The Little Things . . . a Going the Distance newsletter Mid-March 2017 || issue #51 Share on Facebook XC and All-Sports conditioning programs -- r


The Little Things . . .

a Going the Distance newsletter

Mid-March 2017 || issue #51
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XC - Summer Conditioning

Registration is open for GTD's 2 cross-country conditioning programs.

North Shore registration
North Shore details

Merrimack Valley registration
Merrimack Valley details

Onsite sessions for both programs begin on Monday, July 10 and continue on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings until Friday, August 18.

The Comprehensive program ($195) includes two weeks of off-site prep conditioning, plus a written guideline for all 56 days of the program. The Onsite-only program ($170) includes the 18 onsite sessions.

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All-Sports - Speed & Conditioning

Registration is open for GTD's 2 all-sports speed & conditioning programs.

North Shore registration
North Shore details

Merrimack Valley registration
Merrimack Valley details

The programs provide conditioning for athletes who participate in soccer, field hockey, lacrosse, basketball football, baseball, ice hockey, softball, track, wrestling, volleyball, dance, skiing, and cheering.

The North Shore program in Peabody begins on Monday, July 10 and continues on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings until August 11.

The Merrimack Valley program in Andover begins on Monday, June 12 and continues on Monday evenings until August 14.


Personal Coaching with Coach Braz

Registration for the Spring Seasonal Coaching Program (program 1) with Fernando Braz is now available. The program begins on April 17 and continues for 15 weeks to the end of July.

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. Runners receive a written, 15-week outline that is targeted to their level and goal. The outline includes a weekly track session that may be done at a site convenient to the runner, or with Coach Braz on Tuesday evenings at the Beverly High School track.

Runners may register at any time for Coach Braz's one-on-one coaching program (program 2).

What's the difference between Seasonal Coaching (program 1) and One-on-One Coaching (program 2)?
Program 1 provides a training outline for the spring, fall, or winter season.
Program 2 provides one-on-one coaching from Coach Braz on a daily and weekly basis.
For more information, go to Program Options and FAQs.

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Jonathan Luders: All-Sports Conditioning

[Jonathan is a sophomore at Lynnfield High School.]

GTD: Jonathan, how many summers have you trained in Coach Braz’s program? What got you started doing it?
Jonathan: I have trained in Coach Braz’s program for 2 years. A friend told me about the camp. I thought it sounded pretty cool. I looked at some of the pictures on the website of athletes doing hills, sprints, and tough core exercises and I said “that looks cool!” And signed up.

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GTD: The coaches encourage all the athletes to move up to an older age group if they want more of a challenge. A 12 year-old may move to the 13-15 group, and a 14-year-old may move to the 16+ group. You’ve moved up each year. How has this worked for you?
Jonathan: Even though it is not required to move up, moving up provides more of a challenge. Training with older athletes provides new opportunities. This challenged me and pushed me to keep up with them during the workout.

GTD: You’re a soccer player in the fall and a baseball player in the spring. How does the program address your conditioning needs for those sports?
Jonathan: Everything that Coach Braz incorporates in the workout each day has a purpose to make you better. For soccer, the workout is perfect because it really helps with endurance, speed (sprinting), and core. Even for baseball, which doesn’t require as much running in the game, having good endurance helps with the energy level that is needed for a long game. And the different sprint workouts during Braz camp can really help on the basepaths.

GTD: What are your favorite drills at Braz camp?
Jonathan: Sprinting up a hill with a parachute on would have to be my favorite drill. In a close second would have to be fireworks, when you sprint 10 meters then jog 10 meters for about 100 meters on a track or on the field.

GTD: We spend a lot of time on core conditioning. How does that work for you?
Jonathan: Having a strong core is very important when it comes to playing sports because it helps almost every aspect of your game. Coach Braz has multiple core exercises, some that I had never seen/heard before, that are very effective. In soccer especially, your core helps with your balance and with making quick cuts. Strong core is essential. In baseball, having a strong core helps with strong throws and a quick and efficient swing.

