011: Lessons from Cross Country

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In case you hadn't heard, Kevin and Angie are high school cross country coaches. Kevin has been coaching for over 10 years, and Angie joined the team a few years ago. We just got back from the state championship last weekend, so we wanted to think about what lessons we have learned over the course of the season and figure out ways to improve next year.

Anytime we train, we should always take time to evaluate how it is going, what we have been doing, and how we can improve. We need to do that in running and in life, so we think this will be a helpful episode for anyone out there, not just people involved in cross country.

There are some really great connections between being a part of the cross country team and how that applies to us as people, parents, spouses, and runners.

In this episode, we will talk about:

  • How each kid is different and why figuring out how to coach each runner individually and as part of the team is very important
  • How each runner starts out with different ability levels, different levels of endurance at start of season, and different goals and how to integrate that into the training plan for the whole team
  • How we use different motivational techniques for each individual
  • The importance of setting goals for both individual and team
  • Our training philosophy of quality vs quantity
  • How we used strength training to reduce injury this year
  • Why it's important to keep in mind that high school kids have growing and changing bodies influenced by hormones and how that affects their training abilities
  • Why bones grow faster than muscles in growing kids and how that can lead to repetitive use injuries easily
  • The emotional connection of the kids to the team and why this matters to each individual
  • And like we always do, we talk about how these lessons apply to our life as real life runners and as real life people
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