This turned into one of my notoriously long summer emails. Grab a water bottle and read the entire email (even if you are a 4th year senior). I promise next week will be a short one...
I hope that most of you enjoyed your first week of training. I would like ALL of you (especially new runners) to think about the potential runner you are. As coaches, when we look at each of you, we try to see the runner you could be more than the runner you currently are. If the first week wasn't hard, it will get hard at some point. It is going to take some mental toughness and some grit to stick with it through the summer. I love running because at some point it challenges each individual to dig deep and see what you are really made of. I think a lot of times you realize that you have more toughness and character than you thought you did. Fight the self-doubt, face the fears, and keep working to be the best you can be.
A very important part of summer training is staying healthy. We are putting a lot of strain on our bodies, and it takes work and time to keep them running well. In this week's email I would like to focus on 8 important factors that will keep your body strong and healthy through our summer mileage:
1. Nutrition - make sure that you are eating good foods - a lot of carbohydrates, protein, fruits, iron rich foods (red meat), and vegetables. Drink your milk or take a supplement for the calcium. It is good to have some fats and sugars as well, but they should not be the main part of your diet. For a lot of you this means eating enough calories (at least 2500-3000 per day). If you are running a lot of miles, you have to have enough calories to fuel yourself. If you are not getting enough calories, that is the number one risk factor for injury and fatigue (especially in girls). Eating is also essential for recovery - do your best to eat something with protein and carbohydrates after you run (within 30 minutes when possible). Chocolate milk is a good recovery drink - or I like to make an egg sandwich and drink a bunch of gatorade.
2. Hydration - you should be drinking a lot all summer long - water (80+ ounces), gatorade, juice. With hydration, it is important to get electrolytes in addition to straight water.
3. Proper Shoes - If you are starting to have knee pain or shin splints, it is most likely that you are running too many miles or even more likely that you are in the wrong shoes. I recommend Wasatch Running Center in Centerville for beginners because they are going to do their best to put you in the shoes that are right for the way your foot strikes the ground. Although the shoes are slightly more expensive - they will last longer before they break down. (Make sure you mention that you run for Davis for a discount). Once you know what kind of shoes you should be in, you might be able to find good deals online. Good running shoes are your best investment as a runner.
4. Sleep - Eight hours is recommended for a normal person; I have found that most runners need more like 8-10 hours - especially when you are hitting 40+ miles in a week. I know that it is a challenge in the summer to stay disciplined with your sleep - but it will pay off in the way you feel, the quickness of your recovery, and in how strong you are running.
5. Stretching - before and after you run (especially after). We will be creating a more regimented stretching routine this year. Flexibility can increase your speed and definitely helps to reduce injury. I recommend 10-15 minutes of solid stretching after running.
6. Strength & Core Work - It is very important to strengthen your muscles. Your core is possibly the most important area (that is why we spend so much time doing ab work). It is also recommended that you try to get in the weight room 2 times per week. The main lifting that I would like to see: legs - squats, lunges, calf raises, wall sits; arms - bench press, pullups, dumbell work, push ups.
7. Listen to your Body - if something is nagging you, take the time to ice that area, stretch, and maybe visit the physical therapist (I recommend Wasatch Peak in Farmington, Mountainland in West Kaysville, or Mike Smith at Fit Quest in Kaysville). Sometimes you might need to back off, take a few days off, or cross train (bike/swim/elliptical). I will still give you some mileage credit for cross training. Recommended cross training for running would be biking (3-4 miles biking = 1 mile running), elliptical (12-15 minutes on the elliptical = 1 mile running), and swimming (1 mile swimming = 3-4 miles running).
