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Estes Park Cross Country - Week 4 - Summer Training

“Limits exist only in the mind.”

Cross Country running is the most mentally challenging sport, PERIOD! You, and only you, are pushing yourself to that limit, that ‘redline’, when every fiber in your body is telling you to STOP…yet you keep going, fighting to the finish.

The proper mindset (i.e., having the right mental attitude) is needed to excel at cross country. All top-level runners have a mental toughness in them, but that's not to say we can't train our mental capacity. There are four attributes that make up the belief system of mentally tough runners. The four beliefs are: (1) Having an unshakable self-belief to achieve goals; (2) Having an inner arrogance; (3) Having a belief that you can get over any obstacle; (4) Having a belief that your desire will ultimately result in fulfilling your potential.

Mental toughness is having the natural or developed psychological edge that enables you to normally cope better than your opponents with the many demands (competition, training, lifestyle) that cross country places on a runner and, specifically, be more consistent and better than your opponents in remaining determined, focused, confident and in control under pressure. Mentally tough runners also have the unique ability to exert control over the varying demands placed upon them in training and their personal life.

Cross country running is truly awesome in the lifelong benefits one gets from participating. Let’s use this week to concentrate and continue throughout the summer to develop our mental edge.

As we head into Week #4, please read carefully the following news for this upcoming week. We know it’s a lot, and maybe repetitive, but it is all important:

Summer Team Dinner Team Sign-Up:

A new tradition this summer that the Estes Park Cross Country Team has implemented, is “Tuesday Evening Summer Team Dinners” following the run with the Estes Park Running Club. Coach Harris sent out a Remind.com message last week with sign-ups and the response has been tremendous! THANK YOU for those that are willing to host these athletes.

There are still a few spots left to fill. Please take a look (HERE) and if you can, sign-up. We really appreciate the support!

Mileage Tracking & Leaderboard:

Let’s keep logging our miles. The EPXC ‘Mileage Leaderboard’ will be updated on Monday so we need everyone to bring your Summer Training Binder to practice on Monday and present your weekly mileage to Coach Harris. Please let us know if you have any questions on tracking mileage.

Upcoming Week Schedule:

Monday – Aerobic Base Training Run w/ Coach Harris & Stafford @ 6:15AM meet in the Health Room (outside door will be open). Remember, the more work you perform aerobically, or in the presence of oxygen, the more efficient you are. Prolonged aerobic training produces muscular adaptations that improve oxygen transport to the muscles, reduces the rate of lactate formation, improves the rate of lactate removal and increases energy production and utilization.

This is the last week of ‘Phase 1’ of our training block. Everyone needs to make every effort to be there.

EPXC Team Captain Applicants – We will be meeting at 5:45AM in the Health Room. BE ON TIME!!

ALSO, those that did not do their 1-mile time trial will do so tomorrow.

Metabolic Conditioning (a.k.a. MetCon) w/ Coach Stafford @ immediately after run in the EPHS Weight Room. Our focus for this workout will be on upper body. This type of training consists of a very high work rate for short duration, which improves cardiovascular capacity, VO2 Max, and give a SERIOUS caloric burn. Included are various types of bodyweight exercises to get the heart pumping!

Tuesday – Stanley Run w/ Coach Harris @ 5:30PM (meet at the front gated terrace). Choose from 3, 4, 5 or 6 low-key/easy effort miles. Please ensure this run is at your aerobic effort and nothing beyond that.

EPXC Summer Team Dinner: The Knudson family will host team dinner immediately afterwards. Coach Harris will provide directions on Tuesday.

Wednesday – Deer Mountain Trail w/ Coach Harris & Stafford @ 6:30AM. EPXC will be meeting the Deer Mtn. junction inside RMNP and make our way to the top of Deer Mountain (topping out at over 10,000ft.) with SUPER cool views. Please note that there will be no park entrance fee as we will be inside the park before 7AM. If you are unsure of how to get there, please refer to EPXC’s trailhead directions HERE. THEN, stick around as pancakes will be served afterwards.

If you have purchased a hydration pack, please bring it with you on this run. Hydration packs can be purchased at the EP Mountain Shop (various sizes & prices)

Thursday – Scratch Deli w/ Coach Harris @ 6:30AM. EPXC will meet in the parking lot ACROSS the street from Scratch Deli and do a steady uphill aerobic run in the High Dr. neighborhood. Don’t worry, the downhill is on the second half of the run. Bring some $$ for afterwards. Scratch Deli serves up pretty awesome breakfast burritos.

Friday – Conditioning & Muscular Endurance w/ Coach Stafford @ 9AM in the EPHS weight room. Our focus on this workout will be on lower body. Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time.

