Last week we covered the importance of Iron Level Upkeep for distance runners on the blog. I have also included a pair of additional articles this week about this very important issue, and how it can impact you as a high school cross country athlete.
- How Much Iron is Enough for Endurance Athletes?
- The Athletes Guide to Boosting Iron
- Foundational Guidelines for Iron Supplementation (Courtesy of Dr. Jeff Messier: Exercise Science Chair, Mesa Community College and Desert Vista High School XC/Track Coach)
This week, we are going to tackle another important issue. Nutrition for distance runners. If you are sleeping well (more on this next week) and training well, you'll have to fuel your body with the right kinds of foods to maximize your ability as a runner. While we don't need you to change everything you eat, it is important to realize that you will need to eat better than a typical high school student. This doesn't mean you can never "cheat" and eat some of the fun stuff like ice cream. It just means that if you want to get the most out of your training and championship sleeping you will need to fuel yourself with the right kind of nutrition. For more ideas on what "the right kind of nutrition" looks like check out our simple MVHS TEAM nutrition guide:
What does that balance look like? It's okay to "cheat" and eat the fun stuff as long as you are taking care of your daily nutritional needs. My best friend from high school, Matt Tegenkamp who was a two time Olympian (2008 in the 5000 meters/2012 in the 10,o00 meters) and the American record holder for 2-miles (8:07) says it plainly and simply like this, "All things in moderation." In other words, fuel yourself like a champion 90% of the time. Eat what mom and dad cook for dinner. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Eat good fats from things like high quality meat, avocados, and nuts. Get in plenty of protein, and don't forget about carbohydrates if you are going to be your best while also recovering from some pretty challenging training. And the other 10% of the time...it's okay to treat yourself.
Where do most high school athletes mess up their nutrition?
That's easy! They don't eat enough. Your bodies are growing and you are going through some really tough training at the same time. Both require a lot of food, much more than your non-running classmates require.
Basic Nutrition Advise for High School Distance Runners
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
- Eat food...lots of food! At dinner time, eat what mom and dad cook for you.
- Eat a full meal at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Snacks that fuel you as an athlete between each meal are probably also necessary to meet your daily caloric needs as a high level endurance athlete.
- 90% of what you eat can be foods that fuel you like an athlete: (high quality meat, whole grains, tubers, legumes, fruits, vegetables, etc.)
- Keep processed and refined foods in moderation. (sugar, protein bars, fast food, convenience store food, soda/energy drinks, etc.)
- Choose whole foods over processed foods.
- Never feel hungry for long. If you are hungry, your body is telling you that it needs more energy.
- Discuss with your parents what your best corse of action is in regards to nutrition.
- Keep a balance between eating like a normal high school student and an elite distance runner. It's okay to eat the "fun" stuff in moderation as long as you are meeting all of your other daily nutritional needs.
- Read this for additional advice: MVHS Distance Program Nutrition Resource (Drive)
Individualized Nutrient and Hydration Guidance
The coaching staff would love speak with any of the athletes on the TEAM about nutrition. If you are interested, please talk to one of the coaches at practice. Based on your current age and training volumes we will help you to consider the following: Daily calorie needs (it's much more than you think!), daily H2O consumption, post-training protein and carbohydrate intake (Chocolate Milk), daily protein and good fat intake advice (again, it's more than you think it needs to be), and amount of iron supplement you should consider.
Consistency is Key: 15 Ways to Unlock Your Potential as HS Runner
Finally, A new book about high school XC running was released last week, and our TEAM at Mountain Visa was profiled in it! It's a really cool compliment to the dedication and commitment each of you make to the entire TEAM every single day. If you are serious about becoming a better distance runner during the cross country and track season the coaches recommend you order a copy. There is great advice inside the pages of the book about the importance of nutrition, along with lots of other tips related to training, sleep, race strategy, and more!
If you are interested in buying a copy the coaches highly recommend it. It's a quick read, and something every high school and middle school runner on the Vista Nation XC squad will benefit from. The aerobic monster T-Shirt even gets a shout out in our TEAM profile!!!!
- Website to Order Consistency is Key (link)
- Awesome Strength Training Videos from the Consistency is Key website (link)
If you have not already done so, please take care of your summer payment ASAP so that we can finish collecting dues for the summer. Currently, only half of our summer participants have taken care of this.
Please remember that this is our main fundraiser for the season and how we are able to compensate our assistant coaches during the summer and spring. This season, the school district is not providing for any assistant coaching stipends and we are paying 100% of that cost out of our TEAM budget.
- Please have your payment in ASAP!!!
- $100. All fees must be paid by credit card. We are not accepting checks this year.
- This years fee is $50 less than last year.
- The $100 covers the cost of our entire summer XC camp including in person coaching and electronic coaching via Final Surge.
- Our summer program is the main fundraiser for our team each year and how we afford things like additional coaching stipends, uniforms, meet transportation, etc. during the season.
- If anyone cannot pay the $100 camp fee please contact Coach Dalby. Nobody will be turned away.
Schedule for July 13th-19th
This week the coaches are doing our best to have one of us with each of you everyday of the week.
- Take a look at the schedule to know what days you are meeting with the coaching staff.
- Days marked in red indicate a coach will be meeting with that individual group.
- On the days groups are not meeting with coaches we are providing meet up locations so that you have someone to run with from your group. We are doing our best to organize a coach being there on those days.
- Freshman will have a coach meeting with them all 6 days we are allowed to meet this week. This is to help guide our youngest athletes.
- We are going to a split start time each day. 6:45 and 7:15. Please know what time your group is going.
- The middle school camp is on a new schedule this week. Please see the MS link below for more details!
- High School Schedule: July 13th-19th (link)
- High School Groups (link)
- Middle School Groups and Schedule: July 13th-19th (link)
Middle School Practices for July 6th-12th
Each group will meet 2x per week, once on-campus, and once OFF-CAMPUS! We are using Redstone Park for its proximity to the Highline Canal and SHADE! Additionally, each week, one group will meet a third time! Groups 3 and 4 were combined to facilitate the two/three practice schedule. When on-campus, athletes will work with one coach with a staggered start. Off-campus, two coaches will be present. We realize this schedule will not work every time for every athlete.
- Continue to bring a mask, labeled water bottle, and be ready to answer COVID Symptom Questions. If you would answer YES to any question, please stay home and run on your own. We will still take temperatures and enforce Social Distancing.
- Please bring a watch to practice!
- Be on time. This helps us get checked in quickly.
- If you can’t make a practice, they are still posted on Final Surge.
- Keep being safe and having fun!
If you are listed in the last column on the Group List and would like to join a LIVE practice, please email Coach Estell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Coach Sprafke (email@example.com).