Why go to a running camp? I remember my parents asking me that the first time I wanted to go. Like most, they figured that you can run anywhere, why would you need to go spend a week in the middle of the Poconos to become a better runner. Well, after that first week away, I knew exactly why you go to running camp.
In the last 10 years, I have missed one year of running camp. From 2008-2010 I was a camper, 2011-14 a counselor, 2016 a coach and in 2017-18 a co-founder. Over those 10 years, I’ve gotten more than I could have ever imagined out of my camp experiences. I met and listened to some of the greatest coaches in NJ history (now some of them work at Radix), I got to talk with Olympians and US champs, ( we had one at Radix last year, Robby Andrews), and I made lifelong friends from other teams ( two guys I went to camp with ended up being college teammates and lifelong friends). I do not hesitate to say that running camp was and still is the greatest week of my summer.
Camp is great for a simple reason, the people. It’s legends like Mr. Heath, the winningest Coach in NJ history, who help to confirm that hard work and determination always pay off! Mentors like Coach Stowe who inspire you to chase your dreams, as she chases her own. But, most importantly, it is runners like YOU who come up for a week to become better versions of yourselves!
Camp is a week of forging friendships and creating team bonds that last a lifetime. Any team that goes to camp comes out stronger and better for it. There is something so special about living with your teammates for that week. You grow closer together and become accountable to your goals in a new way. Each day, you wake up early to share the experience of crushing miles. At night, you create and solidify your goals for the next season often talking about them long into the night. This type of bonding happens best when you spend time away on a singular mission with your teammates.
On top of that, you get to learn from other teams and athletes. Often, we only look to ourselves and teammates for inspiration and motivation. BUT, the best teams and individuals always keep their eyes and ears open to those around them. They see what other teams and athletes do better and they learn and adapt. In my opinion, there is no better place to learn from others than at camp. You get to interact with other amazing athletes and coaches every single day. You get to pick each others’ brains to see how the other greats in the area train, sleep, eat, and compete. And, in the end, everyone leaves better for it!
So, please go to a running camp this summer. Have the week of a lifetime with your teammates, friends, and fellow runners. You’ll be happy you did in November.
The Link to register for Radix can be found below
Radix Running Camp is being hosted at Brookwood Sports camp. The address for Brookwood Sports Camp is directly below along with a link that will take you to google maps where you can type in your own address for directions.
574 Proctor Rd,
Glen Spey, NY 12737
Please arrive between 1-2pm. There will be a table set up right by the parking lot ( off of brookwood rd). Please accompany your camper to the check-in table.
Please arrive between 9:00-9:30. The bus will be leaving at 10:00 am.
When you pull into CBA follow the main road down the entrance. Then at the stop sign continue forward, staying to the right after the intersection. There will be a parking lot where you can check in and drop off your camper.
Please Arrive between 10:30-11:30 am. There will be a table where you can check out your camper. You can park in the camp’s main parking lot where you will load your camper’s luggage.
The bus will arrive between 2:30-3:30 depending on traffic. We will instruct the campers to reach out to you when they are about an hour away so that you can have a more accurate idea of when the bus will arrive.
Please reach out if you have any questions!
6:45 AM: Wake Up!
7:00 AM: Meet for Morning Run!
All of the campers gather together for a light warm-up, drills, and stretching. Athletes then form into running groups based on fitness and weekly mileage. Anyone feeling a little tired or sore can always elect to do a pool workout or yoga instead of the morning run
9:00 AM: All you can eat Breakfast!
10:00 AM: Free Time.
Good time to wash off the morning run and relax with your teammates.
11:30 AM: Meet for Instruction
Instruction will vary from day-to-day but includes talks on, stretching, drills, strength training, nutrition, team building, goal setting, and race day practices.
1:00 PM: All you can eat Lunch!
2:00 PM: Free Time
Great time to take an afternoon nap or hang out with your teammates on the main quad. There are also daily mini tournaments and games offered at this time such as knockout, potato sack races, eggs tosses, and more!
