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Runners step up pace
Successful team intensifies workouts
S-Cross Country pic
The Dawson Coutny High School girls cross country team captured the Region 7-AAA championship last season. Both boys and girls teams have been attending voluntary workouts this summer. - photo by File photo

Dawson County's very successful cross country team finished up their June workouts last week.

With the mandatory dead week period set down by the Georgia High School Sports Association, it give the team a little rest before workouts cranked back up this week.

"We just wrapped up the month of June with the primary emphasis of our training being on our runners logging slow, easy mileage with the goal of developing a base on which to build as we begin to transition into more demanding training in July," said Coach Charles Beusse.

The DCHS runners will intensify their workouts in mid-July.

"As we begin the month of July, we will continue with the easy mileage, but we will also begin to phase in some threshold and strength training," he said.

Threshold training is typically equivalent to about 85 percent of a runner's maximum heart rate and looks like about 20-25 seconds slower than a 5K race pace when looking at time.

"The goal of this training is to increase the body's ability to clear blood lactate," Beusse said. "The more efficiently runners can clear blood lactate as it is produced by working muscles, the faster they will be able to race for a prolonged period of time--in our case a 5k.

"I'm a big believer in threshold training as it produces huge physiological benefits while not being extremely taxing on runners' bodies."

The team will also incorporate hill workouts to strengthen the runners' legs.

Several of the runners plan to travel to Buford High School on Thursday to test their fitness in a two-mile race hosted by a local running store.

The results will be used as fitness benchmarks as the team moves forward in its training.

"So far this summer, I have been very impressed with the talent we have on the cross country teams this season," Beusse said. "Our boys look improved from last season and we have several freshmen with good potential. The girls also look solid and should be a force within the region and possibly state."

The cross country season will begin in early August.