Friday, March 29, 2013

Junior training camp in CT

Thanks to Becky Carlyle and Clint Morse, WCOC hosted a junior training camp last weekend.  It was a weekend jam-packed with quality trainings and lots of fun.  The juniors were mostly from the east coast, and ranged from 8 to 20 years old.  Anna, Ian, Giacomo, and Alex helped Becky out with coaching, along with countless other parents and helpers.  The weather cooperated, melting just enough snow to make the forests runnable, and dowsing us with sunshine. 

Saturday morning started at Osbornedale, and we started with a group warmup (photos all by Dave Yee of CSU), then split into groups to run a bearings exercise, in the field. 

The bearings exercise was cool - for the advanced maps, it was just a blank piece of paper with the controls drawn on it, so you had to look up and run in the right direction for the right amount of time, and then you'd find the streamer.  Often, you could see the streamer from the start if you looked up enough. 

After the bearings exercise, juniors had two other exercises to choose from; a contours-only course and a route choice course.  Coaches and parents were available to shadow runners, and I think everyone managed to get a lot out of the exercises.  Becky did a great job keeping the courses on the short side, so that there was time to do everything.

After lunch, we reconvened at Ansonia Nature Preserve. Another group warmup, and then we had two exercises on deck: a partner simplification training, and then a peg relay. The peg relay is a mass start race, and at "decision point" controls, there were a set number of streamers tied to the control. If you got to the control and there were still streamers there, you took the streamer and ran to some bonus controls. If there weren't any streamers, you kept going to the next normal control. This meant that there were always lots of people in the woods, running in all sorts of directions!

Saturday after the second training, we all went to Becky's crossfit gym, where Monique and Ben did a really nice intro to strength training, and how to properly do all the exercises that the juniors should know how to do. Hopefully people remember what they learned! After some delicious burgers and sausages for dinner, hosted by Becky and Rob, it was an early night for another day of training on Sunday.

Sunday's activities were all at Gay City State Park, hosted by Clint Morse. There was more snow in the forest, here, but it didn't deter people from getting out and enjoying the host of trainings that Clint had prepared. He had set things up "buffet style", so after a group warmup and a quick pairs exercise to put footprints in the snow going every direction, there were tons of courses to choose from. Several middle-distance type courses, a window course, a hard and an easy contours course, and a route choice course, to name only a few. By 1pm, we were all ready for pizza, so ended up at a tasty pizza restaurant just down the road, before splitting up and heading off home to our various abodes, after a very successful weekend!

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