The Little Things . . . a Going the Distance newsletter April 2016 || issue #42 Share on Facebook Spring Track, XC, All-Sports Fred Doyle on Medi


The Little Things . . .

a Going the Distance newsletter

April 2016 || issue #42
Share on Facebook

Spring Track, XC, All-Sports

Fred Doyle on Medicine Balls

Emily DeMarco


Spring Track

Signup is available for the GTD Spring program. First onsite session is Tuesday, April 19. This is one day after a local marathon, so if you're running 26.2 on Monday the 18th, come to the track to tell us how it went.

Here are some links --
Spring Program Details
Spring Program Regisgration


XC -- North Shore and Merrimack Valley

Registration is open for the GTD XC program.

In addition to the North Shore location in Peabody, we now offer a 2nd location in Tewksbury, providing easy access for xc runners in the Merrimack Valley and southern New Hampshire.

North Shore Details
North Shore Registration

Merrimack Valley Details
Merrimack Valley Registration


All-Sports -- North Shore and Merrimack Valley

Registration is open for the GTD All-Sports Speed & Conditioning program.

The program in the Merrimack Valley (Andover location) is 10 Monday evenings, beginning June 6.

The program in the North Shore (Peabody location) is 3 mornings per week for 5 weeks. It begins on July 11, with a 2-week prep program that starts on June 27.

North Shore Details
North Shore Registration

Merrimack Valley Details
Merrimack Valley Registration


Fred Doyle on Medicine Balls

While working at Nike I attended many of the Oregon Project gym workouts. Along with training at least 110 miles/week, the NOP athletes would spend another 2 hours doing supplemental gym-based activities designed to keep them healthier, stronger and more efficient. Along with observing the athletes in action, I was very fortunate that the coaches would share the content of their programs with me.

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Medicine Ball workouts were a key component of their program. Well known strength coaches were brought in to supervise specific running-based workouts for the group. The program consisted of full body movements to build core strength, flexibility, and improve their balance and coordination. The dynamic movements, with the additional weight and resistance of the Medicine Ball, helps improve the range of motion and reduce muscle imbalances created from the repetitive motion of rigorous distance training.

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We feel that Medicine Balls in the 6-10 pound range work well for the high school and college distance runner. The weight is dependent on the size and strength of the individual athlete. For best results we like to vary the different exercises, and use "muscle confusion", so the body is continually challenged with different exercises and routines.

Favorite Medicine Ball exercises include various throws, jumps, squats, partner exercises and we have recently added a single leg balance component to strengthen the core, add power and improve balance of each athlete. This develops fitter, faster, stronger and healthier runners. At the XC Edge program in 2015 we incorporated Medicine Ball workouts at least 2 days each week, and we will be continuing the Medicine Ball workouts this summer.


Emily DeMarco

[Now in her senior year at Ipswich High School, Emily is a 3-time state champion. She has been named Cape Ann League Runner of the Year twice, and holds 5 CAL titles. She has set 4 league records and holds 5 school records (1000 meters, indoor/outdoor mile, and indoor/outdoor 2-mile).]

GTD: Emily, you first came to Coach Braz’s cross-country conditioning program in the summer of 2013, before your sophomore year at Ipswich High School. At the end of that summer program, you decided to continue working with Coach Braz. How did that happen?
Emily: I found out about the summer program after going to a cross country meeting in the spring. The captains on the team thought it would be good if the girls on the team did it to stay in shape over the summer. Since I was new to running I decided to do it. I had such a great experience at GTD I wanted to continue working with Coach Braz throughout my cross country season. I made such great progress and it really developed my love for running.


GTD: What were you before you became a runner?
Emily: I used to be a softball pitcher, a soccer player and a gymnast. I was actually a pretty decent softball pitcher and made the varsity team my freshman year. I was not quite as good at soccer but everyone would notice how quickly I could run up and down the field.

