Summer Training
Training for the cross country season begins today.  The more miles you can get on your legs during the summer, the better you will run during the season.  Dedicate yourself to running a minimum of 5 days each week.  Your summer mileage should begin in the 15 to 20 miles a week range and by the end of the summer reach the 25 to 30 miles a week range.  Don't worry about running at race pace, but rather work on running longer distances at a comfortable pace.  The goal is to build endurance not speed.  Each of you should strive to run a minimum of 250 miles over the course of the summer.

I would challenge each of you to run enough to reach one of the hundred mile intervals and earn a mile club t-shirt.  

Summer is a good time to get started on some strength training and developing a stronger core.  Both of those are critical to helping make the body able to handle the stress of running more miles.  Talk to Coach Comfort for ideas.

Now that you have been running for a couple of weeks.  It's time to add a new wrinkle to your running.  One day a week, add a hill workout to your running.  Find a hill with a gentle incline that is 150 to 200 meters long.  After a warm-up of a mile or two, run this hill 4 to 6 times, going up hard and then walking back down the hill.  Repeat 6 to 8 times. Run another mile of two as a cool down.

In a few short weeks the first day of cross country practice will be upon us.  Hopefully you are getting in some good runs and are feeling good about your progress.  Use these last four weeks of preparation to extend your long run.  If you are not doing a long run each week, use these final weeks to add a long run to your weekly schedule.  Take the longest run and add 5 to 8 minutes to it each week.  You are not running this at race pace, but rather running at a comfortable pace that will enable you to build endurance and run longer.  Remember to be drinking plenty of fluids, particularly during these very hot and humid days.

As your summer training begins to wrap up and the first day of practice draws closer, now is a good time to begin to add some faster paced running into your program.  Try increasing the pace during your run.  Start at a good warm up pace and then pick up the pace every half mile until you have reached race pace.  Hold that pace for a half mile and then begin to back the pace down to a cool down effort.  Try this once or twice a week over these last few weeks of summer training.  Keep up with your fluid intake, especially during these extremely hot and muggy days.

It's almost time for practice to begin.  The question running through my mind is...Has anybody been running?  I hope you have done at least some running.  This last week before practice is not the time to do something stupid to make up for a summer of not running.  It's too late to start running 10 miles a day or doing monster hill workouts or running a dozen 800 repeats.  It's too late to start hitting the weights and doing the core strength work that you should have been doing all summer.  It's not too late to start, but realize that you will not be able to do too much if you haven't been doing anything.  You will only set yourself up for failure. Do some running this last week and be ready for the first practice. Now is the time however to begin thinking about what you want to accomplish in the cross country season.  Set some goals and use the season to work hard and make yourself a better runner.  Are you ready?  I am!! 

It's always a good day to run...Coach Comfort