Cross country doesn't have its first meet till Sept. 1 but the team is busy preparing under the guidance of second year Head Coach Charles Beusse.
In what is deemed a grueling and difficult sport, both the girls and boys teams have been preparing all summer for the upcoming season.
With school starting this week the team will be unable to practice twice a day.
Beusse does not anticipate changing his routine for practice.
"We will continue to focus on mileage and developing the aerobic energy system that's so important in distance running. Probably the biggest variable that could cause us to tweak training is the weather. All summer we have practiced in the early morning or evening to avoid the summer heat. Once school begins, we will practice at 3 p.m., during the hottest part of the day. That's something we will have to watch and take into account, especially for our newer runners and runners who may not have conditioned themselves the way they should have in the summer," he said.
Beusse said runner should anticipate close to the same workouts they have become accustomed to during the summer.
"As far as workouts, we will continue with what we began during the month of July. Basically, we will have three ‘quality' days during the week with easier, recovery runs in between. These quality days will include a long run, a workout focusing on threshold pace and either a lighter threshold run or a hill workout. With our goal being to peak in late October and early November, I'm fairly conservative in training early on in the season to avoid burnout. Cross country is a long season and pushing runners too hard, too soon can come back to bite you later in the year," he said.
With the construction at the high school, Beusse's team has been unable to run on a soft surface. So last week the team went to Jake Mountain for a practice run.
"I've found that going over to the National Forest to put the runners on dirt and gravel dust trails for long runs is very beneficial in terms of injury prevention. This is something we will continue through the season. I also had runners do 800-meter repeats during the week at threshold pace and was very impressed with how well runners handled the workout and stayed consistent with pace," Beusse said.
Summer is a more laid back time for cross country because of optional practices. However, once school starts practices become mandatory and all runners are expected to train.
"One goal we will have for when school begins is to begin to get runners in the right frame of mind as to the task they have for the upcoming season. The mental aspect of distance running can't be overlooked and it will be time for runners to get themselves in the right place, not only physically, but mentally as well," he said.
The team is still looking for runners.
Official practice will begin Aug. 10 right after school is out for the day.
Beusse stresses that it doesn't matter how fast you currently are or what experience you have. If you are willing to work hard, there's a place for you on the cross country team.
"It's a great opportunity to join one of the most successful teams at DCHS, get in shape for other sports, and have a great time doing it," he said.
If you have any questions as a parent or runner feel free to contact Beusse at firstname.lastname@example.org.