Toward the end of my senior year, I became restless waiting for my summer training plan from UMass Lowell. I wasn’t even done high school racing and I was ready to start preparing for college. June 17th I got the email.
The weekly mileage volume started low around 35-40 miles per week and slowly worked up to 55-60 by the end of summer. I had no required pace to hit on my regular runs. I tried to keep a good balance of faster and slower days. Anyone who follows my Strava knows I took my easy days real easy. The plan had me doing four workouts a week which was definitely an increase from a workout count of zero my previous summers. I figured my legs would be dead each week, however, I could feel the mileage getting easier as the weeks went by.
August 17th was move in day for the cross country team. I am living in a suite with 7 other freshman on the XC team. We all have pretty similar schedules, so we’re together almost all the time. Having the suite has been nice because we have a common area where we can all hangout, watch TV, or play games. I also have my seperate room to go back to for homework or studying.
The night I moved in I began packing to leave for camp. The next morning the team loaded up a bus and we headed out to Camp Mah-Kee-Nac in Lenox, MA. Camp was a great way to start meeting some of the team. We had one or two runs a day and the rest of the time was spent at the pool, trampolines, playing basketball or volleyball.
Running with the team has been my favorite thing so far. For one of our recent workouts, we bussed up to Nashua for an 8k progression in Mines Falls. Transitioning from getting 3-5 miles in to 10-13 miles in on workout days is a big leap, but I feel strong so I cannot complain. Workouts and even regular runs feel so much easier when I have a group of 30 guys who are all running along side me.
Classes start this Wednesday and usually I would be dreading the first day, but this year I am excited to start something new. This week also comes along with my first college race in Saint Albans, VT. I’ll let you guys know how both of those go in my next write up.
Good luck to everybody up in NH with the start of your seasons, like always I’ll be visiting the NHXC page for results.
-Jeffrey Allen (Campbell High School ‘19, University of Massachusetts Lowell)