Summer miles...

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coachjcs
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Summer miles...

Post by coachjcs » Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:20 pm

With the transition to the fall cross country season taking place, I am hoping to strike up some quality banter about summer mileage.  Where are your programs headed?  Do you emphasize miles, minutes or both?  How much flexibility do you have amongst your athletes?  We generally have three groups based on ability and experience, not necessarily age/grade.  I coach the girls program....

I am also curious to see where your top-end kids end up by the end of August and how much you cut back once the racing season begins.  In our area, we basically have to race twice per week, every other week for conference jamborees. The opposite weeks are Saturday invites.  It tough to sustain an "average" goal during the season.

Using my top gal as an example...she was new to the sport as an incoming fresh and ran 2o miles per week- 19:35 at state finals. Soph year it averaged 30 and she went 19:05.  Last year we hovered around 40 and she went 18:16.  The goal this summer is 50-55....

She has never been injured not even remotely.  I plan applying Tinmans philosophies for the first time.  What is the feeling on running doubles to get the miles in....if needed.  My thinking is that it will be less taxing on her body, especially with temps now 80's and 90's.

Looking forward to hearing the feedback, in hopes of helping this "average" coach assist in helping his kids reach their goals.

Tinman
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Re: Summer miles...

Post by Tinman » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:11 pm

With soaring temperatures and humidity it might be wise to add some double runs. Of course be sure to make sure to prescribe slow doubles until she has adjusted to the new workload.
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FTIR
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Re: Summer miles...

Post by FTIR » Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:23 am

Does most of your team run track?
What events?
Do you or someone at your school coordinate training year round?

coachjcs
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Re: Summer miles...

Post by coachjcs » Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:18 am

I would say on average we have about 1/3 that runs track and trains year round, about 1/3 of our program plays soccer in the spring, and 1/3 are new- either incoming freshman, kids that get cut from other fall sports, or kids simply wanting to be a part of a team.

My top girl is a speedster, 1600, 800 and 400- this past spring went 4:53, 2:16 and 60 flat (18:15 last year in xc)  #'s 2 ( 18:25 5k), 3 (19:30 5k) and 6 are distance oriented 3200 primarily and part of 4x8.. In general prefer longer runs.  # 4 is a soccer player who would be an outstanding 400 , 800 kid in track, etc...like most teams, a great mix of athletes.

I coordinate training throughout but admittedly have never been super structured in the summer or winter, although we do meet consistently.  We are established now as "the" girls program in school, so my fear of driving kids away isn't as great, so greater structure is now being implemented without becoming too rigid.

Jeff_D
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Re: Summer miles...

Post by Jeff_D » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:39 pm

I think a great way to make kids more responsible for their training is to have a training log system in place. Utilizing something like running2win where they can see each others training and see their own training will help keep them accountable for themselves and each other. It will also allow you to see patterns and measure the teams response to the training.

I also think running for time is a great thing to do with younger runners. When they hear about running 7 miles they might panic but an hour of easy running with a break in the middle would sound easy compared to 2 hours of football/soccer practice. Also, it encourages them to stay within themselves throughout the run because it doesn't matter whether they run 7:00/miles or 8:30/miles. They'll run faster when they feel better and slower when they need it which can be important on especially hot days.

The local powerhouse high school has the whole team work up to 50 minutes per day with a 75 minute long run. They meet three days a week at various locations in 'captains practices' with car pools. This keeps them accountable, keeps them running together and having fun and allows them to get on good surfaces for practicing XC running (running at hilly local parks, on important courses). They keep the practices fun and informal and don't race each other. They might run quickly sometimes but it is never done competitively. They are simply running together and feel good.

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