The Fall Cross Country season is just around the corner. Middle Schoolers, fret not! The best way to get ready for the season is get comfortable being outside in the heat gradually and increasing your activity level outside. Running is a good choice of activity at least three days a week, but keep hydrated, stopping every 15-20 minutes for something to drink. Do not be afraid to walk to extend your outside acclimatization. Your goal is to be able to run a full two miles at an easy pace outside on the first day of practice. This is more accessible than you may think even if you cannot run that far now. If you like to run fast, it is ok to add some sprints into your longer run. But remember, right now we need to get the two miles in our legs. We have some great practices ahead of us to increase your speed and take advantage of your natural speedy talent. If you are already running two miles easy, no need to increase, and if you do, keep it at three miles. Again, we will use that conditioning to help you build speed and strength and get you up to four miles if that is in your ability. The other great thing you can do now is watch what you eat and keep hydrated with liquids that are not overly sugary. Eating healthy now will prepare your body to work hard in August and give you the fuel you need. No need to increase calories, just keep lost of fruit and vegetables on the menu along with your proteins and other healthy carbohydrates. Our practices are in the afternoon, so increasing activity at that time of day will also help set you up for a positive experience. If you want a few more things, 10 pushups a day and any other body weight exercises you like to do are fine. We will get to those at practice too. For now, just keep active, prepare yourself for activity in the heat and get ready to have fun.