Groves Cross Country

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    Peak Finish!
    The boys finished off the season with some great performances in the Region 8-1 Championship Meet.  Nearly everyone posted a PR as our entire varsity team broke 18:00 for the first time.  We now take time to celebrate the season at the team banquet at the Iroquois Club in Bloomfield Hills.  The festivities began at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, October 29.  See you there! Also, congratulations to Elyssa Biederman for finishing 9th overall in the girls' race and qualifying for next Saturday's State Championship Meet.
    Push to the Finish
    We wrap up the season this week with two competitions.  On Monday, October 22, the 9th and 10th grade boys will compete in the Bloomer 9/10 Invitational.  At 3:00 PM, a one-way bus will depart Groves and take athletes to Bloomer Park in Rochester where all boys will race at 5:30 PM.  On Friday, October 25, we close out the season with the Regional Championship Meet.  The boys will dismiss early from school and depart Groves at 12:00 PM for Chandler Park Golf Course in Detroit.  The varsity (top 7) will race at 4:00 PM, after the JV races at 2:30 PM.
    We'll celebrate the season the following Tuesday, October 29, at the team banquet at the Iroquois Club in Bloomfield Hills.  Festivities begin at 6:00 PM.
    The Home Stretch
    Nearly everyone PR'd at the Hudson Mills course on Saturday, setting up the team for a great finish to the season.  On Tuesday, a one-way bus will depart Groves at 3:00 PM and take runners to Bloomer Park in Rochester for the OAA Blue League Championship Meet.  The varsity (top 8) will run at 5:00; the JV, at 5:30.  The current league standings see the boys in 3rd place, 1 point behind Oak Park and West Bloomfield.
    On Wednesday, the boys will make their annual run to the Franklin Cider Mill right after school.  Boosters will provide cider, donuts, and rides back to Groves.
    The Finish Line in Sight
    We begin the final stretch of the season by getting ready to run some fast times at the Gabriel Richard Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 12.  A one way bus will depart Groves at 7:00 A.M. and take athletes to Hudson Mills Metropark for the races.  The varsity (top 7) will run at 9:20; the JV, at 10:30.
    Here are some other important upcoming dates:
    Tuesday, Oct. 15: OAA League Championship Meet @ Bloomer Park in Rochester
    Wednesday, Oct. 16: team runs to Franklin Cider Mill after school
    Monday, Oct. 21: Bloomer 9/10 Invitational @ Bloomer Park in Rochester
    Friday, Oct. 25: Regional Championship Meet @ Chandler Park Golf Course in Detroit
    Tuesday, Oct. 29: Team Banquet @ the Iroquois Club
    Hill Week
    We race on two hilly courses this week as we begin the month of October.  On Tuesday, Oct. 1, the boys will host a dual meet against Detroit Country Day at Beverly Park.  All boys will race together at 5:00 PM.  On Saturday, Oct. 5, a one-way bus will depart Groves at 7:30 AM and take runners back to Kensington Metropark (Possum Hollow Picnic Area) for the Oakland County Championships. The boys will participate in three races during the morning.  Everyone outside of the top 14 athletes will run in an Open Race at 9:20 AM.  Varsity (top 7) will race at 10:30; JV (next 7), at 11:30.
    Heart of the Season
    We have two competitions in each of the next two weeks and some great opportunities to post some fast times.  On Wednesday, September 25, a one-way bus will depart Groves at 3:15 PM and take runners to Memorial Park in Royal Oak for the second OAA Blue Jamboree.  Varsity boys (top 10) will run at 5:00; JV, at 5:45.  On Saturday, September 28, a one-way bus will depart Groves at 7:30 AM and take runners to Huron Meadows Metropark for the Coaching Legends Invitational.  Varsity boys (top 10) will run at 10:00; JV, at 11:10.
    Training Week
    We have no races this week, so we'll devote our energies to some serious training to get us ready for the heart of the season.  Here is some information about about our next few competitions:
    Wed., Sept. 25: OAA Blue Jamboree #2 @ Memorial Park in Royal Oak (Varsity (top 10) @ 5:00 PM; JV, @ 5:30)
    Sat., Sept. 28: Coaching Legends Invitational @ Huron Meadows Metropark (Varsity (top 10) @ 10:00 AM; JV, @ 11:10)
    Tue., Oct. 1: Dual meet vs. Country Day @ Beverly Park (all boys race @ 5:00)
    Up and Running!
    After a successful start to the season, we have a bit of a lull, with only one race in the next 16 days, which gives us a great opportunity to train hard for some fast courses at the end of the month.  Don't forget to thank your parents for putting together the awesome picnic after the Averill Invitational this past Saturday.  Our next race is the Autumn Classic:  a one-way bus will depart Groves on Saturday, September 14, at 8:00 A.M. and take runners to Stony Creek Metropark (Bay Point Beach).  The JV boys (times over 21:30) will race at 10:30 A.M.; the varsity (times 21:30 and under), at 11:30.  
    The Week Ahead
    Hopefully you've all been keeping the running habit going this Labor Day weekend.  I suggested a long run (1 hour+) for Saturday and a tempo run (3 - 4 miles) for Monday, with shorter, lighter maintenance runs on Friday and Sunday.  We have our first league competition on Wednesday, Sept. 4, with the OAA Blue Jamboree #1 at Martin Road Park in Ferndale.  Varsity boys (top 10) run at 5:00; JV, at 5:30.   A one-way bus will depart Groves at 3:15.  On Saturday, a one-way bus will depart Groves at 8:00 A.M. for the Averill Invitational at Kensington Metropark (Possum Hollow Picnic Area).  Varsity boys (top 10) will race at 10:30 A.M.; JV, at 11:40.  A team picnic will follow the races.
    Competition Begins!
    We kick off the competitive season with the Mustang Invitational at Cass Benton Park on Tuesday, August 27.  Athletes should arrange transportation to arrive at the park no later than 3:30 P.M..  The 11/12 boys race at 4:30 P.M.; the 9/10 boys, at 5:30 P.M..  The weather for the race shouldn't be too hot (low 80s), but it might be a little rainy, so dress accordingly.  On Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday, we will practice from 3:15 - 5:00 at the Groves track.  We will not have official practice from Friday - Monday of the Labor Day weekend, but I will design some workouts for runners to complete on their own.


    Official Practices Begin Monday, Aug. 12!

    Are you ready to compete in the OAA Blue Division this fall? We'll begin official practices on the Groves track at 8:00 A.M. Monday, August 12 -- make sure to get a physical and all your "paper"-work done by then (go to We start racing on Tuesday, August 27, at the Mustang Invitational in Northville.  Check the Groves pages on for information about our schedule this season.

    Summer Training
    Dive into the world of running as you work to maximize your summer mileage. Log your weekly mileage here and stay connected with the team via social media. Weekday captains' practices will start at 8:30 A.M. every weekday at the Groves track. Check out the pre-season training document (linked below) for training ideas. Stay tuned for more announcements about targeted team races and prizes for summer mileage achievements.
    Running Form
    As you log more miles and gain more experience, your form (and efficiency) will improve.  The bounding and plyometric drills we do before every practice should help as well.  You can also focus on some simple ideas that will improve your running form.  New Balance's Good Form Running site provides a useful set of principles to run by.  You can watch a great breakdown of an Olympian's running technique here. You can also check out this super slow motion clip of the Boston Marathon finishers
    Get the Right Shoes
    Make sure you have a decent pair of running shoes in which to train. Local stores like Hanson's, Running Fit, and Level Multisport have experienced runners that can answer questions about your individual running needs.  All three stores will give you a discount if you mention that you're running cross country.  Above all, find a shoe that fits your running style, frame, and foot-strike pattern.

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