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Cross Country Specialist Course

*5/7 - Maximum enrollment capacity reached. No more registration requests will be accepted (waitlist full).

June 16-17, 2018
North Central College - Naperville, IL


USATF Coaching Education offers a 12-hour course featuring technical classes, laboratory training sessions, cross country specialty drills, periodization training for the cross country season, team building strategies, and long term athlete development for the endurance runner. Legend and world-class distance coach, Dr. Joe Vigil, has developed the content for the course along with veteran distance coach and coach educator, Scott Christensen. Don’t miss this great opportunity to learn from these lead instructors! Coaches will participate in interactive discussion sessions in addition to the classroom and laboratory time.



Joe Vigil: A USATF Legend Coach, Vigil has coached athletes to 20 World Cross Country team and individual Medals and led Adams State College to 14 National Cross Country Championships, including a perfect score at the 1992 NCAA Division II National Championships.

Scott Christensen: Christensen is one of the country’s top high school cross country coaches, leading Stillwater High School in Minnesota. His accolades include 13 state titles and multiple National Top 10 High School rankings. He has served USATF’s delegations at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships as 2003 USATF junior team leader and 2008 USATF senior team leader. 

Each coach whom completes the course and achieves a passing score on the final exam will be awarded a USATF Cross Country Specialist certificate. Coaches of all experience levels are eligible to attend; there are no prerequisites. Current Level 1 certified coaches completing course requirements will earn renewal certification credit for the next quad, 2021-2024, in accordance with renewal option two.

USATF Continuing Education Units (CEUs) - Earn 1 CEU from course completion to apply to USATF or other organizations' recertification requirements


North Central College
30 N Brainard St
Naperville, IL 60540

Participants should arrange their own housing and meals. North Central College has an agreement with several area hotels and offers discounted rates. For booking information click here

North Central College also offers multiple dining options on campus and over 40 restaurants downtown, just a few blocks from campus. 

REGISTRATION: (limited capacity, first come basis)

Maximum enrollment capacity reached. No more registration requests will be accepted (waitlist full).

$175.00 with a current USATF membership
$200.00 non USATF member

All coaches must be at least 18 years of age. No on-site registration will be available. All registrations are nonrefundable.


*Attendance at all classroom and laboratory sessions required in order to be eligible for the exam; schedule subject to change.

Saturday, June 16:

  • 12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. - Check-in at North Central College 
  • 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Lecture, History of Cross Country Running
  • 2:15 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Lecture, The Science of Cross Country Training
  • 3:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. - Laboratory session on the track and adjacent fields
  • 5:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. - Dinner 
  • 6:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. - Lecture, Application of Cross Country Training
  • 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Coaches Panel with Al Carius, Head Men's Cross Country/Associate Head Men's Track and Field Coach; Scott Christensen, Head Cross Country Coach, Stillwater High School; additional coaches to be named.

Sunday, June 17:

  • 8:15 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. - Lecture, Stimulus, Fatigue and Recovery
  • 9:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. - Lecture, Psychological Issues and Mental Toughness
  • 10.00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. - Lecture, Cross Country Team Dynamics
  • 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Tapering Strategy
  • 12:15 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. - Lunch
  • 1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - Exam
  • 2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Lecture, Training in Exotic Environments
  • 3:15 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Final comments; awarding of certificates
Learn the theory and skills that has produced High School State Championships, over six NCAA Cross Country Championships, and IAAF World Cross Country Champions. Dialogue and share with one of the greatest cross country coaches in the world.

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