Earth Drummer Coach Randy Cox's Coaching Philosophy
I strongly believe that we all need a philosophy to give us direction, whether in our personal life, profession, or sport. Throughout more than 30 years of coaching, my philosophy has evolved into a comprehensive approach that serves as a roadmap in helping me guide my athletes to reach their goals. My coaching philosophy has two basic parts, Physical Training and Mental Approach.

Coach Randy Cox's Bio


CONSISTENCY: Consistency of training is the single greatest predictor of performance. Quite simply, if you are able to put together a long stretch of well-designed, uninterrupted training, you will improve. As a coach, my main goal is to follow the advice of the Hippocratic Oath and "do no harm." If, in spite of my best efforts, an athlete gets injured, we try to determine the cause, and then make the adjustments needed to avoid that setback in the future. All of the following steps of my coaching philosophy are designed to help ensure that my runners stay healthy, happy, and in turn, consistent in their training.

PATIENCE: There are no shortcuts to success in distance running. Maximal improvement takes time – but that's one of the best things about our sport. If you train intelligently, you can keep improving for years, regardless of your starting age. Taking a long-term, patient approach to training will ultimately enable you to reach your running potential. One of my favorite running maxims is "slow is fast." This very true statement simply means that if you take your time and gradually build up your training over months and years, you will be far faster in the long run (pun intended). The human body is amazing and can adapt tojust about anything – if given the time to adapt. Patience might not be the most sexy approach to training, but it sure is the best.

PROGRESSION: Training should be progressive. First, establish the ability to run slower paces comfortably. Then, start adding a couple slightly faster paced runs each week. For example, I often start a runner's new training year with a month of easy to medium effort running (in addition to some running strength/form drills). The next month, we start doing some running at about 60 seconds/mile slower than 5k race pace. The month after that I add some light hill training and some running at about 30 seconds/mile slower than 5k pace. I continue adding some new things (based on the runner's goal races) each month until he/she is fully prepared to race their distance(s) of choice.

VARIETY: Far greater short and long-term improvement will occur if lots of variety is included in training. Running each week at different speeds, over varied terrain and distances, helps ensure consistent and continued improvement. On the other hand, training over similar distances at similar speeds leads to a rapid plateau of performance and lack of improvement. I liken my multi-paced running plans to the P90X training that's all the rage now. By stimulating the body with a lot of variety, it is practically guaranteed to continue improving. P90X calls this technique "muscle confusion"; I just call it smart training.


Running is not only a physical thing. There is a major mental component to running success. I believe a runner must be self-motivated. As a coach, I make sure to offer regular positive feedback, encouragement and motivation to my runners. Distance running is a tough sport, and a runner can certainly benefit from this. But, if one is to stay consistent with tough training over the years it will take to reach their best performances, their greatest motivation must come from within. I strongly believe that the most motivating thing on earth is having a goal that's important to you. Consistently striving toward a meaningful goal gives our life direction and makes every day exciting.

Finally, running should not be your entire life. Running should be a passion, not an obsession! It is only one part of your whole life experience. It can be an extremely rich and rewarding part, but it is not and should never be what your life is all about. Runners who have other passions in life (faith, family, work, school, etc.) are happier and also run better.


If you are interested in joining the Earth Drummers,
or if you have any questions, please contact

Coach Randy Cox

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 513-240-7015