4:00 PM : Meet for Double. Running is optional in the P.M. Campers that choose to put in some extra miles can go for a light run on the miles of dirt trails or the endless green fields that surround the camp. Anyone that wants to take the afternoon off can choose to do a pool workout or work on stretching and strength.
5:00 PM : Free time before dinner to clean up and get ready for the great night ahead of us!
6:00 PM : All you can eat Dinner
Hopefully its Meatball and pasta night!
7:00 PM : Camp Games!
After dinner each night we like to hold camp-wide games and competitions. Last years camp-wide dodgeball game was one of the highlights of the week
8:30 PM : Nightly Talks.
Last year included talks on Goal Setting by Coach McCafferty, a Life in College panel by our junior counselors, Life as a runner from NJ who also happens to be Olympian by Robby Andrews, Building a Team Tradition by legendary Coach Tom Heath, and Mental Preparedness by Coach Carroll and Nagel.
9:30 PM Free time
10:15 PM Campers in Cabins
10:45 PM Lights out
Camp is only a Month away! I hope you are as excited as we are! In our excitement, we decided to list the top 5 things to bring to camp ( along with a slightly more encompassing list below)
Here at Radix Running, we are all about two things. First, making you the best athlete and person you can be and secondly about having FUN. We plan on trying to make this week the most awesome jam-packed week of fun and running possible. All we ask is that you come to join along in the process.
Running is always more fun when it is with someone else. Whether it’s your brother, mother, sister, father, dog, or high school teammate, running is something worth sharing. Pass the word about the camp on to your teammates. It will be a great week to bond and learn from one another in order to be the best team you can be in November. BUT, don’t worry if you’re coming alone because camp is going to be full of some of the most awesome friendliest runners NJ has to offer.
This is a running camp after all and you need to make sure you come ready to run. This means bringing 1-2 pairs of running shoes and enough socks, shorts, and shirts for 11 runs.
Here at Radix Running, we love the environment. One of the best parts about running is going out and experiencing nature. As a result, we are big believers in trying to be as environmentally friendly as possible. One great way you can help us with this is by bringing a water bottle. Not only will this help ensure that you are able to stay sufficiently hydrated but, it will also make sure we don’t create unnecessary waste by using hundreds of disposable cups.
While there will be three meals a day provided at camp we encourage the campers to bring some snacks of their own. Everyone is different in what they like to eat and drink before and after runs. I for one, enjoy eating a cool mint cliff bar before runs so I’ll make sure to have plenty packed for the week!
Please leave valuables at home
It was 82 degrees when thousands of runners toed the line at the Spring Lake 5 this weekend. I, like many, love starting my summer with this amazing tradition. My earliest running memories come from standing at the corner of 5th ave and Warren as thousands of people passed my cheering hands.
This year, I got the opportunity to get out there and join the crowd. Before the race started, 10,000+ people stood at attention while the pledge was sung. The crowd stood in respect and remembrance of those who had fallen protecting this great country. When it was over the crowd roared and the race began!
It was 82 out when my first sub 5-min mile began and felt like 102 when my 5:45 mile came around 15 minutes later. After months of Jersey winter and spring, I had forgotten about the power of the heat. As my miles became slower, and the sun began to feel like it was actively melting my face, I had some time to think about the summer sun and plan some strategies to avoid the heat this summer.
Good luck to everyone and enjoy the summer miles.
Don’t forget to sign up for camp August 19-24th!! Registration: https://radixrunning.com/registration-2/
Friday Flashback: RADIX RECAP
LEXI SALERNO, Trinity Hall
I remember standing at the bottom of the hill at RADIX thinking about the 7-14 hill repeat workout that all the girls were about to start and I was definitely nervous. Halfway through the workout I said to Lou, “I really shouldn’t have started out that fast”. Right away she said something along the lines of, “ there’s nothing you can do about it now just stay relaxed and just keep going.”
That was such an eye opening moment for me because I tend to get in my head sometimes and after hearing that, I pushed myself even harder to complete the workout.
This is something I still think back to when I am about to race or workout. As we were running in our groups, all the girls cheered for one another not caring if we were from different schools. RADIX really taught us how to support one another even if we were competing against each other and how to run together and push each other to our greatest potential.