In strength training (i.e. weights), muscular endurance refers to the number of repetitions of a single exercise you can do without needing to stop and rest (a.k.a. lactic acid threshold training).

In cardiovascular training (i.e. running), it builds the energy systems of the body, the muscle fibers, and capillaries that can sustain long periods of running.

***It’s imperative you attend these sessions. CAUTION: Soreness may occur***

SaturdayBroncos FIT 7K (Fort Collins, CO) @ 8:30AM. A 7K is roughly 4.3miles. This is a great opportunity to get some racing experience under your belt. If you plan on doing this race, please see Coach Stafford and we can coordinate where to meet to warm-up.

Those who participate will receive a Broncos FIT runner hat, Broncos FIT cooler towel, Personalized bib (register by June 15 to receive), complimentary snacks and water. All Broncos 7K Fort Collins participants will also receive a $10 off code for the Broncos FIT 7K Denver!

OR…

O.Y.O (On Your Own) run OR coordinate amongst your teammates to get out for some easy miles. **EPXC Team Captains Applicants**, this is an opportunity to show your leadership; get your teammates out!

Sunday - Cross-Training or Rest Day!

Let's keep up the awesome work!

Lastly, remember any and all things relating to Estes Park Cross Country can be found on our team’s website: www.estesparkxc.com. AND, please frequent our team calendar as EPXC is jam-packed with races, practices, events, etc. throughout the season.

You all can also follow us on our team Facebook page HERE!! GO BOBCATS!

#epxc #bobcatrunning #gobobcats

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Estes Park Cross Country - Week 3 - Summer Training

“There’s one thing you learn in cross country running. You never give up; you fight to the finish.”

A factor that Coach Harris and I have always loved about cross country is that it is both completely an individual AND team sport. Think about it for a second; it is individual because you have to run the race, no one can do it for you. You have to go through the internal battle of how much suffering you are willing to tolerate (the mental training that we’ve been talking about); there are no timeouts or substitutions to help you. But, at the same time, you rely completely on your teammates in order to have a successful team and team score (Remember, lowest score wins). You could be the best runner in the world, but be on a last place team if your teammates are not able to carry their share of the load. This is part of why it is SO important to set both individual and team goals for the season, as well as a set of team rules/expectations.

The turnout was not quite where it was the first week, however, we think everyone can ‘bounce’ back and get on track. If you’ve missed a few days, let’s make every effort to be out this coming week. I will sound like a broken record: “Coach Harris and I cannot help you all, if you do not show up”.

Without further ado, please read carefully the following news for this upcoming week. We know it’s a lot, and maybe repetitive, but it is all important:

THANK YOU – Estes Park 'Kids Fun Run' & Marathon Team Fundraiser

First and foremost, a HUGE ‘Thank You’ to the runners and parents that were able to come out and help Saturday/Sunday. This is EPXC’s biggest fundraiser for the summer and the money raised the past two days will definitely help out for activities we have planned during the rest of summer and in-season.

Coach Stafford’s Athletic Conditioning Class

This coming semester OR even Spring semester, if you are enrolled in a P.E. course OR have room in your schedule, it would be very beneficial to enroll in Coach Stafford’s 8th Hour Athletic Conditioning course. This course is specifically designed for an athletic conditioning approach that provides variety, breaking through muscular endurance plateaus, increasing metabolic rate, improving cardiovascular & muscular fitness (without running, LOL) and building mental fortitude. The topics that we cover in this course are metabolic conditioning, VO2 Max, Tabata, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), plyometric (explosive) training, speed & agility training, physiology of exercise, and other training methods.

Get in if you can! There is no doubt it will take your running to the next level!

Mileage Tracking & Leaderboard:

It goes without saying, but we’d like to reiterate that each one of you is showing your TRUE dedication to this team and also both individual & team goals. We are extremely proud of you. LET'S KEEP THIS MOMENTUM UP and keep logging you daily/weekly mileage!!

The EPXC ‘Mileage Leaderboard’ will be updated on Monday so we need everyone to bring your Summer Training Binder to practice on Monday. Please let us know if you have any questions on tracking mileage.

Upcoming Week Schedule:

Monday – Aerobic Base Training Run w/ Coach Harris & Stafford @ 6:15AM meet at the EPHS Track Shed. Remember, the more work you perform aerobically, or in the presence of oxygen, the more efficient you are. Prolonged aerobic training produces muscular adaptations that improve oxygen transport to the muscles, reduces the rate of lactate formation, improves the rate of lactate removal and increases energy production and utilization.

***We’ll have two more of these base-training sessions then starting in July, we will move into our next block of training.

Metabolic Conditioning (a.k.a. MetCon) w/ Coach Stafford @ immediately after run in the EPHS Weight Room; the focus will be on upper body. This type of training consists of a very high work rate for short duration, which improves cardiovascular capacity, VO2 Max, and give a SERIOUS caloric burn. Included are various types of bodyweight exercises to get the heart pumping!

