Another...snow day. I think the best thing for today is to use this as your day off. I can't foresee much being accomplished today with the amount of snow on the sidewalks in addition to the wind. That being said, you'll need to use Sunday as a workout day. I will give each of you a suggested workout for Sunday- hopefully tomorrow. I don't like assigning Sunday work, but it's nearly impossible to see gains at this point of the season only running 5 days a week.
Here's what you can do TODAY to help you improve as a RUNNER:
1. Evaluate the system & routines you have created (or maybe you need to create them now):
a. Sleep. There's almost no use in training hard if you're not sleeping well. 8 hours is good; a little more is better. I don't have the academic demands you do, but I keep a consistent sleep time (9:00) and wake-up time (5:00) and don't really waver from it. No electronics, no TV. Maybe 10:00-6:00 makes more sense for you. Don't leave the amount of sleep you get to chance- make a plan; create a system for sleep.
b. Nutrition. No fad diets. Real food, three meals per day is good. Post-workout protein/carbs will make you better via faster recovery. Create a routine where you're putting a recovery snack in your backpack every morning. We burn a ton of carbohydrates with the type of training we do so eat plenty of these. Protein is the building block of everything in our bodies and is how we repair broken-down muscles. Fats are good for us- we use them as a fuel and they help in transport.
c. Hydration. When you're not hydrated, blood (which carries oxygen) gets thicker and has a more difficult time getting to your muscles that need the O2 to create energy to run. A good rule of thumb is to drink a Nalgene bottle before lunch, one after lunch and then whatever you feel like drinking after practice. Everyone should have a water bottle at practice every day.
d. Training. Consistency and accumulation of training are the best things you can do as a high school student to see improvement. The training volume (minutes & miles) builds your engine. A bigger engine gives you the potential to race faster. Many of you have spent several months building your engine and we're now carefully turning potential into results.
Keep in mind, each type of workout develops a specific area of fitness. Right now, we're moving into a phase of training that's pretty intense- with sessions like the VO2 workout we did on Monday. This is the only time of the year this intense training makes sense, as we wouldn't pair this challenging training with important races that come in May- and we definitely weren't ready for this type of work in March.
Some of you will be gone for Spring Break. Have fun, but it's crucial to get in your daily training, as these few weeks are your one chance to get a huge benefit from the type of training we're currently doing.
So, be prepared for a really good block of training...it's going to be tough, but it's going to make you better in the long run. When May comes, we'll let you fly!