Saint James School

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NOTE: In order to run with the team you MUST COMPLETE AND SUBMIT THE FORMS posted to the Cross Country forms page. You will not be able to run without that paperwork completed. 
Practice every Tuesday and Friday at Pleasant Valley Park. This upcoming Tuesday practice (9/25/18)  will be at 6:00 PM, but after that we are moving practice to 5:30 PM.  
ALL TEAM INFO IS POSTED TO THE TEAMS SHUTTERFLY SITE DURING THE SEASON! If you would like access to the site, feel free to contact Coach Matthew Wizeman. You need to be a member of the school administration or a TEAM member to join the site. 
Coach Info:
Matthew Wizeman
Announcement Board:
9/24/18: I will soon be adding a Shutterfly team page. This is the best way I know to share team information. You will be getting an invite to join that site shortly. 
9/23/18: Several important announcements:
1. Note the new start time for practice will be 5:30 PM starting this Friday.
2. We now have 2 Assistant coaches; Michael Wizeman and Nicole Paolino.
3. This Friday, I will not be at practice but Coach Michael and Coach Nicole will be there. They both have excellent running experience and can handle the team in my absence. 
4. Our first meet is this Saturday 9/29. 
The 22nd Annual Assumption Cross Country Invitational will be held on Saturday, September 29th, 2018 at Loantaka Park, South Street, Morris Township, NJ. 
* Grades 3 and 4 - 0.6 miles
* Grades 5 and 6 – 1.4 miles
* Grades 7 and 8 – 1.6 miles. 
* 1:50 Coaches’ Meeting
* 2:00 Walk-through
* 2:45 Fun Run
* 3:00 3rd Grade Girls Race
* 3:10 3rd Grade Boys race
* 3:20 4th Grade Girls race
* 3:30 4th Grade Boys race
* 3:45 5th -6th Grade Girls race
* 4:05 5th -6th Grade Boys race
* 4:25 7th -8th Grade Girls race
* 4:45 7th -8th Grade Boys race
* 5:15 Awards Presentation Assorted Information and Admonitions
Be reminded that parking is very limited at Loantaka. Parking is available in the Ginty Pool parking lot and on the east side of South Street (that is, the park side of the street: the LEFT side as you head away from Morristown). There is no parking on the west side of South Street or in the office building parking lots. If you park in the Ginty lot, please take care as you walk down South Street to the meet location.
For accurate GPS directions, use 432 South Street, Morristown NJ.
9/21/18: Another great workout. About 10 new runners. Amazing. The first segment for each group tonight was the distance each will have to run for the meets. It should give them some idea about the distances they will run. The older kids got their first taste of running hills. The 5-6 group ran the full loop for the first time and the younger group was on the trails for the first time. They were amazing. Those that struggled today, do not fret. They all did really well. And it gets easier as they get more miles under their belts.
SHIRTS: Please email me the following:
1. Whether or not you need a shirt. Note that you MUST have a shirt for the meets. But if you have one from last year that . fine.
2. Shirt size. 
3. Whether or not you have paid the $15 for the shirt. 
Next week I will have a post about mental preparation for their first meet of the season. For those running their first meet, it will be an unique experience. They will have some butterflies, but there is real excitement. We will talk about it practice next week. 
9/21/18: There is practice today. See note below.
A brief note about training outside of our regularly scheduled practices: Your kids are busy. They may have other sports going on in their lives, but the question about how much should they train outside of our regularly scheduled practices has come up on a few occasions. In order to perform to their best at meets, your kids should run some outside of practice. My advice is this: they should probably run 5 days per week (including meets and practices - so count each day of practice and each meet as a day). They should probably run 1.5 to 2 x their meet distance each day that they practice. Meets are good enough to just run the race. So for example, the 5-6 grades have a race length of 1.25 miles. So as the season progresses, their workouts at practice will get them up to anywhere from 1.75 to 2.5 miles. They should run that distance on their other days when we don't have practices or meets. Exercise in other sports is great, but it does not necessarily get them "run-ready". As always, use your judgment as a parent. They do not need to be overworked for sure and they have plenty going on, so just be sensible. These are simple guidelines and each child is different.     
