Training Secrets from the Scholl Family
May 20, 2011
Today is a windy and cold afternoon in Kremmling, but the Scholl Family is at the West Grand High School track. They talk to the track team and coach, stretch and then get serious. On the plan today: a speed workout.
Prior to meeting them I had visions of joining their training session and listening to tips about how to race faster. Then I viewed their race results at the Cherry Creek Sneak 5K on May 1, 2011: Tabor, 14 years old, 18:12. Tyler, 10 years old, 17:42. Stephanie, the Mom, 20:13, and Shawn, the Dad, 18:36.
I decided just to watch.
Shawn insists, “We are a normal family. We eat dessert.” Shawn grew up as an athlete and has been coached by the best coaches in the country. He uses this knowledge to become the athlete he is today. He also reads a lot. “You apply text book and real world knowledge. Add a potpourri of new philosophy and trying different things to become a better athlete every year. You change it up as you get older and you have to change your workout and diet.”
Stephanie says their family’s success in sports has everything to do with variety and constancy in their training, “My kids are great athletes not because of genes or magic pills – they train and race hard.”
Shawn says that by being in tune with his body and using perceived excursion as a training tool is more effective than heart rate monitors. “Runners who listen to music tune out how they are feeling.”
Tyler never uses a watch. “When I run I go by feel. I go out, run hard, and don’t leave anything left.”
Tabor says that she doesn’t know people who like to compete, she loves the companionship of racing with her brother. “It’s hard to push yourself when you’re the only kid. I have Ty. I was racing ahead of him, for a while.” She laughs. “We have each other to help deal with pre-race anxiety and to help get psyched for a race.”
I ask Shawn if the family uses a training plan. “Lyle Knudson developed our training plans over the years. Now, we will pick and choose from these plans and mix it up. Again, we go by feel and experiment.”
Stephanie and Shawn have instilled their work ethic and healthy lifestyle since their kids were young. “They didn’t have an option at first. We wanted them to know how we feel about running. We wanted them exposed to racing and competition at an early age. It has always been a family thing we do. Shawn and I took turns racing when they were little. We made a sacrifice to train with them as they got older. Now they are beating us. People ask us all the time if we push the kids to run. Tyler and Tabor run because they love it.”
They also believe that you need to have a reason for it all. Tyler, “We are training for Junior Olympics.” Shawn emphasizes life time sports. “You have to keep moving to keep enjoying life as you get older whether you are swimming, biking, running, skiing, you need to stay active.”
At the West Grand High School track I watch their speed workout. They run fast, walk, rest, and start again. It’s not an easy workout; they are winded and have a pained expression on their faces. They are training hard but they are doing it as a family.
Tyler and Tabor agree that training racing with the family is their favorite thing to do.