Sunday, August 28, 2016

Week 1 training plan - 8/29-9/4

This week we transition from the pre-season schedule to the start of school. The start times for practice will be:

• 3:15 on Monday and Tuesday
• 2:45 Wednesday and Thursday with the start of school

With no school on Friday and the long holiday weekend looming after that, Friday's workout will be an "on your own" affair although there will be an optional meeting in Lincoln at 4 PM for those that are interested in running on those trails. More information on that will be forthcoming in a subsequent entry. Don't forget the sunscreen this week!

On Monday and Wednesday we'll be visiting the town beach, in large part because those days are forecast to be the hottest of the week. Also, two of the days will feature a more structured workout including short interval sets on Tuesday and the return of circuits on Thursday. The interval sets and circuits are two types of workouts we'll be revisiting throughout the month of September.

It's my hope that we can begin distributing uniforms by Thursday, although as I write this I don't know if we've received the new uniforms yet. Only those who have paid their user fee or been approved for a waiver can receive a uniform.

Here's the week, day by day:

Monday 8/29 - warmup routine then 30-60 minutes of running and 15-20 minutes of aquajogging. This is quite similar to what many of you did last Friday. There will be an elliptigo orientation at the end of practice; those that have passed the elliptigo quiz can do part or all of today's workout on the elliptigo if they like, please let me know in advance if this would interest you.

Tuesday 8/30 - warmup routine then 5-15 minutes easy running before meeting on the top of the Weston Aqueduct behind the school for short interval sets. Everyone will start with 8x100m runs with 50m jog recoveries run at a "fresh" intensity level, then 12x50m with 50m jog recoveries alternating fresh, good and hard intensities. From there, the number of sets and specific composition of those sets will vary depending on how much running you did over the summer. Note that we'll be running these based on feel, not time, which may take some getting used to for some but bear with me. Upon completing the last set, a 5-15 minute cool down jog will end the day. If there's sufficient interest there will be an elliptigo orientation at the end of practice today.

Wednesday 8/31 - warmup routine then an introductory activity followed by 20-45 minutes of running and 10-15 minutes of aquajogging. Ideally the pace will pick up gradually towards the end of the running portion of the day. Some people will be finishing their day at the Town Beach; if this includes you make sure to arrange for a ride. Speaking of riding, those that are certified on the elliptigo can ride it today if they like. Let me know if you're interested.

Thursday 9/1 - warmup routine followed by 5-15 minutes jogging then circuits. The circuit workout consists of 8 sets of 3 exercises that are followed by a run of either 200 or 300 meters at a good to hard intensity. For simplicity's sake we do this workout on the track. A list of the exercises involved is available in the sidebar under "Useful Links" and copies of that list will be provided at practice. Following the last set of exercises will be a cool down of 5-15 minutes. The hope is that we can begin distributing uniforms today after practice.

Friday 9/2 - 50-75 minutes starting out at an easy pace and gradually progressing to a "fresh" level for the last 10-15 minutes or so. This is the longest run of the week by time spent. There's no school today so this run will be done on your own but for those that are interested we'll meet at the Lincoln commuter rail parking lot at 4 PM for a run on the trails in that area.

Saturday and Sunday 9/3 and 9/4 - Over the holiday weekend (Friday through Monday), I'd like everyone to do the following:

• one run of typical length--i.e. the average length of time running you've been doing since practice started
• one day off
• one cross training day, ideally aqua jogging but there are many potential options at play. Hopefully you can put in an hour or so.

Where to go on the elliptigo

As people are "certified" to ride the elliptical bikes off campus, the obvious question is where to ride them. I mention in the orientation that we'd like to avoid riding on roads with a great deal of car traffic. There are a few options in the immediate area where there are side streets with fewer cars around. Mostly these areas are to the south and west of WHS, in Framingham and Sudbury. I've taken some screenshots with these areas highlighted, which are included below. For each of these three screenshots, study the layout and note the location of the school and Old Connecticut Path (aka route 126) which is the main road that runs in front of the school. Click on the screenshot to see an enlarged version.

To start with, very close to the school are a few cul-de-sacs where you can ride safe in the knowledge that the only cars are from those who live on the actual street. These spots aren't extensive and putting in any kind of time means doing lots of loops or going back and forth repeatedly, but could still be a good option for your first few trips beyond the campus:

The next area is further afield from the school and includes the part of Framingham just west of the Sudbury River (which is the Wayland/Framingham town line in this area). In addition there are side streets that branch off Potter Road in Framingham to the southernmost part of Sudbury. Note here that Stonebridge Road in Wayland becomes Potter Road in Framingham, and Elm Street in Framingham becomes Landham road in Sudbury:

Heading south on route 126 from the school, there are a few neighborhoods directly off the road as well as the Framingham section of the Cochituate Rail Trail. The rail trail is a flat straight paved walking and biking path that was formerly the site of a railroad bed. It's not that long (1.2 miles) and it's split in two by route 126 but there are zero cars on it. Please note when looking at this screenshot that WHS isn't on the map, it's about a mile or so further north along route 126:


Monday, August 22, 2016

Pre-season practice details and training plan

Pre-season practice begins this Thursday 3:15 PM at the high school. We meet near the track, in the area between the track and field house. We're looking forward to seeing both new and familiar faces and getting the season off to a great start! The first couple days tend to take a little longer as we learn (or re-learn) the team warmup and get to know each other, but things should be wrapping up between 5:30 and 6 at the latest.

Please remember you have to be registered with an up to date physical (within the last 13 months) on file with the school nurse. See this post from last week for a link to the familyID registration portal.

You should bring the following to Thursday's practice:

• running shoes

• comfortable clothes in which to work out. You might also want to wear a hat. 

