COROS Next Gen: Inside The Training Of HS State Champions

Jane Hedengren and Lily Alder leverage technology en route to state championship titles

By Derek Dalzell - COROS


      High school athletes 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 2026) and Lily Alder (Class of 2025), they shared these hopes as teammates competing within the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA).

      Hedegren has been putting up remarkable times throughout her high school career ranging from the 800 meters to the 3,200m distance. But as a junior, she's elevated to career best marks. 

      Alder, meanwhile, has also become a force within high school distance running. As a high school sophomore, she's been following similar workouts as her teammate.

      Together, they recently accomplished the ultimate goal of securing state titles.

      Hedegren won the 800m and 3,200m at the Utah State Outdoor Championships, while Alder took home the 1,600m belt. To accomplish this feat, however, took dedicated training and a relentless focus throughout the season.

      Below is a breakdown of how they trained in the lead-up to their big meet, the insights they gained and a few key sessions which paved the way for a state title run.

      Product Worn: COROS PACE 3

      Accessory: COROS Heart Rate Monitor

      Analysis: COROS Training Hub

      COROS NextGen: Inside The Training Of High School Champions

      Incorporating Heart Rate


      Neither Hedengren and Alder had used heart rate monitoring as a training focus in prior years.

      Instead, both were relying on traditional metrics such as total mileage per week, or pace on track workouts. However, with the addition of the COROS Heart Rate Monitor, both quickly transitioned to monitoring their effort for each training session.

      Hedengren said: "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 effort of each workout.

      "Jane and I had a similar workout the week before states," she said. "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 and it led to larger overall fitness improvements throughout the season.

        Improving Fitness Throughout the Season


        COROS Education: Base Fitness is a 42-day average of your daily training load. The training load takes into account your 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 over the course of the year. For athletes competing at the highest level, they need to train appropriately, but they also have to endure 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 which built confidence in their ability to execute on race day.

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

        Hedengren said: "This workout helped to give me some confidence going into state. Hitting the 800m reps pretty comfortably, I knew I could hit four 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.

        Furthermore, she was working her heart rate up to a peak of 180 at the end of each rep which is firmly within her threshold ability. For athletes targeting events over a mile, they will rely on their threshold ability to sustain effort.

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


          The goal for this workout was to run the 800m reps slower than mile pace before following with 400m intervals at faster than race pace, followed by a 200m stride.

          Alder ran the 800m reps in 2:48, 2:47 and 2:49, followed by 400m sets at 68, 67, 69 and 68. She finished the 200m stride at 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 400m reps.

            State Champions and COROS


            Hedengren went on to win the Utah State 800m title in a time of 2:07 and the 3,200m in 9:52. Alder completed the distance sweep with a time of 4:57 in the 1,600m.

            Through dedicated training and focused insights, both were able to build their fitness through the year and dial in their exact pacing and efforts leading to the championships.

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

            Collectively, the program won over 20 state championships in 2024 as athletes gained better insights into their training and ensured their fitness was where it needed to be at the right time.

            For any high school athlete chasing their best, go to to learn more on COROS' products, training tips and insights from athletes of all levels. 

            Related Links: