Bosco, Rosemead, CA Preparing a cross country training
program that will be competitive in Southern California and hopefully
at the championship level in November, takes months of planning
and organization. At the end of May, I hold a team meeting in
which we cover everything from team philosophy, team goals for
the season, summer practices, summer camp, schedules, etc. This
is the time that we break the season into two periods always pointing
towards November, when the championships occur. Every runner is
given a summer practice schedule listing days, times and locations.
Practice is held Monday through Friday. On the weekends runners
are encouraged to run on their own or run with each other.
period (conditioning): Summer practice is one of the
most important training times for cross country runners. This
is the time when you can bring your team along slowly, not rushing
the runner. This has really helped to avoid serious injuries.
I encourage the runners to attend as many practices as they can
if they are not with their family on vacation.
The team takes the
dead period at the beginning of summer. Consistency is the emphasis
of summer practice. The team is a high mileage training team.
During a typical summer training week, they will run 8-10 miles
per day at a relaxed pace, followed by flexibility drills, weight
training and warm downs. Every run involves hills which is the
geographic makeup of the area. The runners are placed in groups
by ability and are able to move up or down depending on their
progress. They are evaluated by the coaching staff and teammates.
The highlight for the summer is the Big Bear, California training
camp. I found that in the seven years at Big Bear the benefits
are tremendous both in running, but more importantly, in team
unity. We are there for about 10 days. The runners take this seriously,
built on tradition, expectation, and desire. After our return
from Big Bear the team is physically and mentally prepared for
the upcoming season. Racing during the summer is recommended towards
the end of the preparation period. The runners enter local 5K
road races plus occasional two mile fun runs.
period(specific training): The early competition phase
begins early September and lasts through October. I view the early
races of the season as training and learning experiences and do
not cut back on training for the sake of racing. During the first
six weeks of school the team starts hill and long speed repeat
sessions. The team has the luxury of not emphasizing on the league
season. The mileage is a little less, but the repeat pace is increased
and the invitationals gain more importance each week. In the general
competition phase we emphasize the importance of certain races
but I never want the runners to lose focus on the end goal, which
is the Southern California Championships and the State Championships.
period: During the peak competition phase by the end
of October the mileage has decreased, stressing a much quicker
tempo and shorter distance on our speed runs. I try to make sure
that the team does not leave the races at practice. I have to
closely monitor the workouts because the runners become so competitive
that the athletes tend to race at practice. I stress the importance
of eating well, getting the proper amount of sleep, sometimes
difficult for them because of the academic work loads they carry,
and the importance of taking care of any illness or injury.