Air Quality Update

posted Oct 12, 2017, 1:32 PM by Kevin Sawchuk

It's killing me to have to cancel practice but the unhealthy air quality yesterday gave us no option.  Safety always has to come first.  We've run in 108F (with Garrett providing regular water and ice for drinking and soaking ourselves!) in the snow, rain and mud.  We can usually find a way to compensate for difficult conditions that makes a run safe and often memorable.  There's no way to do that with small particulate smoke except running indoors.  

We feel for the families affected by the fires and know our small time away from running is a very small deal.

Pleasanton Ridge

posted Aug 24, 2014, 8:09 PM by Kevin Sawchuk

Pleasanton Ridge became a sea of orange today as 25+ Mt. Diablo Heat runners (plus coaches and parents) "took to the hills" and ran, breathing hard but enjoying the views of the valley and old olive orchards.

The run contained only one significant hill (but it lasted for over half of the run time!) and then we enjoyed flying back down to the parking lot.

Next week we'll meet at Oak Hill Park and enjoy similar--but less hilly--trails and views.  You've got to love cross country!

Mt. Diablo Heat on Mt. Diablo

posted Aug 17, 2014, 9:20 PM by Kevin Sawchuk

What a great way to start the XC season--a hike and run up Mt. Diablo followed by a family picnic!  Eighteen Mt. Diablo Heat athletes joined their parents and teammates in an ascent of the 3,849' Mt. Diablo of our team's namesake.  Although the day was hot, we had parent delivered supplies at mile 4.5 of the 7.5 mile hike and again at the summit.  

The picnic was enjoyed by all though hungry runners consumed Lauren's brownies before plowing into hot dogs, salad and pasta.  A family of raccoons even joined toward the end to help with clean up!

Our Coaches' Running Philosophy for Younger Atheletes

posted Aug 4, 2014, 11:20 AM by Kristin Kupsh   [ updated Aug 12, 2014, 7:58 PM by Kevin Sawchuk ]

Here are guidelines I try to follow when considering the team.  

1.  Safety comes first!  We've got to keep everyone close enough together so we always know where every runner is.  We can have faster runners loop around if they get ahead.  We need to consider the temperature, training surface/location, time of day (dark comes early these days!) and any injury/pain when we work with our runners.  

2.  Fun is a very close second priority.  Running must be fun.  Our athletes have chosen to run because they like it.  This isn't normal.  They will choose to work hard at the level they're comfortable with.  We must encourage and respect their choices.  Older kids understand "delayed gratification" (if I work hard today I'll be faster tomorrow) better than younger kids.  If we push too hard and take the fun out of running they won't continue in the sport.  Making running fun is the best way to encourage the ongoing participation that leads to long term gains.  

3.  Take a long term view.  I'd rather have a kid run be a lifelong runner than win a JO championship and drop from the sport.  I'd rather have a kid advance more slowly than we might be able to push them than to feel pressured to run longer/faster than they're comfortable with.  If we're perfect coaches we'll train our athletes to peak when their genetic potential is at its peak for the race distance they're most suited for.  This may not occur during the time we're coaching them.  

4.  Understand issues of growth.  Our athletes' bodies are changing rapidly.  Rapid growth is a sensitive time for injury and we often see injuries and decreased performance during rapid growth.  In the long term growth usually leads to improved performance but we need to be careful in the months around major growth spurts.

-- Kevin Sawchuk

Coaches Feedback Form

posted Aug 4, 2014, 11:19 AM by Kristin Kupsh   [ updated Aug 4, 2014, 11:25 AM ]

The coaches like to hear from runners during the season and even in the off season. Please click here to log in your recent activities:

Running On the Open Roads

posted Aug 4, 2014, 11:17 AM by Kristin Kupsh

Here are some rules we follow when running on the open roads:

1.  Always assume that a driver doesn't see you and won't yield even if you have the right of way.  This is most important with:

a.  cars turning right from a side street (they often look only left to oncoming traffic and not right to oncoming runners)
b.  at intersections (as we saw tonight having the right-of-way does not guarantee safety)
c.  cars turning left onto a street you're crossing

Establish eye contact and be sure you know what every driver is going to do before you proceed.

2.   Space out!  Don't run more than two wide when on a road and be prepared to move to single file when a car approaches.  Give plenty of distance ahead and behind to avoid tripping.

3.  Avoid running in the gutter.  Gutters are more slanted (higher injury potential) and the curb presents a tripping hazard.

4.  Always run with a partner.

5.  Run with reflective gear.  You can be seen WAY further ahead.

6.  No goofing off!  Running on the road requires that you pay attention.  Tag games, chasing, etc are not safe!

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