This morning broke with crisp air once again and foggy faces staggering down to the front lobby… with no coach or counselors to be found. As instructed, the runners in their 6 person teams reported to the check-in desk. They were handed a page of instructions. The goal was to find five locations on campus and complete a challenge of some sort at each location. Then they were to return to the front lobby desk to get their official place. [By the way, teams were split up evenly based on PRs in the 1600 and 5K. No team had an advantage on speed. Neither creativity nor brain power was assessed however and it is possible that a team had an advantage on those elements of this morning’s challenge run.]
Our morning discussion was about warming up and cooling down and stretching. We covered the 5 reasons not to stretch based on research studies on the effects of stretching.
However all is not lost on the case for stretching. There are indeed cases for stretching – a couple of which are injuries and some range of motion. The again, HOW you do stretches as well as WHEN you do stretches is what is critical. Dynamic stretching rules. Post hard run stretching and light stretching in the evenings can be helpful. Do not do static stretching (stretch and hold) since it simply yields poor results for intended range of motion or recovery.
We then did hands-on group dynamic stretching and drills. Proper body form is critical in each exercise. Like any physical activity, if you do it wrong you can get injured. Then, something that was actually supposed to prevent and injury or strengthen you ends up causing the injury. The other message was avoid doing “too much too soon.” Any changes in training should be done gradually to allow our bodies to adapt.
This afternoon the camp was divided into two groups. One group went off for recuperative volleyball. We all found out why we run. The other group went off to a rousing round of “Mean Dean’s” – our speed/strength workouts. We were able to demonstrate how this simple but powerful workout can be tailored to any runner of any ability; change the interval distance, change the pace, change the number of exercise reps, change the type of exercises.
The sad news is watching the mountains far off in the distance where the fire has not been contained. The smoke rises high and drifts mostly to the north and east. Early this morning there was that distinctive smell in the air however here in Flagstaff proper. We are completely safe. But, it is sad to see the now thousands of acres of forest destroyed by this fire.
We started the evening get together with awards for this morning’s scavenger hunt. Woohoo!
The evening movie: “The Long Green Line”. This is a story of a high school running dynasty, the coach, the runners and how the “champion” culture was established.