I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Cross country coaching notes

leave a comment »

Endurance training descending priorities

  1. Training volume: get in a lot of hours and miles
  2. Incorporate high intensity training
    • 8min/zone4 intervals seems like a sweet spot but all HIIT is beneficial
    • In a 5k you are still ~12% anaerobic; be sure to incorporate very short intervals and plyometric exercises as well, while allowing for longer recovery for intense anaerobic work
    • Training at each zone boundary gives your body practice with different forms of energy production and helps to raise each boundary
  3. Recovery far outweighs HIIT; 80/20 seems like a sweet spot, but there is benefit even in a 60/20/20 model. Students especially seem to doubt this and are tempted to overtrain. Your adaptation takes place during your recovery phase.
  4. Seek a balance of variety
    • This includes different kinds of long and short scale periodization; exercises and cross training; stretching, flexibility, and coordination; terrain; climate; elevation; running races; etc.
    • Over the course of a season there should be a graduated movement of focus from acceleration to speed and then to speed-endurance
    • Targeted stretches will vary widely from person to person. Focus broadly on dynamic stretching and emphasize this primarily as part of pre-workout warmup. Stabilization work (balance and range of motion) can be helpful for many younger runners.
  5. Tapering; toward end of season drop volume and increase intensity

Running form

  • High cadence (160+) solves many problems
    • Shorter, lighter impulses are more efficient
    • Arm and corresponding leg drive opposite one another
  • Do not overstride; land foot underneath or just in front of you. Overstriding increases braking, makes each stride more intense, and divides your effort between push and pull.
  • Foot strike relatively flat; do not worry about difference between heel vs. toe strike
  • Draw knee relatively high on return; this reduces effort of angular motion
  • Upright torso, even on hills
  • Run relaxed; monitor tension especially in your face and shoulders as this is a sign you are running tight
  • Belly breathing vs. chest breathing; side aches can indicate poor breathing

Nutrition, etc.

It’s possible to get very meticulous here, but most runners are best helped by simply being well rounded. Food journaling may be worthwhile for ambitious students.

  • Are you getting a reasonable balance of carbs, fats, proteins? Carbs should be significant.
  • Are you getting a reasonable balance of these not only each day but each meal as much as possible?
  • Are you getting much of your carbs from fruits and vegetables and not just grains?
  • Adequate sleep is important; 8-10h
  • Hydration is important, especially in hot weather

Kids may be tempted to mainly to undervalue fruits and vegetables. Adults today are likely to undervalue carbs.

Race day

  • Your meal should be at least 3-4 hours prior
    • Eat things easy for you to digest: primarily carbohydrates, some proteins, few fats
    • Spaghetti, rice, yogurt, chicken all good options
  • Adequate warm-up
    • 10min for youngest ranging to 30min for older students
    • “Go full speed before you go full speed” to recruit your muscles
  • Are shoes double knotted?
  • If there is an early turn in the course, start on the opposite side so that you aren’t boxed in
  • Don’t always follow the crowd: follow the course. Run the shortest distance possible.
  • Be cool and stay relaxed, while keeping your eyes wide and alert.
  • Don’t lead unless you know you are going to win. You become a target.
  • Run your race, not someone else’s.
  • Your arms are your engine. Keep them active but under control.
  • Remember your hill routine: eyes up, shoulders down, use your arms
  • Pace hills; don’t kill them. Run up a hill on your toes and downhill on your heels.
  • When you start to feel depleted, think of a recent workout that you conquered and how good it felt when you finished it
  • Run race in a pack, but don’t get stuck in middle of pack. Move up, then move between packs decisively.
  • Take setbacks in stride. Get up after a fall.
  • Instill attitude “no one on the team gets passed over the final 100 meters”
  • Rehearse courses beforehand if possible
  • Watch the finish line and not other runners
  • No need to overdo prerace speech
  • Adequate cool-down (10-15min)
  • Postrace talk important; be encouraging, give praise. Involve team captains in this.


  • Engagement includes both parents and students
  • Cross country is a team sport and a team should use this to their advantage
  • Variety is helpful physiologically but also for runner engagement
  • Encourage goal-setting and work on incremental improvements
  • Teach resiliency in the face of setbacks; coach yourself, watch your self-talk. “I can do this.”
  • Watch out for overtraining, make adequate time for recovery
  • Some especially important kinds of training and skills include hill workouts, starting, passing
  • Beginners should train 3 days / week, older and more advanced runners 5 or more days including cross training
  • If you’ve come from a track background, we are going to do some longer interval and recovery work to develop your cross country chops
  • Your balance between slow and fast twitch is largely fixed at birth; you are born for endurance or sprinting. But you can improve your performance at both!
  • Hot and humid weather is dangerous


Written by Scott Moonen

February 16, 2023 at 10:21 pm

Posted in Miscellany

Metal men

leave a comment »

The metal of God’s tabernacle symbolizes his people. Perhaps the clearest implication of this is that Nebuchadnezzar first takes gold from the temple together with the leaders of the land (2 Kings 24), and later takes remaining gold, silver, and a multitude of bronze together with the remaining people of the land (2 Kings 25). There is an analogy between the implements of God’s physical house and the people who form and serve in God’s spiritual house.

