a coach is to avoid burning out my athletes.  I want them to find success, but I try to keep ‘success’ in perspective.  Ideally, high school cross country is an introduction to a lifelong love of distance running.  The worst thing I could do as a coach is to damage an athlete’s desire or ability to enjoy this love. 


Winning a state championship is a huge accomplishment for Max, but more important to Max and to me is this question: is Max on track to continue to develop as a runner in college?  The answer, we believe, is yes.  This has been difficult with Max because his love for running is second to none.  Two years ago, it seemed he raced in every competition he could find.  Since the end of last year’s cross country season, however, Max has fine tuned his training and prioritized his goals.  The resulting focus has paid huge dividends.  The first time this season that anyone could say they saw Max reach his limits was at Federations.  This is partially a result of his natural talent, but it is also a sign of his smart, goal-oriented training. 


With all of our runners at CV, we try to emphasize quality over quantity.  As a coach, I am careful to be very explicit about the purpose of each workout.  When I tell the kids what we are doing, I also tell them why we are doing it.  This is true even with advanced runners like Max, and even when we do very routine workouts.  I am fully aware, for example, that Max knows precisely the purpose of a recovery run, but that doesn’t stop me from repeating it.  I don’t believe that a runner can hear too many times what the purpose of a practice is, because it is very important that they are running the workout the right way, with the right mentality.  When we fully understand the purpose and the effect of our workout, we become more in tune with our body.  The result, hopefully, is greater efficiency.  Increasing mileage may not be necessary if we can get more from the miles we are already running.


In terms of the method of our training, we are not unique.  Alternating hard practice days between tempo runs, strength/speed oriented practices, and distance oriented practices is our basic plan.  The only notable feature of our training method is our steady diet of hill running.  At Chenango Valley High School we are blessed with a trail system covering hills of a wide variety of steepness, height, and distance thanks largely to our “trail artist,” Bob Nugent. 


Previous How They Train's

Caroline O'Hea - Ward Melville
Shelby Greany - Suffern
Mike Hickey - Pearl River
Caitlin Hudson - Bronxville
Evan Bloomberg - Northport
Emily Lipari - Roslyn