Throughout Trinity’s cross country season we carried over what we had learned at RADIX, we welcomed the new girls on the team, continued supporting each other through workouts, and encouraged each other to keep going even when the work was really mentally tough.
Our team dynamic got even stronger moving into our indoor season.
The leadership and perseverance we saw and grew into at RADIX was prevalent through the season with many PR’s and overall commitment to the sport.
The one thing I personally took away from RADIX was how to overcome obstacles and keep persevering through the physically and mentally tough times.
I believe that because of the fundamentals of RADIX we learned how to run as a team and this has led and will continue to lead us to success.
Pre-race nerves have to be in the top 10 hardest things I work to overcome.
I have been racing for a long time and I still feel like every race day is my first day on the starting line. However, over the years I’ve been able to piece together a few things that have helped me become more successful before and during my races.
I’ve decided to share some of my best routines with you guys in hopes that they can help you run a better race and overall, have a great meet day!
Usually, I’ll get a feeling of complete control and focus. Even if you’re a little skeptical of this, be open minded, it doesn’t hurt to try!
**Coach Stowe, added note— the idea is to find your flow state, coming back to and staying in the present moment, keeping yourself in ACTION, when you catch yourself over-thinking, gently draw back to a physical cue point, and utilize short energizing phrases to stay engaged**
Keep your eyes on the person in front of you and try to stay on their shoulder. Another thing to think about is being in a pack. Pack running occupies your mind by focusing on staying with the person in front of you rather then lingering behind and playing “catch up” the entire time. Towards the end of my race I start to pick off people. I like to play this game with myself where I try to pass one person per lap or two (depending on how long the race is) and if I don’t get that person by the end of the lap(s), then I just have to speed up the next lap to get them. It keeps your mind occupied and by the time you’ve passed all the people that you can, the race is pretty much over.
When you stay competitively engaged, focusing on the task at hand, racing the best you can- the time’s come!
There I was, sprinting towards the finish line, at this very moment it felt as if the world was caving in on me. My coach and family were watching from the sidelines, witnessing an event of a lifetime. As I broke the plane, I thought to myself “This is it, it’s finally over.” The culmination of blood, sweat, and tears still couldn’t have captured such an image.
(IN THE MIDST OF ALL THE EXCITEMENT I ALMOST FORGET THAT THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING)
Never did I ever dream about placing 18th at the Foot Locker Nationals Cross Country Championships. It was truly the cherry on the top to an incredible season.
My favorite part about Foot Locker Nationals was the realization that my hard work had manifested into this very moment, receiving an opportunity to compete on the National level. Being able to create friendships with people all across the nation and surround myself with runners on the same mission as me, was something I won’t forget anytime soon. I learned the true meaning of discipline, as these runners showed me how to stay sharp and focused in every step of the process. To be the best runner, you must behave like the best runner, and I learned how to pay attention to detail like never before.
Foot Locker Nationals was beyond my expectations and imagination. The amount of support and motivation that I received from the event staff members and coaches all across was unimaginable. Footlocker, New Balance, and EastBay put on an amazing event, making sure each athlete felt like it was truly the place to be.
After wrapping up the cross country season, I took a break to prepare physically and mentally for the challenges that lie ahead of me heading into the indoor and outdoor seasons. I started up by doing some easy runs and strides, and later progressed to my regular training schedule. During this transition, I looked back at the goals I had set for myself in the summer at Radix Running Camp. Coach McCafferty from Christian Brothers Academy had asked us to write down a few goals to help guide us through the year, and it really allowed me to focus on what I wanted to accomplish for the future. I wrote down my goals everywhere and recited them constantly, whether it was in my running notebook, on the side of my school locker, and even right next to my pillow. This strategy has allowed me to stay motivated and to continue to work towards them on a daily basis. I learned that these goals aren’t simply accomplished in a heartbeat, It takes days, weeks, and months of discipline for them to be achieved, and this is what I believe helped to set me apart from my competitors.
