Kurt Wayton Interview - NJRunners


WW-P South XC/Jumps Coach Kurt Wayton spent, what for him was probably an excruciating hour with us yeaterday. The video is in 2 parts.

[B]Kurt Wayton - Part 1

Kurt Wayton - Part 2[/B]


Wow…haven’t watched yet…I have no doubt that this will be awessome. This will be the best thing I’ve watched this week (I have yet to see Sunday’s “Eastbound and Down”).



I have to go to Terre Haute on Saturday to observe the NXN Regional there on Sunday where Geoff Wayton, Kurt’s twin is the meet director (also MD for the NCAA Division 1 XC Championships for those that don’t know). After Geoff watches Kurt’s interview he might demand the chance for a rebuttal session. Not sure I want to be involved in a Wayton war!


Don’t get into a beer drinking contest with Kurt at Stuff Yer Face, either. Have turned off Mad Dog Radio and have interview going. Great stuff, Joe. My main question 17 minutes is in whether you will wind up asking him to take off that sportcoat or not!!!



Believe me the clash with the pants he was wearing, well the less said the better.


Outstanding. Many great topics came up with some nice one liners:

“The bowl is a big punch in the face”. Great line, very funny, but very true, and Kurt recongizes you have to prepare for it by getting your hill work in and doing similar hard things in practice. I think if you prepare your kids properly, they believe that it doesn’t affect them and they then know they’ll get their legs back soon thereafter and keep pushing.

Speaking of doing the hard thing, with regard to the 9:20/62/4:38 workout Brian Leung did, while I would like to think I could have run it that fast, I’m not really sure, but what I am sure of is, I wouldn’t have wanted to. :slight_smile:

“Race plans are the cherry on top of the cake”. So true. If your kids have done their Summer work and follow the training plan throughout the season, I think the race plan is a 30 sec conversation.

“location, location, location” “guard your territory”, “be aware that you will have bad patches in a race”, “stay relaxed” and “take a risk”. That’s a great race plan right there.

I also like Kurt’s reinforcement of goals. “you can run under 4:10, you can run under 4:10”. Teenagers (and adults for that matter) have doubts and internal/external pressure to perform, regardless of their talent level, and they need that positive reassurance/reminder as to what they can achieve, and that’s the Coach’s job.

Besides just sitting there as a walking NXN advertisement, Joe actually made a very good point about the day to day reinforcement of doing the right things in training, eating, stretching etc. and eventually they become habit. Nice 10 second contribution in an hour conversation Joe! :smiley:

Kurt mentions several times about mistakes he made in college, that he didn’t get enough out of himself, and that he never did as well as he wanted to. I can’t tell you how many former runners I have talked to over the years that feel that way (me included). While one can look back fondly on their accomplishments, we always seem to come back to those one or two defining races, where if we had just gone on the third lap, or latched on to the front pack before they left, we could have…

Finally, and most importantly, it is obvious Kurt loves what he does, but more importantly that he cares about his kids.

Great stuff Joe and Pat, and thanks for sharing Kurt!


Elder Kevin,
Reasonably certain you could have handled the 62 portion of that workout!

Liked everything you mention, as well. Also big fan of the idea of commitment and investment and not being afraid to run a lot. Think too many get hung up on the numbers/mileage totals and forget to really focused on what they are trying to accomplish. I’ve never liked the idea of keeping mileage down just to “save people for college” or whatever. Not that you have to hit a certain number to succeed, either. But running 60 mpw vs. 35-40mpw does not mean somebody is going to “burn out”. Really what you are talking about is a little more time…maybe 30 minutes more on some long runs, 10-15 minutes more during most regular runs. Not that scary. Also don’t think athletes who build up to 70-80mpw are at risk of not getting better in college. If you stay healthy, work hard, stay committed, etc. you will keep getting better. Where do you go from 70-80+ mpw per week in high school??? How about more? Not for everybody, but not impossible either.

Also finer detail here, his ideas about training before big races are excellent, as well vs. the traditional taper. One of the finest races I ever saw a teammate run in college was following this sort of thing…had some evidence supporting it, as he was the only one on our team who really did it. It was 1995, we were hosting the regional at Portland (actually north 20 miles on a golf course in Woodland, WA). 8 days before the meet, we did a hard 8 x 1000 workout on the course, pretty much all out the last 3. We didn’t have to race hard at our conference the week prior. Last one was absurdly fast, I almost beat up our coach, Rob Conner, swearing that it was short and he got really defensive. On the way home he felt bad and wanted to stop and buy the team pizza. I refused, told him there was still much anger and go back to campus. He obliged…women’s team which was largely bad at running and (try to be kind) portly…was enraged.

Either way, the following week, Uli Steidl ran 10ish miles everyday. He missed our Tuesday workout with some chemistry thing, 3-mile tempo which we ran WAY too hard. Pushed pace on us Monday for 11, Wednesday decided to go 11 again, 6-min pace instead 45 minutes for us. We did 30 mins and light fartlek Thursday, he did steady 10. We did 20-30 mins and strides Friday, he ran 7-8 steady. Largely, we bombed that day bigtime. Had injuries, dropouts, disasters which I have referenced too many times over the years. However, Herr Steidl ran great. It was a rain soaked mess, but still flat and pretty fast. He was 2nd, well clear of the likes of Meb Keflezighi, Bob Keino, Stanfurd guys Jimmerson, Frick and Frack, and so on. Lost only to Karl Keska of Oregon. Was just dialed in and strong. I should have learned the following year, but didn’t. Did similar thing through regionals, and felt great. Backed off for nationals, felt flatter. Tough balance, but agree strongly with his ideas on volume vs. intensity here.



I was very impressed and enjoyed the whole thing - sounds like a really smart guy and he has done a great job with his program - great job by both guys


a terrific job by both the interviewer and the interviewee! :slight_smile:


See, I figure my job in that situation is to ask a question to which a lot of people would want to hear Kurt’s answer and get out of the way. I don’t have a need to be the center of attention like some people, Kevin!:stuck_out_tongue:


very interesting and very entertaining interview.it isn’t hard to see why he has been so successful. good luck the rest of the way, in particular at footlocker.


Very good listen and watch. Kudos to Kurt for what he has accomplished and developing , clearly his own style and the results show .

Joe, Nice job.