Vin Lananna's Training Principles for Middle Distance and Distance


Today many know Vin Lannana in his role as President of TrackTown USA and a tireless advocate to elevate the sport of track & field, but first, he was a coach.

Lannana began his coaching career in 1975 and finally retired the stopwatch in the fall of 2012. That is 37 years of coaching distance runners at the Division II, Division I, and professional distance ranks.

There is not much information on Lannana's coaching philosophy readily available. However, I happened upon materials from a coaching presentation he gave years ago. 

In it, he details 15 Training Principles for Middle Distance and Distance runner which anchored his approach. 

I'll share my favorite four:

  1. Set clear seasonal goals with each athlete.
  2. Work back from seasonal goal. 
  3. Write the season plan with athlete 
  4. Always remain current and learn what experts are doing.

These could also read as: Be clear about what you want to get done. Identify the benchmarks you'll need to meet along the way. Work with key constituents. Stay up to date and collaborate with the best minds. 

Whether coaching athletes or leading an organization, these principles are worth consideration. They were the foundation of the rich success enjoyed by his Dartmouth, Stanford, and Oregon track & field and cross country teams. And if applied sincerely could usher in a future where the sport of track & field is thriving at all levels. If anyone see such a circumstance coming to fruition, it is Vin. 

He certainly has the principles to do it.



Thanks for reading. I'm glad you're here. // jm 

Jonathan Marcus