Thursday, July 1, 2021

Preparation and Summer Training

This year we're returning to basics.  Those things that worked decades ago, have been tweaked over time, but still, when it comes down to it, provide all that is necessary to tap into that potential you have.  One doesn't have to be a running aficionado to understand establishing or building a base during the summer months is a prerequisite to performing well in competition come fall.  And there are countless books and articles detailing the benefits and methods of weight training for runners for strength and injury prevention.  Initially anyway, these will be our focus.  Easy miles and strength training.  Nothing fancy. Old school.  Some of you have to be asking yourselves, what changes are being made?  It sounds the same as in years past.  Essentially, it is.

Last year, both our teams finished strong at the end of the year and remarkably had nearly ZERO injuries.  We started practice every day with a warmup that was somewhat intense and finished with core training nearly every day as well.  We ran a greater percentage of our miles on soft surfaces and limited hill workouts on pavement.  Long runs were held a majority of the time on soft surfaces as well.  This year will be quite similar.  The idea is to get you ready and keep you healthy while providing opportunity for improvement and success, particularly during the competition phase of the XC season.  Nothing magical.  Just hard work on your part.

On Tuesday we had 15 athletes attend our weight room session, Each completed a series of exercises for upper, core and lower body strength.  We didn't overdo it, but it provided a starting point for those completing the simple routine.  There will be a little more confidence the next time.  A little more weight the time after that.  And so on.  A gradual buildup.

Following the weight training session we spoke about the gradual mileage buildup.  Some of you have asked for individual training plans similar to last year.  This year we will generalize by saying that for the first 4-5 weeks we want you to run nothing but easy miles at conversational pace.  Of course, we encourage group runs and are very happy with the nine member group that has been out mornings this week. Knowing them, conversational pace is a must, they're all chatterboxes!  But, seriously, we are encouraging experienced Juniors and Seniors to buildup over the next 4-5 weeks to 30 easy miles per week.  6 days, 5 miles per day. We'd like to see our experienced Sophomores buildup to 24 miles, or 6 days and 4 miles per day, over the same 4-5 weeks.  Experienced incoming Freshmen, 18-20 miles, that is 3 or just a tad more miles 6 days per week.  Inexperienced Freshmen and new runners we ask start at 2 miles per day, 6 days per week.  It is important to understand these miles should be completed at a comfortable pace.  There are no races in July, simply preparation for those in September.  Run easy.  Run comfortably.  Establish your base. Injury free.  On August 1, we'll evaluate where you are and make individual recommendations for the weeks preceding the official start of our season, August 23rd. 

Today (Thursday) we will again hold a weight training session for those who can make it.  The plan is to move to some more traditional free weight exercises with the primary focus on upper body strength. 4-5 basic exercises which can be completed quickly and are extremely effective for arms, shoulders and chest muscles.  Following that we'll find a shady spot on campus to conduct a brief session of traditional core training exercises.  It will be fun, I promise.  These sessions are intended to educate and supplement your preparation for your primary fall sport.  Anybody is welcome, so bring a friend. If any XC athletes have questions concerning the summer program please let me know by email at  or by text at 781-367-8487 (leave your name.)  And don't forget about our summer track and field clinics.  Information can be found at under Summer Clinics.


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