Thursday, July 27, 2017

Saturday July 29 at BK

We will continue our stride towards a championship season with practice Saturday, July 29, at BK 8-9:30. 

Please remember to bring your water bottles (fill them at home) and dress for the weather. If you haven't been able to join us yet or are still undecided about cross country, it's not too late! Contact a coach and we can get you started, or just come to a workout. 

Get out and exercise! Over the last few weeks, we have seen a steady improvement in everyone's conditioning and ability to run. We talked about team goals, too. All modified team members should be ready to run one to one and a half miles by August 14...without walking or stopping. Varsity runners should be able to run a 5K or 3.1 miles without walking or stopping. Doing so will ensure that our entry into regular season training will progress as planned and you'll be ready for our first meet in early September...That means you have to get out and run on your own! 

Each runner has been given a training template outlining a running workout or a walk-run progression designed to reach your individual mileage goal. If you have questions, ask a coach. Remember, eating well, sleeping well, and hydrating well is as important as training well!

As mentioned earlier, sports physicals and forms are due to the school nurse no later than August 14. Physicals and forms must be up-to-date for any student to be eligible for participation. Here is the link to the BKHS website page containing the forms. If you have questions, please contact a coach as soon as possible.  

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Pre-season notes for July 22

Greetings once again, BKXC Family!

As mentioned earlier, today concluded our fourth week of pre-season work. Think about that...then ask yourself: four weeks ago, could I do what I'm doing now? My guess is (based on what I've seen) that you've all improved-even the veteran athletes-more than you thought possible in just eight training sessions. Maybe it's been your stride or leg work, your arms, your breathing, or just starting a fitness program for the first time, you've all reached a certain level of success. Congratulations!

Now it's time to accept that fact you are capable of more than you know. It's time to believe that you are an athlete-in-training and you are part of the best team BK has to offer!  You are BKXC. 

Only three weeks remain in our pre-season Wednesday/Saturday schedule. Our regular season practices will begin the week of August 14 and our first competition may take place in early September - that schedule is being developed and will be posted shortly. It's important to set a few team goals as we prepare to transition to the regular season:
1: For experienced/veteran runners - You should be able to run 5K (3.1 miles) without stopping. 
2: For new and modified runners - You should be able to run 2.4K (1.5 miles) without stopping. 

We suggest the following:
1: Do your running at home as often as you can. If you need extra help, contact a coach. We can set up extra sessions as needed.
2: Do your core training...everyday 
3: Get into gear: shoes, socks, sports bra's, water bottle, foam roller/massage stick are just a few of the basics. For detailed information on these items, see the article Shoe and Gear Notes on our team site ( Remember: if you are unsure of what to get, you can call/text or send a picture to Coach Russotti. We want to be sure you get the best gear at the most affordable price!

Getting the word out - now that you've experienced BKXC, reach out to a friend who might want to give this a try and bring them to practice. Parents are always welcome to workout with us too! If you haven't been to a workout with us yet, it's not too late! Contact Coach Russott as soon as possible. 

Remember: follow us on Twitter @BKXCTF, join us on Facebook (send a friend request to Rick Russotti and I will add you), sign up for email updates on our team site

Thank you for all the family support and getting the kids to our various running venues!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Shoe and Gear Notes

Shoe and Gear Notes:

Shoes: Time is fast approaching for many of you to get a new pair (or first pair) of real running shoes. Make no mistake, there are significant differences between running shoes and fashion sneakers. Most brand-name manufacturers produce shoes designed for athletes and for fashion wear so it’s important to know what to look for.

Types of running shoes:
There are only two basic designs; stability and neutral.

Stability shoes have additional material, thickness, and density built into the midfoot of the sole. They are designed for people who have pronation/footstrike problems and help keep the shoe in proper contact with the ground. Stability shoes do not correct issues with footstrike, gait, or stride. Most young runners do not need a stability running shoe.

Neutral shoes do not have added density built into the midfoot of the sole. Neutral shoes accommodate most young athletes.  

A few other notes about shoes:
Running shoes are also categorized by the amount of cushioning and something called the stack height or “drop”. As the term implies, cushioning in the shock absorber of the shoe and ranges from highly cushioned to minimal. While it may be intuitive to want a highly cushioned shoe, it may not be the best thing for all runners. Try a variety of shoes with differing levels of cushioning - again, if you can’t test drive them outside, don’t buy them. Stack (heel) height or drop refers to the difference in height between the heel and the toe. Bigger is not better when it comes to this issue. There is evidence that states a “drop” between 8 millimeters and 4 millimeters correlates with improved running mechanics (specifically, ankle mobility) and lower injury. I recommend a “drop” between 8 millimeters and 4 millimeters and a moderate to low cushioned shoe.

Coach, what brand of running shoes should I buy?
I have no interest in any shoe manufacturer and receive no sponsorship  (although I wish I did). My recommendations are based on years of coaching/training athletes of all ages and sizes and decades of anatomy and physiology education. With all that said, my favorite brands of running shoes are Saucony, Asics, Mizuno, and Brooks. The bottom line is that the best shoe for you is the one that feels best on your foot. Make sure you “test drive” your shoes outside the store (on the sidewalk or parking lot) before you buy. If the store doesn't allow that, don't buy there.

Inserts/Arch supports: Interestingly, running shoes do not have any arch support in them. To check this for yourself, simply pull out the liner (called the sock liner) and look at the inside floor of the shoe. You’ll see that it is perfectly flat. The sock liner may be molded to appear as if it provides support but it is flexible and designed only to provide comfort and protection from the stitching inside the shoe. Some retail outlets may encourage you to purchase inserts for new shoes but in many cases, they are not needed. Athletes with certain conditions; “flat-feet”, injury, or plantar fasciitis to name a few, may benefit from a firm, supportive insert that protects the midfoot and heel. Be cautious with any insert that is soft, “gel”, spongy, or advertises adding cushioning as these traits may be detrimental to running.

Running socks: Yes, get at least one pair. Running socks are made of a variety of synthetic or natural/synthetic blend and are designed to wick moisture away from the foot. They are similarly designed to keep their shape and resist sliding or bunching up inside the shoe. These qualities promote healthier feet, reduction in blisters (the #1 running injury), and may help decrease odor.

Sports Bra: This is an often overlooked, yet crucial, piece of equipment for the female athlete. Sports bras, like running shoes, should be fitted to meet the needs of the female athlete wearing it. Also, like running shoes, sports bras wear out over time. A sports bra is designed to support the Cooper’s ligaments (a supporting structure in the breast) and breast tissue in general.  Sports bras do much more than supporting the breast tissue. A properly fitted sports bra will promote good running/athletic form thereby decreasing neck, shoulder, upper and lower back discomfort that female athletes often encounter.

“spikes”/racing flats: These are ultra lightweight shoes with turf spikes. They have little cushioning and are designed to be worn for racing only. They are not required but many athletes prefer running races in them as they gain experience.

Coach, where should I buy my gear?
There are several good places in our area. I recommend (in no particular order) Rochester Running (owned by BK alum), Dalberths Sports and Fleet Feet Sports. All are locally owned run-specialty stores who have quality shoes and usually run some type of sale or special for high school cross country. Fleet Feet offers a large selection of the latest shoe models and a variety of apparel. Dalberths focus is on shoes and may offer a more competitive price. I urge you to avoid shoe stores/sporting stores in the mall. If you have any questions, text, call, send a picture to me before you buy. I’d be happy to help.