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Estes Park Cross Country - Week 8 - Summer Training

“The ability to continue moving when you are feeling scared, tired, fearful or lazy is the sign of true mental strength.”

Being at Estes Park High School for the past 6 years, I have heard a ton of misunderstood comments about running, specifically cross-country running. Generally speaking, there is a misconception of a majority of people when thinking of cross country, they think, ‘Oh, they just run.’

This is FAR from the case. Estes Park Cross Country is a sport full of strong relationships that last a life time. Those that partake in EPXC, or at least understand the culture, what is put in by these dedicated athletes, all understand that it takes more than the individual to be great at cross country.

The EPXC team gets up early in the morning, run for miles and miles, race together, eats breakfast together, eats dinner together, hangs out, play games, lifts weights, MAYBE go for a second run in the evening etc., etc., etc. All of this is done together, for each other, for the team, and for the culture of our program.

The lifestyle of an EPXC runner is different than any other sport. EPXC athletes have to stay disciplined and healthy year-round. Summer is a vital part of the EPXC runners’ season, and making the most out of it puts our runners above the competition. While we’re on the course, our runners are sacrificing their body for the team. During practice, we’re continuously digging deeper to get faster. Other sports don’t have the same togetherness. EPXC is a 365-days-a-year commitment!

It is well-known that Estes Park Cross Country is historically the most successful sport at EPHS. We hold the ONLY state title at EPHS, many Regional & League titles, individual state champions, numerous All-Region & All-League runners, which prove culture has to exist. The culture of EPXC’s team consists of each and every person as consideration of family. The incoming freshman and any new cross-country runners are welcomed, and we support and encourage others in workouts. Additionally, EPXC alumni from past years come and support during races too, and even run with us sometimes at practices.

The dedication, the atmosphere, and the bond between team members sets EPXC apart from other sports. Coach Harris and I are VERY proud to be a part of this team and this culture.

Now to the lease recaps, races and upcoming schedule:

RiNo 5K:

This may be the last 5K to hop into this summer before the season starts. The RiNo 5K in Denver, CO this Saturday, July 27th promises to be ‘fast and flat’ with only 53ft. of vertical gain.

Run through the beautiful RiNo Art District, runners will enjoy street art, a free tech shirt and tons of prizes for individuals and teams.

Coach Stafford is registered and created a team (Bobcat Bombers). Let’s see if we can get a group of us to go and compete as a team. Register at the following link (HERE). Runners can park at the Coors Field structure for free or dispersed street parking throughout the neighborhoods.

The race starts at 8:30AM at 27th St. & Larimer St., so let’s meet at packet pick-up at 7:30AM to pick-up our race packets and get in a good warm-up before the race.

Mileage Tracking & Leaderboard:

Coach Stafford will have his computer set up in the Health Room to jot down your Week #7 mileage on the EPXC Mileage Tracking spreadsheet; keep logging those miles. Bring your Summer Training Binder to practice on Monday as the ‘Mileage Leaderboard’ will be updated.

Let us know if you have any questions on tracking mileage.

Upcoming Week Schedule:

Monday – Threshold Training w/ Coach Stafford @ 6:15AM meet in the Health Room (outside door will be open). Coach Stafford will provide the workout during our team meeting beforehand. Those that are still in the base-building phase, will have a different run scheduled.

NO EPXC Team Captain Meeting this week!

Metabolic Conditioning (a.k.a. MetCon) w/ Coach Stafford @ immediately after run in the EPHS Weight Room. Our focus for this workout will be on the burpee. This type of training consists of a very high work rate for short duration, which improves cardiovascular capacity, VO2 Max, and give a SERIOUS caloric burn. Included are various types of burpee exercises to get the heart pumping!

Tuesday – Stanley Run w/ Coach Harris @ 5:30PM (meet at the front gated terrace). Choose from 3, 4, 5 or 6 low-key/easy effort miles. Please ensure this run is at your aerobic effort and nothing beyond that.

EPXC Summer Team Dinner: The Basch family will be hosting team dinner after the run. Plan to head that direction; parents are welcomed as well for both the run and dinner.

