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FEATURED PROGRAM: Trabuco Hills High School Boys Cross Country & Track & Field Distance

Get the inside scoop on the coaches, athletes, culture and training of some of the best Cross Country and distance Track and Field programs in the nation.

This week's featured program is the Trabuco Hills Boys Cross Country and Track and Field Distance squads under the direction of coach, Liam Clemons.

This week's featured program comes out of the California distance scene which has produced some of the best prep distance runners of all-time.

The Program

Trabuco Hills High School, Mission Viejo, California

  • Boys Cross Country & Track & Field Distance

  • California Division 1

  • State Champions in 2006 & 2011

The Coach

During his 20 years at Trubaco Hills, Liam Clemons has coached the Boys Cross Country team and has led the distance runners during the Track and Field season.

When asked what he enjoys most about coaching, Clemons noted:

There is something special about helping boys navigate the world of sport whilst also helping them figure out who they are. I think what I enjoy the most though is seeing the look on their faces when they do something that is hard and knowing that I had a little something to do with getting them there.

The Culture

Like many top teams, Clemons conducts a team camp in the summer.

We take the full team (between 40-50 boys) up to Idyllwild where we tent-camp, run a bunch of hills, and bond as a team. We have many traditional runs that we do throughout the season. Most consist of really big hills. Camp concludes with a race from the campground to Humber Park ( 3 miles with 1,200ft of elevation gain).

Cross Country

  • Sea View League Champions in 2022.

  • Finished 3rd at CIF Southern Section Finals in 2022.

  • Finished 4th at the CIF State Championships in 2022.

Trabuco Hills returns five of their top seven from a year ago, including Carsten Williams and Dylan Jubak who are two of the top returning juniors in the state.

Track & Field

  • Dylan Jubak qualified for CIF in the 800m, 1600m, and 4x800m. Jubak has personal bests of (1:57.44/ 4:17.47 & 9:22.37)

  • Trabuco Hills returns 8 boys with 3200m PRs under 10:00 & 7 under 4:30 in the 1600m.

  • 30 boys broke 5:00 in the 1600m in 2023.

The Training

Cross Country

The short answer is "It depends." Training in-season is determined as we go. This year, we look to hit some higher mileage goals on average, so it will look different than last year or the year before. Last year, we peaked at about 50 miles per week. I have a senior-laden group this year, so they are allowed to up the ante a bit more than the younger boys.
  • Monday Long Run 12-14 miles

  • Tuesday 3mi Easy Run, Speed Session, Plyometrics or Steady State Run 45-50 min, Core Work

  • Wednesday Workout (4.5 miles in volume), Weights

  • Thursday 10 mile Easy Run or Steady State 45-55 min, Core Work

  • Friday Easy Run 8-10 miles

  • Saturday Race (10-11 miles in total)

  • Sunday Rest

Track and Field

  • Monday Workout

  • Tuesday Easy Run

  • Wednesday Speed Work

  • Thursday Dual Meet or Recovery Run

  • Friday Easy Run + Strides

  • Saturday Race + Post-Race Long Run

  • Sunday Rest

Favorite Workouts

The final section of the Featured Program is the "Favorite Workouts". Coach Clemons provides details into a great hill workout they call, "Vista Del Lago",

So many to pick from! Probably "Vista Del Lago"

"We use a hill in a neighborhood on a street called Vista Del Lago. The hill is 500m long, but there is a flat spot before a steep finish about 150m from the top.

"We do sets of 1-Long + 2-Short. There is no stopping allowed once the workout begins. It offers hill training, pace change, speed work, and threshold work all in one painful package.

The top boys complete 6-8 sets for a total volume of 6-8 miles (including the downhills).

We try to regroup on the down hill between sets. It is a tough workout, but one that the boys get a lot of confidence from.

The rule is that you must 'thrive' on the hill not 'survive' the hill. If the quality starts to slip, the workout is over."


I hope you enjoyed the Coaching Distance Featured Program.

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  • New members-only group with discussion, sharing of training files + information, day-by-day season journaling, book discussions, access to instant video chats, instant messaging + more

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