Sometimes, things happen.
So, what do you do when it doesn’t go to plan? Hopefully, you pick yourself up and you get back to work. For our Men’s Cross Country team we found out this year that sometimes, things happen.
We had a team that we believed could be a top-10 team in the country…but some unfortunate circumstances and bad luck kept us from qualifying, as a team, to the NCAA Championships. A season with so much promise ended about as badly as it could have with an 11th place team finish in miserably cold and wet conditions in Denver, Colorado.
It would be simple to blame the weather, or the altitude, or some bad luck…but we won’t do that. We will simply get back to work and get better.
So, what does that look like?
First things first…we have to get back to the basics. The 2019 Cross Country season starts NOW for this group…we’ve got some unfinished business to attend to and we are not satisfied with being the 11th best team in the region.
So, what are the basics?
Good, consistent, higher mileage. There are no short cuts for distance running. YOU HAVE TO PUT IN THE MILEAGE. Our older guys need to be consistently over 90 miles per week and most in the 100+ miles per week range. The younger guys need to continue to build their volume, growing comfortable with 70-80 miles per week before moving up in the summer. Mileage makes the CHAMPIONS as Lydiard says.
Solid long runs and progression runs. This is an AEROBIC sport and running 10,000 meters over hills and grass and mud means that you have to be an AEROBIC MONSTER. I’m looking to develop some AEROBIC MONSTERS…men and women who can run until they are in a tireless state. The background of our training philosophy is built on hilly long runs and long progression runs. We’ve got to get back to that and we’ve got to make sure that we are getting better at those.
Continuing to improve at tempo running. We do a lot of tempo running here at DBU, and for me, I can tell who will be an impact runner by how they handle our continuous tempo runs. There is nothing special about these runs…they are in the range of 8000-10,000 meters and start really relaxed, but get faster throughout the run and throughout the season. Those men and women who tempo really well tend to race really well.
We’ve got to be better in every way. Championships are not won by happenstance. Championship teams are built to be championship teams and we’ve got to get better in every way if we are going to be a championship team.
There’s a lot of work ahead, but we are up for the task!