I hope everyone enjoyed the fall break. We had a lot of missing families out there at both practice and the race so it will be nice to have a full team again. I trust you all had a great time, and thanks for the invite...
We had a great week of practice and topped it off with some great races on Saturday at El Cariso. It was hot but the athletes were really burning up the course! You probably noticed times were much slower than the invitational race several weeks ago and that is because the course was short by a little over a hundred yards. Nonetheless, we did great as a team. I saw a lot of hard fought finishes and some really great performances. Great job everyone!!!
It seems like we just started with the first practice and we are already down to our last 3 weeks of the regular season. It is literally crazy how fast it goes every year. If you take a look at the rankings on our website you will see where you are stacking up in the conference. Notice in each division where all of the sudden you see some kids jump up in place? It happens every year, some kids who are running up front for the first half, fall off, and other kids start getting their stride and make big jumps. What we want are more of our kids making the big jumps up. We'll do that starting this week by beginning the taper period. For everyone to understand, Tapering is a term that means we decrease the quantity of running to fine tune and get the legs a little more fresh. I really haven't given you a single relaxing week this season so it starts NOW!
Tapering doesn't mean we take it easy, but simply that we back down on the mileage, and number of intervals. This is the time to go faster so we still must go hard every time the workouts call for it, and likewise, go easy when I say you can go easy.
This week we are preparing for MT. SAC. Quite possibly the most famous cross-country course in the nation. At least a top 5. Most of our country's top professional runners have competed on the same course each of you will run this Sunday. Yes, the race is on Sunday, and it includes such epic hills as the great Poop-out, and Reservoir, and Switchbacks. The strong survive and rule the day, and I believe we have some of the strongest on the course so it's shaping up to be a great day for STORM!! So this is how we will prepare: Today we'll have our normal long run and continue with the strides at the end and some core. Tuesday night we'll run tempo over hills incorporating dog park and half mile loop as we did several weeks ago. Thursday we will work on some flat speed as we are continuing to want the leg speed to increase.
Remember for this week when you are running to think about two keys to your form: your arms and your turnover. Throughout your run you now realize the importance of keeping your arms moving, front to back, not side to side. When you hit hills, your arms will carry you so keep them pumping. At the end of the race when your body tells you to stop moving, your arms can carry you and keep your form solid to the end! Turnover is leg speed. Remember to shorten up your stride, you want to be efficient. Think of the butt-kickers. Driving forward with the knee, allowing your feet to land directly under your body (not out in front). Up hills you shorten your stride even more to improve your efficiency.
I am excited to get through this week and get on to MT SAC. I will provide some details during the practices so make sure you are there, and make sure you are ready to work hard this week!!!
We are coming to the end of the season, sometimes I have to slap myself around to ensure I don't lose focus right now. Don't lose focus, pick it up another notch and let's finish a great season!!!
See you tonight.