The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper


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Runners Digest

The differences between girls and boys cross country at LT

Girls Cross Country by Ellie Moran


Long, strenuous workouts paired with simple recovery runs, tied together with team bonding activities create a strong sense of togetherness and teamwork on the girls cross country team. While individual performances are key to the team’s success, uplifting each teammate and working collaboratively ultimately leads to the success of the girls cross country team. Each week the team follows a consistent schedule; workout day, recovery day. This repeats until Saturday, when the entire team competes in an invite or meet. 

Unlike the boys cross country team, the girls’ weekly schedule typically does not include a morning practice. Runs are always tracked by minutes, not miles. This way, regardless of the pace of each runner, everyone finishes the workout at a similar time, allowing the entire team to start and end together.  

This is another key difference between the boys and girls teams as the boys always track their runs by miles. 

Hill training, long runs, and various speed training sessions are just a few examples of workouts that are included in a week of practice. After a challenging workout day, coaches assign their running groups a recovery run to complete the next day. Athletes sustain anywhere from 25 to 40 minutes of a consistent slower pace. Coaches frequently emphasize the importance of these recovery runs in between workout days in order to keep the body healthy and prevent overexertion and injury. 

Injury prevention is another huge aspect of daily practice. Alternating days, the entire team groups together to complete a series of exercise-bands work and deep muscle stretches. With many difficult workouts that can strain certain parts of the body, coaches make a point to keep a close eye on any soreness or pain in their athletes. 

Meaningful connections and a strong team effort ensure the success of not only individuals, but also the entire team. Through challenging workouts, consistent training, and an uplifting group mindset, the LT girls cross country program provides an experience like no other. 


Boys Cross Country by Aiden Fouliard 

Early morning practice, destination runs, and strenuous workouts are just a few key elements that structure the weekly training schedule for boys cross country. While cross country is a team sport by definition, 90% of what we do is individual. With individuality comes responsibility, so stretching and supplementary exercises are often completed at home or if we have extra time after practice, which allows us to stay healthy throughout the season.

Every week, destination routes (or “van runs,” when a group of runners travel by van to a nearby trail or preserve) help develop a stronger sense of community on the team. We start and complete our runs in new locations as a way to adapt to new surroundings and become closer as a group.

In addition to destination runs, an over-the-summer team retreat in Oregon, Ill., creates and strengthens connections between everyone between all athletes, freshmen through varsity. This getaway educates the incoming class on the sport itself and the impact it has on everyone, as well as bonds upper and underclassmen. Connections can also be made through the preparation for home meets and invites at the racecourse behind SC. This includes outlining the course, mile marking with stand-up clocks, and an inflatable finish line archway, all of which generate a heightened sense of meet-day excitement due to the more professional race environment. Intensive workouts tailored to every aspect of the race, and morning practices two days a week encourage extra effort and dedication to the sport.

Overall, our cross country program creates a competitive growth-based environment that encourages everyone on the team to take part and accomplish their goals whether state-bound or for the sense of belonging on the team. 


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About the Contributors
Aiden Fouliard
Aiden Fouliard, Reporter
“My sweater is Ralph Lauren, and I have no pants.” ― Barry B. Benson
Ellie Moran
Ellie Moran, News Editor
Probably stealing Zoe’s Trader Joe's takis

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