To the coaches, parents, and athletes of the greatest youth running program known to man I write the latest installment of our weekly newsletter.
I'm coming off a high of a weekend I want to share with you. Hopefully the two pictures I added were able to be included. So first, I missed you guys at practice Saturday and I wouldn't do that for just anything. So what took me away, well, I had the pleasure of climbing Mt. Whitney with my very best friend Lee Ciuffitelli for his 40th birthday. Our birthdays are about a month apart and this was his special gift. I won't bore you with too many details but I included two pictures for a reason, first is the importance of a great friend. The value of a great friend is something that can't be replaced. You understand each other, you push each other to greatness, you encourage each other to do good in the world, and many other amazing things that you can't do alone. You'll have a lot of good friends in life but few great friends so when you find them really cherish them. The second picture is a selfie at the top of the highest point in the US at 14,505 feet. We climbed this mountain in 1 day and took about 13 hours of hiking, and 16 hours total including stops and naps. Yep, I actually took 2 naps. We started climbing at 3am with headlamps, and got back to the trailhead at 7pm. Here's the deal though, I am 100% confident without my running background I would not have pushed through the ups and downs, literally and emotionally, and enjoyed it at the same time. Running is a sport that will challenge every part of your body, soul, and spirit to persevere through difficulties both on the trail and in life. Remember that even this week as we begin the 4th week of training!!! I can't believe it, 3 down and 10 to go until the last regular season race. It's time to really kick it into gear.
I've seen everyone progressing well, even in the heat, but we have to keep pushing forward. Does that mean more distance, yes in most cases, but what are the keys you ask to getting you geared up for the racing season? Two words: Speed, Hills. That's right it's time to start incorporating speed and hill repeats into our workouts. Now more than ever it is going to be essential that you show up to every practice if you've set big goals for yourself.
This week we are going to begin with a long run on Monday. Let's review that run for a moment: this is a steady but comfortable run, you don't want to take off fast and return slow, you want to ease into the run and feel like you are getting stronger and stronger throughout. We'll add a little more core Monday as well. Tuesday we will return to COC and we will be running on the top ridge of the mountain with some longer out and back repeats. At this practice it is essential you listen to the instructions with each interval so you maximize the workout. Thursday we will be at Central Park and we will be running some steady tempo over the hills. Last Tuesday at Central Park many of you found out the hard way how important pacing is. When I give you the workout and the time to run, start to imagine the pace you would want to start at so you don't fall apart half way through. Saturday will be a longer run again with some tempo mixed in.
A special thanks to the parents for your encouragement to your kids, they are responding well to practices and are doing great and I attribute that greatly to you.
Thanks for a great season so far and see you Monday night.