This information is intended to support our distance training throughout the year. The Georgetown High School Cross Country team is a competitive program that will give back to each athlete something they will get in no other place, at no other time, in their life. Proper nutrition, hydration, sleep, and training shoe maintenance are essential to this program and we hope that once the parent and athlete are educated on these matters, a commitment will be made to adhere strictly to the following guidelines. Running at a championship level has no compromise either physically or mentally.There is an almost overwhelming amount of nutrition information available for today’s athlete. For specific dietary needs consult with your physician or a registered dietician. It is very important for competitive athletes to eat the right kinds and amounts of food. You should consume some type of protein every day to keep your muscles healthy. Complex carbohydrates should also be eaten daily; including breads, fruits, vegetables, and pasta. Eat a variety of foods in the proper portions. Don’t over eat but more importantly never under eat. Distance runners burn a huge amount of calories each day and you need to feed your body to stay strong. Snack on power bars, cliff bars, harvest bars, etc., and use a variety of them so you do not get sick of them. Stay away from low nutrition, junk food and soda.
TRAINING AND RACING SHOES
A good pair of training shoes lasts about 300-400 miles. For aGeorgetowndistance runner that is about six to eight weeks (maximum). After 300-400 miles of pounding the cushioning is no longer there. Athletes who buy a new pair of shoes every six to eight weeks (or 300-400 miles) will have fresher legs for workouts, less injuries, and a happier existence in this program. You should buy any kind of training shoe that you feel comfortable running in. Purchase your shoes at a reputable shoe store to make sure you are getting the best shoe for your dollar.
Every athlete must race in spiked shoes. Runners should purchase their racing spikes through the school when the group order is placed. This will ensure you purchase a quality spike that is uniform with the team at a group discount price. If you choose to buy your own spikes, make sure to buy a “distance” spike with a cushioned heel. Do NOT buy a sprinters spike. They are built for explosive speed, not controlled racing over a two-mile or 5K distance.
Distance runners place a tremendous amount of stress on their bodies due to the high mileage run each week. One of the best ways to reduce the impact of that stress is to get the proper amount of sleep each night. Adjusting a high school athlete’s lifestyle to try to keep them healthy is a major project for the coach. The parents can really help with this aspect of our training. Sleep is when the body restores itself in all areas. Carbohydrates (glycogen) are stored in the liver and muscles, blood acidity drops, enzymes are replaced, and the immune system is restored after the stress of running and other activities. The most respected study ever published on athletes and sleep found that going to bed at the same time every night is the most important thing that an athlete can do for himself/herself. Going to bed within 15 minutes of the same time every night can even help reduce the number of colds a runner gets. Getting up at the same time was much less significant. Go to bed at the same time EVERY night if at all possible!
GENERAL NUTRITION INFORMATION
Proper hydration is critical to the health of a distance runner. You need to have a water bottle with you at all times, including in class, and you need to drink from it. Don’t share your water bottle because you will pass germs and possibly get sick and lose valuable training time. Plain water is not always enough to stay properly hydrated. You should also consume electrolyte replacement drinks like Gatorade and orange juice throughout the day and after all runs.
If you want you can take a quality multi-vitamin supplement and a calcium supplement. Vitamins are not wonder drugs. They simply help the body’s cells perform better. Do not expect miracles to come from a bottle of vitamins or other supplements. Hard work and consistent training is the key to improving your performance.