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Things to know about Running

          Running is a work ethic sport. You have to be willing to run in the off season to get better. It is highly recommended that distance runners join the Cross Country team in the Fall. Summer training is a must for the cross country athlete as it helps to build a training base for later intensive in-season workouts and also helps to prevent injuries. Conversely after the Cross Country season ends winter training for the track team begins, in effect creating a year-round sport. The end result is that we expect the athletes to be ready to train 5-6 days a week when the season starts. 

          As the young aspiring athlete is beginning his/her first few weeks of training, there are a number of areas that may be of concern to you as a parent. How can you assist them? What should you expect? How should a young athlete prepare and deal with training and competition in terms of eating habits, sleep, and mental attitude?

          As a rule, don't change any aspect of the normal daily routine. Everything should remain the same in terms of home responsibilities, appropriate eating, sleeping and social habits.

          You should also be aware as a parent that a common result of beginning training may be muscle soreness which should soon go away. If your young athlete does not have much background in running, some of this soreness may persist up to two weeks. Hopefully they tell us about this and do not hide it, as coaches we will adjust their workout to help them recover quicker. However, any athlete in intensive training could be subject to a injury. All concerns regarding problems such as this can be helped by contacting the coaches, our trainer, your family physician. In some cases a sports medicine specialist may be the best choice.

         A well-balanced diet is an asset for any individual and especially an athlete. Any nutritional changes should occur gradually. On meet days, high fat and fried foods, eggs, and both carbonated and acidic beverages should be avoided. Take advantage of easily digestible foods in low quantities. Water intake should not be limited. Generally the last time a runner eats should be 2 to 3 hours prior to the start of a race. Gradually you will see your young athlete progress toward a diet that is high in carbohydrates as this is a extremely good source of fuel for their body. While we recognize that each individual has different nutritional needs it is usually better to go into a race on the hungry side. (The opposite can be detrimental.)

          Also be aware that high school sports teams (unlike middle school) practice every day after school. We even practice on days off from school. Our workouts usually start at 2:40 PM and run approximately 2 hours. Your son/daughter is expected to be at every workout if they are on the team. If your son/daughter is involved in a club sport outside school you will probably have quite a few conflicts with overlapping times. As per our school athletic guidelines, if there is a conflict the school activity would come first. While we do our best to try and work things out, please keep in mind that my first responsibility comes with making sure that the athlete in question will end up competing for us.

          If you have to make a doctor or dental appointment in advance, Have family travel, give us a call or send an email and we can usually  supply an on-your-own work out for the athlete. In terms of missing Meets, that is solely up to you and your family to decide what is best, but it is very difficult as a coach to justify an entry of an athlete into prestigious events/meets that has not shown their capabilities and dedication to their team.

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