GTD: Each XC course is different. You’ve run on all the Cape Ann League courses as well as many others. What is it that you like and dislike about a course? Favorites?
Emily: My favorite course would probably be Patton Park which is Hamilton Wenham’s course. It has a huge hill at the end of the course. I feel like that is a great point to make a move during the race. I really like courses that have pretty scenery. Also I strongly dislike when a course’s surface is super rooty or rocky because I constantly twist my ankles.


GTD: In your Junior year you were one of two athletes in the state who finished in the top 10 in three track events –2:56 in the 1000, 5:02 in the mile, and 11:06 in the 2-mile, which you brought down to 10:59 in the spring. What’s your favorite event?
Emily: In indoor track my favorite event is probably the 1,000 meter. I really enjoy its combination of speed and endurance. In outdoor I really enjoy the mile. I feel like the mile is “the event” in outdoor track.

GTD: Many athletes get serious about what they eat. What are your thoughts on nutrition?
Emily: I feel like to be an elite runner you need to focus on nutrition. I believe you can’t train hard and eat lousy. Each day I prepare and plan out healthy meals for myself. I try to incorporate lean protein sources, lots of fruits and vegetables and healthy fats. Eating right is part of a healthy lifestyle that gives me the energy I need to train hard.


GTD: During your senior year, you developed some health issues that plagued you in the xc and indoor track seasons. What was going on?
Emily: During cross country I dealt with anemia over the course of the season. I had been a vegetarian for 2 and 1/2 years and was not supplementing (Iron) enough to offset all of my hard training. I began to feel fatigued and weak all the time, especially during races. After finding this out I started to incorporate meat into my diet and take iron supplements.

GTD: During the summers, you’ve been in the GTD XC program, and you’ve continued training with Coach Braz throughout the year. Can you describe some of the training?
Emily: In the fall I do a lot of strength workouts like tempo runs and Fartleks. I also always do a long run on the weekend for cross country and track. This year I have worked my mileage up to about 45-50 miles per week. In the beginning to middle of track season my workouts are more strength based. Once the season gets closer to the end I start doing a lot more speed work on the track. Also during the indoor season, I have competed in the BU mini meets to get some early season races in.

GTD: Is there life after school and running?
Emily: During the summer I work at the Nike store in Lynnfield, which I really enjoy. Occasionally I will volunteer to help my Aunt work with adults with special needs. I enjoy going to the beach with friends since it is right by my house. And I really enjoy watching movies.


GTD: You’ve accepted a scholarship to run at Boise State. The Broncos are a Division 1 school with women on their xc team from Finland, England, South Africa, and all over the West Coast, including Alaska’s Allie Ostrander. But you’re their first recruit from east of the Mississippi. How did this happen, and what attracted you to Boise State?
Emily: During the end of my junior year I received a letter from Boise State telling me to fill out the recruiting questionnaire. After doing this I was immediately put in contact with the coach. After emailing back and forth a couple of times through the season, I emailed a race video from the winter festival where I ran the 1,000 meter. I was then invited to come to Boise for an official visit. Before going I was super impressed with the coaching resumes of the two coaches, Travis Hartke and Corey Ihmels. They have developed a lot of their runners into All-Americans and National champions. When visiting Boise I absolutely fell in love with the area. It is super cool because you get to run through the outskirts of the Rocky Mountains. The team regularly trains at an 8,000-foot altitude, which is a huge plus for distance running. The girls on the team were also super nice and very serious competitors.

GTD: Spring and summer plans?
Emily: For the spring I will be running outdoor track for Ipswich. I am hoping to set some new personal records in the mile and/or the two mile. For summer I will be running at GTD and preparing for my first college cross country season.


To get to Carnegie Hall a musician needs to practice, practice, practice. How does a runner get competitive? Same thing. There were 20 onsite GTD conditioning sessions for xc runners last summer. Here's Emily at the 1st 19.

Previous Issues of The Little Things

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


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