Wednesday – Lumpy Ridge Loop w/ Coach Harris & Stafford @ 6:30AM. The Lumpy Ridge Loop has become a summer tradition for the Estes Park Cross Country team. On this adventurous trail run, we’ll head up to Gem Lake, go on the backside to Cow Creek, climb up to McGregor Mtn. junction and head back on the valley floor. Sounds easy, right? Don’t be fooled, this is a tough BUT fun run where true team building occurs.

If you are unsure of how to get there, please refer to EPXC’s trailhead directions HERE. THEN, stick around as chocolate-chip protein pancakes will be served afterwards.

Also, if you have purchased a hydration pack, please bring it with you on this run. Hydration packs can be purchased at the EP Mountain Shop (various sizes & prices). IT WILL BE IMPERATIVE TO HAVE WATER ON THIS RUN. Also, pack some snacks.

ThursdayNotchtop Bakery & Café w/ Coach Harris @ 6:30AM. EPXC will meet in the parking lot and do a run around downtown Estes Park. Bring some $$ for afterwards. Named after Notchtop Mountain inside RMNP, Notchtop serves up large breakfasts with a focus on local & organic ingredients. YUMMY!

Friday – Conditioning & Muscular Endurance w/ Coach Stafford @ 9AM in the EPHS weight room. Our focus on this workout will be on plyometrics & lower body. Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time.

In strength training (i.e. weights), muscular endurance refers to the number of repetitions of a single exercise you can do without needing to stop and rest (a.k.a. lactic acid threshold training).

In cardiovascular training (i.e. running), it builds the energy systems of the body, the muscle fibers, and capillaries that can sustain long periods of running.

***It’s imperative you attend these sessions. CAUTION: Soreness may occur***

SaturdayRiNo 5K (Denver, CO) @ 8:30AM (Register HERE). See “RiNo 5K” heading for details.

Sunday – O.Y.O (On Your Own) run OR coordinate amongst your teammates to get out for some easy miles. EPXC Team Captains Applicants, this is an opportunity to show your leadership; get your teammates out!

We are Estes Park Cross Country, We are Bobcat Runners, We are Mountain Strong!

Lastly, remember any and all things relating to Estes Park Cross Country can be found on our team’s website: www.estesparkxc.com. AND, please frequent our team calendar as EPXC is jam-packed with races, practices, events, etc. throughout the season.

You all can also follow us on our team Facebook page HERE!! GO BOBCATS!

#epxc #bobcatrunning #bobcatrunner #gobobcats

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Estes Park Cross Country - Week 7 - Summer Training

“Surround yourself with the dreamers, the doers, the believers and the thinkers; but most of all surround yourself with those who see greatness within you even when you don’t see it yourself.”

For Week 6, Coach Harris and I would like to address cross country and what it means to be a team and teammate. For the general population, the sport of cross country is often misunderstood to be just an individual sport. However, of the most popular sanctioned sports, not only at the high school level, but collegiately, cross country is the only sport where all the members of the team are performing the same task, at the same time, for the same goal. This is where cross country is the ultimate of all team sports.

Every workout and competition has an element of unavoidable pain each runner has to work through. For other sports, you may or may not experience the same level of discomfort in training and competition. In the sport of cross country, pain comes with the territory; in fact, it is guaranteed! In order to cope with the pain, team members often rely on one another for support. This shared experience builds camaraderie and can often galvanize the team together as one.

Although runners compete at different levels, they have similar, if not, identical daily workouts. Their warm up routine and supplemental training activities are also in sync with each other. A teammate pushing another team member during races, and even workouts can collectively benefit each runner on the team. A cross country course is always a different blend of trails, fields, and other open spaces. Athletes compete and share the ever-changing experience together. 

Cross Country is at its best at the team level as success is shared amongst individuals struggling to achieve the same goals together. The Estes Park Cross Country has built and continues to build on being a strong TEAM! As we’ve said many times before, you are part of this family.

Alrighty, please read carefully below for recaps, races and upcoming schedule:

Rogers River Run 5K Recap

This past Friday, July 12th EPXC had about a dozen runners competing at the Rogers River Run in Longmont, CO. This mid-summer flat and fast 5K has become a tradition amongst this team as it is run at night, totally fun and there are TONS of things to do post-race.