I know that Tarshish is not necessarily Tarsus. But there is still a linguistic connection between the two, and I think we can glimpse another example of this precious metal analogy in the person of Paul. Solomon supplies his house and God’s house with gold and silver from Tarshish:

All King Solomon’s drinking vessels were gold, and all the vessels of the House of the Forest of Lebanon were pure gold. Not one was silver, for this was accounted as nothing in the days of Solomon. For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram. Once every three years the merchant ships came, bringing gold, silver, ivory, apes, and monkeys. (2 Chronicles 9:20-21)

God brings into his kingdom another gift-treasure from Tarshish/Tarsus:

So the Lord said to him, “Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight.” (Acts 9:11-12)

Saul/Paul is gold and silver brought into God’s house.

This reminds me of the great reversal between Psalm 68 and Ephesians 4. While Psalm 68 says that God receives gifts:

You have ascended on high,
​​You have led captivity captive;
You have received gifts among men,
Even from the rebellious,
That the LORD God might dwell there. (Psalm 68:18)

Paul reverses this in Ephesians:

Therefore He says:
​“When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.” (Ephesians 4:8)

This is not because Paul is simply perpetuating Septuagint corruptions. Instead, I maintain that Paul is here applying his understanding of the union between Jesus and his church. Paul understood this union from the very moment of his conversion, when Jesus identified himself with his church:

Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4)

What is happening in Ephesians is that Jesus is receiving gifts from the nations—gifts such as Paul himself. In the very act of receiving these gifts he also sets them free and gives them to his own body, his church.

Written by Scott Moonen

February 15, 2023 at 8:30 am

Posted in Biblical Theology

Metábasis eis állo génos (4-1)

leave a comment »

Malapropism of the day: clock pot.

The only sane program of national defense begins with right worship:

​For the nation and kingdom which will not serve you shall perish,
​​And those nations shall be utterly ruined. (Isaiah 60:12)

The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. As a down payment against this sure promise, the first place to be inhabited by the first body to die no more was a tomb.

What does the Westminster catechism say is the chief end of man—“To glorify God and to be brokenhearted before him forever”? (Brad Hodges)

Then a man came from Baal Shalisha, and brought the man of God bread of the firstfruits, twenty loaves of barley bread, and newly ripened grain in his knapsack. And he said, “Give it to the people, that they may eat.”

But his servant said, “What? Shall I set this before one hundred men?”

He said again, “Give it to the people, that they may eat; for thus says the LORD: ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’ ” So he set it before them; and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the LORD. (2 Kings 4:42-44)

Jesus, who fed such bread to thousands, and now feeds billions each week, is the head of the new school of prophets, which is his church. Like Elisha, his pastors have the firstborn’s double portion of his spirit with which to feed his people.

The inauguration of the Lord’s Supper was not the last Passover: that came 40 years later. Jesus, the latter Jehu (2 Kings 10), gathered the idolaters together for a great sacrifice, made doubly sure that his people were not among them, surrounded them, and destroyed them.

God scourges a people when he sets them under childless pagan women like Jezebel and Athaliah. But he also brings about restoration by means of his church, as with Elisha and Jehoiada.

Philip K. Dick wrote this provocative short story on abortion: The Pre-Persons.

Psalm 91 is worth reading in detail, but what makes it so important is that it is not a prayer for protection, it is an outright statement the believer will be guarded against all sorts of harm. No ifs or buts. This is what God shall do. (Philip Jenkins)

Written by Scott Moonen

January 28, 2023 at 9:27 am

The Beginnings

leave a comment »

By Robert Louis Stevenson. Hat tip: Steven Wolfe

It was not part of their blood,
    It came to them very late
With long arrears to make good,
    When the English began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
    They were icy willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
    Ere the English began to hate.

Their voices were even and low,
    Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show,
    When the English began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd,
    It was not taught by the State.
No man spoke it aloud,
    When the English began to hate.

It was not suddenly bred,
    It will not swiftly abate,
Through the chill years ahead,
    When Time shall count from the date
    That the English began to hate.

Written by Scott Moonen

October 15, 2022 at 6:42 am

Posted in Poetry

Metábasis eis állo génos (3-25)

leave a comment »

The future turns into the past. But also the past turns into the future.

The word ekklesia appears in the gospels. Fortunately Jesus spends a great deal of time defining this surprising new word for his puzzled disciples. This is how we learn that the church is a new kind of noncorporeal body (TM), whose primary nature is invisible rather than visible, and which excludes children from membership. The word covenant isn’t entirely new to the disciples, however. Jeremiah first introduces us to it: “This is the covenant that I will make with some of the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my grace in some of their minds, and write it on some of their hearts; and I will be the God of some of them, and some of them shall be my people. . . Some of them shall know me, from the middlest of them to the greatest of them.”

Joseph understands Girard and Friedman. Families and churches must guard against quarrels even during the best of times:

So he sent his brothers away, and they departed; and he said to them, “See that you do not become troubled along the way.” (Genesis 45:24, NKJV)

Kuyper’s got it all: Christian individuals, Christian families, Christian businesses, Christian art and music, Christian localism, Christian nationalism, even Christian cosmos. So: baptize your babies, sing Psalms against tyrants, and raise a glass to the king of kings!

Everyone who is clean in your house may eat it. (Numbers 18, NKJV)

For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy. (1 Corinthians 7:14, NKJV)

Thus, paedocommunion! Thanks to Michael Burdge for this connection.

Written by Scott Moonen

October 15, 2022 at 6:25 am

Metábasis eis állo génos (3-24)

leave a comment »

A husband is a care-taker. I’ve always thought of this in the sense of exercising care. But there’s also a sense of receiving and relieving care.

“We are not hoping to be saved from the physical world, but for the good of it.”—Duane Garner

Thanks to MHAJ 155 for reminding me of this quote:

The modern world is not evil; in some ways the modern world is far too good. It is full of wild and wasted virtues. When a religious scheme is shattered (as Christianity was shattered at the Reformation), it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are, indeed, let loose, and they wander and do damage. But the virtues are let loose also; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage. The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful. For example, Mr. Blatchford attacks Christianity because he is mad on one Christian virtue: the merely mystical and almost irrational virtue of charity. He has a strange idea that he will make it easier to forgive sins by saying that there are no sins to forgive. Mr. Blatchford is not only an early Christian, he is the only early Christian who ought really to have been eaten by lions. For in his case the pagan accusation is really true: his mercy would mean mere anarchy. He really is the enemy of the human race — because he is so human. (G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, ch.3)

Or: every man an integrated man. I think we can own that in order to be complete, every revolution, even the Reformation, needs to be harmonized with the good of what came before.

Written by Scott Moonen

September 24, 2022 at 7:23 pm

Posted in Miscellany

Metábasis eis állo génos (3-23)

with one comment

I’m still reflecting on ERH’s history of revolution. He summarizes past revolutions as establishing that every man is a priest, king, aristocrat, merchant. He sees this as an integrating sequence but it is at least as much a repudiating sequence: “there are no priests; there are no kings.” Perhaps the next stage is an integrating stage: every man a man.

“Grape juice is dead wine”—Duane Garner

If meekness is strength under control, perhaps modesty is beauty—or, pace Duane, glory—under control.

QE2 was likely the most prayed for person in history.

I was looking recently at coffee makers. I was disappointed to discover the existence of Keurig travel bags and mixed drink pod machines. But I was also fascinated to see this:

I could get behind this definition:

Written by Scott Moonen

September 18, 2022 at 2:44 pm

Posted in Miscellany

Metábasis eis állo génos (3-22)

leave a comment »

The Lord’s prayer has a formative effect on us. The more we pray it, the more we understand ourselves to be:

  • Sons and daughters of the Father
  • Members of and participants in a glorious and unshakeable heavenly-earthly kingdom
  • Those who need not be anxious because we have adequate provision
  • Those who are forgiven
  • The kind of people who readily forgive
  • Those who are protected from and strengthened against temptation and attack

Performing the Psalms is a lot like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia. Before too long—you spend your childhood doing that—you’re unable to live in the normal world the same way ever again. Why? Because you’ve actually inhabited a larger, grander, more glorious world; a world that’s even more real; a world that transcends everything you thought you knew. You have discovered by participation that there’s more to reality than meets the eye. (Trevor Laurence, Singing the Future)

I’m having great difficulty processing Eugen Rosenstock–Huessy’s Out of Revolution. He recognizes both a demonic but also a God–ordained character to revolutions, so that it is difficult to make a single value judgment or a clear prediction of what may happen. Of course, that is just how complex and multi-layered God’s world is. Here is one startling passage:

The great Revolutions break out whenever the power which has governed heaven and earth dries up at the fountain-head. The great Revolutions seem to destroy an existing order; but that is not true. They do not break out until the old state of affairs is already ended, until the old order of things has died and is no longer believed in by its own beneficiaries. (471)

By this token, what we are seeing right now is not a revolution but the last spasms of the Bolshevik revolution. It has run its course and is gasping its last breath. That is encouraging, though what comes next is not clear. ERH believes that a global economic revolution comes next, but to be fair, he writes this in 1938 and this may have already passed and run its course.

