Chandler cross country runners training early, hydrating to beat triple-digit temps
CHANDLER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - While many can get relief inside from the excessive heat, many athletes still need to grind it out outside. Some sports practice later in the day, but cross country runners must set an early alarm clock to beat the heat.
Chandler High School’s cross country team starts practice at 5:15 a.m. to practice without the sun beating down on their runners. With the season beginning in September, head coach Matt Lincoln said these runners have no choice but to acclimate to be race ready.
“Risk factor is definitely high this time of year; we try to encourage them to be drinking a lot of water throughout the day and getting electrolytes in their body,” Lincoln explained. “The adjustments your body makes and getting acclimated to it now, later in the season when it cools off, it helps and improves their times a lot.”
The team breaks up their training sessions into workout days and aerobic runs. Workout is focused on agility and doing repetitions to make their runners stronger. Aerobic run days are when they set a course in a neighborhood or even a canal and run a distance for time.
The races are 5K during the season, and many runners must prepare for fueling up and injury prevention. Many runners pack Gatorade, extra water, and snacks to help their bodies during these summer training sessions. Some say peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and chocolate milk are their secret weapon.
There are around 25 runners on the team, and two of them are siblings that just moved to the Valley from Pennsylvania. Senior and sophomore Ethan and Hazel Quezada have been running cross country since 4th grade, and they said running in the desert has been an adjustment. “It’s been a really hard adjustment, honestly, because I’m used to running in like rain or cold or snow,” Hazel said. “It’s been a little rough with the heat; it’s definitely a big change,” Ethan said.
Common injuries Coach Lincoln has seen during excessive heat are cramps that turn into something worse. To prevent those injuries from happening, they emphasize hydration, stretching and knowing your limits.
High school boys and girls cross country season starts in September and goes until November.
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