Question for Joe - How has your training philosophy changed through the years?


I've read all of your stuff I can get my hands on - stuff from that other message board in the early 200s and more recently stuff on the Aggies website.

Things have changed slightly, but a lot stays consistent as well.

Over the course of your coaching career - what have been the biggest changes you've made philosophically from your early posts on LetsRun until now?


Staff member

This one's going to take more time and thought, let me get back to you by early next week on this one.

Have a great rest of your weekend.



Staff member
The biggest changes have been the addition of warmup drills (largely skips) and a barefoot mile on grass followed by hurdle drills after the key workout. The athletes start their workout at 8:10 and usually finish around 10:45 with very little sitting around. New athletes will usually say something like "did you know we just did 16-18 miles?" and the older athletes will respond with "sneaky miles". Saturdays looked like before March 12th:
Warmup run of 20-30 min
Warmup Drills
6-8 x strides and/or 4-8 x diagonal accelerations on the infield of the track w/ walk across recoveries and/or 2x 200 at 1500/3k effort w/ 200 jog
5 min
Primary workout for the day
Barefoot mile
8 gr protein/30 gr carbo snack (usually chocolate milk)
Hurdle Drills
Optional core work
15-30 min run
Optional 30-60 min evening Run

Sunday Long Run

I've also have a much greater emphasis on process goals now, items the athlete has control over ie. a 8 gr protein/30 gr carb snack after hard workouts, a minimum of drinking 2 x 16 oz glasses of lemon water next to their bed so they can keep hydrated throughout every evening, Iron supplement and OJ mid morning, a glass of milk before bed, 8+ hours of sleep a night, 3 squares.

The workouts themselves have a great tempo component - not sure if I'm seeing the results I was hoping for, so will tweak that a bit a bring back some of the workouts I had success with in the 90's

Thanks for the thoughtful response.

Can you talk a bit about what a workout now looks like and something you would replace it with from the 90s?


Staff member
Now: 4 mile tempo + 1600 at 10k, 1k at 5k, 600 at 3k, 400 at 1500 all w/ 400 jog.
Then: 6 x 1600 at 10k w/ 400 recovery at 60 sec/mile slower + 3 x 300 at 1500 w/ 100 jog
I know it's popular right now to say too much of the then workout too soon would result in a premature peak if done too often, too soon. Do you have any thoughts on that? I guess it's become sexier to do a lot of the first type of workout in limit the second type for only a handful near the end of the season.

What qualities did you see being developed then that are not being developed using the methods you're using now?


Staff member
My athletes ran faster, had greater improvement, ran fastest at the end of the season and had less injuries when we trained more old school. I suspect training at altitude requires a greater use of tempo work vs faster intervals to have success. Maybe the added stress of altitude?

Hi Joe,

So are you saying you feel like returning the principles outlined in "Joe Rubio’s Fundamental Training Principles for the Competitive
1500m Runner" are something you will move back towards?


Staff member
The principles haven't changed much, but the workouts are slightly different. Just moving back to many of the workouts from the 90's is all.

Sorry - I guess what I meant was, "Are you moving back more to the types of workouts that were listed in the original document/pdf?"