Sum­mer train­ing ‘sep­a­rates the cham­pi­ons from the also-rans’

Baltimore Sun - - VAR­SITY FALL PRE­VIEW -

Au­gust. Many al­ready have spent the sum­mer train­ing for the long dis­tances that await them in the fall. There are nu­mer­ous ways for run­ners to get into great shape for the sea­son.

“Sum­mer train­ing is what sep­a­rates the cham­pi­ons from the also-rans,” John Car­roll girls coach Rob Tor­res said. “You have to have that base mileage in place be­fore you start the in­tense train­ing in late Au­gust and early Septem­ber. Those who don’t are play­ing catch-up and of­ten get in­jured from do­ing too much be­fore they’re ready for it.”

Teams train dif­fer­ently through­out the sum­mer when coaches are not there to su­per­vise. The Du­laney boys cruised to the Class 4A state ti­tle last fall while the girls fin­ished sec­ond, and both teams worked hard that sum­mer in their own ways.

Coach Chad Boyle said many of the school’s run­ners at­tend a camp in North Carolina that’s man­aged by Ap­palachian THIS WEEK’S PRE­VIEWS Thurs­day: field hockey, vol­ley­ball Fri­day: foot­ball On­line: boys and girls soc­cer State. The col­lege’s staff pushes teams through five days of train­ing and team­build­ing work. In ad­di­tion, the Du­laney coach­ing staff gives ev­ery run­ner a mileage goal and presents an award to the most im­proved boy and girl at a late-Au­gust pre­sea­son time trial.

At South River, boys coach Josh Car­roll said the run­ners are en­cour­aged to build their mileage base and take care of their bod­ies through­out the sum­mer. They want the ath­letes to watch their diet, hy­dra­tion and sleep habits. Plus, they cross-train two or three days a week, of­ten run­ning at 7 a.m.

Mount Saint Joseph is the de­fend­ing Mary­land In­ters­cholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion A Con­fer­ence cham­pion, the Gaels’ first team ti­tle in the sport. Coach Phil Turner said his team got to­gether for 6 a.m. prac­tices a few morn­ings a week, a 6 p.m. run once a week and a Satur­day run.

Maria Cof­fin of An­napo­lis is one of the state’s top run­ners and de­fend­ing Class 4A state cham­pion. She spent lots of time work­ing on her own this sum­mer.

Cof­fin ran close to 50 miles a week in the sum­mer, of­ten around 7 or 8 a.m. She fo­cuses on mileage in the sum­mer and not as much on speed.

“It’s mainly just about en­durance in the sum­mer, and it helps you some­what,” Cof­fin said.

Cof­fey headed to Camp Os­rui in Oconomowoc, Wis., and the 1,000-mile, 20-day ride to Michi­gan and back is part of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

Cof­fey has done the ride the past two sum­mers with his sis­ter, Sarah, a top run­ner at Here­ford who starts at Prince­ton this fall. He rode about 50 miles daily over ap­prox­i­mately six to seven hours and slept at dif­fer­ent camp­sites each night. He also ran 25 to 30 min­utes two out of ev­ery three days.

“I think it puts me in re­ally good car­dio­vas­cu­lar shape at the start of the sea­son,” Cof­fey said. “I feel like it’s [an edge].”

Here­ford coach John Roe­mer IV is fine with bik­ing — since he also did it dur­ing his col­lege ca­reer at Johns Hop­kins.

“If he’s got more bik­ing mileage than run­ning mileage, then I’m all for it,” Roe­mer said. “Dillon is highly mo­ti­vated.”

Run­ners all want to reach the fin­ish line first, which is why they spend so much time work­ing in the sum­mer.

“I think it’s a pretty big fac­tor in your long-term suc­cess over the sea­son be­cause it re­ally builds a strong base for you,” Cof­fey said of his sum­mer work. “Like our coaches say, then you can train for speed.”

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