When it comes to qualifying for NXN, Southlake Carrol ranks as the school with the second most combined team appearances, only behind FM. We talk to him about his success
Reed Brown discussion - sub-4:00 senior year
Discussion on how he works with the assistant coach to make sure kids are always progression no matter where they are.
Team building events
How is it determined who runs the final top 7 for the State meet
How he handles the transition from State to Nike qualifying and Nationals
Dan Iverson - Naperville North girls head coach. The girl's team won the 2018 Nike Midwest Championship and were runners-up from the 2017 NXN.
Run for fun and personal bests
Dave Van Sickle
What does season look like?
Dave Frank Central Catholic Introduction
You had a lot of success as a runner, why did you end up coaching high school?
How did your training differ between California and Oregon?
What was the team like when you arrived at Central Catholic and how has that changed, and what impact did Galen being there have on it?
You had a unique situation getting to work with Alberto Salazar, what were those years like and how was he with the kids?
When the report came out on Oregon Project how did that impact the team?
You have had a lot of success since 2003 being first or second at State every year but one
What did you do to get that buy-in in the early years?
What is your summer program?
What does early season training look like?
As we get to end, the last week, what does the last session look like?
You have built a program from nothing and consistent year after year, so what advice do you have for a young coach who may be taking over a program looking to build something out of it?
What is that team philosophy?
Introduction to Sal Gonzalez Rio Ranch High in New Mexico
What was your previous school like?
When you took over the school split and things changed, did you try to keep the traditions of Rio Ranch like they were before you got there or did things change?
You talked about the injury rate is different at Rio Ranch, can you talk more about that and what you have had to do?
How much time do you spend on strength and how long is your practice?
What is the thinking of doing speed ladder and strides and hurdles before the run?
What kids will you work with for dual athlete kids in the same season?
What does the summer look like?
What is max mileage?
How about boys vs Girls
You talked about touching on energy systems, how does the structure change going into September and the season?
On long runs how do you structure the 'spice' and monitor
How often do you race
When you do race what does your week look like
Do your three-week cycles build upon each other so the last cycle is the biggest one?
Is State always the focus and how do you get ready for it the last two weeks?
Introduction to Coach Timo Mostert
When did you decide you wanted to coach?
What do you want to talk about in this podcast, what is important to building a program?
How do we develop a good aerobic engine?
You have a first-year kid where do you start at and develop the newbie
Do you give them specific paces or do you run by feel for beginners?
What 2 track workouts do you during the summer?
You focus on taking out some of those faster 400 workouts and doing more aerobic. Your goal is to increase the long run
What else are the veterans doing for a harder workout?
For your veterans are you getting more than the one run over an hour?
Do you assign paces on easy and recovery days?
How much do you talk about things outside of running like sleep and nutrition?
On a race day, what does your race day prep look like?
Good mix of old school and new school. What do you do about form?
A week in mid-September
What is your hardest session and when does it fall?
You are doing what most coaches are doing, but you have all this success, what do you think you are doing differently?
To get the job done at a national level there has to be a race strategy, how do you deal with that?
Colin Altevogt, the boys XC coach at Carmel High in Indiana. Colin has been coaching in Indiana for the past 11 years, the last six years as a cross country coach at Carmel. The team has captured four state championships and two state runner-up titles with two qualifications for Nike Cross Nationals (2014 and 2017), including a tenth-place finish in 2017.
Why did you get into high school coaching
Speak to cross country and the traditions in the mid-west
What is PPM
Example 15:30 5k guy runs 5:00/mi what is this PPM workout for him?
Thresholds are an important part of your program, once in the season can you give us a weekly schedule?
Do you get requests for more variety?
Racing during season
Carmel team Culture
Coach closes talking about the outlook of State and NXN
You had an amazing end of season qualifying both boys and girls team for the Nike Nationals. Want to talk about how that went for you?The boys and girls did so well, and they continue to do so year after year, it has to be a program thing. So what is it about what they are doing at Mountain Vista that is making both the boys and girls so good.
The challenge for many coaches is finishing up at State on an emotional high, qualifying for nationals then running well at nationals. So can you talk about how you planned that physically and emotionally?
Do you think the 3 weeks is a little more of an advantage than the teams that need to go two weeks later?
Southwest was extremely difficult, especially on the boy's side. Your goal was Nationals before the season when you saw how tough the SW was did any goals or plans change?
So many good coaches out there and good programs. On the mental side, once you get there it seems it is easier to get back, is that a psychological aspect of it? Do you notice a change in the kids in their confidence once they have been there?
Year after year it seems the same coaches and teams are showing up. Is it the kids or is it the coaches who are instilling the belief that they can get there?
If you want more training, check out the earlier episode we did with Jonathan Dalby.
Now that nationals are done, what do you do now to transfer the kids out of cross country and really start thinking about track season?
What happens once early January comes with training?
How similar is Jan/Feb to your July/August
Many kids live the team aspect of cross country over track. So many coaches continue to pound that type of work. How do you get the athletes to buy into the need to work on the speed which may be their weakness?
One of the big difference between XC and Track is the team aspect. More people think of track as an individual sport. How do you tackle this?
Do you lose some of the XC kids in the spring or do you retain them?
You said when they are older they may specialize in the 800 or one event, but how many of your kids specialize in one event vs a variety of events?
If the mile is the base, what are some good mile specific workouts?
During the track season if you have a meet on the weekend, how often do you hit on race paced work during the week?
For your top kids are they doubling much, and if not on race day what other work are they getting in?
You have no problem admitting from your mistakes. What is something you did wrong in the past during track season and realize it was a mistake?
You have a long invitational meet, do you have everyone show up the same time and do you have them stay or do you let them cut out early?
How does your XC squad look for 2018?
John O’Malley is the longtime coach of Sandburg High School where he has sent two teams and a few individuals to the NXN Championship race.
John took over the program in 2003 and we talk about some of the changes and challenges he has gone through.
John coaches more than 50 boys, we talk about the staff he uses to manage that team size and how Good To Great has helped him build the coaching staff.
Culture is a big piece of the success of Sandburg High School. John talks in detail about building the culture and what that means?
John talks about recruiting and growing the team?
Before we get into training, great coaches develop their own system that works for them, but they all have influences too that have shaped them. Who are some of your coaching influences?
You throw some interesting things into your training. In the course of sound training, how do you switch things up that is specific to your team?What are some of the things you give the kids as they plan the race to set them up for success?
You are doing a lot to set your kids up for success. I’ve heard you stress before that your feet move fast every day, what does that look like for you, how are you working this into your program and is this from week one of summer running?
We talk about Dylan Jacobs who is running at NXN and Footlocker Finals.
Won both the boys and girls State Titles for Arizona Division 2. Trina talks about both State meet races for the girls' team and the boys' team.
Trina talks about her running history which included several Olympic Trial qualifiers.
Trina talks about her experiences at the Olympic Trials in 1996, 2000 and 2004.
Flagstaff is a D2 school with 1600 students total. They typically have 75-80 total athletes on the cross country team.
With a successful program that wins so many state titles in a row, how hard is it to make sure that fire stays lit and the kids stay motivated to win the next one?
Trina talks about how it has been coaching her own kids.
How much of a benefit is it for the high school students to be training at altitude?
Flagstaff needs to run their state meet in Phoenix, where it is often 100 degrees in the first week of November. How does she get her kids ready for that?
She mentioned that she has club soccer players on her team. How does she balance it with the kids who want to be part of the State team and play club soccer?
As a successful runner in everything from the 3k up to the marathon, how does that translate into a running philosophy as a coach?
What does a training week look like in the middle of the season, what are the workouts?
How they keep summer running interesting and keep participation high with fun activities.
Trina discusses what it is like to train in Flagstaff with all the world-class talent that makes their way there.
Teams down in Phoenix head up to Flagstaff in the summer for team camps, what do Flagstaff teams do for summer camps?
Trina shares her experience of running with the team at Buffalo Park.
Does Flagstaff have a staple workout they do a few times during the season?
How often do varsity race?
What type of race strategy does she have with her athletes and does it differ in a regular meet vs. the State meet?
How often does she run with the kids?
Chris Hanson - Head Boys Coach Desert Vista Cross Country and Track
Chris has been the head coach at Desert Vista High School since they opened in 1994. DV has 3,000 kids and about 60 boys a year for cross country.
Chris discusses what his coaching staff looks like to handle such a large team and the important role they play.
They had three state titles in a row coming into this year, Chris discusses what the goals were coming into this year.
