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