8. Consistent, Smart Building - Remember that all of you are starting and progressing at different places - stay patient with yourself as you build. Our new runners may be starting around 15-20 miles per week (I hope we can build to 35-40), and our experienced runners are all different as well and might not handle mileage the same way. I said at the start of the summer that it is good to increase your mileage by somewhere between 3-7 miles per week. It is also important to increase in cycles. If you have had 3-4 straight weeks of increase, then try a "recovery" week that is a little lower before you begin to increase again. A lot of times this might happen on a girls camp, youth conference, family vacation, or EFY week. A good progression for a new runner who is trying to build up to 40 miles per week would be: 22, 25, 28, 32, 26, 32, 36, 40, 34, 40, 42, 44 (finishing the summer with 403 miles). Remember that everyone is different, and this may be too high or too low for you. If you started around 35 miles - an increase might be: 35, 38, 42, 44, 38, 43, 47, 50, 45, 50, 52, 55 (giving you 539 miles). Some of our top boys are shooting for even higher and have started around 50 miles. Although most of them will end around 70 miles as a high week for the summer. A good increase for them would be: 50, 54, 58, 60, 52, 60, 65, 68, 64, 68, 70, 70 (giving them a total of 739 miles).
You also need to be consistent. You can't build correctly with running every other week. The kind of summers I don't like to see: 25, 6, 28, 28, 3, 30, 22, 15, 0, 6, 35, etc (you are just asking for injury). Occasionally you will have a low week because of a family vacation or another commitment, that is fine - just do what you can and be careful with your increase when you come back the next week (don't try to run double because you missed).
Training Logs: I have started to read your emails, and you are doing a very good job. I would encourage each of you to keep a training log all year long (not just in the summer). You will only email me through the 12 summer weeks, but keeping a training log could be a very beneficial tool for your running. Use a notebook or just create a Word or Excel file on your computer. Make notes about how far you ran, what your time was, how you felt, how hard the effort was, who you ran with, and any other things you find important. For your weekly emails, I am really just looking for a few basics - your daily mileage and any running related questions you might have. You can also share running stories if you want. Here is a sample email:
Monday - 8 miles; ran with the team at vita. Time = 54:30
Tuesday - 6 miles; West Kaysville loop on my own. About 7:15 pace.
Wednesday - 7 miles; Mountain Road with Josh and Nate.
Thursday - 6 miles; Coach Catch plus a long cool down
Friday - 6 miles; boys run from Ponds Park.
Saturday - 8 miles; ran in Provo (staying with my Grandma); Time = 55:15
Week Total = 41 miles (Summer Total = 78 miles)
High Altitude Camp - August 1-5 at Marsh Lake in the Uintahs. This will be by invitation. We are going to try to take 80 team members based on mileage from the first 4-5 weeks and what kind of running you are ready to handle. A lot of this will be determined by attendance at summer practices. It is a pretty intense week of running. The cost will be $135. I will be sending out more information in a few weeks.
Congrats to former Dart and current BYU Cougar, Shea Martinez on her 3rd place finish in the 800m at the NCAA Championships yesterday. Her time of 2:02.83 is a PR and qualifies her for the Olympic Trials (in 2 weeks).
Best of luck to Logan MacKay on his final race as a Dart. Logan is running in the Brooks PR meet in Seattle this next Saturday. He will race against many of the best 800m runners in the country. If there is a live feed, we will Tweet the link and post it on the Davis Cross Country Facebook page.
Monday - Vita Course at 6:30am. The theme is "Cats or Animals of any kind". I am not sure how you can capture that theme the best, but nevertheless, it is the theme for the week.
Tuesday/Wednesday - On Your Own (or in groups)
Thursday - Meet at the school at 7:00am. We will be playing "Coach Catch" at Nichols Park and Hollow.
Friday - Girls Run at 7:00am at Barnes Park in West Kaysville (by the volleyball pavilion); Boys run at 7:00am at Ponds Park.
Saturday - Long run on your own (or in groups)
*If you didn't make it to any of our runs in week 1, don't be afraid to come this week :)
Nice job on week 1. Best of luck with week 2. Keep your motivation and focus.
If your parents want the emails - send me their email address
Follow us on Twitter and Instagram - @davistrackandxc
Facebook Group - Davis High Cross Country Team
Boys Facebook Group - Davis High XC Boys