GTD: How did you handle nutrition on the morning of Braz camp? With the program starting at 9am in the heat of summer, what do you do for food/drink BEFORE 9am?
Jonathan: I am a HUGE eater. I usually eat the same breakfast everyday: 6-7 scrambled eggs, a yogurt, and a banana. I know it sounds like a lot but I have been eating like that for a while and I have just gotten used to it. But before Coach Braz’s camp, I try to eat a little extra and drink extra water before I leave. Drinking water is one of the most important things before and during camp. I bring electrolyte water and a one gallon Gatorade cooler filled with ice and water so that I have enough water to stay hydrated throughout the workout.

GTD: How did your fall soccer season go?
Jonathan: The fall season went well. Our team went 10-6-2 and qualified for the state tournament, which is always one of our main team goals. My winter athletic plan included getting ready for baseball in the spring and working out to get stronger as well.

I just want to say that the Going the Distance camp is amazing. I do not know how else to put it. The athletes that you meet become your really good friends. You train beside them. They push you to work harder and you push them, which makes the workouts more fun and more competitive. The coaches are awesome. They have fun just like the athletes do (even though we are the ones going through tough workouts). The coaches take very good care of you if you have an injury. I could go on and on about how great this camp is. But you have to experience the camp to really appreciate how great it really is. No matter what sports you do in any season, fall, winter, or spring, the workouts you do at Coach Braz’s camp will benefit you. It is a tough workout, but when you have other athletes pushing you on and tremendous coaches it brings out the best in you.

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Colette Madore: team xc conditioning

[Colette is head coach at Central Catholic high school and a lead coach in the GTD North Shore xc program. Colette was named XC Coach of the Year for 2016 by the Eagle-Tribune newspaper.]

What a season . . . the most memorable one in 10 years of coaching! I am so proud of my athletes and how hard they worked for this. Running and training starts in the summer and for many of these athletes, it never stops (as they are 3 season distance runners).


XC is a challenging sport. It’s hard on the body, and it’s mentally demanding but that’s what makes it so exciting for runners who just love to run. I make a point to create a summer running schedule that incorporates the GTD XC-Edge conditioning program into the plan. Each summer, the number of Central Catholic XC athletes who participate in XC-Edge keeps increasing. They see the value of training as a “team” while at the program, supporting each other, and having experienced coaching staff there to instruct.

XC-Edge gives a strong strength base that complements my summer running schedule of miles. Coach Braz and Coach Doyle do a great job making sure that everyone is individually successful. At GTD XC-Edge, the kids work as a team depending on their fitness level and speed, and this creates teamwork, positivity, and strength in numbers. Relationships are created at XC-Edge that live on beyond the summer and that’s what makes Edge so special!

For example, XC-Edge Coach Peter Cirafice came to Central Catholic early in the season to talk about nutrition and XC-Edge graduate/UMass Lowell athlete Drew Fossa came in late in the season to discuss mental preparation for the championship part of the season. All of these “little things” help each runner before their season begins. I am looking forward to continued success for Central XC in 2017!


Here are some highlights from our 2016 xc season.
• 1st season in my 10 years of head coaching that we made All States as a team.
• Trained as a pack this season, which gave us more depth . . . something I had been working on for a while.
• 7 athletes qualified and competed at All States (and 5 out of the 7 did Merrimack Valley GTD XC program)
Kierstin Lock (senior), Maia Gifford (junior), Kathryn Montgomery (junior), Katie Dankert (junior), Grace McDowell (junior), Jackie Kelly (junior), Kelsey Seamans (frosh)
• 3 alternates were a part of the State and All State teams (and 2 out of the 3 did GTD)
Helen Connolly (junior)
Molly Buckley (junior)
Jessica Freeman (sophomore)
• We also earned D1 Merrimack Valley Girls Sportsmanship Award
• Had 6 Merrimack Valley All Stars


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
Assistant Coach -- Annie Starrett
Webmaster and Director -- Dave Smith
For more information, contact Dave at