There are countless articles out there that will tell you all different life hacks about how to find the perfect morning/daily/race routine. But, in my opinion, there is no perfect routine instead, there is only the routine that gives you the confidence and mindset to conquer your day/work/race.
Stephen King said of his daily routine,
“There are certain things I do if I sit down to write,” he said, “I have my vitamin pill and my music, sit in the same seat, and the papers are all arranged in the same places. The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon.”
King’s routine is as mundane as they get but it has allowed him to succeed as one of the greatest writers of the 20/21st century. The power of routine is summed up in King’s final statement, ” The cumulative purpose of doing these things the same way every day seems to be a way of saying to the mind, you’re going to be dreaming soon.” There is nothing unique about his daily routine. Instead, it is just the opposite. It is beautifully simple. However, it is his process that puts him in a mindset which allows him to begin “DREAMING”. Your routine should leave you with a feeling of confidence and sense of purpose.
When I was freshman running xc, my biggest weakness was a weak stomach. I vomited after nearly every race and occasionally during the actual race. Anyone who runs knows it’s hard to focus when you have to worry about keeping down your breakfast. My first solution was simply not to eat before races or hard workouts. This worked brilliantly, until two weeks later I passed out at a particularly hard morning practice. Obviously freshman year me wasn’t the brightest. After talking to my coach, Chris Bennett, it was clear that I needed an eating routine. I needed a routine that no matter what, I knew if I followed it, my stomach wouldn’t be an issue on race day.
My race day eating routine became the most important thing to me on race day. No matter where I was, when the race was, who I was racing, how long the race was, there was one thing I knew I had to do on race day. I had to eat 2 plain bagels 4 hours and 10 minutes beforehand. There were mornings it sucked! Pawlowski relays 4×1600 goes off at 8am that means at 3:30 am I was up choking down two bagels and a bottle of water. Holmdel Twilight meet at 8 pm, looks like bagels for dinner. But once I started that routine I never cramped again!
As I got older and learned to be more confident and trust my fitness, the two plain bagels turned into any two bagels. Maybe a Cliff Bar if I was feeling especially adventurous. The 4 hours and 10 minutes became anything around 4 hours before the race. But I’d be lying if I said that before every single big race of my college career I didn’t get back to my bagel routine. It was something I had confidence in. Maybe that was a weakness but I didn’t care because I embraced it and allowed it to give me comfort in the hours before the race rather than anxiety.
My race routine is boring. It is simple. It works. It’s mine. I don’t recommend my routine. Instead, I encourage you to find what works best for you. Find an area of weakness in your running and attack it, with a routine.
Maybe you get nervous before your race. That’s good: it means you care. But don’t let those nerves get to you. Maybe on the bus ride to the meet when you get most nervous, when you wish the bus would just break down so you don’t have to run (yes I’ve had that thought a lot) take out your running log and read through your best workouts. Look at all the hard work you have put in, all the miles you’ve logged. Give yourself the confidence you need to succeed!
Staying motivated during this time of the year can be one of the most challenging parts of training. Our last 2 posts were about the cold weather and cross training, in addition, many of you are coming up on midterm exams. Life will happen, there will always be other things to manage and working through these things on top of your running, requires maintaining focus and motivation.
The starting point, the launch spot, the beginning of becoming and staying motivated is to identify what you are trying to achieve.
What is your goal?
What is your purpose?
Today, tomorrow, next week,
a month from now, a year from now, 5 years from now…
(I will stop, I assume you get the picture)
On the first night of camp, Coach McCaff, sat you down and asked you all to write down our goals for the Cross Country season ahead.
How many of you have done this for the Indoor season?
If not, the time is now.
What are you going to do today, tomorrow, next week in order to be where you want to be,
a month from now, a year from now, 5 years from now?
The more of life I live, the more I realize success comes to those who are able to maintain motivation and passion. Honing your direction and refusing to be thrown off track in your pursuit is essential to success.
This requires you to remind yourself daily of the purpose behind what you are doing.
This means staying awake to your goals.
Maybe you’re trying to rebuild your confidence.
Maintaining motivation is hard, but the best, they build through the tougher times and come out on the other side. Day by day, task by task. Building, always building. Always Staying awake to the necessary work.
