Hi IXC ʻohana,
I hope everyone is healthy and safe during this unprecedented time. 2020 presents one hurdle after another, and we continue to hope and keep an open mind in making the best out of the new normal. On that premise, I hope this overdue update sheds light on the uncertainty and challenges we are facing, as well as some positive steps we can take towards a gainful fall XC season.
IXC Alum Panel Zoom Series
IXC hosted a series of zoom panel with alums of the program earlier in May and June. The topics revolved around college and professional life as well as running post IXC. It was great to reconnect with alums, both young and old, and hear a wide range of experiences and sage advice for our current students.
Return to Practice, HHSAA Update & Fall Season
The school, athletic department, and IXC have been working continuously since the spring to monitor and respond to the evolving COVID-19 health & safety situation. IXC, along with other fall sports, carefully developed a sport specific Return to Practice Plan. We were very close to returning to limited on-campus practice for a small group of varsity students. Ultimately we were uncomfortable with the recent uptick in COVID-19 cases & canceled the returning to practice date. We continue to adapt the Return to Practice Plan based on health advisory.
Congruently, the HHSAA also re-established a "No-Contact" period through Tuesday, August 18. This means no in-person practices. However, HHSAA specifically states that virtual communication & individualized workouts are allowed, given that participants take all the necessary precautions as well as practice general healthy habits.
Rest assured that the HHSAA, the ILH and our school are responsibly looking at every possibility to have a gainful and competitive fall season. However, it is just too early to make any decision regarding format, schedule & even the season itself. The season itself will ultimately be in accordance with the ever-evolving health and safety standards.
Silver Lining & Steps Ahead
The uncertainty notwithstanding, we can only prepare to be prepared. Exercise is a integral part of maintaining good health, and we are fortunate that XC training translates fairly well to a virtual individualized format. Of course running in a group & feeding off the camaraderie is always a welcomed boost, but our sport definitely suffers minimally from virtual individual training, especially during the summer base building phase.
We have been using a live Google Sheet training template with our returning group 1 as a pilot to monitor and train remotely. The coaches upload a general training plan in a calendar format and work with each student to tweak and tailor the plan as best fit. Students are responsible to update the Google Sheet with feedback for the coaches to adapt the workload. We also have a quick weekly Zoom check-in session to assess and "feel out" the progress and plot ways ahead.
The collaborative process has been very fruitful for our Varsity group 1 students. We are now ready to roll out this virtual training template to the entire team. Students who are committed starting training & be part of the team this fall, please signup here. The coaches will develop a training plan for you to follow and update, this includes workouts, mileage, and even suitable routes near your location. Note that you are responsible to update the log as it is our only way of communication & progress tracking. This training methodology may become a participation requirement into the fall, therefor it would be a good idea to start acclimatizing to the routine ASAP.
Health & Safety
We are asking everyone to start experimenting wearing face covering to run as it may be a requirement when the season resumes. The school will provide gaiter style face covering, but please experiment with various types to find the one that suits you the best. Be aware that something that feels fine walking around may be intolerable on a sweaty run. Please experiment and find the ones that work for you the best.
While you can't rely on the actions of others, your immune system is something you CAN control. Make every effort to build up your immune system: Proper diet, rest, supplements.
Head Coach Matt
Lastly & most importantly, I am currently overseas indefinitely tending to family matters. In order to ensure our team has great experiences this fall regardless of the season, Coach Matt Imada will step in as the head coach for IXC. He is now in charge of the email@example.com account and, for the sake of continuity in communication with everyone, is the primary point of contact for the team. Coach Matt has been an integral part of our program and will do an wonderful job leading the team. Our coaching staff remains one of the most experienced around, and our primary goal to create positive experiences for the students through high level competition remains unchanged. I will continue to help IXC behind the scenes & wherever possible. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and as always, contact us if you have any questions.
2020 may be challenging, but we have the tools and fortitude to still make memories together. After all, as runners; we can always fall back on simply going on a run. What better way to decompress and revitalize than that?