On the boys’ side, Hayden Filsinger was the top EPXC runner finishing 5th O.A. just missing his Lifetime PR of 18:35 in a mere 4sec finishing 18:39. Coming in next was Nolan Marske, who competed in his FIRST EVER 5K and finished 7th O.A. in 18:53. Right behind him was Lucas Russell in 8th O.A. with a time of 19:09. EPXC Alumni, Nathan Zurfluh finish 10th O.A. with a 20:11. Of the top-10 runners at this race, 4 of them came from Estes Park Cross Country!!

Javier Solis was 16th O.A. in 21:09 (a -16sec improvement from last year at this race) and right behind was John Ferree 17th O.A. in 21:10 another Lifetime PR by a minute! Sean Knudson and John Kim were also competing in their first 5K, unfortunately as of this writing, times have not been posted online yet from the race.

On the ladies’ side, Charly Raymond took the 2nd O.A. female spot with a 22:27 (a -1:37 improvement from last year) and Brooke Barron who finish in 24:04 (a -26sec improvement). Nice job ladies!

RiNo 5K

There won’t be too many more opportunities to hop in a summer 5K. However, the RiNo 5K in Denver, CO on Saturday, July 27th promises to be ‘fast and flat’ with only 53ft. of vertical gain. Run through the beautiful RiNo Art District, runners will enjoy street art, free shirts and tons of prizes for individuals and team.

I have registered and created a team already (Bobcat Bombers). Let’s see if we can get a group of us to go and compete as a team. Register at the following (HERE) and we’ll provide more info in next week’s email of where to meet in Denver.

Mileage Tracking & Leaderboard:

Coach Harris will be back and checking in on your Week #6 mileage on the EPXC Mileage Tracking spreadsheet; keep logging those miles. Bring your Summer Training Binder to practice on Monday as the ‘Mileage Leaderboard’ will be updated and put in order of mileage.

Let us know if you have any questions on tracking mileage.

Upcoming Week Schedule:

Monday – Threshold Training w/ Coach Harris & Stafford @ 6:15AM meet in the Health Room (outside door will be open). Again, as we progress into Phase 2 of the training cycle, we will be incorporating more speed sessions. Coach Harris will provide the workout during our team meeting beforehand. Those that are still in the base-building phase, will have a different run scheduled.

EPXC Team Captain Applicants – We will be meeting at 5:45AM in the Health Room. BE ON TIME!!

Metabolic Conditioning (a.k.a. MetCon) w/ Coach Stafford @ immediately after run in the EPHS Weight Room. Our focus for this workout will be on the legs. This type of training consists of a very high work rate for short duration, which improves cardiovascular capacity, VO2 Max, and give a SERIOUS caloric burn. Included are various types of bodyweight exercises to get the heart pumping!

Tuesday – Stanley Run w/ Coach Harris @ 5:30PM (meet at the front gated terrace). Choose from 3, 4, 5 or 6 low-key/easy effort miles. Please ensure this run is at your aerobic effort and nothing beyond that.

EPXC Summer Team Dinner: The Estes Park Running Club will be having a pizza party for all Tuesday evening runners. Plan to stay afterwards and parents are welcomed as well.

Wednesday – Sandbeach Lake w/ Coach Harris & Stafford @ 6:30AM. EPXC will be in the Allenspark area for this awesome trail run. Please plan on meeting at the 1st Wild Basin Entrance Station (the one closest to the Wild Basin Lodge & Event Center). Sandbeach Lake is located 4.4 miles from the Wild Basin Entrance and it’s one of RMNP’s deepest lakes at nearly 50'; approx. 9miles roundtrip. Aptly named for its wide, sandy shore, Sandbeach Lake is ringed by gnarled limber pine in a broad flat free of confining valley walls, and its open perimeter gives the area a uniquely spacious feel. We will definitely soak our legs in the lake!

If you are unsure of how to get there, please refer to EPXC’s trailhead directions HERE. THEN, stick around as chocolate-chip protein pancakes will be served afterwards.

Also, if you have purchased a hydration pack, please bring it with you on this run. Hydration packs can be purchased at the EP Mountain Shop (various sizes & prices).

