This season, the JV and Varsity cross country teams have been working on a new training technique: once a week, they take to the pool to do cross-training in preparation for the season.
The team’s recovery day, which is usually every Wednesday, consists of a three to five mile run followed by a pool workout. The runners get in the pool and tread water for 20 minutes which is followed by splitting into teams and competing in relays. The relays usually consist of each runner swimming doggy-paddle down and free-style back two to three times. The idea of the new workout is to give the runners a workout that not only pushes them, but also allows them to rest their legs and get a break from pounding the pavement for miles every day.
Varsity runner and junior Ingrid Worth enjoys the new Wednesday workouts as they allow her to rest while still challenging her.
“It’s a nice mental break from running. It gives the legs some recovery while still offering some strength training benefits,” Worth said.
These days are more relaxing and diverse for the team and give people a chance to talk more and bond in a different environment.
“It definitely helps with the team bonding aspect,” senior and Varsity captain Hope Dunn said. “But I also feel I can get more air in my lungs [when I’m running] because of [the swim workouts] so it is very helpful.”
Although they can be helpful with air control, Worth says that she would rather save these lighter workouts for later in the season when bigger meets start to come up and they start to reduce their mileage. This way, the runners’ legs can recover while still doing cardio before a big meet.
Overall, these pool workouts have shown to be a nice change of pace for the athletes while improving their times and performance.