Tuesday – Stanley Run w/ Coach Harris @ 5:30PM (meet at Steamers Cafe). Choose from 3, 4, 5 or 6 low-key/easy effort miles. AGAIN, please ensure this run is at your aerobic effort and nothing beyond that...again building that pyramid.

***Team Dinner: After the run, EPXC will have its Team Dinner at Coach Harris’s house. More details to follow at practice on Monday.

Wednesday – East Portal Trailhead (Wind River/Glacier Gorge Loop) @ 6:30AM. EPXC will be meeting right outside the East Portal Campground. This is easy to get to...just go towards the YMCA (Hwy 66) and go past it till the road dead ends. If you are not sure of how to get there, please refer to EPXC’s trailhead directions HERE.

The Wind River and Glacier Basin Loop is a 6.1 mile lightly trafficked loop trail that features beautiful wild flowers and has moderate up & downhills. For those looking to get more mileage, we will tack on Sprague Lake.

***If you have purchased a hydration pack, please bring it with you on this run. Hydration packs can be purchased at the EP Mountain Shop (various sizes & prices)***

Thursday – Bighorn Restaurant @ 6:30AM. EPXC will meet in the parking lot in front of the restaurant and do a run around downtown Estes. Bring some $$ for afterwards. This family-oriented restaurant serves some of the biggest portions of breakfasts that we have seen in Estes AND its delicious!!

Friday – Conditioning & Muscular Endurance w/ Coach Stafford @ 9AM in the EPHS weight room; the focus will be on lower body. Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time.

In strength training (i.e. weights), muscular endurance refers to the number of repetitions of a single exercise you can do without needing to stop and rest (a.k.a. lactic acid threshold training).

In cardiovascular training (i.e. running), it builds the energy systems of the body, the muscle fibers, and capillaries that can sustain long periods of running.

***It’s imperative you attend these sessions***

Saturday - O.Y.O (On Your Own) run OR coordinate amongst your teammates to get out for some easy miles. **EPXC Team Captains Applicants**, this is an opportunity to show your leadership; get your teammates out!

Sunday - Cross-Training or Rest Day!

Take the time to take care of yourselves (hydrating, sleeping, and good nutrition). Let's keep up the awesome work!

Lastly, remember any and all things relating to Estes Park Cross Country can be found on our team’s website: www.estesparkxc.com. AND, please frequent our team calendar as EPXC is jam-packed with races, practices, events, etc. throughout the season.

You all can also follow us on our team Facebook page HERE!! GO BOBCATS!!

#epxc #bobcatrunning #gobobcats

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Estes Park Cross Country - Week 2 - Summer Training

“Cross Country champions in October are forged in the hot summer runs of June and July.”

Both coaches are SUPER proud of the turnout in EPXC’s first week of practice. PLEASE, PLEASE know that the work you all are putting in now is going to be HUGE this coming season! You have to stick with it through the good and bad. AND parents, we THANK YOU so much for getting your son/daughter to all practices!

Just a quick recap and we’ll move to the news for the upcoming week.

To reiterate Coach Harris’s message on Monday; we want you all to think of your running potential as a pyramid. The wider the bottom of the pyramid, the taller you can build. The training during early summer training (NOW), is focused on building the bottom of each of your pyramid as large as possible (ah-hem, AEROBIC BASE!!!). This is done through what YOU have chosen as your “Summer Mileage Plan”. Stick with it and you will build that base.

Please read carefully the following news for this upcoming week. We know its a lot but it is all important:

Coach Stafford’s Athletic Conditioning Class

We believe that everyone has registered for the Fall semester. However, if you are enrolled in a P.E. course OR have room in your schedule, it would be very beneficial to enroll in Coach Stafford’s 8th Hour Athletic Conditioning course. This course is specifically designed for an athletic conditioning approach that provides variety, breaking through muscular endurance plateaus, increasing metabolic rate, improving cardiovascular & muscular fitness (without running, LOL) and building mental fortitude. The topics that we cover in this course are metabolic conditioning, VO2 Max, Tabata, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), plyometric (explosive) training, speed & agility training, physiology of exercise, and other training methods.

Get in if you can! There is no doubt it will take your running to the next level!

Estes Park 'Kids Fun Run' & Marathon Team Fundraiser

This Saturday, June 15th is the Estes Park Marathon ‘Kids Fun Run’. Meet Coach Harris and Stafford at the track shed at 9AM for set-up.

Then on Sunday, June 16th is the Estes Park Marathon in which EPXC will be working various aid stations. Coach Harris will follow-up later this week to specific details of when & where to meet to pick up items for your specific aid station.

