Coach Jeremy's Notes to the Team
Well Team, we made it to the final week of the regular season!
Wow, that was the fastest one in my 17 years…. What a fun ride it has been. But… we aren’t finished yet so let’s keep pushing!
As I reflect on last Saturday at Pierce College the first thing I want to say is that course and venue has never looked that great! Green grass, green hills, and the weather was amazing! And that led to many great performances and pr’s from previous years.
Everyone of you showed up to perform and as always there are lessons learned.
I want to start with the guiding principle of running: you gotta have fun and enjoy it. From warmup to training to drills to racing, all the fun, all the pain, all the challenges, all the glory! Did I touch on every part of it? This is a tough sport. As we led up to this race, and coming off MT Sac, I mentioned several times about going into the Gladiator Arena. You know me well enough by now that I like to use analogies to get a point across, to paint a picture, and to prepare you for what is coming.
For some of you, that mental picture of Gladiator Arena might give you more stress while others relish in the challenge. That is why I started with the guiding principle: HAVE FUN!
Some of you are gladiators, while some of you aren’t. That is OK! The fact is although you might not be going to battle mentally with your competition, you are always going to battle with yourself, aren’t you? The questioning and internal comments look like this: I’m tired, do I really want to do this?, is it going to be hot, will my parents be proud of me, can I really beat that person, will my mouth be dry, am I willing to give it my all, how fast can I run, am I fast enough, what if I don’t run fast today….
Ultimately, this questioning has 2 outcomes: the best outcome is that you squash these comments, put them out of your head, and go race to your best ability. You want to train yourself to not allow these comments to penetrate and rest in your mind. What I said right there was your mind has the power to either give in to negative thoughts OR squash them and overcome them with greatness!
To review Saturday meet, many of you took it to heart to show up as Gladiators and I want to use 2 as examples:
Julia took off like she was invincible! She led the race for the first mile!!! She looked great and was competing until the valley leading to pukes hill. She didn’t hear me at .25 into the race when I yelled to her SIT!!!! Here’s the lesson she and I discussed at the end of the race:
Those newbury park girls are always finishing 1 min ahead of her. Going out hard and leading the race, although brave, set her up to run out of gas and eventually struggle into the finish. You will always run stronger, farther, if you are with others. The point in this race was had she sat on their heals and let them pull her along, she probably would have raced longer with them and ended up cutting their winning lead by 30 seconds or more. Either way you look at it, Julia started the season racing over a minute behind those girls and Saturday was UNDER a minute behind them. Her guts still proved her well, and I am super proud of that! Now we take those guts and run a little different strategy and BOOM, she’ll see even more amazing results!
Next, I’ll talk about another youth in Levi. MT Sac showed Levi a piece of running that you hear me talk about often, but definitely applies to the Youth more than any other age group. That is NUTRITION!!! So, Levi bonked, as we call it in running, at MT Sac. He was looking great and then BOOM the energy was gone because the nutrition was gone. Regrouping for this week Levi had 2 choices: improve the nutritional game for Pierce, or think he’s done and mentally implode. I’m super proud that Levi gave you all the greatest example of a comeback you could see. He focused on nutrition, and preparation and went out there and raced! I had a better opportunity to yell louder to Levi and he sat well in the race, to compete with his top rivals. You better believe that Eric was worried. What Levi shared after the race was that other kids were cutting him off, were being aggressive, and ultimately threw him off his mental game with about a half mile to go. Those rivals gapped him and he wasn’t able to catch back up. Here’s what I discussed with him: when you are racing at a higher level you have to be alert to play out the race in front of you. Your competition won’t be thinking about you and if you are too close or not. They will shoot a gap and cut you off and not care. They’ll also push and shove and try to intimidate. I will never coach to be an aggressor, but… I will always coach to protect yourselves on the race course and that is exactly what you have to be ready to do. So Levi learned he needs to be more alert, and be ready to respond, and DON’T LET DIFFERENT CHALLENGES TAKE YOU OFF YOUR GAME! Ultimately Levi improved this year on the same course from 16:45 last year to 15:09 on Saturday!!!!
Super proud of you young man!
And Julia with a 25 second PR from last year, super proud of you young lady!
Running is about challenging yourself, it’s about learning how to be better, it’s about taking these lessons with you to school, eventually to work, but ultimately the most important piece is you gotta have fun doing it!!
So where does that leave us today…. It leaves us kicking off the final week of the regular season!
I love the fact that we get to race Central at the beginning and the end of the season so we can see how much you improved! We have to change the course a little, but this doesn’t change the meat of the course so you will be able to compare times.
So let’s get down to it. This week is tapering again. We’ll run less time tonight, we’ll run through some tempo/fartleks on tuesday, and then have our annual Halloween run on Thursday night after some final speed intervals around soccer loop. This is a week to have fun as we ramp down the distance and get ready for Saturday.
Now is the time again to stay healthy so PLEASE pay attention to this:
- Be alert to sick friends and family members. Don’t think just because a family member is sick that you have to get sick also.
- Stay away, wash your hands, and…
- Load up on emergen C. It’s easy, go buy a box and drink a packet of it in the morning and at dinner… every day!
- Stay off those skateboards and anything else that has a high chance of causing a season ending injury.
- Junior highers, get a note to not run the laps at school this week, offer to write a paper on how amazing you train all the time! 😊
- One final point: if you didn’t accomplish what you wanted at Pierce, there is one more race to do it! No pressure, get back to having fun, and race with a smile on your face to finish the season on a high note!
Let’s take these simple 6 steps and make it to Saturday healthy and ready to give it your best!
I’m excited to see how each of you come to the battle. Until then, I look forward to seeing you this week and finishing up a fantastic season!