REST before starting Cross Country Training

Jun 05

 CrossCountry

I took some information from a coach/author to share with you. I have long been a believer in this and it was refreshing for me to stumble upon this article:

From Coach Jay Johnson –

So what should athletes do between the end of their track season and the beginning of their summer training for cross country? My simple answer is: a) they need to get enough mental rest to be able to train well through the END of their cross country season and b) they need to get enough physical recovery to feel fresh when they resume training. But as with many things in running, getting to this simple two-part outcome will be different for each athlete based on their temperament, the amount of fatigue they had at the end the season, and if they’re ending the season with an injury that needs time to heal.

Assuming the athlete is 100% healthy, the issues are their psychological recovery and physiological need for a break. I believe that the athlete’s unique psychology should be paid attention to here — you want the athletes to have a long enough break from running to get bored without it. I’ll repeat: you want them to get bored. You want the first day (first week, first month) of summer training to be an experience where they show up fired up, ready to train and ready to learn. Remember, high school athletes are tired at the end of the year, from running, obviously, but also from social events like prom and/or academic obligations like AP exams. Let ‘em rest. Let ‘em get bored. We’re not talking about a lazy cohort here, but rather motivated, bright young people who have just finished an academic year and need a respite before they go back to training seriously.

Let’s start with injuries. Many athletes are ending their high school outdoor campaign with a “little niggle” here or there; some athletes finish the state meet with an injury that is more severe, though they were able to compete. It should be obvious that now is the time to rest completely — no running  — for a couple of weeks. Young bodies heal quickly if you give them the time and the space. Obviously a medical professional should be consulted regarding the specifics of the recovery process, but the point I’m trying to make is that this is the best time of year to have an injury because the athlete was going to take some amount of time off anyway. Every state has many months between their outdoor track championship and their cross country championship, so there is no need to rush the recovery process if an athlete is injured.

Active rest:  this simply means doing something active, but not running. Tennis, hiking, biking, swimming, etc. Any physical activity. Cross country training isn’t what you’re looking for. You have all summer to build the aerobic engine.

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OK, back to your real coach now:  What does this all mean?? This is why I don’t want to start XC summer training before July 1. Everyone needs the entire month of June to get bored – lol! Active rest is ideal. I know the author mentions a couple of weeks, I think June is much needed, but you can add a slow run maybe once or twice a week during the “active rest / boredom period.” So, After 2 weeks of NOTHING, you can add in a couple of Long, Slow, Distance runs(LSD).

 

Special note for Tony –

Tony #2

Plenty of time for this, so………..REST

 

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