ThursdayClaire’s on the Park w/ Coach Harris @ 6:30AM. EPXC will be meeting at Bond Park (right across the street from Claire’s) and do a run around Estes. Bring some $$ for afterwards. Claire’s is a cozy spot offering classic American breakfasts with a patio for park views. It should be beautiful weather to have our breakfast outside.

Friday – Conditioning & Muscular Endurance w/ Coach Stafford @ 9AM in the EPHS weight room. Our focus on this workout will be on the upper body. Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or group of muscles to sustain repeated contractions against a resistance for an extended period of time.

In strength training (i.e. weights), muscular endurance refers to the number of repetitions of a single exercise you can do without needing to stop and rest (a.k.a. lactic acid threshold training).

In cardiovascular training (i.e. running), it builds the energy systems of the body, the muscle fibers, and capillaries that can sustain long periods of running.

***It’s imperative you attend these sessions. CAUTION: Soreness may occur***

Saturday – O.Y.O (On Your Own) run OR coordinate amongst your teammates to get out for some easy miles. EPXC Team Captains Applicants, this is an opportunity to show your leadership; get your teammates out!

Sunday - Cross-Training or Rest Day!

We are Estes Park Cross Country, We are Bobcat Runners, We are Mountain Strong!

Lastly, remember any and all things relating to Estes Park Cross Country can be found on our team’s website: www.estesparkxc.com. AND, please frequent our team calendar as EPXC is jam-packed with races, practices, events, etc. throughout the season.

You all can also follow us on our team Facebook page HERE!! GO BOBCATS!

#epxc #bobcatrunning #gobobcats

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Estes Park Cross Country - Week 6 - Summer Training

“You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when you’re done.”

The conclusion of this past week puts us at halfway point of the summer training season!!! Can you believe we are halfway through the summer? Can you believe the first official day of XC practice starts in just a mere 5 weeks (August 12th)? WOW!

EPXC’s Week #6 of summer training puts our runners in Phase #2 of our 21-week training block which is for the higher intensity workouts like tempo running, hills, track interval sessions, and fartlek workouts. This is an exciting time as we transition to this Phase as speed and strength will develop.

In the first 5 weeks of summer training, we have been working on building our aerobic base. Remember, the better our aerobic fitness, the less our body will have to tap into the anaerobic energy systems. This means you will not be fatigued as easy because your muscles are able to hang on to their glycogen fuel for longer, and you’ll be able to deal with lactic acid accumulation much better if you are in excellent aerobic shape.

Also, for those that have been sporadic, out-of-town, or haven’t committed yet, it is not too late to come out and build aerobic base. Turning up at your first fall cross country practice on August 12th out of shape and you will be spending the entire season just regaining your aerobic fitness. Therefore, your performances will not even be close to what you could have done if you did your conditioning over the summer and arrived at your first workout ready for the faster training we are giving you. BOTTOM line, now’s the time to come out; DON’T put yourself in that position.

You all are awesome! Keep up the great work.

NOW, Please read carefully below for recaps, races and upcoming schedule:

Longmont Half Marathon & 5K Recap

This past July 4th there were a handful of EPXC runners that competed in the Longmont Half Marathon & 5K  in Longmont. We had some really good performances without specific 5K training since the start of summer training. Taking the overall win was senior Lucas Russell. Coming in right behind was recent EPXC alumni, Nathan Zurfluh. Sophomore, Atlas Rhode was able to get in the top-10, finishing 6th overall and 1st in his Age Group. Full results can be found HERE.

These summer 5ks are a great physical benefit of starting to teach your legs 5K pace. At the beginning of the cross-country season too many runners get injured in the first few weeks of practice because they’re thrown into a race and their legs can’t handle the pace that their heart and lungs can. We will have a few more summer races for the remaining July and early August. Make sure to fit them in your schedules.

EPXC Team Captain-Led Camp Recap

On Friday, July 5, our Estes Park Cross Country team held the 1st annual “Team Captain-Led Camp”. 14 runners spent Friday afternoon into Saturday morning participating in a fun and challenging series of workouts, games, and team-building activities. This camp provided an opportunity for the EPXC team to continue to grow, bond and strive for excellence during our midsummer training - and extend it throughout the season.

