It's been quite a while since I updated anyone on the High School Runner. The season started slow for the boy but he's gaining steam. If you remember way back when he broke a bone in his hand the day before track practice was to start last Spring and missed the entire track season.
Cross Country and Track feed off each other. In Cross Country the runner builds strength and stamina. The races are usually hilly which ensures weekly hill repeat training sessions. With longer races they build stamina which carries greatly into the shorter faster track races.
Track builds speed. Hard training efforts are not on hills during track season they are all done on the track. The races themselves are not tactical in nature they are managed sprints even if it's the 3200. It's here where the runner gets fast and that fast carries over back into Cross Country.
Because Marco missed this past track season he was missing pure leg speed. He started the Cross Country season a bit slower than he finished it last year and this frustrated him beyond belief. He was not a happy runner for most of the early season. Recently though things have begun to change. He was equal to his time on a known course two weeks ago which is great at this stage. Last week he raced in an invitational on a really hot and dusty course. With 1000 meters to go he was in 5th place about 10 seconds behind 4th. On the last hill he caught the 4th place man and then proceeded to drop him on the final downhill section. Finishing a 5K faster than you started it is a good sign that your leg speed is coming back.
One more regular meet then it's the two and maybe three meets they work all season for. League finals is for bragging rights, CIF is mostly for individual glory (they don't have a strong team this year) and if CIF is outstanding then there's one more race Thanksgiving weekend at the State Finals. Only time will tell if we are in Fresno Thanksgiving weekend.
It's a good life...