THE ROAD TO CROSS COUNTRY NATIONALS (PART 2)!
We are 2 weeks away from the 2022 AAU Cross Country Nationals in Knoxville, TN! You can read our Part 1 post here about the design of the Fall Cross Country training block for the boys.
Fall Race Results & Schedule
So far, the Cross Country season has gone pretty well. The boys have raced a total of 4 races throughout the season with 2 races to go before nationals. We had some small bumps in the road with sickness and working through small injuries, but these things are to be expected with running. Below are the race results for the season. The goal for the season is a tall order! The boys are shooting for all-American at AAU Nationals.
Hare and Hounds XC Invitational
Eli – 1st
Everett – 2nd
Jude – 19th
This was the first race of the season and all 3 boys ran really strong! Eli and Everett went 1 and 2 in the Elementary race. For Jude this was his first Cross Country race and he was also in the Elementary race. He did great finishing 19th.
The Run Cabarrus Invitational
Eli – 2nd
Everett – 4th
Jude – 4th
This was the second race of the season. This was a tough one because the boys were sick before and during the race. Eli wasn’t too affected by it, but Everett did not even want to race. We convinced him to race but it was more like a hobby jog than a race. Jude also didn’t seem to be affected too much by the sickness. Eli death with some heel pain for about a month after this race.
North Carolina Middle School and Age Group Championship
Eli – 1st
Everett – 3rd
Jude – 4th
In this race all 3 boys were healthy and raced strong! The conditions were horrible with rain, mud, and wind, but all 3 boys raced to a PR on a slow course. It was here that the fitness for the season was starting to show up.
North Carolina AAU District Cross Country Championship
Eli – 2nd
Everett – 4th
Jude – 1st
This was a fun race on a fast course! All 3 boys raced to new PR’s! Jude also won a state championship. It was clear in this race how strong Jude is becoming. For most of the races this season he has been racing in the 8 and under age-group (he is 6) but in this race he was in the 6 and under group. This will be the age group he will race at AAU Nationals.
There are two more races left for the season before nationals. The boys will be racing the USATF NC XC State Championship and a Thanksgiving 5k the week before nationals. Below are some pictures from their training and racing this season. Coach and Dad also makes an appearance in a few of the pics, haha!
Focus of training leading into AAU Cross Country Nationals
The training block for Fall Cross Country has really been broken up into 3 separate phases. In the 1st phase of training we focused on mileage, strength (with up-tempo workouts), and the beginning of some speed. In phase 2 of the training block, we began to focus more on fitness with tempo and sub-tempo work. In phase 3, the current phase of training, we have been focusing on race-pace and faster than race pace efforts to really round out the fitness, speed, and running efficiency.
In phase 3 of training, we also have raced almost every weekend, so it is important to adjust training so that one of the workouts each week is the race. We have not tapered mileage or intensity going into any of the races so far. We will back off mileage some going into nationals. Below is a typical week of training in phase 3.
Typical Training Week in Phase 3
Monday: 4 mile recovery run
Tuesday: 5 miles recovery run
Wednesday: 6x800 at faster than 3k pace with 90 seconds rest between reps
Thursday: 5 mile recover
Friday: 4 mile recovery with 10 strides
Sunday: rest day
The hope is that the boys would peak in their fitness and running efficiency as we move into nationals. Ultimately, the most important part of training for races is specificity. That is making the training as specific as possible for the race you are training for the closer the race gets. That is why phase 3 focuses mostly on race pace and faster efforts. Good luck at nationals boys!!!
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