9/20/18: A brief note about registration. IT IS STILL OPEN AND ALL SJS STUDENTS ARE INVITED. TELL YOUR FRIENDS. 
Tomorrow's practice schedule:
Stretch. All. We stretch as a team. Everyone stretches. A team leader will be assigned each practice to lead the stretching. Leaders will be mostly from grades 7 and 8.
1. We will have timed runs for each age group. 
Grade 3-4     .75 mile run (Back End plus Open Field)
Grade 5-6     1.25 mile run (CC Trail)
Grade 7-8     1.75 mile run (CC Trail plus Back End)
2. We break into two groups. Group 1 (lighter workout, typically grades 3-5). Group 2 (typically grades 6-8)
Group 1. Indian Mile. 2 x around the perimeter of the field. (Teaching pacing. Teaching to run as a team. Teaching how to pick up the pace in intervals). Admittedly the younger kids find this a little more tedious, but it really is a great way for them to learn to how change pacing when necessary and it is a great TEAM routine.
Group 2. Hills. 10 x the hill. (Eamonn Coghlan, one of the greatest distance runners of all time said that hills are the most critical component to training. He said it changes the way muscles react and makes them adaptable to ALL running situations).
3. Running Games (Group 1). Younger runners tend to enjoy semi-structured running games. It holds the runners interest and it let them have fun at practice and let's them socialize more with their friends.  
Group 2 will be spending more time on the hills and then will likely do a warm down. where they run as a unit. 
9/19/18: Just a brief note about the shirts. THEY ARE REQUIRED. If you were on the team last year, you can use an existing shirt. If you have paid your shirt fee, let me know. I will be bringing shirts to practice. I have only a limited number in stock with limited size selections, so we may have to order a shirt for you. So please send me your desired shirt sizes.
9/18/18: What an amazing first practice. I can't believe how many kids showed up on such short notice. The older kids ran twice as far as I originally anticipated and the young er kids did their full work out plus some running drills. Great job. Next practice is this Friday.  
9/18/18: It appears to be clearing up. My current weather maps shows the rain will stop before 5 PM. We will attempt to have practice. A brief note about forms. I have gone over the forms. They are confusing. I am working on putting together a single .pdf file to ease the pain. The school will be strict on collecting ALL forms, so hopefully, the simplified forms will be posted today. You cannot run without completed forms. FEES: There is a $45 fee per runner. Shirts: Shirts cost $15.  
9/18/18: There is a high chance that it will rain this evening. Rain does not cancel practice, but we will not run if there is lightning. We will not run in a torrential downpour. I will show up for practice regardless and measure the situation as it occurs. 
I am very excited that so many of you have responded to the start of the season. I have had several inquiries about practice. My philosophy on practice at this age is that it is important and it makes a difference, but parents must use their judgment. If you ever feel that it is unsafe because of weather, it is ok to miss practice. If your child has another event that they must attend, I understand what it means to have a busy schedule. We are here to try to get better and to have some fun. If your child will be missing a practice, it would be good to let me know, but it is not required. 
9/17/18: Tomorrow is the first day of scheduled practice. It may rain, but I will be there regardless of the weather. Use your judgment for your own child as it relates to weather. The first practice will be basic: I will separate the team into two age groups: Grades 3 - 5 and 6 - 8. I will likely have the first practice in the open field on the back end of PVP. We will graduate to the running trails after a practice of two. They will stretch first and then run anywhere from 1 mile to 1.5 miles the first practice. They should have good running shoes, shorts or sweat pants, a technical t-shirt and and light wind breaker type of jacket for this time of the year.  I am unfamiliar with the speed levels of the individual runners at this point, I will have a better idea after the first few practices. PLEASE COMPLETE YOUR PAPERWORK. You can bring it to me at the practice or hand in at school.