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Varsity Letter

Runners Stay Active in the Off Season

NHS spring track season recently ended and the athletes now have free time off track to do whatever they may need to prepare for the next season. Working out, eating healthy, and training may be the core things athletes need to do to increase their performance when it comes to sprinting, distance, javelin, and cross country running.


Nicole Kane, entering her senior year at NHS this September, is a runner for NHS track and cross country. She is about to enter her fourth and final season with the track team and second season in cross country.


As an athlete for her entire high school career, Kane explains how much sports impacted both her school life and free time. She gets into detail of what she does to make sure she is prepared for the upcoming season by explaining her workouts and how she manages her time with important things such as summer assignments for school and early college courses.


The break between spring season track and cross country is pretty long, but her goal is to stay in shape throughout that break. Eating healthy, staying hydrated, and going for runs are three important things Nicole relies on during her free time. “When spring track season is over there is a fairly long break until cross county starts, but even though there is a long break doesn’t mean it’s time to get out of shape for a few months. Even spring track is over, I usually take a little break to rest my body but I make sure to eat protein daily and eat well,” Kane explains. “When summer starts, I wake up at 6 a.m. and go for jogs on my own before it gets hot. After jogging I’ll do an ab workout and then I usually make a protein shake and eat something hearty. I also make sure to drink eight water bottles a day and a Gatorade to stay hydrated.”


Aside from just focusing on working out and staying in shape, Nicole enjoys hanging out with friends and doing typical things such as working. She is also starting college early by attending Rutgers University for a summer program. “In my free time, during the summer, I hang out with friends, work, and this summer I will be going to college at Rutgers New Brunswick and study psychology,” she said.


Mr. Gerald Ryan, track and cross country coach at NHS has some advice for athletes on what they should do over the break. “The best thing to do is to stay hydrated and get a great pair of trainers,” Ryan said. “They are not cheap, but if you try to run 25-40 miles a week on average or below average shoes will come back to haunt a runner halfway through the season. The hydration thing is not just for runner[s] or athletes, everyone should be drinking their water.”


Basically, in order to be prepared for the season, you must work on running and building up distance and speed. Key factors such as the basics of staying hydrated and eating healthy also have a big impact on being an athlete.


Training-wise, he says that athletes should mainly focus on running and increasing their mileage. “The best thing to do is to build your mileage base over the summer,” he says. “Vary up your types runs so you do not get bored.  One day you could do a long run, or a tempo run, or an interval run.”


Overall, athletes who are involved in track have a long break over the summer to train. Keeping track of their health and diet are the keys to maintaining a good season. Running, eating healthy, and staying hydrated are three main points that are given to athletes to do well when track season comes back around after summer, as well as wearing the correct shoes.