Friday, June 22, 2018

June 22, 2018

U2 - Day 2!  My Fitbit tells me I got 4 hours and 1 minute of sleep last night.  Joyfully, I get to do it again tonight!  The proverbial double edged sword.

Starting a running program can also be a "double edged sword."  The down side of course is delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) which accompanies running's assault on your muscles.  On a positive note however is that these miles you will build upon over the summer will reap big rewards in health and fitness, not to mention favorable racing results come September.

Something we try to emphasize for all our athletes, especially those new to the sport, is the importance of maintaining a running log.  In fact, I am asking that each of you maintain a log over the summer and plan to bring it with you on the first day of practice August 23rd.  At previous stops, student-athletes were asked to maintain a computer based log which could be viewed by coaches and teammates at any time.  This was ideal from my standpoint because it created a competitive spirit early on in team training.  Unfortunately, when I arrived at WHRHS it was met with some resistance by the athletes and it was ultimately abandoned.  I have however required each athlete to maintain his/her own log and turn it in when we convene in August.  The purpose is not judge any athlete in a negative way, but to give the coaching staff the opportunity to create running groups consisting of athletes with comparable abilities and conditioning.  This provides the safest and best means of leading everybody toward his/her personal goals for the season.  When we meet on August 23rd, in addition to the running log, you will also be asked a handful of questions which will tell us how many days per week you've been running, your longest run, and your individual and team goals for the season.  Achievement of goals, as our experienced runners know, are acknowledged as they are attained throughout the season.  

The importance of maintaining the log can not be over-emphasized.  The following article details the benefits of maintaining a log and also provides a very good .pdf format for those who find it meets their needs.  Whatever the format, we'll be looking for it in August.  Forewarned is forearmed . . .

 https://runawayfromzombies.com/training-log-pdf/

Have a great run . . . today!





Wednesday, June 20, 2018

June 20, 2018

Yesterday I heard from the Cross Country Captains who are planning to hold optional strength and conditioning sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 4:00PM beginning June 26th at the WHRHS Track. They may even hold an optional group run following those sessions. Great idea!  For those of you who need some motivation this may be an opportunity to get started.

Anyone starting a running program should be aware of the fact there is some discomfort which accompanies your new endeavor.  But ask an experienced runner and he/she will tell you that the pain is short-lived and will soon be replaced with feelings of accomplishment and for many, exhilaration.  In other words, it's well worth the effort!  But, you can always expect some athletes to do "too much, too soon" leading to shin splints.  The following article is must reading for any new runner or those returning after a layoff:

https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a20857494/how-to-treat-shin-splints/

Most coaches and runners who have experienced shin splints know how to deal with them, but for a new runner shin splints may impede progress or even turn them off to running if they don't treat the problem.  Read and heed!

Next up for me is approaching administration/management with a request for additional meets for the upcoming season.  While I always appreciate input from staff and athletes, right now I am considering Martha's Vineyard, Ocean State and the Catholic Memorial Invitationals.  Entry will, in all likelihood, be restricted, so if you want a seat on the van . . . prepare.

Great day for a run . . . Get out there!  Be safe.  That's all for now, folks!



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

June 19, 2018 - Back in XC Mode

It was a difficult spring.  The weather was uncooperative starting on Day 1 right through the postponement of the Decathlon/Heptathlon.  Our win/loss record was disappointing, although I honestly measure success in individual improvement.  My greatest disappointment though is found in student-athletes who fail to take advantage of their abilities and the opportunities available to them.  I think back to some of the kids I've been privileged to coach here at W-H and there are some who have taken every ounce of energy they have to excel on the track and in the classroom.  Others have gone through the motions, grudgingly accepting training, shirking it when they can, avoiding it all together if they are forewarned.  Those in that last group were, in a small way, responsible for me abandoning the blog this past season.  Post a difficult workout, attendance drops.  But doesn't the responsibility for team and individual success rest with me?  And how do I go about motivating young people to work extremely hard, when the reward for that is simply . . . working harder?  The truth is I can't.  That motivation comes from within each and every one of our student-athletes.  Coaches put together a plan or program which should afford each individual the opportunity to reach his or her maximum potential.  Beyond that they are powerless.  It is up to our athletes to demand the best from themselves.  I am ready, willing and able to provide the structure and the support, but I can't do the work for you.

