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Owasso Striders Week One

Welcome to the Owasso Striders summer running camp! We are excited to have over 150 distance runners in the program for 2024!

This summer, our goal is for each athlete in our program to grow athletically but, even more importantly, as a teammate and person through the transformative sport of long-distance running.

Distance running is the ultimate delayed gratification sport. We live in a world where we get nearly anything we want at the push of a button. We move on if a website takes more than two seconds to load. We go a little nutsy if we are stuck in traffic for more than a couple of minutes. Distance running doesn't work that way. It takes months and months of consistent training to truly see the result of the work you've put in. How do you sell a teenager today on the idea that the workout you ran today won't have much benefit for you for weeks to come? In fact, today's workout barely progressed you anywhere at all! It takes a special kind of athlete to participate in endurance running, but those who do are transformed by the decision! Runners lead longer, richer, fuller, and healthier lives. It is a TRANSFORMATIVE sport!

At the end of the competitive XC season, runners will have success based on two primary factors: 1. Genetic Potential and 2. Their Fitness Level. Unfortunately, there isn't much we can do about genetic potential in practice. Some athletes are just better runners because they are genetically predisposed to being better runners. It's the same for any other sport. Some athletes are simply gifted in their chosen arena. We can, however, have a significant impact on a runner's fitness level. The key to distance running is allowing athletes to fully express their fitness level when they, and the TEAM, need it the most. For that to happen, runners need long-term, consistent training to be healthy and "fresh" mentally. We want to see runners stay energized at the end of the season. So, the question for us coaches is how do we get an athlete to the end of the season feeling both strong physically, mentally, and healthy enough to express their fitness level fully?

For the first week of Striders, we are focused on something other than fitness levels. Instead, we spend extra time teaching and modeling what it means to be a great TEAMMATE. When runners make a social connection with other runners at practice, they are excited to return the next day and see those runners again. Don't tell anyone, but the act of running really isn't that much fun, especially in the summers in Oklahoma. No matter how hard I try, I can't make 6xMile at Threshold pace in 90-degree heat and 90% humidity fun! So why do kids do it? It's because they are with their friends, they started with one easy mile, and they understand that while the run itself might not be that much fun, the feeling you get conquering that workout with your teammates and knowing it made you a little stronger and a little faster and got you a little closer to that higher fitness level makes it absolutely worthwhile!

When we start tomorrow, we'll have some kids come home and say that practice was way too easy. That's the point! No one practice should be more than our runners can handle. We want them always to leave wanting more. It's the sum of the practices they do day after day, week after week, and month after month that will get them to their goals and keep them coming back for more; they need to feel like they are part of something bigger than themselves, have healthy connections with teammates and coaches, and know there is a payoff in the end. So, we start small and work towards something big. We work first and foremost on creating a culture that kids want to be a part of, and then we add in more work over time. Our younger runners will hit paces and do more work by the end of the season than they ever thought possible on the first day. As we tell the kids all the time, we want you to be 100% happy, 100% healthy, and 95% trained. That's the key to great distance running, and that’s where we start tomorrow.

We're so glad you're here...LET'S GO!

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