The day wound down with a film about perhaps the greatest high school cross-country team in the nation out of Elmhurst IL – York Community High School. The movie is called The Long Green Line. The school has almost 10% of their student body of about 2400 students come out for cross-country. Ask your camper what he/she learned from this.
The day started with 40 minutes of Fartlek running on well groomed trails. The mileage ranged from 4 to about 5.5 total for the workout.
After breakfast we talked about injuries causes, injury prevention, and the big topic was strength training for runners. They learned that the research shows that contrary to popular belief heavy weights and fewer reps is THE scientifically supported method of weight training to develop the strength needed for running “power”. Combine this with plyometric drills for the speed aspect of “power” and you have a well rounded science-based strength training program.
To reinforce the learning the afternoon had 3 sets of speed-strength training. Each set was different than the other. Basically they ran about 250 meters at mile pace then performed 2-4 different plyometric and strength exercises only to immediately jump right into the next 250 meter run. The workout is infinitely flexible. If one exercise is contraindicated due to an injury for instance just substitute another. Want more aerobic work – you should lengthen to 400 meters, 600 meters, 800 meters with the exercises!
The afternoon mental toughness session first introduced the concept of circles of influence and control. What do you control? What can you influence? What do you neither control nor influence? Great conversations and insights ensued. Bottom-line – you control your attitudes, your behavior, your actions, your thoughts, your effort, your mindset. Those are the critical elements that someone who is mentally tough pays attention to… NOT other people, what others say, what others do, the wind – snow or rain.
This lead us to goal setting. Everyone was encouraged to actually write down their goals. Performance and practice goals have more power than outcome goals (top 5 in state) because you control the elements that make up those goals (you don’t control what others will do in state therefore you have less control over whether or not you end up in the top 5).
They were also introduced to setting three levels of goals to enhance their chances of success and having goals act as motivation instead of disappointment, stress and becoming an “expectation” which carries with it emotional judgment. Encourage your camper to share their Gold, Silver and Bronze level goals for the upcoming season. Then ask what they will do to make those happen. Goals are only a direction – like a compass. But you need to build a foundation under those goals which are those everyday, step-by-step actions you take daily to reach your goals.
For more pics of the day go here: RxRunning FB