A Canadian Cross-Country Running Experience

Cross-Country Running Photo

Well it was an interesting weekend. I made the six-hour drive to Guelph, Ontario, for the Canadian Cross-Country Running Championships. For those of you who know what Canada is like in December, you might be asking, “But wasn’t it cold? Wasn’t there snow?” The answer is yes, it was cold, and yes, there was snow.

In fact, we drove down in a blizzard. A French exchange student who runs with our club (I coach at Laurentian University and with Sudbury’s Track North Athletic Club), received a true Canadian experience during the drive. He was a little wide-eyed during the near white-out conditions, his comment being, “In France, if it’s like this, we don’t leave the house.” To his credit, he later raced in his shorts.

On race-day, the temperatures was about -8 centigrade (18 degrees fahrenheit), and the course itself was hard-packed snow. It looked like a nordic ski course.

But it was a great event, with music blaring and a group of local drummers heating up the atmosphere. The snow had stopped by race day, and it was a beautiful, sunny day. The footing was OK, since the race organizers had packed it down with a tractor and roller.

Besides, cross-country runners are hardy folk. For most, the worse the conditions, the more fun they have.

This blog has readers from many countries, including places that never see snow, such as Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Malasia, and Australia. For those of you who want a Canadian athletics experience, check out the following FloCast footage of the race.

FloTrack, by the way, is a tremendous website for those of you who are athletics fans. It provides video coverage of many athletics events…in particular, the events that the mainstream media ignores in lieu of Rock, Paper, Scissors tournaments. 🙂

Here’s the link. If you want to see other races from the meet, the links are on the top left. For a school perspective, the Junior races are for athletes under 20. While they include some runners in their first or 2nd year of university, but most are high schoolers. For example, Kendra Schaaf, who won the Junior Girls race, is still in high school.

http://www.flocasts.org/flotrack/coverage.php?c=130&id=6150

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

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[tags]cross-country running,athletics,sports,physical education, coaching [/tags]

A Good Luck Message From A Caring Coach

Track Meet Photo_girls

As the scholastic sport season winds down, I’d like to post this message from a coach to his athletes. Circumstances beyond his control left Colin Ward, the head track coach at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, unable to attend the city championships with his athletes – athletes with whom he’d been working for months.

While he couldn’t be there in person, he sent a message that encompasses practical advice with inspirational words. It also embodies the true spirit of scholastic sport.This is the message he sent before the meet.

Coach’s Send-Off
I want to say good luck to all of you as you head into the City Championships! I wish I could be there to see all of our training pay off. I want you to know, you all have the capacity to exceed yourselves, most of you have worked very hard to get to this point, and with these few tips you will be able to make the most of your experience this week!

1. Cheer for each other and watch each other! Most people need an audience, or at the very least, appreciate the words of encouragement that come from friends and team mates.

2. Support each other. Some people will have great days and simply need to be congratulated, others will have bad days, and just need a friend to sit with.

3. The little things matter! Our team usually does better when the conditions are horrible because we pay attention to details. That means……..

  • Rest the day before, and get a good sleep before and during competitions.
    •    Eat well and drink lots of water,
    •    STAY OUT OF THE SUN AND WIND
    •    Dress properly. You should have the clothes to stay warm in any weather. The engine only works when it is hot! If you get cold, you may as well throw away months of training.
    •    Cool down! Most of you know to warm-up properly, but if you don’t cool down you are slowing your recovery. A light jog for 10 -20 minutes is a good use of time after an event.

4. Focus on the positive. You might not do as well as you were hoping to, but beating yourself up over it won’t do any good. Focus instead on what went right, then think about areas for improvement. This is not always easy to do in the heat of the moment, but it is worth keeping in mind.

5. Have fun!! High School will be over before you know it. Enjoy these moments with your team and friends. Years from now it won’t matter how you did, it will just matter that you did.

And post videos and pictures for me, I’ll be following the events closely.”

This is the final blog post until September. I won’t post during the July or August vacation period because I’m not sure there’ll be anyone to read them. Have a great summer!!

Dick Moss, Editor, 
PE Update.com

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, click here
Physical Education Update

[tags]physical education,track and field,coaching,coach>[/tags]

 

Don’t Be That Awkward Runner

Physical education - Awkward Runner VideoAs a running coach, I see all sorts of technical errors in my runners. Especially from those who have patterned themselves after television or running magazines and THINK they are emulating those models.

In fact, what an athlete thinks they are doing often doesn’t match reality.

In this video, called “Don’t Be That Awkward Runner,” you’ll see some over-exaggerated, humorous examples. But the funny thing is, while exaggerated, I’ve encountered variations of every one of these awkward runners. For example, I’ve seen runners with unstable core, floppy arms, no arms, foot contact ahead of the center of mass, no arm action, heel contact first, over-wide stance, straight arms, over-exaggerated arm lift. All are exhibited in this video.

The video has labels for some of these running styles that may someday become part of the running coach’s lexicon: “the Geezer,” “the Dandy,” “the T-1000,” “the Flightless Bird,” “the Stiffy.”

Enjoy the video and whatever you do, don’t be a “Flightless Bird.”

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

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[tags]running videos,funny running videos,running technique videos>[/tags]

Jenny Simpson – World 1500 Meter Champion – on Dealing With Disappointment

Here’s an excellent interview for those of you who must deal with athletes who have experienced a disappointing performance…and what coach hasn’t dealt with that situation!

In fact, it’s so relevant that you might want to email a link to such athletes so they can watch it themselves.

The interview is with Jenny Barringer Simpson. Jenny, currently 26 years of age, won a surprise gold medal in the 1500 meters at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics. She is also the American record holder in the steeplechase with a time of 9:12.50.

Here’s a sample of her philosophy: “But I can tell you from past experiences, you can’t win them all, but you can be a fighter in every circumstance.”

I’m having some formatting problems, so I’ve had to put her interview at the very bottom of the page.

Also, here is footage of her World Championship win. She was not favored to win and the look of shock on her face after the race is priceless (I think the commentary is in Spanish). Her interview about disappointment did not take place after this race.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XO9R-Ds60Jo#!

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Dick Moss, Editor,
PE Update.com

To check out the PE Update.com website, Click Here!
To subscribe to the free Fun Stuff for PE Newsletter, Click Here!

[tags]Jenny Simpson,Jenny Barringer Simpson,track and field,1500 metres,1500 meters,World Athletics Championships 2011>[/tags]

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