Questions and Answers

Questions
1)  1. How long do meets last and what time will they return home?
2)  2. What equipment does my child need for MS Cross Country?
3)  3. Transportation question - May my child get a ride home with myself or a family friend/relative following a meet?
4)  4. How do points work in Cross Country?
5)  5. How do I see my child run during a meet?
6)  6. How can I best encourage my child in Cross Country?
7)  7. How does my student know where to run in a XC meet?
8)  8. How long does it take a M.S. student to run a 2-mile Cross Country course?
9)  9. What are the causes of shin splints, side stitches, aches & pains in my new runner?
10)  10. Does the Middle School XC team have access to a trainer?
11)  11. What if it RAINS at a meet or practice?
12)  12. My child has asthma - can he or she still participate in XC?
 
Answers
1)  Q 1. How long do meets last and what time will they return home?
A
Our meets start promptly at 4:30 p.m. Typically, either the boys or girls squad goes first, with the other squad following about 5 minutes later. Students are to stay at a meet until all the results are tallied and announced. At home meets, that will typically occur by 5:30-5:40 p.m.
2)  Q 2. What equipment does my child need for MS Cross Country?
A
The school provides uniforms - unless your child wants to wear his or her own shorts. Plain black shorts are the only non-issued uniform short permitted.

Running sneakers are important. *Flying Feet (Mt. Rose Ave.) will give all XC runners a 10% discount on running shoes. We support Flying Feet because all feet are not the same! Flying feet will take time to fit your child's foot.

Students should also bring water bottles to practices and meets. We will supply extra water at home and away meets, but we will not have enough to supply all runners. Make sure your water bottle has your name written somewhere on it.
3)  Q 3. Transportation question - May my child get a ride home with myself or a family friend/relative following a meet?
A
Yes - I will send and/or have copies of a transportation form to be filled out by parents wishing to take their child home early from away meets. I request that the form be filled out and returned ahead of time so the coaches and managers can keep track of who is at the meet and who has left. With so many runners, it is important that we know where everyone is at at all times so we do not leave anyone behind.
4)  Q 4. How do points work in Cross Country?
A
Like golf, the lowest score wins. We take the sum of the first 5 boys and the first 5 girls separately to assess wins/losses. Students come across the finish line and receive a card/stick or paper with their number on it. It is crucial that your child hold on to this and report to a coach (or some other designated parent) in order to add up point totals.
5)  Q 5. How do I see my child run during a meet?
A
Good question! Smiley There are typically only a few good spots on most courses where you can view your child running. At our home meets, people are able to see kids at the start and then about 3/4's a mile into it at the same spot. Following this point, you can view your child with about a half mile to go and then at the finish. We keep you moving at a XC race! It's not like sitting in the stands at basketball, baseball, and football Smiley
6)  Q 6. How can I best encourage my child in Cross Country?
A
A real asset in Cross Country is even if you have to miss a practice for an appointment, you can still get out and run on your own. The same is true for vacation - even if you go on a cruise - running can still occur! Whoo-hoo! Smiley PLEASE encourage your child to run even if they can't be with the team. XC is a sport of discipline.

Aside from this, assisting your child in good eating & frequent hydration is important. I would limit soda to once or twice a week at the most. WATER is magical in many forms....for hydration & using ice for soreness. There is no better hydration for M.S. runners. *Though sports drinks are okay - you should know as a parent that they are NOT needed for distances below 3 miles. Our course is 2 miles long.

Finally, encouraging "positive mantras," phrases, tunes, and words that motivate your child are excellent means of mental exercise for your young runner.
7)  Q 7. How does my student know where to run in a XC meet?
A
Aside from getting a tour of the course before the meet, your child will be learning the three color-coded cues. In XC (M.S. & H.S.), blue means "through" or straight ahead. Red means turn LEFT, and Yellow means turn RIGHT. Finally, there are often some people and other additional flags and cones that help direct your runners.
8)  Q 8. How long does it take a M.S. student to run a 2-mile Cross Country course?
A
Long distance running is spectacular for MANY reasons. One facet that will amaze you is the range of abilities and how much EVERY student will improve. Usually the first meet will range from students running 13 minute + to 21 minutes to complete the course. The times will improve from sub 12 minutes to about 18 minutes for nearly every member of the team.
9)  Q 9. What are the causes of shin splints, side stitches, aches & pains in my new runner?
A
There are a few basic reasons why students "hurt" from running. First - they may be running TOO FAST or going TOO FAR at the beginning. Since long distance running is new to many 7th or 8th graders, they do not realize that BUILDING ENDURANCE SLOWLY is key to success. We start our training early so that students can build up slowly and gradually. All of the M.S. practices are designed to build up gradually and safely. Just because a student "feels good," does not mean they should be running very far or fast for at least a few weeks.

Another very common reason for pain is the type of sneaker your child is wearing. Expensive does not mean better - fit is what is most important. There are students that learn for the first time that they are flat-footed or have some other gait or foot issue that needs to be addressed. Only stores that fit your child's foot can explain this to you. Back problems can also be a result of poor shoes. If your child is wearing the same shoe for a year or more, it is most likely time to invest in another pair.

Diet and hydration levels do have a lot to do with "how we feel" when we run. Students who skip meals, eat a lot of fried foods, don't drink a lot of water, often have pains. It takes some time for young runners to learn what their system can handle + what helps them feel satiated for running. We will go into more depth about diet during practices.

As a new runner, you may feel some "natural" pains or quirks because you are asking your body to do things that perhaps you have never done before. Some "hurt" is quite natural, and as you 1.)find your comfort level, 2.)train longer, and 3.)control your breathing to be smooth & calm, these little pains will often go away.
10)  Q 10. Does the Middle School XC team have access to a trainer?
A
If an injury occurs during summer training (and again, we do everything to PREVENT this), the coaches will talk to your parents about the need to see a doctor. *Beginning on August 13th, we do have access to our Middle School Trainer, Mr. Rick Guinan. Coach Platt has his cell phone number if a parent should need to contact him. **During regular season, we STRONGLY ENCOURAGE parents to contact Mr. Guinan FIRST, before seeking out other medical professionals.
11)  Q 11. What if it RAINS at a meet or practice?
A
We do run in any kind of rain in XC - both at meets, and at practices. However, if there is any chance of thunder or lightning, we do NOT run. If it is thundering or lightning right before any summer workout, it is okay not to come. If the thunder/lightning should subside by the start of practice, I will drive to the practice site to see if any of you have showed.

If it is thundering or lightening at practice during the school year, we will stay inside and try to watch some inspirational videos or videos on running, while runners wait for rides or the activity bus to go home. If it is during a meet, the meet will be stopped and all runners will be escorted to shelter, whether the bus or a pavilion.
12)  Q 12. My child has asthma - can he or she still participate in XC?
A
YES! If breathing has been a long term problem for you, work with your doctor to find the best solutions. IF YOU ARE SOMEONE WHO USES AN INHALER, please provide an extra one for Coach Goodyear so that you have it to use before practices and meets. Do not let any breathing or asthma issues prevent you from being a successful runner!