"The hay is in the barn” is a sports expression that means that preparations are over and the athlete (or team) is ready for the event. The expression first became popular among college football coaches. “All the hay Is in the barn now” was said by the California Bears football head coach and “The hay is in the barn” was said by the Nebraska Cornhuskers football head coach in November 1950.
The term became used by runners (especially marathoners) in the late 1990s. “The hay is in the barn” means that the runner is ready for the race; practice runs can be tapered until race day. A post to rec.running in 1999 stated:
“There’s an old saying ‘the hay is in the barn.’ I feel you’ll do nothing but diminsh your PR chances, or injure yourself if you keep up a hard pace till marathon day.”
Wikipedia: Jim Spivey
James ("Jim") Calvin Spivey (born March 7, 1960 in Schiller Park, Illinois) is a former American middle-distance runner and Olympian. Spivey took up competitive running in Illinois where he became one of the best high school runners from his state. He was the 1982 NCAA DI men’s 1500-meter champion with University of Indiana. Spivey enjoyed a long Olympic career, in which he participated in the Olympic Summer Games in 1984, 1992, and 1996.
Spivey was the head coach of men and women cross-country and track and field at the University of Chicago from 1997-2001, and had 13 all-Americans of the athletic department’s 24 during that time. One individual won four NCAA Division III titles in 1999-2000. From 2001-2005, he was the head women’s cross-country coach/assistant track and field coach at Vanderbilt University.
As a college coach, Spivey used a series of quotes to motivate his athletes. He would say, “Sit in the chair” to explain the importance of trusting the coach. “No deposit, no return” signified that desirable results in the championship end of the season would only come with hard work early on in the season. “The hay is in the barn” was used during the championship end of the season to remind the athletes that they’d already done all the work they could do and now was time to reap the benefits.
3 November 1950, Wall Walla (WA) Union Bulleton, “Bears Ready For Big Game,” pg. 13, col. 3:
BERKELEY (AP)—“All the hay Is in the barn now,” said head coach Lynn (Pappy) Waldorf Thursday as he hearded his California Bears into the locker rooms after a light workout for Saturday’s crucial football game against Washington at Seattle.
14 November 1950, Morning World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “Glassford Likely to Start Ferguson,” pg. 29, col. 7:
“The hay is in the barn,” Coach Bill Glassford commented Thursday afternoon as the University of Nebraska football squad finished preparatiosn for Sturday’s finale at Oklahoma.
Mr. Glassford offered no comments as the the quality or quantity of the Cornhusker hay.
“We have finished our pre-game assignments and that’s that,” Bill said.
28 September 1951, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Hay in Barn: Buck Coach All Set for SMU Game” by Bill Vandervoort, pt. 1, pg. 19, col. 3:
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Sept. 27.—“The hay is in the barn.”
With that significant phrase, Coach Woody Hayes indicated that his Ohio State footballers were as ready as could be possible for Saturday’s opening battle with Southern Methodist in Ohio Stadium here.
1 January 1958, Greensboro (NC) Daily News, “Seven Bowl Games Attract 380,000 Spectators Today” (AP), pg. B2, col. 8:
“I guess the hay is in the barn, now—there isnt much more we can do,” said Coach Bill Murray of Duke.
30 December 1962, Trenton (NJ) Sunday Times-Advertiser, “O. K. Corral” by Jimmie McDowell, pt. 4, pg. 2, col. 1:
NEW YORK—The hay is in the barn and only the weather man is likely to play an unexpected role in today’s showdown at the O. K. Corral when defending champion Green Bay gives persistent challenger New York another shot at the National Football League title at Yankee Stadium.
Google News Archive
18 November 1966, The Daily Item (Sumter, SC), “Spartan, Irish Waiting: ‘The Hay is In The Barn’” by Ron Rapoport, pg. 11, col. 4:
‘The hay is in the barn” said Ara Parseghian,
About all that was left for Notre Dame and Michigan State were the finishing touchesas the two top-rated college football teams awaited their momentous clash Saturday in East Lansing, Mich.
21 January 1984, Seattle (WA) Times, “The Sporting Thing” by Georg N. Meyers, pg. C-2, col. 5:
Don’t utter that old coaching cliche “the hay is in the barn” around Joe Gibbs. “The hay is NEVER in the barn,” said the Washington Redskins’ head man, explaining why he and his staff toil far into the night after the team’s last practice. Sometimes, said Joe, he is still pitching hay at halftime.
Google News Archive
18 October 1997, Gadsden (AL) Times, ‘THe hay is in the barn: Bama, Vols renew bitter rivalry” by Jimmy Smothers, pg. D1, col. 1:
BIRMINGHAM—As Bear Bryant used to say, the hay is in the barn. That means preparations have ended and the countdown has begun.
Google Groups: rec.running
how quickly is endurance lost
>Workouts inside the 10-14 day window don’t
>really provide benefit for THAT race, so you want to work hard enough
>to maintain fitness without serious stress/recovery cycles that risk
>injury without benefit.
Therefore the marathon taper. I’ve always felt the last week to two weeks before the marathon should be a serious cut back in distance and speed work. I’ll drop from maybe 60 mpw three weeks out to 35 to 40 mpw two weeks out to maybe 25 weeks the week of the marathon. There’s an old saying “the hay is in the barn.” I feel you’ll do nothing but diminsh your PR chances, or injure yourself if you keep up a hard pace till marathon day. You need the rest and recovery period. Anything you do just weeks before the marathon is to keep conditioning but rest your body. If you’ve put in 60 to 80+ mpw with speed work for 9+ months (prior to the marathon) or more your body needs time to rest.
“The hay is in the barn.”
Published by Clover
Mar 22nd 2009, 5:49pm
I grew up way out in the boondocks of Idaho, and still have a soft spot for expressions like “nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.” And when I first heard runners use the expression “the hay is in the barn” to indicate that their hard pre-race training was done and only the taper remained, I liked the satisfying ring of the phrase. “I have trained hard. I’m ready. The hay is in the barn.”
Running With T1
The Hay is in the Barn
OCTOBER 3, 2011
“The hay is in the barn” is a term that I first came across a while back on one of my favorite podcasts, The Age Grouper triathlon podcast, and I had a friend make this comment on a 17 mile run I did a few weeks ago. It has really stuck with me during my Chicago Marathon training. The gist of the saying is that all the hard work and training is done and now it’s time to race.
The Naked Miler
March 9, 2014 by wrangler0807
“The hay is in the barn!”
Not sure where this saying comes from but, I had heard it a few times as a child and it is a quote spoken by Bill Bowerman in the movie “Without Limits”
Well what the hell does it mean? Simply put, it is a phrase to remind us that we have done all the training we can do before the big race. We have made all the necessary preparations to ensure our success. We have trained hard and no matter what training was or wasn’t done, it is all behind us now and we must get ready to toe the line and get down to business.
The hay is in the barn. In marathoning that means the work has been put in. Can’t fit much more… https://instagram.com/p/1BDaqiR4NH/
9:40 AM - 3 Apr 2015
The hay is in the barn, 12 mile run done! Last long run before the @clevemarathon half. And what an awesome morning for a run in Cleveland!
8:40 AM - 9 May 2015
New York City • Exercise/Running/Health Clubs • Saturday, May 09, 2015 • Permalink