For all high school athletes, they start every season with goals of improvement, visions of what could be, and the hopes of competing for a state championship. For Jane Hedengren (class of 2025) and Lily Alder (class of 2026), they shared these hopes as teammates competing within the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA). Hedegren, now a junior, has been putting up remarkable times throughout her high school career ranging from the 800m to 3200m distance. Alder, a promising sophomore has been following similar workouts as her teammate and has also become a force within high school distance running. Together they accomplished the ultimate goal of securing a team state championship with Hedegren winning the 800m and 3200m while Alder took home the 1600m title. Below is a breakdown of how they trained for their ultimate goal, along with insights they gained and a few key sessions that paved the way to a state title run.

Product Worn: COROS PACE 3

Accessory: COROS Heart Rate Monitor

Analysis: COROS Training Hub

Incorporating Heart Rate

For both Hedengren and Alder, neither had used heart rate as a training focus in prior years. Without heart rate, both relied on traditional metrics such as total mileage per week or pace on track workouts. However, with the addition of the COROS Heart Rate Monitor this year, both quickly transitioned to monitoring their effort for each training session.

Hedengren notes "this data is powerful. Whether I'm going out for a run, or doing one of my cross training days, I can see if my heart rate is in the right zone, or perhaps its elevated. It's helped me stay away from overtraining, or helping identify if I'm getting sick."

Alder shared a similar sentiment but noted it was also helping their coach identify the effort of each workout. "Jane and I had a similar workout the week before states. Our coach asked what our heart rate was at, and due to the number, the coach felt we had gotten enough work and signaled we were done for the day."

By bringing heart rate into their training routine, both Hedengren and Alder were able to track their training in a more detailed way throughout the season, leading to larger overall fitness improvements throughout the season.

Improving Fitness Throughout the Season


Jane Hedengren and Lily Alder Base Fitness Trend


COROS Education: Base Fitness is a 42-day average of your daily training load. Training load takes into account the volume and intensity of each session to quantify the stress on your body.

Throughout the season, both Hedengren and Alder were able to build their base fitness while reducing their fatigue. This is a key metric as it shows the athlete's fitness and ability to handle stress improving over the course of the year. For athletes competing at the highest level, ultimately you need to be training appropriately, while also maintaining the ability to handle the increased demands throughout the season. Both Hedengren and Alder showed their best fitness of the year when it mattered most.

Key Training Sessions

Both Hedengren and Alder completed key workouts in the 10 days leading up to States. These workouts built confidence in their ability to execute on race day.

Hedengren Key Workout: 5x800, 3x300, 3x150

Jane Hedengren's Key Workout Pace and Heart Rate Graph

Hedengren noted, "This workout helped to give me some confidence going into state. Hitting the 800 reps pretty comfortably, I knew I could hit 4 of those in the race. This workout going at pace helped me as well because at state I was pacing myself. So feeling out the pace and getting as comfortable as I can at around that 2:30 pace." During this set, Hedengren was able to hit splits of 2:33, 2:25, 2:29, 2:29, and 2:28. Further, she worked her heart rate up to 180 at the end of each rep, which is firmly within her Threshold ability. For athletes targeting events over 1 mile, they will rely on their threshold ability to sustain effort.

Jane Hedengren's Heart Rate Zones

Alder Key Workout: 3x800, 4x400, 1x200

Lily Alder's Key Workout Pace and Heart Rate Graph

The goal of this workout was to run the 800's slower than mile pace, and then running the 400's faster than race pace with a 200m stride. Alder ran the 800's in 2:48, 2:47, and 2:49, followed by 400's in 68, 67, 69, 68 and a 200 in 28. This workout pushed Alder into her VO2max heart rate zone and targeted the exact demands she would be facing at states. Alder hit a peak heart rate of 188 on her 400's.

Lily Alder's Heart Rate Zones

State Champions and COROS

Jane Hedengren and Lily Alder at their track in Utah

Hedengren went on to win the UHSAA 800 in a time of 2:07, and 3200 in 9:52. Alder completed the distance sweep for their school in a time of 4:57. Through dedicated training and focused insights, both were able to improve their fitness throughout the year, fine-tuning their pacing and efforts in preparation for the championships.

Hedengren and Alder are members of the COROS NextGen program which aims to work with elite high school athletes as they push their boundaries as the next generation of distance runners in the U.S.

Collectively, the program has won over 25 state championship titles in 2024 as athletes gain better insights into their training, and ensure their fitness is where it needs to be at the right time. For any high school athlete chasing their best, go to to learn more on product, training tips, and insights from athletes of all levels.