It is hard to believe that the summer training is already 1/3 of the way done. Four weeks are in the books. For some of you, it has been a really solid start - you are building a base and gaining strength and endurance and fitness. For others, it might have been a rough start - but there is definitely still time to turn it around. I hope that all of you are still motivated and trying to find ways to make your training work. I think the middle part of the summer (now until the end of July) is the most challenging. The excitement of starting up has worn off, you might be a little tired from some hard training, this is the busy time of summer, and it is getting hotter and hotter. Now is the most important time to be committed and motivated to get the running in. We are still in the strength building phase - trying to get our hearts and lungs strong and used to the longer racing - trying to build mental toughness and get used to being uncomfortable for an extended period of time - basically turning ourselves into endurance machines. It is work - but it will pay off this fall.
I was very impressed with those of you who came and ran the tempo run on Thursday. I realize that many people were out of town - I hope that not too many of you were at home in your beds being comfortable rather than joining your TEAM for a tough run in the sun. We ran the same 3 mile loop we have run the 4th week of the summer for the past 2 summers. As I was looking back through the past 2 years' times and comparing them to this year, one thing that was very evident is that hard work and determination pay off. Isaac Clouse ran the same 3 mile tempo run 2 years ago in 31:17 - Thursday he finished the loop in 19:20 - and looked really strong through the 2nd half of the run. With some hard work, he has taken 12 minutes off of a 3 mile time. Isaac Clouse also has the TEAM's 3rd most miles after the first 3 weeks of the summer. He may not be the top guy on the TEAM, but he is training like a champion - and that helps him and it motivates his teammates to be better as well. Thank you Isaac Clouse for reminding me why we do this - to challenge ourselves and to become better at something. Don't be discouraged right now if you are not as fast as you would like to be someday. Set some goals, and realize that it is going to take time and consistency and work to become your best.
If we are going to accomplish our TEAM and individual goals this fall, it will take sacrifice for the next few weeks. Get yourselves excited about your training. I know it is a little hard to think about the season when it seems far away, but it will be here quicker than you think. Pretty soon we are going to be running the Dart Challenge 5k and the Grass Relays - and you are going to want to be as ready as you can be. Let's really try hard as a TEAM to have a good week 5 - even if you have not had a very good week 1-4. I expect to get emails from each of you about week 4 - and I want you to tell me how awesome you are going to do in week 5!
Assignment - I would also like each of you to tell me something in your training logs this week about your own running that makes you proud - some type of accomplishment or personal victory that you have had in your first 4 weeks of the summer. I hope you realize that we are working together - that we are hurting together - and sacrificing together in order to be a stronger TEAM. I know that I don't "count" as far as my own fitness and my own racing goes (I won't be able to race with you) - but it still motivates me to know that I have a TEAM that is working hard right along with me - that I am not the only one who is sacrificing and pushing myself to become better.
High Altitude Camp - Next week I will begin to determine who is ready and has put in the miles to be invited to high altitude camp. The camp will be at Marsh Lake in the Uintahs from August 1-5. I will have more information for you next week. If there are any parents who are interested in coming up for all or part of the week - please let me know. We are looking for a few more chaperones. Also - if anyone has a large, enclosed trailer that they would be willing to let us borrow or rent, please let me know. Thanks.
Keep up the good work - and have fun doing it.
See you at the Vita Course on Monday at 7:00am.
Happy Running -
Boys Mileage Total (after 3 weeks) - 3,995 miles
Girls Mileage Total (after 3 weeks) - 3,239 miles
ps. To help enhance recovery after a run - try to take in 8-12 grams of protein as well as some carbohydrates within 15-20 minutes of your run. A good source of both protein and carbs would be chocolate milk. Then make sure you are drinking a lot throughout the day in order to keep your body hydrated (it will make your running a lot more pleasant).
pps. A lot of you have asked me about side aches when you are running. 1 - make sure you are hydrated; 2- make sure you are getting enough electrolytes (potassium, sodium, etc) gatorade and bananas are good sources; 3 - try to run more relaxed - relax your breathing or learn to run while breathing in rhythm (2 steps in - 2 steps out or 1 step in - 1 step out). 4 - Do more core work to strengthen your stomach muscles (abs, pushups, pillars, etc) Hannah Haws likes to do an "Insanity" workout to strengthen her core - she recommends it to everyone. 5 - make sure you are not eating too close to when you run.