I was looking through some old pictures over the weekend.  I came upon one picture of a team I coached at the starting line of the All-State XC meet some years back.  I had no problem remembering each of the athletes or her results.  But looking at those kids made me realize that each and every of them got the most out of her ability. In fact each went on to run in college successfully.  Those schools included Colby College, Northeastern University, Emory University, Kenyon College, Texas Christian University, St. John's University and St. Anselm's.  It goes without saying that each of the young ladies was also a terrific student, and I believe, a National Honor Society member.  NONE of their accomplishments can be attributed to me.  Each one of those girls spent every waking hour working toward her goal, whether it was in athletics or the classroom.  I am confident saying each has continued with the same work ethic as a successful adult. And isn't that what this is all about?  If you live to be as old as I am, you spend 1/3 of your life working hard in order to help live another 2/3 of your life enjoyably.  It makes perfect sense then to approach each and every day with goal and a willingness to put in the effort necessary to achieve it.  That is how I expect every potential XC athlete to view this summer and the upcoming season.  Keep in mind if you squander this opportunity it will never present itself again.  That should provide all the motivation you need.

All that said, we begin training on August 23rd at a time to be determined.  I have put together training plans for every ability level.  The NOVICE, INTERMEDIATE and ADVANCED plans follow:
                                                                       NOVICE


Week
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
1
Rest or run/walk
1.5 m run
Rest or run/walk
1.5 m run
Rest
1.5 m run
30 min walk
2
Rest or run/walk
1.75 m run
Rest or run/walk
1.5 m run
Rest
1.75 m run
35 min walk
3
Rest or run/walk
2 m run
Rest or run/walk
1.5 m run
Rest
2 m run
40 min walk
4
Rest or run/walk
2.25 m run
Rest or run/walk
1.5 m run
Rest
2.25 m run
45 min walk
5
Rest or run/walk
2.5 m run
Rest or run/walk
2 m run
Rest
2.5 m run
50 min walk
6
Rest or run/walk
2.75 m run
Rest or run/walk
2 m run
Rest
2.75 m run
55 min walk
7
Rest or run/walk
3 m run
Rest or run/walk
2 m run
Rest
3 m run
60 min walk
8
Rest or run/walk
3 m run
Rest or run/walk
2 m run
Rest
Rest
5-K Race


                                               INTERMEDIATE
Week
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
1
Rest
3 m run
5 x 400
3 m run
Rest
3 m run
5 m run
2
Rest
3 m run
30 min tempo
3 m run
Rest
3 m fast
5 m run
3
Rest
3 m run
6 x 400
3 m run
Rest
4 m run
6 m run
4
Rest
3 m run
35 min tempo
3 m run
Rest
Rest
5-K Test
5
Rest
3 m run
7 x 400
3 m run
Rest
4 m fast
6 m run
6
Rest
3 m run
40 min tempo
3 m run
Rest
5 m run
7 m run
7
Rest
3 m run
8 x 400
3 m run
Rest
5 m fast
7 m run
8
Rest
3 m run
30 min tempo
2 m run
Rest
Rest
5-K Race


                                                 ADVANCED
Week
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun
1
3 m run
5 x 400
Rest or easy run
30 min tempo
Rest
4 m fast
60 min run
2
3 m run
8 x 200
Rest or easy run
30 min tempo
Rest
4 m fast
65 min run
3
3 m run
6 x 400
Rest or easy run
35 min tempo
Rest
5 m fast
70 min run
4
3 m run
9 x 200
Rest or easy run
35 min tempo
Rest or easy run
Rest
5-K Test
5
3 m run
7 x 400
Rest or easy run
40 min tempo
Rest
5 m fast
75 min run
6
3 m run
10 x 200
Rest or easy run
40 min tempo
Rest
6 m fast
85 min run
7
3 m run
8 x 400
Rest or easy run
45 min tempo
Rest
6 m fast
90 min run
8
2 m run
6 x 200
30 min tempo
Rest or easy run
Rest
Rest
5-K Race


