What Do You Wish You Knew in High School That You Know Now?
If you were to ask a dozen elite runners what they know now that they wished they knew in high school when they first started becoming serious runners, you’d get a dozen different answers.
For example, you might wish that you knew:
There are more paces to run at than just “workout” and “race.” Aï¿½You should at least add maintenance to that list. You should always try to have a good Aï¿½idea going into each workout what the goal is, even if that goal is Aï¿½just to prepare for the next workout.
Recovery from two-a-day workouts can be much easier than doing 1 longer run throughout the day.
Consistency in training is very important, especially if you live in a climate with extreme weather where consistent running can be more difficult than elsewhere.
Skiing is a good cross training activity in that itAï¿½gives you great cardiovascular fitness, but it just doesn’t translate onto the track and shouldn’t be used as a complete substitute for your running. Running even once or twice a week can be good enough to allow you to maintain your running fitness between the cross country and track seasons. Going for 5 or 6 weeks at a time without a run will not allow you leave you prepared no matter how well you are cross training. The same goes for the Summer when you need to bridge the gap between track and cross country.
A high volume workload can make a big difference in your performance as long as you safely work up to it.
Don’t be afraid to do some harder workouts while you are still in high school.
Make sure that you get plenty of sleep and can recover adequately, especially if you do add a higher volume workload or run harder workouts.
If you can, become a morning person, which will give you extra time for workouts, stretching, breakfast, et cetera. It becomes so much easier when you don’t have to be out the door 15 minutes after waking up.
Try to carry a canteen or other water bottle and refill it a few times throughout the day. Drink from it regularly.
Pack your own lunches. Aï¿½Muscle cells only live for 6 months, and are created out of the foods that you eat. So quite literally, you are what you eat. Every 6 months you have replaced every muscle fiber with completely new cells. Your diet might improve if you realized that your muscles are made up of various types of fast food and junk food.
As soon as you finish with your workout, eat an apple, banana, power bar, clif bar or something similar. This will help you to control your immediate appetite following the workout, which can help keep you from stopping on the way home for something like french fries that then fills you up so that you aren’t hungry at dinner time.
Being well hydrated and eating better will lead to feeling good every day and will help you perform well in your training so that you can improve in your racing. Aï¿½Getting enough food and rest to handle a larger workload will help you to become a better runner.
Some simple habits can make a huge difference as long as you take those couple of minutes per day to get them to sink in.