Wilson has recommended Zeihan lately, and while I have not read him, Wilson’s representation of Zeihan’s primary thesis seems like an interesting way to understand how the world might revert to a more tribal or at least nationalistic situation. It is interesting to contemplate a world in which the international exchange of information is cheap but the exchange of goods is costly.

Antonyms: wreck, rectify

Spelling correction of the week: virtually => ritually

From our VRBO lake rental:

Ralph Vaughan Williams’ composition for the coronation of QE2:

Written by Scott Moonen

September 10, 2022 at 5:40 pm

Posted in Miscellany

Metábasis eis állo génos (3-21)

leave a comment »

I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! (Luke 12:49-50, NKJV)

I rarely think about the fact that Jesus was baptized twice: first, as his priestly ordination, and second, absorbing the deluge that was meant for us and for the entire old world. We are baptized into the benefit of this; we are those who escape the flood and the Red Sea.

But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will rise up in the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and indeed a greater than Solomon is here. (Matthew 12:39-42, NKJV)

That generation was spared by the work of Jesus for forty years.

Genesis 2 reminds us that there is a category of “not good” that is distinct from “evil.” Jordan points out three great themes in Scripture: that of redemption, that of holy war, but also that of maturation. Often we are faced with the challenge of having to wrestle with an amalgam of not–good and evil. The sharpening and winnowing process God is undertaking now will slowly separate these out. At this point I’m still working for a multinational corporation but I don’t think that can continue indefinitely.

Matthew Henry the Christian nationalist on Matthew 28:

. . . Christianity should be twisted in with national constitutions, . . . the kingdoms of the world should become Christ’s kingdoms, and their kings the church’s nursing-fathers. What is the principal intention of this commission; to disciple all nations. Matheµteusate“Admit them disciples; do your utmost to make the nations Christian nations;” not, “Go to the nations, and denounce the judgments of God against them, as Jonah against Nineveh, and as the other Old-Testament prophets” (though they had reason enough to expect it for their wickedness), but “go, and disciple them.” Christ the Mediator is setting up a kingdom in the world, bring the nations to be his subjects; setting up a school, bring the nations to be his scholars; raising an army for the carrying on of the war against the powers of darkness, enlist the nations of the earth under his banner. The work which the apostles had to do, was, to set up the Christian religion in all places, and it was honourable work; the achievements of the mighty heroes of the world were nothing to it. They conquered the nations for themselves, and made them miserable; the apostles conquered them for Christ, and made them happy.

I’ve criticized the many evangelical songs that tell of a personal conversion story, since their narrative doesn’t really match the experience of our children compared to how the Psalms speak. But Paul in Ephesians does give us a model for speaking this way, only he does it using the language of historia salutis rather than ordo salutis:

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands—that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:11-13, NKJV)

Remember that you were once lost!

Wise men know this without becoming bitter. (Doug Wilson, Joy at the End of the Tether, speaking of political corruption)

Written by Scott Moonen

August 27, 2022 at 7:24 pm

Metábasis eis állo génos (3-20)

leave a comment »

The pugcast crew points out yet another inconsistency in demonism: it has a kind of hyper-scrupulous natural law concerning nature (don’t touch) but not concerning humanity (abolition of man). Of course, the real underlying principle here is the escape from law and responsibility, and hypocrisy is the point. It is part of the terrorism of the anti-Normal.

They also point out the shift in the definition of equity: a move from defining it in terms of deserts to radical equality. A race to the bottom is the inevitable result. Make equity great again!

It astonishes me how few wise Turks understand this principle:

​In a multitude of people is a king’s honor,
But in the lack of people is the downfall of a prince. (Proverbs 14:28, NKJV)

ESG and resource actions and abortion and depopulation are great self-defeating ignominies. Whom the macrobes mean to destroy they first make blind.

Judging by publication dates, Everett Fox translated around one chapter of the Bible per month.

I listened to a conversation recently on nullification and selective enforcement where there was some libertarian hand-wringing over whether it would only be used in procedurally appropriate ways. Can we really have magistrates over-ruling both greater and lesser magistrates? Can we enforce this law but not that one? Yes, we must do so, and proceduralism be damned. When righteousness reigns, procedure and decorum are a blessing. When proceduralism reigns, it needs to be put in its place by some good old-fashioned righteousness. Sometimes that comes from the lesser magistrate and sometimes it comes from the greater magistrate. I am thankful for Dobbs but it would have been much better if the court had simply recognized that abortion was murder and directed all states to treat it appropriately according to common law.

LOL ERH as “one-punch man:”

Written by Scott Moonen

August 13, 2022 at 6:33 am

Posted in Miscellany