What I have been telling some of the athletes is to begin with a plan that is comfortable for you.  If after a few weeks it is no longer challenging move to a more difficult plan (starting at week 1.)  If you are confused by some of the terminology in the plans, the following should help:
WHITMAN-HANSON CROSS COUNTRY SUMMER TRAINING 2018

This summer’s training will focus, as is it customarily does, on base mileage or foundational training, but
will also include elements of speed, resistance and endurance. How may miles do you need to run to
accomplish your goals? The appropriate answer is unique for you and varies dramatically between
members of our team. I feel it takes two to three years of building up before you can tolerate a high
training load level. And no training program should be used as a reason to over train. I encourage each of
you to discuss your summer training with me before proceeding. Descriptions of some of the training
included in the plan follow below:

Tempo Runs: A tempo run in this program is a workout of 30-45 minutes, preferably run on trails or soft
surface with reference to time, rather than distance. There is no need necessarily to know exactly how far
or how fast you run a tempo. Begin a tempo run at an easy pace, that is warm up speed. After about 10
minutes increase your speed to a pace that is slightly uncomfortable but one you can maintain through the
middle portion (10-25 minutes) of your run, after which you will decelerate and run at cool down pace for
10 minutes. You should not feel exhausted following a tempo, but feel somewhat refreshed following the
cool down.

Interval Training: This is a more precise form of speed training, consisting 200-400 meter fast repeats
followed by a jogging or walking recovery. Your speed during these workouts is less important than
remaining consistent throughout the repetitions. You do not want to run an interval slower at the end of
your workout than at the beginning, nor should your recovery period (the interval) be different from repeat
to repeat. If you are new to running it may take several workouts to determine the parameters within which
you feel comfortable. An experienced runner may have already developed an intrinsic sense of how fast
he/she can run intervals as well as the recovery required to repeat each in a consistent time.

Fast Running: For our purposes fast can be generally defined as the rate at which you can run the entire
distance programmed for the day. This does not imply or suggest that it is a sprint or even close to the
speeds you run your intervals, but is somewhat slower than the middle portion of your tempo run. For
experienced runners, fast pace can best be described as a pace 30-45 seconds off your (achieved, not
projected) 5K pace.

Long Runs: In order to improved your aerobic fitness and endurance, long runs should be a weekly
element in your training plan. Speed is not a factor in your long run, just a pace that you can run from start
to finish. These runs are better accomplished when running with others. Run at a conversational pace.
Add 5 minutes to your long run each week. It is about time and not distance.

Rest Days: These are the days when you do not run hard. For less experienced runners rest can be an easy
run of 30 minutes, or it can be a day you do not run at all. No runner should run 7 days per week. One day
of rest is required to maintain health and fitness. You need days of comparative rest between the hard
workouts. Otherwise you will not accomplish your goals for those hard workouts. And you will not
improve without those hard workouts. Training hard every day will NOT make you a better runner.

Extra Training: For some experienced runners, 35-45 miles of running per week is not enough. To a
certain extent , for those runners, extra training will improve your racing speed. Extra training can be
accomplished by adding miles on easy days (for Advanced runners, Monday and Wednesday) or adding a
second shorter run on one of those days. If after 5 weeks of training with a second workout on one day, an
advanced runner can add a second day of a short run. For example, an experienced runner adds a second
three mile run to his/her Monday routine. After five weeks, he/she can add a second three mile to run to the
Wednesday routine. Keep in mind you are expected to maintain consistent workouts on Tuesday and
Wednesday.

OK then . . . I have attached Novice, Intermediate and Advanced summer training plans and ask that you
discuss your particular situation with me over the next week or so. Our season starts August 23 and you’ll
want to be ready . . .