Speaking of which, as of this email, there are NO runners OR parents that have signed-up. Again, this is one of Estes Park Cross Country's biggest summer fundraisers. We use the fundraising money for team camp, end-of-year banquet, state meet dinner, and many more other things throughout the season. Please SIGN-UP HERE as soon as you can. [click on 'Volunteer Sign-Up Page' to fill in your name(s)]

Mileage Tracking & Leaderboard:

Remember to record your summer mileage from this past weekend. The EPXC ‘Mileage Leaderboard’ will be updated on Monday so we need everyone to bring your Summer Training Binder to practice on Monday. Please let us know if you have any questions on tracking mileage.

Upcoming Week Schedule:

Monday – Aerobic Base Training Run w/ Coach Harris & Stafford @ 6:15AM meet at the EPHS Track Shed. Remember the pyramid analogy above??...the more work you perform aerobically, or in the presence of oxygen, the more efficient you are. Prolonged aerobic training produces muscular adaptations that improve oxygen transport to the muscles, reduces the rate of lactate formation, improves the rate of lactate removal and increases energy production and utilization. WOW lots of Anatomy, Physiology & Biology or whatever science, LOL.

Metabolic Conditioning (a.k.a. MetCon) w/ Coach Stafford @ immediately after run in the EPHS Weight Room (focus will be on upper body). This type of training consists of a very high work rate for short duration, which improves cardiovascular capacity, VO2 Max, and give a SERIOUS caloric burn. Included are various types of bodyweight exercises to get the heart pumping!

Tuesday – Stanley Run w/ Coach Harris @ 5:30PM (meet at Steamers Cafe). Choose from 3, 4, 5 or 6 low-key/easy effort miles. Please ensure this run is at your aerobic effort and nothing beyond that...again building that pyramid.

***It seems that the Stanley is not providing snacks/beverages afterwards, so if you want to chip in a few $$ for pizza, this could be a new EPXC tradition.

Wednesday – Cub Lake Trail w/ Coach Harris & Stafford @ 6:30AM. EPXC will be meeting at the Cub Lake Trailhead (4.8miles round-trip) inside RMNP; note there will be no entrance fee as we’ll be inside the park before 7AM. The run to Cub Lake begins from the Moraine Park area. To reach the trailhead from Bear Lake Road through the Beaver Meadows entrance, follow Moraine Park Road for a half-mile to an unmarked junction - just before reaching the campground. At the junction, turn left and drive roughly 1.2 miles to the Cub Lake Trailhead. If you are not sure of how to get there, please refer to EPXC’s trailhead directions HERE. Delicious protein-packed pancakes served afterwards.

***If you have purchased a hydration pack, please bring it with you on this run. Hydration packs can be purchased at the EP Mountain Shop (various sizes & prices)***

Thursday – The Egg & I w/ Coach Harris @ 6:30AM. EPXC will meet in the parking lot in front of the restaurant and then do a run around downtown Estes. Bring some $$ for afterwards. The Egg & I is an Estes Park staple for dishing up some great breakfasts.

Friday – Conditioning & Muscular Endurance w/ Coach Stafford @ 9AM in the EPHS weight room (focus will be on lower body). Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time. In strength training (i.e. weights), muscular endurance refers to the number of repetitions of a single exercise you can do without needing to stop and rest (a.k.a. lactic acid threshold training). In cardiovascular training (i.e. running), it builds the energy systems of the body, the muscle fibers, and capillaries that can sustain long periods of running.

***It’s imperative you attend these sessions***

Saturday – OPTIONAL run w/ Coach Harris & Stafford @ 7:30AM meet in EPHS Track Shed. Requests have already been made to do the A,B,C,D streets! We will go VERY easy up & down these streets then can stick around and work the EP ‘Kids Fun Run’. We also heard the Donut Haus will be catering post run breakfast!

Estes Park 'Kids Fun Run' Fundraiser. We are still looking for some help on this day. Even if you cannot do the whole shift (maybe just an hour), please sign up HERE.

Sunday – Estes Park Marathon Team Fundraiser. Coach Harris will follow up with an email with specifics, however, please report to your assigned station at your assigned time on the marathon course. Sign-up HERE (under 'Volunteer Sign-Up Page').

Again, there is a lot of stuff going on this week. As always, please remember to take care of yourselves (hydrating, sleeping, and good nutrition). Let's keep up the awesome work!

Lastly, remember any and all things relating to Estes Park Cross Country can be found on our team’s website: www.estesparkxc.com. AND, please frequent our team calendar as EPXC is jam-packed with races, practices, events, etc. throughout the season.

You all can also follow us on our team Facebook page HERE!! GO BOBCATS!!

#epxc #bobcatrunning #gobobcats

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