Our 2019 captain applicants did a phenomenal job putting everything together and everyone definitely benefitted from this short get-a-way. A HUGE “Thank You” to the captain applicants for planning such a great event! The goal new year is to have everyone attend.

Rogers River Run 5K

On, Friday, July 12th is the Rogers River Run in Longmont, CO (Register HERE). Let’s get out in our glow and party apparel, to run, walk, or dance the 5K, all the way to the GLOW after party (as part of Longmont’s Rhythm of the River)! This 5K has been a summer tradition for EPXC team for the past 3 years with our runners finishing very well at this race.

EPXC will meet at the registration table at 6:45PM and do a warm-up before the race starts at 7:30PM.

We’ll stick around post race and head to the amphitheater stage to listen to live music, play games, for the award ceremony (around 9pm) and other race surprises! THE WILD GAME is the proud sponsor of top finisher prizes for several age categories in both male and female divisions. Let’s see if we can snag some of those top spots!

Mileage Tracking & Leaderboard:

Coach Stafford will have his computer set up in the Health Room to jot down your Week #5 mileage on the EPXC Mileage Tracking spreadsheet; keep logging those miles. Bring your Summer Training Binder to practice on Monday as the ‘Mileage Leaderboard’ will be updated.

Let us know if you have any questions on tracking mileage.

Upcoming Week Schedule:

Monday – Hill Workout w/ Coach Stafford @ 6:15AM meet in the Health Room (outside door will be open). We will be running the infamous ‘Johnsen Hill’ for an intro Phase #2 hill workouts; anywhere from 3 – 6 sets. Those that are still in the base-building phase, will have a different run scheduled.

EPXC Team Captain Applicants – We will be meeting at 5:45AM in the Health Room. BE ON TIME!!

Metabolic Conditioning (a.k.a. MetCon) w/ Coach Stafford @ immediately after run in the EPHS Weight Room. Our focus for this workout will be on the burpee. This type of training consists of a very high work rate for short duration, which improves cardiovascular capacity, VO2 Max, and give a SERIOUS caloric burn. Included are various types of bodyweight exercises to get the heart pumping!

Tuesday – Stanley Run w/ @ 5:30PM (meet at the front gated terrace). Choose from 3, 4, 5 or 6 low-key/easy effort miles. Please ensure this run is at your aerobic effort and nothing beyond that; especially after the hills from Monday.

EPXC Summer Team Dinner: The Moreau family will host team dinner immediately afterwards. Please use the above link for their address.

WednesdayPole Hill Rd. Trail Run w/ Coach Stafford @ 6:30AM. EPXC will meet at the top of Pole Hill Rd. at the entrance to the National Forest across from Alpine St. (make sure you past Ravencrest Chalet). We will have different out-and-backs options for this run. And, a little something different for breakfast…however, you have to come run to find out!

If you have purchased a hydration pack, please bring it with you on this run. Hydration packs can be purchased at the EP Mountain Shop (various sizes & prices)

ThursdayCinnamon’s Bakery w/ Coach Stafford @ 6:30AM. EPXC will meet in the parking lot and do a steady uphill along Fall River Rd. then turn and enjoy not only the great views but the downhill all the way back. Bring some $$ for afterwards. Although Cinnamon’s has a small menu, they offer four types of delicious cinnamon rolls: a classic (with icing on the side, if that’s your preference), sticky pecan rolls, raisin-filled, and fruit-filled AND they don’t skimp on the icing.

Friday – There will be NO Conditioning & Muscular Endurance w/ Coach Stafford @ 9AM.

Rogers River Run @ 7:30PM. (Registration HERE). See “Rogers River Run” heading for details.

Saturday – O.Y.O (On Your Own) run OR coordinate amongst your teammates to get out for some easy miles. EPXC Team Captains Applicants, this is an opportunity to show your leadership; get your teammates out!

Sunday - Cross-Training or Rest Day!

Another run-and-action packed week ahead! This is what being a Bobcat Runner is all about!

Lastly, remember any and all things relating to Estes Park Cross Country can be found on our team’s website: www.estesparkxc.com. AND, please frequent our team calendar as EPXC is jam-packed with races, practices, events, etc. throughout the season.

You all can also follow us on our team Facebook page HERE!! GO BOBCATS!

#epxc #bobcatrunning #gobobcats

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