Final Surge Podcast Episode 64: Joan Hunter

In Episode 64 of the Final Surge Podcast we talk to Loudoun Valley High School coach Joan Hunter. The Loudoun Valley boys' team had a perfect score at the Virginia state meet this past weekend, taking places one through five. We also discuss Joan's son, professional runner Drew Hunter and talk about an upcoming running clinic this January that Joan will be taking part in.

Welcome to Episode 64 of the Final Surge Podcast where today we welcome Joan Hunter. Everyone knows the unpredictability of a high school cross country race. So when a team goes 1-5 for a perfect score it is a pretty special day. When it happens at the State Championship meet it is even more so. When you get the top runners from around the state it is hard to have 1-5 all from the same school. That is exactly what Joan’s team Loudoun Valley did this past weekend in Virginia. We talk to Joan about her training philosophy, her expectations for the season and what she expects at Nike Regionals. If you want to hear more from Joan, she will be speaking at the Boulder Running Clinics coaches conference put on by Jay Johnson.

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Can you give us your background on your running, how you got started with running and how that ended up with your current coaching position?

If you were a 2x State Champion but never ran until you were a Junior in high school, that means you had a lot of natural talent. Did you not realize your ability when you were younger?

What did your post-collegiate running career look like?

I believe you used Tom Tinman Schwartz as a personal coach for a while?

What have you learned from Tom, what training philosophies have you taken away from what he has done in the past that you use in your coaching?

Your team just went 1-2-3-4-5 for a perfect score of 15 at the Virginia State meet on the boys' side, how does that feel?

Going into state what was the game plan? Did each runner have their own race plan or did you have a team plan for them?

How did the race develop, did they go straight to the front and lead or did they close later?

A few years ago you had a good team that was dominated by your son, sub-4 miler Drew Hunter. How does this team differ now that you have so much more depth?

How much did having Drew as part of the team help grow the program?

Coming into this season your boys were talked about as possible NXN title contenders. Did the team set any goals coming into the season or did you talk to them about expectations at all?

Last year your boys went to Nike Regionals and came in third and just missed an automatic bid to Nationals. This year you are currently ranked as the #1 team in the country. I know you can never take for granted you will win a Nike Regional race, but how confident is your team going into the qualifier?

How do you keep your team ready in this two-week block leading up to Nike?

What does your training for this week look like?

During the season do you use training blocks like a 3-4 week period or do you look at the season as a whole?

You came in 3rd at Nike Regional last year. What did you learn and how has your training changed leading into this year?

What is the breakdown of your team between seniors, juniors and sophomores?

You talk about how you progress your runners. How does the training differ between the top sophomores versus what a senior may do?

How have you been using Final Surge in your planning this year?

You are going to be speaking at Jay Johnson’s Boulder Running Clinics this winter in January. Do you know what your topic will be?

The Final Surge... 5 questions in under 1 minute
Favorite endurance/running book? - Healthy Intelligent Training by Keith Livingstone
Current trainers you are wearing? - Adidas
Favorite race? - 800m
Favorite meal or recovery drink? - Smoothie
Your favorite workout - 200m repeats

Coaching Clinic with Joan Hunter put on by Jay Johnson
Tinman on Final Surge
Drew Hunter on Final Surge
Joan Hunter on Twitter


Team Final Surge

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