Summer vacation is here! Now what?
It’s time to think about the upcoming cross country season in the Fall. Write down goals for your team and for yourself as an individual. Have a general mileage schedule so that you stay healthy throughout the Summer and feel ready to run fast by the time school starts. Take your training seriously, but remember to have fun too! Summer training is a very enjoyable time of year; you have the opportunity to train with your friends at any point in the day and start the team-bonding experience with your peers several months before classes begin.
Here are some general questions you want to ask yourself, your coach, and your teammates when organizing your summer training plan:
How can I make this summer more successful than last summer?
What was missing from last summer that I could incorporate into this summer?
How can this summer set me up for a really great year of training (and racing)?
What are my goals for this summer? For the school year?
Did I write them down?
How many miles should I run per week?
How far should my longest run be?
How short should my shortest run be?
How fast should I be running?
What types of runs should I be doing?
How often can I meet up with friends for runs?
How can I motivate my running friends? How can they motivate me?
Should I do any summer road races?
Would summer races be helpful for team cohesion?
Is my team going to running camp? Should I go with them?
Where should I run?
What about if I travel?
How many days off should I take per month (or per week)?
What should I do when the weather is bad (e.g. thunderstorms or extreme heat)?
How close to my runs should I be eating?
Are my shoes ready for summer training or do I need to get new ones?
Do I need to go back to the running store for a new watch or clothing?
What can I bring to the team this year as a leader?
Remember to keep a log this summer! Write down what works and what doesn’t work so that you and your coach can learn from mistakes. Good luck!
Jordan Schilit is USATF Level 1 Certified Coach. In 2013 he graduated from Haverford College in Pennsylvania, where he was a 6-time NCAA Division III All-American in cross country and track. He led his cross country team to its first NCAA national championship in school history (2010), and two runner-up finishes (2011, 2012). He was part of Haverford’s USTFCCCA Scholar Team of the Year and holds track PRs ranked in the top-5 All-Time in Division III, including his school record at 5,000m (13:59.21).
Visit www.youthrunner.com and click on the “Ask a Coach” link. Jordo will gladly answer your questions.