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 Did you run XC/track as a student?
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Did you run XC/track as a student? Posted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 2:53 pm 

A couple of postings from student athletes got me thinking about my own brief track career in high school. For those of you that are adult runners, did you do cross country or track when you were in school? Do you think it helped make you a better runner now?

I ran track for one year in high school, I think it was my sophomore year. Man, I was bad. There was virtually no coaching, I had no idea how different types of workouts were supposed to help you or why. We just ran something like 20 or 30 miles per week maybe, although I don't recall even discussing weekly mileage or ever measuring it. At our meets I nearly always came in dead last. Whoo boy. I once even wiped out at the finish line, grinding a bunch of track cinders into my knee that are still there today.

I ran the 200 and 400, which is where they needed people. In retrospect I probably would have done better at a longer distance. I really don't remember any of my times, just that they stunk. Still, it would be fun if I had them, to see if I'm faster or slower now than I was then.

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: Did you run XC/track as a student? Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 12:38 pm 

I ran cross country for 1.1 seasons in 9th and 10th grade. I don't recall what made me join the team, but given my tremendous athletic prowess I certainly wouldn't have made it onto any other team. I pretty much stunk, and there was no explanation whatsoever from the coach as to why we were doing certain workouts, whether or not we should expect to improve as a function of those workouts, etc. On the other hand, he coached both the varsity and JV teams simultaneously, with no assistance. I started out with practices again the next fall, but early on during a training run I developed a pain in my leg (I think it was my leg...this was a long time ago!) and started walking. I got passed by everyone behind me, and by the time I made it back to the locker room the coach had gone home. Think I could have sued him? mfox, you're an attorney, right? Did I have a case? ;-) Anyway, I remember my mother taking me to the pediatrician, who could find absolutely nothing wrong. In retrospect, it was probably just runner's knee caused by too much mileage on too little fitness. I never went back to another practice.

However, I do think it was those experiences in junior high that made me an on and off runner all my life since then. I've got training logs dating back to June of '83, and did run with the winter indoor track team my senior year in college. Winter track at my school was a very low-key affair, and lots of casual runners would participate just for fun and a way to keep fit. The coach stuck me running the 3000 because none of the good runners, which included a lot of my friends, wanted to. I don't recall my times, but I know they were terrible. I did beat another guy in one race, but it was just another guy from my own team who was just having fun like me. I remember once how one of the team's best middle distance runners shook his head in disbelief as he watched me eat a Big Mac less than half an hour before a practice. I got similar grief for drinking too much at parties the night before meets. Apparently our dedication levels differed a bit? Still, it would be interesting to know what those 3000 times were so I'd know whether I could beat them now, 20 years later.

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: Did you run XC/track as a student? Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 12:43 pm 

I ran cross country for four years, but stunk and hated running distance on a track so i never did that. The only way it helped me would be in the sense that when I needed to get back into shape, I had a frame of reference that I knew I could run and it was an excercise I enjoyed in the past. It also helped break down any of those fears beginners have about running road races or whether or not they could complete a 5K, etc. Basically my highschool career just gave me a bit fo a headstart knowledge wise when I got back into it after a 9 year, 100 pound layoff from the sport.


Cambridge, MA
Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 46

Re: Did you run XC/track as a student? Posted: Mon Jan 10, 2005 4:20 pm 

I ran XC for 2 years in high school and track for 4 years. I don't think it's done anything to make me a better runner now, but it did get me interested in running as a teenager which probably helped to make me interested in running as an adult.

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