It's unfortunate many of you are not taking advantage of the Captains' strength and conditioning sessions on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. After last night's circuit and core training I was certain my early morning run today would be uncomfortable. While I had some (old) muscle tenderness, it wore off in minutes and I felt very comfortable running. I've been avoiding hills for the most part over the past two months due to a nagging injury, but today even the hills, which I admittedly ran slowly, posed no problem. The upcoming season should prove interesting. I anticipate that perhaps a majority of our athletes will be unprepared for workouts, but I am looking forward to seeing them, like me, improve with a focus on strength and conditioning, core work and a gradual increase in mileage. But we will all benefit through regular conditioning drills, core training and weight training this season.
When we arrive on August 25th at 4:00 PM (that's right kids, two short weeks!) we will get the administrative tasks out of the way as quickly as possible. These tasks will include insuring athletes have signed up properly, have current physicals, as well as the customary introductions and discussion of individual and team goals. Day 1 will be an introduction for some to our warm up drills which will be conducted separately with the Boys and Girls teams commencing on Day 2 and continuing thereafter. There will be other changes from years past. For example, we will not be holding a time trial this year. On Day 1 of practice we will have a 2 Mile "evaluation" run after which we will designate team members for specific training groups and training paces where applicable. Some athletes will then be assigned additional workouts with the focus on conditioning and a gradual increase in mileage based on his/her current ability. Everybody should be prepared to either provide a training log (if Etraxc was not used) and/or complete a questionnaire which will give the coaching staff an indication of the recent training you've completed and will tell us what you will need to do in order to reach your potential this season. Nobody need fear the 2 Mile "evaluation" run. While some of you are half-marathon ready, we fully expect some (perhaps most) will be unable to run 2 Miles. There is no likelihood of you being assigned to a group in which you are not ready to participate. Because we expect there will be quite a few groups, some will be asked to work independently. Those working independently will likely include our more experienced runners. We have three very experienced coaches who will work each day with one or more of the groups. We will change it up regularly so that each of you will work with each coach a couple of days per week. You can expect to be challenged from start to finish each day and I promise you will, when all is said and done, feel a sense of accomplishment like no other.
Returning athletes know they can see each day's workout here in the Blog. Other than the warm up and 2 Mile evaluation run on Day 1, nothing is presently set in stone. Some will be running an additional Easy paced run of a distance and pace to be determined, some will be running short on school property, others may be on the track, and others may not be doing any additional running. You can all expect core and stretching will be part of the activity, and strength and conditioning drills may be conducted with one or more groups.
Day 2 is shaping up as a short, easy run for all followed by core training, weight training for some, conditioning for others and stretching for all. Day 3 (Saturday) will be, relatively speaking, our first off-site long run, most likely at Burrage Pond. The coaches expect to know your capabilities after the first three practices. At that point there may be movement among the groups. Again, no need to fear, you will never be asked to do more than you are capable of doing safely. Our emphasis is on safety and fun, health and fitness, and achievement of your personal goals and those of the teams. We have every reason to be optimistic about the 2016 season and we can't wait to get to work.