Everyone got to sleep in this morning… a whole 15 minutes. Then after a warm-up run it was off to try out some hill training: quarter mile hill repeats. Of course that wasn’t enough so we also introduced bounding and power running up steep hills.
Today’s discussion hit home with this age group… nutrition. Myths were once again exploded and the basic truths of nutrition and healthy eating were laid down. We even covered what the IAAF and USATF have publicly published and promoted regarding supplements all based on recent research. Most supplements aren’t worth the money and fewer yet have any ergogenic (that was the vocabulary word for the day – meaning performance enhancing) effect. They also got the strong message not to skip meals especially breakfasts. And getting carbohydrates with some protein (like chocolate milk) is critical in the first 20-30 minutes after a workout. Your muscles absorb those carbs like a sponge soon after workouts… so don’t wait! It aids recovery and prep for the next day’s workout.
Then we were off to more advanced running-strength drills and plyometrics. Short and intense it was the perfect (ok, that’s my word not theirs) way to top off the morning. Also called speed-strength or as MHS kids call them “Mean Dean’s” these really enhance lactate threshold.
Free time is looked forward to. Naps, recovery and general lounging is welcomed. Bodies are feeling the strain of the workouts over the past days. But the well balanced workout/recovery patterns are making them stronger mentally and physically by the day.
The afternoon found us discussing the mental game issue of focusing and refocusing. We explored what kinds of distractors there are and how to re-focus to “in the moment” and “process oriented” cues for improved performance.
We exploded the myth that mental training (mental toughness or whatever name you want to give it) is either 100% or 1% of performances. Nobody knows. Period. However, we do know that given two athletes of similar abilities the mental game will make the difference in the outcome.
Oh ya, we also made it clear there is nothing you can give beyond 100%. By definition 100% is everything. You can expand your limits to make your 100% more than it once was but it still is 100% of what you have today.
Game time this afternoon was punctuated with an aerobic version of keep-away. The clouds moved in to provide a wonderfully comfortable spell on the fields.
There was even time for Catch Phrase games again this afternoon. Lots of fun.
The evening movie “Four Minutes” was just slightly more to everyone’s liking (they aren’t too keen on running documentaries). We ended with the real film footage of Roger Bannister’s sub-four minute mile.
As an aside: be sure to ask you camper about autopsies, beef jerky and jello, cheerleaders, and “burn.”