Another long email this week, but a good one 😊 I imagine if you are getting serious about summer running, you can really benefit from the following information; and if you are not really doing much running this summer, you might be feeling like you want me to remove you from my email list--which is okay. If you have decided that cross country is not for you, just let me know and I will stop bothering you with emails each week. But, if you still want to give this a try, it's NOT too late to put in some work this summer and go into the fall with stronger legs, lungs, heart, and mind. This week is still a great week to start! We want ALL of you to make the choice and buy in, but we also know that it's not for everyone, so let me know if you're out.
I have attached the schedule for the next 4 weeks of training. If you have built up your mileage over the first 3 weeks, it is time for a "recovery" week either this week or next. It's good to have a slightly lower mileage week every 4 weeks or so. It's best to plan those weeks around family vacations, EFY, youth conference, etc. If you are feeling a bit tired or finding you need more sleep - that is pretty normal with summer training, especially the first few weeks. Get your rest, fuel and hydrate your body, and make sure you have some easier days (recovery days).
Kick Off Camp - We had a great time up at Cutler Flats for the kick off camp. Thanks to all those who were able to come, and thanks to the parents who helped out. The running was challenging but beautiful, and it was nice to get to know some of the new runners a little better. For those of you who were unable to make it, we gave some good advice for new runners:
Coach Timothy talked about gradual progression and taking care of aches and pains and soreness before they become injuries. We can all do a better job stretching, rolling out, and strengthening areas that might be weak. Coach T has become our expert--make sure to talk to him at a practice if you have something bothering you, and he will give you some good ideas of what you can do.
Coach Anderson talked about staying patient and trusting the process and the coaches and also taking advantage of the opportunity to be a part of a great program with awesome teammates to train with. He stressed the importance of being passionate about running and having fun while doing it. Brad is a great example of making things fun and working through challenges.
I talked about the responsibility of our experienced runners to teach, inspire, and take care of the new runners. I also talked about our expectations for everyone to do the best they can--in running and in their lives outside of running. And I promised that running cross country will challenge you physically, mentally, and emotionally. We will always be more concerned with you doing your best than with you being the fastest runner. Most of all, we wanted to stress positive attitudes, TEAMwork, patience, and confidence. Being a cross country runner is in each of you - you just have to have the desire and the belief in yourself.
Mid Summer Motivation - As we hit the middle weeks of the summer, I know it gets hotter and it gets harder to stay motivated for a season that doesn't start until the end of August. I have always felt like these middle summer weeks really separate the weak from the strong. I hope that all of you are determined to stay strong and to fight through these weeks with our season in mind. We are going to have a tough TEAM this fall with a lot of depth, endurance, strength, guts, and speed - but it is going to take some uncomfortable work in the middle of the summer (these next 5 weeks). I hope all of you are on board with working together to get there. You athletes who are new to cross country are really in for a fun time. DXC is about running with heart and running with guts. It is a lot of work, but the rewards far exceed the effort. I think the following tips can help you to get out of bed and get after your training when it gets challenging:
1) Run in the morning. It is cooler and it is much easier to motivate yourselves than when it gets to be the afternoon. Plus then you won't stress about it all day. Running in the evening can also be really fun (especially with friends) - just be safe. If the only time you can run is mid day, still get it in. Just go a few less miles, plan your run so you can drink water at a few stops, and enjoy getting a nice summer tan.
2) Set some goals - an overall summer mileage goal (if you don't already have one), weekly mileage goals, season racing goals - and write them down and keep them in a place where you can see them on a daily basis (by your bed, on your mirror, etc). Don't be afraid to dream big - and always try to make a plan about how you are going to get there. I think it is so important to have a purpose when you are training - not just going through the motions.
3) Be patient with your training. It may take some time to get to where you want to be. Don't get discouraged if you are not as fast as you want to be right away or if you run into some challenges on your way. One of the things I love about running is that you have to work for what you get. Also - avoid comparing yourself to other people. Work on being your own individual best. Realize that all the great runners (even the ones on our TEAM) had to work to get to where they are. It takes time, and you will see ups and downs.
4) Find motivation online (videos, articles, quotes, tweets) - Share your favorites on the TEAM facebook page. One of my favorite cross country videos is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylYPm7V2qCU (you should all watch it). Here's another one - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xh9jAD1ofm4 (Michael Phelps). I'll try to share some more over the next few weeks. Watch videos or read articles on dyestat.com, letsrun.com, flotrack.org, runnerspace.com, runnersworld.com or other running websites. I can even find motivation by looking at Twitter - but that is because I primarily follow runners and running related accounts. Follow the Davis Cross Country and track Twitter if you have an account (@davistrackandxc). Follow the Davis Cross Country Facebook (Davis High Cross Country Team) and Instagram page (@davistrackandxc).
Become a student of the sport. It always makes me want to run harder and be a better runner when I read about other runners who have worked hard for their success. Here's a great article for (particularly for the girls on the team) - http://www.milesplit.com/articles/211759-dear-younger-me-lauren-fleshman
You can also find some awesome running quotes that help to motivate you.
5) Switch things up. Have both hard and easy days, run different courses, run with music, run at night, run with different groups, and find ways to make running an adventure - unique and challenging. I know many of you struggle to run on vacation, but running in a new place can be one of the most exciting things about running (as long as it is safe and your parents are okay with it). Just don't let running be boring.
6) Run for your TEAM. One of the things that motivates me the most is the thought that my TEAM is working hard with me for a common goal (Region Champs, State Champs, NXN Qualifiers). There are other people out there willing to put in miles and work for me - and I am willing to put in the miles and the work for them as well (this still works for me as a coach too!). Be very positive with your TEAMmates - help them out and encourage them. Attend the TEAM practices every time you can. And help to bring your own unique personality and gifts to the TEAM.
7) Most of all - refuse to quit. Don't let yourself think about it. Don't let yourself down. I have said it many times about running - only the strong will survive. Be strong and you won't regret it. It is going to take toughness and it is going to challenge you - let that be a motivator.
Monday - Meet at Vita at 6:30. Theme - Crazy Socks or Lucky Socks. We are running for a time this week (either 4 miles, 5.5 miles, or the full course). Bagels and Chocolate Milk afterward.
Tuesday - Run on your own or in small groups
Wednesday - Meet at the school at 7:00am. Nichols Hollow Tempo
Thursday - Run on your own or in small groups
Friday - Boys Run @ 7:00am @ Angel Street Park (West Kaysville)
Friday - Girls Run @ 7:00am @ Heritage Park (Kaysville by the new library)
Saturday - LONG RUN on your own or in small groups
Send in your mileage (including past weeks if you missed). Keep working hard. Keep living healthy. Keep running HAPPY!!