In life, unfortunate circumstances bring the most driven among us to the top. This will be the case for high school athletes who are facing the delay of their fall sports. Athletes will either respond to this delay with frustration and slack off or as an opportunity to spend the next six months getting even stronger, faster, and tougher. Those who respond in the most positive ways will rise to the top when the dust settles (or better yet, is kicked up again).
This is no different than bad weather on the day of competition or a change to competition minutes before the event – the worse circumstances provide an opportunity for the toughest athletes to prevail. You have a choice – take advantage of the tough situation or let others take advantage of it instead of you. I implore you to choose the former.
I coach runners, so I want to now speak directly to you runners who just saw their cross-country season delayed though I believe my advice can be heeded by all. After you make the choice to take advantage of this opportunity, what should you specifically do with your training progression? If you have been training hard all summer and were ready to enter competition with the goal of a November peak, I encourage you to take a step back. I would first do a 2 mile or 5k time trial to see where you are and then re-start your progression. Go back to the early prep work and build an even stronger foundation. If you have not been training this summer, you were just given a gift with the delay. Start your progression now so you are ready when cross country starts in February.
Though I would love to, I do not have enough space here to go into more detail on a proper high school cross country training progression. Give me a call at 804-741-1599 (ext. 1), and I would be happy to provide you some personal advice. If you are looking for a group to train with this fall in lieu of your high school team, we have a middle and high school cross country program at Endorphin Fitness with weekly practices and races. Regardless, don’t waste another day – get training.
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