What the summer looks like with Desert Vista and what their participation was like and we discuss their training schedule and how they deal with the desert heat in Phoenix.
We talk about the mental side of the game and keeping those outside of varsity engaged.
Hanson uses 3 training groups and he talks about how they vary and the importance of morning practice.
We talk to Chris about the State meet and how the meet which resulted in the 4th straight title went for DV.
Chris discusses the training and how they are getting ready for Nike Regional after a big high at State.
We discuss how HIITs have been added to his program over the last year and how he works them into the week.
What is a long run for the Desert Vista varsity boys program?
Larry Weber was named as a Washington State High School Cross Country coach of the year in 2011, 2012, and 2015 by the Washington State High School Cross Country Coaches Association. He was also named as the Division 2 National Coach of the year for the girls in 2014 and for the boys in 2014, 2015, and 2016. His teams won national cross country championships in 2014 (boys and girls), 2015 and 2016. Coach Weber has served as the head coach of 8 Washington State High School State Championship cross country teams in the last 7 years. In addition, he has coached 3 individual state cross champions during the last 7 years.
His career as a runner and how it lead into coaching
How at such a small school he recruits and keeps a successful program
How does he use what he learned as running at an elite level and use it in his program
Who did he learn from and what did he read that helped him in his coaching
What does he do to individualize programming to get the maximum out of each kid while not overtraining
How does he break up his team in workout groups
How does training vary year-to-year based on the group
His 30k foot overview of what the training cycle looks like for the season
How does he set pacing for his workouts
How he prescribes recovery workouts and paces
How he works on a mindset where they know they can compete with large schools
How often his athletes race during the season
What specific work he does to get ready for the state meet
Fun traditions he does during the season to build team bonding
He gives advice to coaches on how to build a larger program
His all-time record for the ultimate runner competition
His staple workout for the team
How he structures a week during a race week to get in enough quality
Coach Joe Porter St Louis University High School
Joe Took over a very successful program and we discussed what it was like taking it over when things were already going so well.
When there is a regime change, sometimes the new coach forces changes, Joe talks about how he built the trust of the team.
Joe talks about the one thing that all successful programs do.
With an average of 3.5 hours of homework a night, plus up to a 45-minute drive to school one way, Joe faces some unique challenges with his school.
Joe discusses how he gets his team to run the best race of the year at the State meet and how that changed over the years.
During the season Joe focuses not on team results, but on what they can learn from that race.
We talk about goal setting and how he keeps his athletes accountable by having a copy of their goals on a notecard.
Joe talks about a bounce week, what is it, when is it used and why do they call it a bounce week?
What is a staple workout that St Louis does, and why is Ben so invested in it?
How is tempo pace determined?
Adam Kedge Albuquerque Academy
AA won boys and girls state title last year. Kedge has over 20 State Titles at AA and was the 2011 National Boys Coach of the Year. Kedge is a member of the NM Sports Hall of Fame
Only 650 kids at the high school, yet have made Nike five of the first six years.
Won both the boys and girls state crowns last year, we talk about the expectations this year.
We talk summer structure and how it differs between upperclassman and newer runners.
Coach Kedge discusses how often his kids race and how he works on race strategy with the kids.
“If you don't work recovery into every aspect of your training you will run into a snag somewhere.”
Coach Kedge sets up his weeks so he can have success on the weekend for his races. Monday is usually a workout day with a long run on Wednesday with the race on Saturday which will give them three hard days a week.
“You tell me your Monday, I will tell you a lot about your program.”
Coach Kedge has a running times workout which is a staple workout for his team. 1-mile warmup, 1st 1.5 miles of 5k tempo pace, take 2-3 minutes then next mile of 5k course at race pace. Then 2-3 minutes and last half mile at sub-race pace.
A track workout called finding pace is 90 second repeats. Puts tape on track for 3200 paces. Try to hit the pace every time, 10x90 seconds with 90 seconds rest.
Kedge discusses how he handles State week, what he does different and what he does the same. He discusses what his training looks like and how it differs depending on the team.
Mark was the coach of Carmel High School in Indiana for 8 years. 7 of those years his team made the Nike Cross Nationals meet.
We talk to Mark about culture, his summer program, what it was like taking over an already successful program and we dig deep into his training.
Mark took over the successful Wayzata High School program two years ago and has continued building on what they already had.
