Staples’ athletes face a chilly off season


Gabrielle Feinsmith, Staff Writer

They anticipate a break all year… but it never seems to come. Both the girls and boys track teams spend a great amount of their time trying to slice their mile time in hope to have a winning season. Despite the contrary belief, these teams are not only running during their seasons; but they also participate in rigorous training all year.

According to boys’ indoor track coach Laddie Lawrence, the Staples team lost 6 out of 7 of their top runners last year. In order to make up for the loss, the team put together a summer training program that began last June. The average athlete ran about 600-700 miles over the course of the summer. To put this in perspective ,New York City is about 710 miles away from Columbia, South Carolina. As a result of the insane number of miles the athletes are running, the team was able to compete with their opponents.

“If we didn’t train over the summer, they would have just ran away from us,” Lawrence said.

Most distance runners participate in all three seasons, giving them little trouble training during the off-season. Peter Elkind ’14, a boys’ cross country captain, said he hardly takes breaks from running.

“I only take one week off between each season, amounting to a total of fours weeks per year,” Elkind said. Although this is a very difficult and time consuming schedule, Elkind realizes that this hard core training is what it takes to have a successful season.

Training in the off-season is essential to the girls’ cross country team as well. The girls track meet is only four weeks after the season starts, so the team has to get into shape far in advance.

Although both teams stay on top of their training, the winter becomes a brutal month for all runners.

“It’s definitely tougher to train through the winter because of the cold and the snow, but distance runners normally bundle up and head out on the roads to get some miles in,” Elkind said.

In order to stay warm during the harsh winter months, the team wears running leggings, gloves, ear warmers, pullovers and long sleeve shirts. “Running while bundled up is no different except for the fact you don’t sweat as much because its so cold,” Girls’ Cross Country Captain, Kellen Smithson ’14, said.

According to those interviewed, training during the off-season is an absolute necessity.

“The worst thing is to come into track out of shape when practice starts because than you will be way behind everybody else. Teams who choose not to participate in the summer program have no chance of being successful for the rest of the season,” Lawrence said.

Although many people believe athletes are given a break from their tiresome sport the truth of the matter is that “With running there is no off season,” Elkind said.