Summer is well underway, and summer training should be as well. The school year is over, track season is over. It is time for that summer job, summer fun and summer training. Summer is a good time to lay the foundation for a great cross-country season. The foundation should include endurance, strength and overall health and fitness. Endurance is accomplished through starting where you are and gradually increasing your distances and frequencies for your runs. If you are only running 3-4 miles, that is o.k. Just don’t stay there all summer. Gradually throw in some longer runs. Just 1-2 more miles, more days for an ever increasing weekly mileage total.
Strength comes from incorporating some resistance training and some tempo runs. If you don’t have access to a gym, simple push-ups, crunches and cross training can increase your overall strength. One or two tempo runs with short to medium bursts of speed or longer sustained quicker runs can build your strength without burning you out.
Over-all health and fitness comes from taking care of yourself on a daily basis. Eat right. You know that fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and plenty of water is good for you, so that is what you should consume. Avoid too much sugar, fat, caffeine…. Also get your rest. Your body needs to rebuild and is still developing stronger muscles and organs. This doesn’t happen without sleep time.
Stay active, healthy and do what is good. Increase your mileage and speed. Cross-train and enjoy the beautiful summer weather.