Mark gives is his background and how he came into taking over one of the most successful programs in the country.
Mark shares with us some things he added to the program such as strength training, hip mobility and lunge matrix.
Mark also shares with us some ways he is always working on recruiting and growing the program.
We then walk through what Mark’s training looks like from summer build up through the championship season and how he works yoga, speed training and strength into his training.
You have coached at every level you could coach at and recently retired from Team USA MN. Can you talk about that decision and recapping your time there?
You had a lot of success with Team USA MN. What do you think lead to the amount of success you had? Was it team atmosphere, Minnesota or what were the factors?
Where do you see the future of these post-collegiate groups in the next 5-10 years?
You mentioned the loneliness of the long distance runner. You recently wrote a book The River Road, a novel during the runner boom of the early 70’s. Can you talk about the premise of the book?
How was the training different for kids in the 70’s? - Jim Ryun trained like a swimmer.
Talking about the 70’s and kids runners not getting injured like they do today.
You are coaching 7-12th graders now. What has it been like to switch back from the post-collegiates to kids?
You have some really young kids, how do you get the kids started and keep them healthy?
Can you touch on your marathon philosophies and what worked where you had success?
We wanted to get the co-coaches of Coe Brown, Tim Cox and Brent Tkaczyk, on because we wanted to talk to some small school coaches who are having success. Some of the issues smaller schools of 700 kids have a much bigger difference than a coach at a school with 3000 kids and huge teams You also have a unique coaching situation there and that is where I wanted to start.
If you could both introduce yourself, give us the 2-3 minute background on your personal running history and how you ended up coaching together.
You have a unique program with two coaches, who deals with more of the handling of the kids and pep talks?
When you took over the program it was smaller, how did you start building it?
You talk about doing a lot of fun running games. Can you give us some examples?
At a small school what do you do with recruiting to make sure you maintain a big enough team?
Last year in 2015 you tied for second at regionals of NXR, but were passed over for at-large. Did you use that as a motivator over the summer?
You have shown that small schools can compete at the highest level. What advice would you have for small school coaches?
You are doing something right, when does your training start over the summer and what does it look like?
We have a lot of different training philosophies in these podcasts. You seem to really like to build and be on that upswing late in the season, is that your strategy?
What does your hardest 3-week cycle look like during the season?
Marist, a smaller school in Georgia in the last 9 years on the girls have won 9 state titles and boys 6 with a few 2nd place finishes, we want to dig into what you are doing to have this much success… first let's start out if you could give us a background of how you got involved in running and how you ended up the coach of Marist?
Is this your first coaching gig, or did you coach before Marist?
You have a small kid with under 1000 kids, and you have 80 girl runners on your team and 140 total. How has recruiting played a roll in what you are building there?
You also coach adults, how much is getting kids hooked on running the same as getting adults hooked on it.
You have a huge team for a school your size. You talk about the girl trying to earn their varsity letter and the girl trying to win state.. but I’m sure you also have the other, as head coach what do you do to make a connection to each of those kids vs just working with the better runners?
Being in Atlanta what training challenges do you have?
One of the great things about these episodes is hearing from different programs. You mention you have very tough academics, and are at a smalls school. Small school kids may be in the band, year book club and want to do cross country. How do you balance the athletes that want to do multiple activities?
What did you think the results were for this year with getting rid of weights, and will you go back next year?
Let’s jump into the training and your training philosophy. What are your expectations over the summer on what your athletes should be doing?
During midseason, what does a typical week in maybe late Sept look like?
You mentioned some of the things you changed over the years. What is the biggest thing that has changed since you started?
You mentioned the miles are higher than they used to be, is that because other teams are doing more work so you do it to stay ahead of the other schools or why do you think the reason the change happened?
You mentioned you do more core than you used to, where do you work that in and what does that look like?
What are your plans for NXR this week?
During that period between State and NXR do you hit the reset button or coach it as more of the same?
One more training question, after NXR when your season is done, what do you focus on during the winter to get ready for track?
State results and between 2000-2010 the girls team had qualified for state exactly 0 times. Then you take over in 2011 and in 2011 your team was 8th at state and since then they had a 3rd, 2nd, and now two firsts. Also I looked at the team size, and it wasn’t like they had a small squad in 2010, so what was the thing that really changed between 2010 and 2011 that allowed the team to make such a huge improvement and remain so consistent.
