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The Coaching Runners Podcast helps coaches hone their craft via in-depth interviews with elite coaches and accomplished athletes, as well as sports scientists and strength and conditioning coaches. Jay Johnson hosts the show. Links and notes from each episode can be found at

Dec 31, 2018

John is the only person to have coached two Footlocker Champions (Lukas Verzbicus and Dylan Jacobs). He’s also had tremendous success coaching 800m runners: 26 boys have run under 1:58 and 9 under 1:54 under his guidance.

This interview with John O’Malley was recorded in November of 2018, soon after a disappointing cross country season for his team. John talked about elements in the program he’ll be working on in 2019. John’s candor during this first part of the interview is really special.

We then talk about winter training, specifically what he does to improve speed, to improve, as he likes to say, “wiring.” If you’re in San Diego or Houston in the winter, the track is clear and you can do this work, but if you’re in a suburb of Chicago, the track can be covered with snow and ice.

The end of the interview was a lot of fun: “If you could shadow one athlete between now and Tokyo, who would it be?” and “What is your favorite non-distance event in the Olympics.” Loved his answers.

Thanks John for your time.


This episode of the Coaching Runners podcast is brought to you by the Fundamentals Education Course and the Boulder Running Clinics. Two great resources for coaches who are looking to take their program to the next level.

If you have questions or comments about the show, please email me -