Which Colleges Have The Best Running Programs?


College is one of the most important parts of life to millions and millions of people. Continuing a running career into college is just as important to runners. Finding the college with the best running program is difficult, but there are a number of colleges that offer a number of running programs that can’t be beat. Knowing what you would like to run in, your own educational needs, and more will help make the best decision.

One way to judge the colleges is to look at their performance in national competitions and their program’s ranking. The quality and care of their coaches is important, but the overall performance is incredibly important. Above all, however, a few stand out among all of the others.

University of Oregon: This is considered to be one of the most versatile programs in the country. The coach is known to tailor the training to individual needs and remain flexible without sacrificing results in national competitions.

Stanford: This Ivy League school is consistently one of the top performing schools and offers an unparalleled education to go along with a quality running program.

University of Wisconsin: The school of sports medicine here helps make sure that all of the runners are safe and improving as fast as possible, while avoiding injury. Performance evaluations, 3-d computerized tests, and more are all a part of this program.

University of Colorado: The University of Colorado offers one of the most beautiful looks at American nature and is one of the best states for runners. The cross country team here consistently ranks in the top among other division schools and the education here is top notch as well, something that should never be overlooked.

University of Portland: The University of Portland isn’t usually at the top of a graduates wish list, but it is nonetheless a high quality school that also offers a high quality running program. Rob Conner is the head coach here and is assisted by Jesse Johnson and Chris Solinsky. This team has successfully coached a number of runners to championships, although Portland runners are never too far from the head of the pack.

Providence College: For women in particular, this is one of the best options that has proven their success time and time again. Many female runners that have attended here have gone on to have very successful professional careers as well.

This is a list that can help any runner get started looking at college running programs. If you are serious about trying to find one, however, you’ll need to look deeper into it than this list. Talking to coaches, visiting the campus, and deciding how serious you want to take your running career are all important parts of figuring this out.

Keep in mind that, in many cases, men and women train differently and you want to find a college that is capable of tailoring your own needs into the program. One program doesn’t work for everyone and even if a college seems to perform well, you might find that you are injuring yourself or slowing down. Take your time and the best decision will be easier than you think.

This article was written for RunnersGoal.com by James S., a guest author

6 thoughts on “Which Colleges Have The Best Running Programs?”

  1. What about Adams State? 50 National Championships in 50 years…

    • Actually that is false, and they are a d2 school, they wouldn’t stand a chance in d1

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