What changed in the culture?
What is threshold to Matt and how does he use it in his training and off seasons?
What is his pace book?
What does a week look like during the summer?
How has his past running experiences as an elite runner effected his coaching?
You don’t seem to be reinventing the wheel, you seem to be doing the basics and doing it all year around.
How do you take what you know and apply it to a 14-year old girl who maybe had never run before?
Matt talks about how the school system is supportive of all the teams including cross country and how they expect champions.
You are getting over 80 girls, what does a mid-season week look like and how do you break that up with such large numbers?
What do things look like from right before the State meet until the national meet because of the long time period?
What does the taper look like going into the national championship meet?
Minnesota is a great cross country state right now, what makes them so great right now?
Discuss the upcoming trip to NXN
On this call with Coach Soles we had some early phone problems where his phone kept cutting out, so we lost the beginning of the first question in the recording. We were talking about how he took over the program that was a brand new program and how he had ambitious goals from day one. People called him crazy, but he stay determined. The first you hear Doug here he is talking about how he grew as a coach in building the program.
Topics discussed in this episode include things such as how he uses ladder drills and hit training. How often his team doubles. How he structures his week of training. How he build the program from scratch and the future of the team.
Coach you won 6 state titles in a row in Arizona with the Xavier girls xc team then the next two years, you won back to back titles at Desert Vista. Last year you just missed your 9th state title in a row, but you are back on top this year ranked 3rd by Flotrack. How does the team look this year?
With the girls used to winning state titles and falling a little short last year, what did you need to do differently this year to get them ready?
How do you balance the science that you know with teaching the kids but not overwhelming them?
What does your HIIT training look like?
How often are you doing HIIT’s and how many do you do? 6x150 with full recovery 3x in a 22-weektraining cycle. After a moderate intensity or recovery distance run. One key is full recovery. You need full recovery so you can recruit more muscle fiber.
As soon as any coach becomes successful the peanut gallery starts talking about how the team is overtraining, recruiting or any other excuse for a teams success. In a few selected cases that may be true, but Ive talked to you enough about training to know that is not the case with you, can you talk about the type of volume your athletes are doing?
You have had a lot of runners who went on and had a lot of success at the next level and as professionals. How rewarding is it to see them go on and have success?
We are coming toward the end of the season where you just had City, getting ready for sectionals, then state and then two weeks later Nike Cross Regionals. How do you manage peaking and maintaining it for that long?
If you have a 20-week training cycle, how do you space out your workouts and how varied are your workouts over those 20 weeks? 2-week cycle will try to get in a tempo run, a progression run, two long runs and 2 repetition sessions. If we get in five, that is fine. At most six. in the Phoenix summer it may be 2-4.
What pace is your repetition workouts at? 7+7=7 workout, 7x800 plus 7x200 is 7,000m of work. Those 800s will be cut down pacing and the average may be 2:43 for a varsity girl. And 200s may be 34-35.5. Somewhere around goal race pace average on the 800s and faster on the 200s. 5600m of the 7k will be mostly aerobic.
On the 800s will cut down pace and cut down race so may start with 3:00 and end up 1:45-2:00 rest.
Compare your reasoning to what Tinman does with the CV pacing. - Early in the summer we spend a lot of time close to that CV range, the faster stuff will be later and we get there with the cutdown start 2:52 and end 2:35
Does this workout play into your race strategy of negative splits and how does a race strategy change for someone who is a mid-pack runner who’s strategy may not change based on who is leading the race? - Last mile, best mile, fastest mile.
How has it worked over the years when you get to a big race where position becomes so important and you may need to be more aggressive?
How big is your team?
Can you talk to us about the structure of your program and how you deal with those many athletes?
Talking to the coaches over the last few weeks what we notice is the coaches and the programs that work hard and have high goals and love to win and do hard workouts are the ones that end up with big teams, not the ones who relax and always only focus on fun. The kids seem to want to work hard, what are your thoughts?
You mentioned warm up routines. Most teams have a set of drills that they do, you have multiple sets, why do you change it up so much?
No one I know reads as many research studies as you do. You do it for your career as well as for your coaching. what have you learned in the last 6-12 months. that is new you have incorporated?
We all learn from each other, so talk about some of your influences in the coaching world.