Brian Hill ( Radix Camper ’17)
This past summer I began looking for smarter ways to train and get in doubles that would allow me to sustain a high level of running throughout the season. At the same time, my dad was recovering from injury and was also looking into a way to cross train. As a result of this my family ended up purchasing an EllitptiGO, the strange looking bike always on display at Runner’s High. After many rides over the past few months, I can say with confidence that the EllitpiGO has helped my running and is one of the best sources of cross training available. Just like cycling and swimming, the ElliptiGO is a low impact form of exercise. What separates the EllitpiGO from a normal bike is the fact that it is made specifically for runners. You are able to stand upright and pedal with a stride that mimics running form in addition to being free from the back and seat pain that comes with cycling. Studies have suggested that it takes 33% more effort to maintain the same speed on an ElliptiGO than the same speed on a bike. Another benefit from ElliptiGO training is that it helps to strengthen the gluteal muscles in your hips, notoriously weak muscles in runners. What separates the ElliptiGO the most from other cross-training exercises is that you can go almost anywhere with it. Cross training is always seen as miserable to runners as it often involves being stuck in a pool or a gym unable to go anywhere. This is not the case with the EllitiGO as you can take it to local bike paths and be able to train outside while getting a great workout. During the cold winter months when roads are unsuitable for riding the EllitiGO can be used indoors on a bike trainer. Because of these benefits, it is no shock that professional runners such as Meb Keflezighi and a variety of high-level college cross country teams have made the EllitiGO an important part of their training. Overall my experience with the EllitiGO has been well worth the hype. My heart rate monitor routinely reads an average in the high 140s after every ride and my hips feel the burn towards the end of a hard ride. Now, whenever I go out for a double I know I can avoid the hard pounding of running and get in cardio that gives me just as much benefit.
Go to workouts:
30 minute ride at just under 4:00 pace
10 minute warmup, 8 x 1 minute hard/1easy 10 minute cooldown
Cross Training can evoke a number of different reactions from a runner. For myself, it is met with memories of sitting for hours each week on a stationary bike in Jadwin Gymnasium only to be followed by a quick actual bike ride to the pool for some swimming or aqua jogging.(the pool work was on my more ambitious days) But my memories tend to be jaded as they were mixed with years of Achilles problems and stress fractures.
For many, cross training can be a very positive part of their week. A nice swim can break up a week of running on the roads. Many people can benefit by substituting cross-training for some of their weekly milage. This could mean skipping a run and hopping on a bike to get some “work” in or quite the opposite, adding a bike session in the morning to supplement your running. Either way, there is probably a good chance cross training has a part in your fitness plan.
Below are some types of cross training but feel free to let us know your favorites.
I have a mixed relationship with stationary bikes. For two years of college, largely the first two, all I did at practice was stationary bike and go to the gym. If you know me, the gym was at best a once a week every other week kind of deal. That meant I had a lot of time to spend on the stationary bike. In my countless hours on the bike, I learned a couple of things…
Types of workouts
10 min warm-up
3×5 min tempo then 5x 30 seconds on 30 seconds off
10 min cool-down
10 min warm-up
pyramid workout of 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1, 1 min rest throughout intervals.
10 min cool-down
I was a bad swimmer, I am a bad swimmer, and will continue to be a bad swimmer. But when you break your foot its one of the only games in town. My advice for swimming is two part. Ask someone who swims how to make it better and if you are going to do it do it often because otherwise, it’s the hardest form of cross training, IMO, to get the hang of.
The middle ground between running and swimming. It’s kind of like treading water but using the running motion to keep yourself afloat. Aqua Jogging is a personal favorite of mine in the summer months. It’s a nice way to put some work in while also enjoying the family pool or neighbor’s in my case. Three simple pieces of advice for aqua jogging…
Types of workouts
10 min warm-up
6 x 5 min moderate, 1 min easy
Finish with 2 sets of 5 x 45 sec hard, 15 sec easy
10 min cool-down
10 min warm-up
16 – 20 x one hard pool length (take 30 sec rest after each length)
10 min cool-down