There are several key factors that contribute to great training.
1. Good shoes - Make sure that your runner has been properly fit into running shoes (that are not used for every day activities, just running). Find a shoe that is a good fit for your body and foot type. We recommend going to a store for runners - Forward Motion, Road Runner, etc.
2. Water and recovery drink - Runners should always come to practice with water. And a good recovery drink for the end of the workout is desirable. Chocolate milk is a favorite.
3. Workout clothes - Wear clothing that is light and flexible. Stay away from all cotton. Come with a sweatshirt and/or sweatpants for the end of the workout.
4. Digital Watch - Coaches will give each runner plans for their workouts. This may be a total time, mile pace, interval pace, etc. All runners should have a watch to keep track of their pacing and times. The watch display should be easy to see and should have a stopwatch component. It is always handy to be in control of your own workout. Most of all, please make sure you know how to use your watch. The coaches and running parents won't have time to figure it out at practice.
5. Spikes / Racing Flats / XC flats, Pins and Spike Key - Most of our runners have a special lightweight shoe that they use only for running races. Specially designed shoes will help you perform better.
6. During the XC season, we start loosing daylight quickly. We always have an adult runner in the front and back of the group but we HIGHLY recommend reflective gear for keeping the kids safe. There are many places where you can obtain reflective gear - running stores, Sports Basement, Sports Authority, etc. There are also several places online. Here's one link for Running Warehouse.