• sunscreen

water bottle - very important item. Please bring a water bottle which you can use during breaks in practice and after practice has ended. It's best to bring your water bottle already filled.

• running log - if you were at the interest meeting in June you heard me speak about the importance of logging your training, be it running or some other cardiovascular activity. If your log is in writing on paper, please make a copy and bring it to practice. If you've stored your training log on your computer or online (preferred method on my end), please send me the file or the link to your online log.

• towel for drying off after aquajogging

• sunglasses for cutting down the glare of the sun on the water while aquajogging

• extra change of clothes if you'd like to change after practice. I'm not 100% positive about the status of the locker rooms but they should be open, if not bathrooms will be available at the very least.

For the early season practices, everyone will at some point be meeting at the Town Beach which is at the end of Parkland Drive. Some will be running there from the school, others will meet me there directly. The purpose of meeting at the Town Beach is to spend some time "aquajogging" in the water as a way to increase training time without putting extra pounding on joints and muscles. That being said no one will be forced to go in the water. If swimming in deep water is not something you want to do, let me know at practice on Thursday and we'll make other plans.

Here's the training plan for the first three days of practice:

• Thursday 8/25 - brief introductions, demonstration of warmup routine, followed by 20-45 minutes of running and 10-15 minutes of aquajogging. Ideally the pace will pick up gradually towards the end of the running portion of the day. The route today will be heading to the Town Beach; some people will be running back as well, others will get a ride back. After practice has ended there will be an orientation for the elliptigo bikes which should take about 20 minutes. Anyone new to the cross country team should find out from me whether or not they'll be meeting at the school or the town beach tomorrow.

• Friday 8/26 - Either
  • warmup, 30-60 minutes of running and 15-20 minutes of aquajogging. Today's run will include 6-8 x 20 second pickups with 1 minute recovery jogs in the second half of the run. Those doing this workout will meet at the school at 3:15.
  • wamup, 10 minutes of alternating 15 seconds faster running with 45 seconds easy jogging, then 15-20 minutes of aquajogging. Those doing this workout will meet at the town beach at 3:45. 
If there's sufficient interest there might be another elliptigo orientation at the end of today's practice.

• Saturday 8/27 - meet at Town Beach, 50-80 minutes gradually picking up the pace the second half of the run, 15 minutes aquajogging. Today's run will be an out and back mostly along the Weston aqueduct, which we'll access where it meets Sycamore Road. There will be at least two water stops during the run. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

As promised back in June at the interest meeting, we have acquired two Elliptigo Arc model elliptical bikes for use by the WHS cross country program. They were purchased through the Wayland Boosters using funds raised via the Wayland XC Festival. These bikes will give team members the opportunity to cross train in a way that closely resembles running without the impact and pounding. The hope is that this training option will supplement the running that we do, and in a pinch serve as a substitute for those who are unable to run consistently without aggravating certain types of injuries. Here they are, outside the softball shed where they'll be stored for the season:

Team members will be able to ride the elliptigo upon completion of a brief orientation and riding test. The idea is that each bike will be ridden by multiple people each day in shifts. Also stay tuned for more information on a naming contest for these bikes which will take place during the first week of practice.

Friday, August 19, 2016

First week Practice Schedule and Registration reminder

With less than a week to go before the start of practice next Thursday 8/25, I wanted to put out the schedule for the "pre-season" practices (i.e. before the start of school):

Thursday 8/25 - 3:15 PM at WHS

Friday 8/26 - 3:15 PM at WHS or 3:45 at Town Beach (some will meet at WHS, others at the beach)

Saturday 8/27 - 9 AM, Town Beach

Monday 8/29 - 3:15 PM at WHS

Tuesday 8/30 - 3:15 PM at WHS or 3:30 at Town Beach

Wednesday 8/31 - First day of school, practice begins at 2:45

 If you're unable to make any of these practices let me know so I can give you an alternate workout to complete on your own.

Of course, you won't be able to practice without having registered first. Information on registration and a link to the familyID website can be found at

As of this writing there are 10 boys and 10 girls that have completed at least part of the registration process; note that all registrations must be approved and athletics user fees paid (or arrangements for a waiver made) before an athlete can participate in practice.

See you next Thursday!

Coach Mayall

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Training in hot weather

While the temperature has been high previously this summer, the next few days promise to be the hottest and most humid of the season. With that in mind, here are some recommendations (taken from this link) that might be of assistance, plus a bonus piece of advice from me:
  1. If at all possible, run at the coolest time of day, which is usually just before sunrise.
  2. If at all possible, avoid running during the middle of the day which is usually the hottest time.
  3. Plan shady routes and/or routes with water fountains.
  4. Wear loose fitting, light-colored, tech clothing (i.e. not cotton) that wicks away sweat and dries quickly. Leave the tights and yoga pants in the closet.
  5. Consume adequate amounts of water and sports drink. "Adequate" in this case would be 4-6 ounces just before starting out, another 4-6 ounces for every 20-25 minutes or so of exercise, and 12+ ounces upon finishing. The longer the run, the more you'll want to drink afterward.
  6. Use sunscreen. Among the many reasons to avoid getting sunburned is that injured skin loses its ability to sweat, making cooling less efficient.
  7. Examine any medications you may be taking because some can increase your sensitivity to heat.
  8. Slow your run pace down to adjust for heat and humidity.
  9. Run by feel or perceived exertion level rather than pace. If a run feels hard, it is hard regardless of actual pace. 
  10. It's fine to use the treadmill for some runs when the weather is really bad. 

I would add to this list that cross training, especially aquajogging, is a good way to stay cool. Combining running with other forms of exercise, especially aquajogging, will allow you to get in more time training without overheating. Cross training isn't just for runners who are injured.