Saints Cross Country Team is looking for Girl and Boy Athletes. This is a great conditioning sport for the upcoming Sports Season. So whether you are playing volleyball, soccer, basketball, football, baseball, softball, or running spring track… now is the time to start getting in shape by running Cross Country.
New members are welcomed any time during the season. I have found that some students have a wait-and-see attitude. If their friends are having fun and are successful, they may find the courage to give our sport a chance. Some of our better runners have come out later in the season.
Training and competition
Training for our program is set up on a few basic principles. It should be fun. Each athlete should train at a level he/she can handle. It is based on continual growth over the seven years they will be at St. Elizabeth.
Our races are usually 1 1/2 miles long for JV and 2 miles long for Varsity. Therefore, we train as if you were a miler with a good deal of time spent on 200 to 800 meter repeats. At no time do we want them to run full out, but rather to work at a fast but relaxed, controlled pace. This will allow them to establish good form and a kinetic sense of rhythm and balance.
Our season is approx. six weeks long – from mid September to the end of October. We will train 90% of the time on grass with occasional training on concrete.
Our practices start with a 1/2 mile warm-up run, at their own pace running in a pack, followed by light stretching and a series of drills. These are designed to increase strength, coordination, and balance. The duration and intensity is increased throughout the season.
My concentration is to keep the workouts 1 to 1 1/4 hours long and to provide only the amount of stress I feel the athletes can handle. During the workouts, I will discuss strategies of the sport so they will have a better understanding of the different stages of a race. Often during a workout the kids elect to race and do more than they thought they could. I will stress that racing during a workout is not the purpose of the training and over-doing can lead to injury and missed races. Since we are a small school with limited numbers, we pride ourselves on having everyone on the line on race days.
For morning races, always eat something 2-3 hours before race time. Some toast or a bagel with some peanut butter is an excellent race day breakfast. A ClifBar / PowerBar is another good choice. Be sure to drink 8-10oz of water with breakfast. Avoid fruit with skin (apples, plums etc.) before races unless you’ve tried them before other races as they may cause stomach discomfort if not digested in time.
Afternoon Wortkouts Afternoon workouts pose a different strategy. Beginning in the morning eat a typical day’s breakfast (whatever that may be). Start hydrating the night before with plenty of water. Assuming lunch in school is around 12pm, try to eat an easily digested meal – perhaps a chicken/turkey sandwich with a Banana. Drink 8-10oz of water with lunch. An accepted principle is that you can consume 100 calories for each hour before your event.
After the Workout/Race
After you finish your workout/race and have properly warmed down, you should eat something within 1 hour to help spark the rebuilding and recovery process. Yogurt, fruit, or a sandwich with some more water are the best choices. The worst choices you can make after a race are cookies, crackers, chips and cokes.
Your body wants to rebuild and recover; bad food choices will simply delay the process. An athlete who eats properly “post race” has an advantage over their competitors almost immediately. If you’ve ever felt really bad the day after a race, take a good look at what you ate right after!
There is no “magic formula” for eating that will lead to excellent performances. However, there are plenty of things you can do to SABATOGE all of your hard work and miles run. Follow the suggestions listed and they will be on their way to a safe and successful season.
“I’ve never finished a run and thought, that was a waste of time.”