Training with McLatchie: 4

Carol as she is now – international runner is now an international coach

Carol McLatchie (nee Urish) was a very good distance runner indeed.   There is a very good summary of her career on the arrs website at detailing her career and achievements – it also includes all her races between 1978 and 1996.   A good track runner, she became an excellent road runner winning many honours.   The coach who made this change possible?    Ayrshire’s own Jim McLatchie.   Read what he has to say about Carol as a runner.


Carol was unique. Growing up in Kansas prior to ‘Title 9.’ There was no track programs for girls in High School and College. She moved to Houston in 1973 to attend Rice University to work on her Master’s Degree in Geology. While attending Rice she got in involved with several women who ran and started jogging with the group.

The track coaches at Rice University ran a summer track program and held races on Friday evenings. I had moved to Houston that year and formed the Houston Harriers. One of the founding members, Len Hilton who competed in the 1972 Olympic Games was getting back into shape.

Since no one had run a sub-4 minute mile in Texas. I informed him he was going to achieve the goal. I set it up with helpers with me as one of the pacers.

Carol had heard about this race and showed up to watch where Len broke 4 minutes for the mile. She was hooked and joined the Harriers. When she started she could hardly break 40 seconds for 10K. Slowly she began to improve and in the eighties she was a force to be reckoned with in the women’s racing circle.

Carol followed the basic training schedules but when training for a major race the schedule was tailored for her needs.
Her Personal bests:

1500 4:28.00
3000 9:19.50
5000 15:45.10
10000 33:03.10

10K 32.41
15K 51.22
10 MILES 55.15
20K 1:13.28
½ MARATHON 1:14.50
25K 1:34.30
30K 1:53.30
MARATHON 2:35.10

The following is what she did when running 32:41 for 10K and 51.29 for 15K.
All morning runs were on grass.

1. AM. 18 miles easy
2. PM. 880 – 2.36 440 jog/ mile – 5.17 880 jog/ 2 mile 10.54
3. AM. 4 mile easy/ PM. 9 miles grass – weights
4. AM. 4 miles easy/ Pm. Mile – 5.02/ 1320- 3.53/ 880 – 2.32/ 440-66/ 440 jog between\
5. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 6 miles easy
6. AM. Travel to Jacksonville, Florida – 3 mile easy with strides
7. Jacksonville 15K River run – 1st – 51.22
8. AM. 72 minutes easy run
9. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM.2×2 miles 11.06 11.02 with 5 min rest between
10. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 12 miles easy
11. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. Mile – 4.56 lap jog/ 4×220 32/ 220 jog between/ lap jog/ mile – 5.13
12. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 9 miles easy
13. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 6 miles grass
14. AM. Bayou Classic 10K – first 34.52 – won last 6 years
15. AM. 21 mile run
16. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 3x mile 5.07/ 5.09/ 5.10 3 min rest between
17. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 9 miles grass
18. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 440-73 880 jog/ 880- 2.32 mile jog/ mile 5.21
19. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 9 miles grass
20. AM. 6 miles grass/ PM. Fly to New Orleans
21. AM. Run last 4 miles of Crescent City course
22. Crescent City 10K race placed second in 32.41
23. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 6 miles grass
24. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 8 miles grass
25. AM. 4 miles easy/ 3×440 – 70 -2 min rest/ 880 jog/ 1320- 3.44/ 880 jog/ 3×440 – 70 ,70,69 with 2 min rest
26. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 10 miles easy
27. AM. 6 miles easy/ PM. 4 miles grass/ Fly to San Francisco
28. PM. Jogged 30 mins over course
29. Avon 15K finished first in 51.29/ Dietz 2nd in 52.14/ Harriers won team race

Carol’s marathon training followed what I designed for the general marathon schedule except the last few weeks were tailored for Carol. Morning runs were on the Bayou which was all grass.
The workouts below were done 2 weeks after she won Avon 15K in San Francisco.

1. Beach – supposed to run 15 miles – knees sore running on sand- ran 20 mins
2. AM – 4 miles easy/ PM. – 3x mile 5.07/5.08/5.06 with 440 jog/ Jog 880 then 2 times circuit course.
3. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. – 15 miles easy
4. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. – 4×440 – 76/74/74/74 /2 miles 10.47/ 440-67/ all with 3 min rest
5. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. – 1 ½ hour easy run
6. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. – fly to New York – 30 min easy
7. AM. Breakfast 7:30/ Trevira Twosome 10 mile race placed first in 55:15
8. AM. Easy run around reservoir. Travel to Houston
9. AM. 21 miles easy
10. AM. 4 miles easy/ PM. 12 miles easy
11. AM. 4 miles easy/ 4x 880 2.34/2.35/2.35/2.36 with 4 min rest
12. AM. 4 miles easy/ 1 hour easy run
13. AM. 4 miles easy/ 6 miles easy
14. AM. 5K GAC champs – first – 17.41
15. AM. 15 mile easy run
16. PM. 2x 2mile 11.20 11.28 4 min rest
17. PM. 6 miles easy – grass
18. PM. Fly to Seattle – 6 miles easy
19. Drove Olympic Marathon Trials course – massage – no run
20. Jim drove course I jogged miles 20-23 get and an idea last part of race
21. First Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials – finished 12th in PR of 2:35.10

1981 Carol went to New York to compete in the L’EGGs Mini Marathon which was a 10K road race. Very few people knew her name outside Texas. Greta Waitz, Patty Catalano and Jacqueline Gareau were in the race. Carol’s instructions were simple. Run with the leaders. As the race progressed Carol was still with the leaders and as no one knew who she was they were getting a bit worried. A ‘Dark Horse!’ Carol went on to finish second behind Greta. Now they knew who she was. 


That is what Jim has to say on the matter.   There is an interesting ‘lifestyle’ interview from their local paper in Bend, Oregon, which reads:

2019 National High School Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year, with Jim McLatchie (USTFCCCA)
U.S. Women’s Distance Coach, Track and Field, Pan Am Games 2019, Lima, Peru
How do you define success?
“Success is a feeling of accomplishment after I complete a goal. Success might be winning a race, the team racing well at a big event or a new runner achieving a personal record and watching them figuring out that their hard work has paid off.”
Where would we find you when you have free time in Bend/Central Oregon?
“I like to visit the High Desert Museum, go for an easy ski at Meissner Snow Park or pick up litter on trails near my home. I can also be found exploring the Oregon High Desert like Kam Wah Chung (State Heritage Site) and the Painted Hills.”
What is your secret to good health/fitness?
“At my age, I am thankful I have health insurance and keep regular health appointments. One never knows when you will be hit with a health challenge. I was recently diagnosed with a low-grade breast cancer. I chose an extensive surgery and plan to get back to my usual coaching schedule as soon as I can.”
What lessons have you learned so far in life?
“I have learned that I can learn so much from mentors and people with experience that I have met in my life. My hometown doctor told me to “be myself” as I headed to college in the 60s. Glenn Cunningham spoke to my graduating class of 19 and shared his challenges with life and running. Information like that opened my mind to consider so many more possibilities in my life. I ran competitively for 22 years and I learned that the more energy and focus I put into running the more I improved. Improved performances earned me opportunities to travel and race in many places in the world. I also get a lot of satisfaction out of volunteer activities with USATF (USA Track & Field). Coaching at Summit High School with my husband provides daily delights and puzzles in working with those student athletes. In the long run, I hope the athletes will learn some of the same lessons I have experienced through sport.”