Women’s cross country team highlights discipline


2022 Cross Country Meet at Apple Ridge photo by Jacob Thompson Thompson Sports Photos

Kimberly LaRiviere, Staff Reporter

Racing up hills, through woods and over long distances in changing weather conditions requires both physical and mental training. The women’s cross-country team is half way through its season and has been through training and discipline to participate in this sport. 

Kevin Adkisson, the head cross-country coach, said he knows what it takes for student athletes to train for a cross country meet. 

“We have a training calendar that they follow through the summer,” Adkisson said. “When we finally get to start our in-person season, it’s just a lot of training through the week. They’re running six days a week, so it’s a pretty big-time commitment on their part. They’ll include pretty fast running, and some hill workouts and even some faster speed workouts. It’s pretty structured overall.” 

Adkisson said he also knows about the type of discipline student athletes need in cross country.

“They have to be consistent in their training,” Adkisson said. “They have to have discipline to dream day in, day out, to run, to reach a certain goal. We’ll assign them an actual target pace and target times to train at. Women run six kilometers in the races. They have to know the appropriate speed that they should be running so they can maintain it through the whole race. We say it’s kind of pace discipline, as well as pace knowledge.”

Zoie Mastin, a junior on the women’s cross-country team, said she has a schedule that she uses to prepare for cross-country racing. 

“Mondays we’ll run for a long period of time,” Mastin said. “On Tuesdays we have an easy day to recover. Wednesdays we do shorter intervals and we really focus on getting our speed down. Thursdays we’ll do a medium long run. Fridays we do a really short run. There are harder days twice a week. We also have weights on those days too. We have a mix between easier days to shorter days, three or four miles, and then we have days where we run eight to ten miles.”

Mastin said she is happy with her training and how disciplined she is now to race at her highest level.

“We train everyday,” Mastin said. “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”

Adkisson said the cross-country team talks about achieving discipline goals quite a bit.

“We’re giving them feedback in practice to help them sustain speed through races,” Adkisson said. “After races we’re also giving them feedback on how to optimize the way they’re racing, so they get the best result.”

Mastin said she thinks about the effort she puts in after each cross-country meet to be successful. 

“You definitely get to see all the hard work pay off in our sport because it’s time based, like soccer,” Mastin said. “We get to actually see our race times drop down after working extremely hard throughout the season.”