Welcome to Windsor X-Country 2014!
You are reading this because you are interested in running- that alone makes you a little different than the average person. X-Country is not an easy sport- you will be running 2-3 mile races over rough terrain and some tough hills. Training runs consist of 2-10+ miles (depending on ability) along with hill work, speed training and conditioning.
When the season starts
In order to be on the team and be able to compete, you need to practice Monday through Friday and at least Saturday or Sunday on your own. Successful runners train year around. Consistent running is the key to an enjoyable season- it is difficult to enter a race and do well when you have only run 3 times in the last week.
The following pages will outline our expectations for practices, races, earning a varsity letter and other general running information.
We meet most days from 4:00-5:30 in Mr. Stefanisko's room, G202 in the back of campus.
Mondays we will meet at 4:00 PM at Foothill Park for hill training. Mondays and Wednesdays will be your hardest runs- hills, speed work, etc. or races. Tues and Thurs will be recovery runs and weight training. Friday will vary depending on where we are in the season. We want everyone to make every practice, but know that isn’t always possible. If you cannot make a practice, tell, text or phone coach Stefanisko. (707 477-2488) Failure to do so may result in you not being allowed to run in races.
When we run in practice, we will run both on and off campus. We will run many of the same courses- this helps you know how far the run is and allows me to know where everyone is. Weather can change a lot during the season, from hot in August to cold and rainy in November. We always take precautions for the conditions and discuss it before each run.
Since we have people running at different paces, we won’t be able to see you every moment of practice. Do not change the workout or take a different route. If you are injured, try and let someone else know (if I am not immediately available) and take the most direct route back to campus and wait for help. If you can’t walk well enough, get immediate help from someone in the area.
If you have any medical conditions that you feel are important, please let me know!
Running on the Street
As a pedestrian, you have no legal right to be on the street; so don’t assume anything about cars on the road. Run on sidewalks or bike paths whenever possible. When running on the street, run facing traffic and as far to the left as possible. Run single file and never cross in front of a car unless you have made direct eye contact with the driver and he knows you are crossing.
Trail running is safe from cars, but is more challenging because of the uneven terrain. Watch your step, stay alert and be cautious when running downhill.
Our program is simple- about 20 minutes total moving from station to station. Out goal is to build endurance, not big bulky muscles. We do mostly crunches and push-ups and few other exercises, concentrating on strengthening our core.
Races will be on Wednesdays with about 4-5 Saturdays. It is expected that you attend these meets to race more and so we can have full teams in various divisions. The school will provide no transportation for Saturday meets. The school will provide transportation to the Wednesday meets, but not transportation home.
Earning a Varsity Letter
Earning a varsity letter will be a combination of race performance, practices, and meeting minimum standards I have set for varsity. Generally, runners who can run under 17:00 on our home course (boys) and under 19:00 (girls) will be varsity. Some years there may be more people who meet these standards than other years, so I am flexible. My expectations are that about 10-12 boys and 7-10 girls will earn their varsity block each year.
The Varsity boys and girls each week can change a little and it is ultimately my responsibility to put the best team out there, so sometimes I consider other factors than just race results each week. Some runners may bounce back and forth between JV and Varsity in the same season.
Remember, if you have any questions and you can reach me through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or cell phone at 477.2488.
I look forward to a great season!
Pete Stefanisko, Windsor X-Country Coach
For the parent or guardian:
Cross-Country is a unique sport- it requires athletes to act as individuals and as part of a team. My job is to help them reach their potential and enjoy running. I have been running for over 35 years and one of my goals is to see my runners still enjoying running after high school.
Running cross-country requires consistent effort and we practice Mon-Fri from 4:00 to 5:30 at the latest. Tues and Thursdays tend to go a little shorter because they are recovery days between speed workouts and races.
Safety is very important and X-Country offers some unique challenges when training. I have coached and run for many years, have had coaches training, concussion training and am CPR certified, and yet I can't prevent accidents from happening or be with every runner all the time.
I instruct the runners daily about we we are doing and any special conditions or things to know. We run on the streets (I always tell runners to run facing traffic and never assume that any car, bike, or person is going to stop for you!) through parks, over rocky paths and race up and down hills. Temperatures range from over 100 sometimes in the beginning of the season the rain and mud during the finals. If your runner has any medical conditions that you feel are important, please let me know!
A few things to know about your cross-country runner:
They will eat, drink and sleep more than usual if they are doing it right. The first few weeks are tough on everyone, with school starting, increased mileage and strength workouts.
One of the challenges is knowing when you are injured or just sore and tired. Sore muscles tend to feel better after warming up and moving around, injured ones hurt more just doing everyday things.
Runners should be following a hard/easy schedule, with not a lot of activity on easy days. Yes, they can do chores and homework, but I don’t want runners doing other sports or strenuous extra workouts without my knowledge. My workouts are structured to accompany both high level varsity and beginners and the extra work gives me a false impression of what they are capable of and can lead to injury.
Your runner should have a good pair of running shoes, several pairs of shorts and shirts and socks. More advanced runners will want racing shoes. Both Fleet Feet and Heart and Sole in Santa Rosa give discounts to high school cross-country runners. Good shoes cost anywhere from $50-$150, with many good models available around $80.
As for shorts shirts, it is much better to have shirts made of a lightweight, moisture wicking material than cotton. They can be kind of expensive, so I encourage you to try Target, Old Navy, Ross etc...because the fabrics tend to work pretty much the same....
At each meet, we do need help with snacks, water, and transportation and at home meets, timers and course monitors. It takes 10-15 people to put on a home meet, so we need volunteers. The meets go from about 3:30- 6:00 on Wednesdays. We have 1 home meet this year Wednesday Oct 22, 2014, 3:00 PM, at Foothill Park.
This year, we are going to several Saturday Meets-Sept 13 at Spring , Sept 27th at Westmoor High School in South San Francisco and October 11 at Castro Valley. These require money for entry fees, transportation, etc…. the school district does not pay for these meets, but they are essential for runners to be exposed to great competition and to bond as a team.
I love coaching cross-country and I look forward to a great season with your runner!