Ken Sayles chats new book: Coach, Run, Win

Tags: Interview

Ken Sayles spent more than three decades as the cross country and track and field coach at Capistrano Valley High in Mission Viejo. Over the course of that time, he evolved the program into consistent success that earned annual trips to the CIF-State Cross Country Championships while turning out highly successful athletes like Haley Herberg, Alyssa Bautista, and Carly Corsinita.

Sayles, who retired from the classroom in 2014 after more than three decades as a Social Sciences teacher, and stepped away from full-time coaching in 2018, has pulled his years of experience into a new book: Coach, Run, Win. A Comprehensive Guide To Coaching High School Cross Country, Running Fast, and Winning Championships.

In this wide-ranging interview, Coach Sayles shares insights into this book, his evolution to fielding consistently successful teams, his sage advice for young coaches, and much more. 

Please enjoy. 



:28 - Welcome, Ken
:35 - Three decades of coaching experience into a book.
1:15 - What motivated him to write the book.
2:45 - Three decades' worth of accumulation. 
3:55 - Jack Daniels Running Formula in action
6:20 - What was the process of being able to develop an approach that resulted in consistent CIF-State-level teams? 
8:50 - His early mentors.
10:00 - Was there a watershed moment when learning how to peak a team?
12:45 - On Case Study Sections, including Carly Corsinita, Alyssa Bautista, Haley Herberg.
24:00 - On diet, nutrition, health, especially for girls.
28:00 - On iron-deficiency issues, ferritin binding.
32:00 - Elaboration on the "Tricks of the Trade" chapter in the book, and on the importance of ... shoe-tying?
36:00 - His current involvement with the Capistrano Valley High team.
38:00 - Challenges of training through COVID.
44:30 - Involvement with coaching associations.
48:30 - Wish you knew as a young coach what you know now?
51:00 - Best advice for new coaches.
1:02:00 -- Final thoughts.

Learn more about Coach Sayles book: