The Little Things . . .

a Going the Distance newsletter

Mid May 2020 || issue #91
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Summer Program Update

The GTD Cross-Country and All-Sports conditioning programs begin on Monday, June 22, with a 2-week prep.

The prep's aerobic training prepares the athlete for the progressive conditioning sessions that begin on Monday, July 6.

Program Dates:
June 22 - July 5 (prep)
July 6 - August 14 (conditioning sessions)

Peabody HS fields.
If the coronavirus restrictions prevent us from using the fields for onsite sessions, Coach Braz will email detailed, weekly conditioning guidelines that include a daily workout program, and specific circuit drills for each day. Circuits include dynamic warm-up, stationary drills, plyometric drills, and core/strength.

All-Sports -- Register at this link. (Fee $170).
Program details here.

Cross-Country - Register at this link. (Fee $200)
Program details here.
Please note that in place of the Comprehensive ($215) and Onsite-only ($190) xc options, we now have a single option that provides a comprehensive program for all runners.

saraho marathon

Sports Injury Narratives

Sarah Oliver

I am a former Going the Distance athlete, and over the course of the past year I have been researching and writing my senior thesis at Tufts University. My thesis explores the tension between maintaining one’s athletic identity and negotiating the inevitable changes and challenges that come with both injury and normal life-course changes as a college athlete.

I asked how these experiences intersected with identity and with idealized bodies within what some have termed “diet culture.” I did this by interpreting athletes' own narratives about their injuries as reflected in the interviews I conducted with members of the Tufts Track and Field team in the fall of 2019.

I found that athletes are in pursuit of a contradictory set of goals: we strive for improved performance as the utmost goal, and yet we also wish nothing else would change. Once a runner, many of us hope to always be one, only getting faster, never injured. But as one particularly beat-up athlete I spoke with said, injury is the nature of sport, and it is something we will deal with for the rest of our lives.

Sports are based on strengthening the body in order to improve performance. The way the body becomes stronger is through years of tiny stressors, muscle tears, heart beats and repetitions. It is only logical that some of these stressors can become too much, and injury occurs. We may choose to ignore the injury and carry on with our usual activities of daily life, or the injury may become so painful or limiting that we are forced to recognize the injury and work within its limits.

Some athletes, though I have found it to be rare, are able to recognize the early stages of injury and scale back in time to prevent future pain and limitation. But most continue to listen instead to external and internalized pressures that encourage them to do more in order to be anything at all.

In my research, I reference anthropological works that describe the illness experience, or in this case injury experience, and how narration of the experience brings it fully into existence. When I sought to collect injury narratives on the Track and Field team, I found an overarching desires to discuss the fear of weight gain that resulted from the injury experience.

After completing my thesis and sharing my research with peers and health professionals alike, I have been asked to continue this pursuit of stories. My goal now is to collect sports injury narratives from all Track and Field athletes, high school through college, nationwide, in order to better understand how diet culture messaging has impacted the injury experience.

If anyone has a story they would like to share, I encourage them to email me their story at sarah.oliver4@icloud.com. Stories will always be anonymized, and in turn participants will be contributing to a larger discussion that will allow athletes' voices be heard and lead to lasting change in sports.

[Sarah competed in cross-country and track & field for four years at Marblehead High School and another four years at Tuft University, where she added weight throwing to her events. She coached for three summers in the GTD cross-country program.]


Personal Coaching

Coach Braz provides personal coaching for runners at all levels who want to improve their performance or want a guided maintenance program.

Registration Form

The program is designed for runners who have a specific racing goal, or a series of races to prepare for, or want to build or maintain their running fitness.

Program details
Sign-up Steps


Previous Issues of The Little Things

Please go to this link for previous issues of The Little Things.


Going the Distance is a coaching service for runners at all levels.
If you know someone who might benefit from the Going the Distance program,
tell them about us, and forward The Little Things to them.
Visit our website -- Going the Distance
Head Coach -- Fernando Braz
Webmaster and Director -- Dave Smith
For more information, contact Dave at dave@goingthedistancefb.com

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