Men's Team Trains at McCormick's Creek
August 19, 2000
McCormick's Creek Offers IU Men's Cross Country Over 15 Miles of Trails and Opportunities For Bonding
Head Coach Robert Chapman had a long shopping list to take to Wal-Mart on Thursday afternoon. On that list was the amount of food needed to sustain the energy of the 14 distance runners training under his guidance at McCormick's Creek State Park in Spencer, Indiana, from Sunday, August 20th to Wednesday, August 23rd. Keep in mind that these 14 distance runners are young men with voracious, metabolic-driven appetites.
Yet, what is consumed will be burned. The IU men's cross country team is in the middle of training at 70-80 miles per week and that distance doesn't look to decrease within the approaching week as the schedule includes two-a-day practices. Upon arriving at McCormick's Creek on Sunday afternoon, the team will utilize the available 15 miles of trails to complete a 14-16 mile run followed by a lasagna dinner, in which the loading of both carbohydrates and training expectations will take place.
The latter, according to Coach Chapman, is the most important aspect of this trip. In the first days of being together, Chapman has noticed that besides being able to maintain a solid running pack during intense training, his team is also bonding very well. "We'll be using that environment of McCormick's Creek, that kind of 'sitting around the campfire' mentality, in order to strengthen our cohesion as a group and further define our goals as a team."
One unique aspect of the trip is that, aside from the lasagna dinner on the first night, all of the runners are responsible for preparing their own meals. This is a way of not only fostering an awareness of the self among each team member, but also instilling an active response to basic needs among every individual. That knowledge carries over into the season when responsibilities blend between the athletic, the academic, and the personal.
However, the men's cross country team is not all work and no play. Swimming, renting canoes, playing football, and hiking all present as possibilities during free time. No matter what form the team bonding occurs in, Coach Chapman is sure his team will return all the stronger.