Interview with Gaylerd Quigley, coach of Nerinx High School in St. Louis Mo. We talk about his daughter running in the Olympics and the coaching philosophy that has lead to three straight podiums in the Missouri State Race.
Tell us about this summer and Colleen’s Olympic experience.
What was it like as a parent watching your kid at the Trials?
At what point in that race did you realize that she was going to make the team?
What went into the decision to not coach your son Dan in high school, but you did coach daughter Colleen?
What was it like when your daughter went to college and your parent/coach relationship with her college coach?
How do you handle calls from your daughter or prior runners who have questions after they are in college?
You coached at an all boys school and an all girls school. What did you find the differences in strength training?
What specific exercises are you doing with these girls to help with injury prevention and shin issues?
When you have injury issues, what is your go to cross training exercise?
You use Jack Daniels training, if you could give us a basic outline of your training philosophy.
How do you work the long run into that system?
What have you taken from Colleen and how she has been training, have you changed anything with your system?
What are you doing besides workouts to get the kids to really peak well at the state meet?
We talk about low Ferritin levels.
Coach of Loudon Valley in Virginia. Drew Hunters mom. Her and her husband Marc coach the team. Took over cross country program in 2014 so going into third year. Never had a state title in 50 years of school, won last year and second on girls side. School about 1200, have 120 kids now on team.
We know you as a successful coach and the mother of some successful runners. How did you get started in running?
You mentioned you used to be high intensity, low mileage. When did that change?
You had a lot of success as a masters runner, tell us about your achievements with this training.
You took over the XC program at Loudon Valley in 2014. What lead you to wanting to get into coaching?
How was it taking over with Drew on the team, was he on board with it?
You took over a program and turned it around quickly, what were some of the things you changed when you took over the program?
One of the things we are seeing from doing this podcast, in people taking over programs you are getting a good bump in the number of kids coming out, tell us about your numbers?
120 kids is a lot to deal with, can you tell us how you structure your workouts with that many kids?
Last year your boys won the first ever state title for the school and the girls were second at state. For those wondering if all that success was just because of Drew you opened this year at Great meadows invitational which had 28 teams this year your boys won and to compare that you were a distant third last year. Walk us through what your team did this summer to get ready to defend the title.
What type of mileage did your boys and girls get up to over the summer?
Can you walk us through what a typical week may look like?
Were you happy with your Great American meet results from last week?
When you are #1 in the state, you have your eyes on the Nike Regional meet, how do you structure training for what will hopefully be a long season.
You mentioned critical velocity, can you explain it a little bit as it is the backbone of your training plan?
You mention you are doing them most of the year, what is changing, is it volume or duration? And what does your add on speed look like?
Do you run CV workouts on a track or a course?
So Drew decided to not run at college and turn pro, what is he up to right now?
Talk about how Adidas has handled the decision for him to go pro and how they are supporting him.
Going forward will he remain with Tom Schwartz and maintain the same coach?
You coached Alan Webb at one point and remained friends with him. He has served as a mentor with Drew. Was he an influence at all in making this decision?
When you were working with Alan and Drew, what was the moment you knew they would be really good?
Having 120 kids on the team is a lot. And then you have 9 of your own kids. How do you work on that time balance?
Where do you see Drew’s future, more of 800-1500 or more 15/5k?
Big weekend where your boys won Woodbridge Invite and your girls were 4th, tell us about the weekend race.
Woodbridge is unique because it is a big meet and it is also very early in the season. Do you taper and really get ready to peak at this meet?
You were originally in Missouri, how did you end in Colorado?
What was the program like before you got there?
Tell us about Mountain Vista as a school
You took over in 2007, how long was the turn-around before you started having success?
That is a quick turn around in a state like Colorado. What did you do to get the culture changed so quickly?
With a large team of different commitment levels, how do you deal with keeping everyone on the same page and not having resentment?
What is your philosophy for training there and maybe include some talk of mileage?
Give us a sample structure for a 6-day week.
What is the focus this year? State? NXN?
Do you notice any difference between the girls and boys when getting them ready for a big meet like state?
You had a very young team at Woodbridge on the girls side with a sophomore and three freshmen. Is that the team you expect at NXN this year?
Do you have a staple workout or a favorite workout?
How do you prep for when you need to come down to sea level?