VHSL Conference Championships are here!

It’s that time of year again! Tomorrow at Burke Lake Park, spectators and runners will be able to hear the clicking of cross-country spikes on the course’s pavement; as athletes will be fighting to make it to regionals. Which schools will rise to the top? We’ll find out soon, but here’s a quick preview of how high-school sports teams have been doing so far this season.

1) James Madison

Madison’s Amanda Swaak still stands as a national elite and is able to run a 5k in 18minutes; according to milestat.com. Overall, the team has been doing well and has won a few quad meets against teams, such as: Langley, Fairfax, South Lakes, etc.

2) Langley

Langley has a strong and fast varsity team; though they don’t run in most, if not all, quad meets. Their varsity team will help the JV-team reach the heights they have reached.

3) Hayfield

Last season, Hayfield hopes to make a stronger showing this year; as the team has been doing their best to work their way up within the conference. Athletes have run PRs (personal records), and they look forward to running their fastest times yet. For boys, a time of sub-17 minutes will most likely ensure a spot in the regional meet in early November. For girls, a time of low 19minutes, or even below, will push them to the next meet.

The 2.98 mile course waits ahead, as we anticipate this competitive race of high-school athletes. Only the top four (out of eight) teams will move onto regionals; but athletes can make it individually by placing in the top 15.





Cold Weather Running Tips

Autumn has arrived, and it’s time to get ready for the colder weather! We can already hear the rustle of leaves, but how about the zipping of jackets? Here are some tips to gear up and prepare for the weather!

1) Protect your face, head, and extremities. Wind increases the effects of cold weather. Prevent weather-related illnesses by keeping yourself covered.

2) Spend more time warming up. Not warming up well could cause you to pull a muscle. Also, add on extra warm up time so your legs can achieve a greater range of motion.

3) Hydrate, hydrate, hyrdrate. Many people forget to stay hyrated as summer starts to close out. However, you’re still sweating, so make sure to help your body retain those vital fluids.

4) Know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite. Hypothermia occurs when the body falls below 95degrees (farenheit). It can cause uncontrollable shivering and confusion. Frostbite occurs when circulation is limited to the extremities (look back at tip #1). Make sure to listen to your body.

5) Know and respect your limits. Do not force the pace because cold weather restricts proper blood flow to your muscles. Stay within your limits to protect yourself from pulling a muscle.

6) Have extra clothing to keep you warm after a race in cold weather. Wet clothing can steal your body temperature, so make sure to change as soon as you’re done with your run/race. This will prevent weather-related illnesses.

7) Shorten your stride when running on wet surfaces. Pay attention to your footing in order to prevent slipping.

8) Wear moisture-wicking clothing. This will help prevent the body from losing heat due to wet clothing. If you’re wearing a cotton t-shirt, make sure to change immediately after your run.

9) Try to run mid-day instead of late at night or early in the morning. Running outside when the temperature is warmest will help keep you warm and get the most out of your run.

10) Wear a scarf around your nose and mouth to prevent cold-induced asthma. Breathing in cold air can not only take away from the joy of running but also stimulate cold weather induced asthma.
Sources: http://www.nyrr.org/train-with-us/injury-prevention/staying-healthy/cold-weather-running-tips


Tips for XC Interval Work

(Not listed in order of importance)

1) Do NOT get discouraged if you struggle to keep up with your running group. Stay positive and remember that even if you’re not running with anyone else, you’re still racing against the urge to stop or slow down.

2) Do NOT afraid of getting out of your comfort zone. Take advantage of the work-out by breaking through any mental barriers, and it’ll pay you back during your races.

3) Do NOT verbalize any negative thoughts/emotions.

4) Remember that every work-out is another chance for you to get faster. If you don’t want to run your current 5k/10k/etc. time any more, act like it.

5) Do NOT excessively inhale oxygen. Too much O2 translates to a higher heart-rate, body temperature, and perceived effort.

6) Reminder-to-self: exhaustion is 10% perception; and pain is merely a state-of-mind

7) Imagine yourself doing well. This will inch you closer to making your imagination a reality.

8) Do remind yourself: the biggest mistake an athlete can make is to be afraid of making one.

9) Keep in mind that your coaches/family/friends believe in you and want you to do well.