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The training never stops

The start to the 2008 prep cross-country season is a month away, which means there’s still plenty of room to run for both the boys’ and girls’ teams at Laguna Beach High.

The two squads have been going through summer training sessions since July 14. The training program, held at the high school track, El Morro School and Alta Laguna Park throughout each week, concludes at the end of the month.

On the boys’ side, Coach Dave Brobeck said that he has had 40 to 45 runners “consistently" training.

For first-year girls’ Coach Steve Lalim, 20 to 25 girls have gone through summer training, he said.

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“Because successful competitive distance running requires a consistent training progression with few lapses, we seamlessly train into the school year," Brobeck said. “In all, the varsity boys train on a 20-week calendar from July 14 until the State Meet on Nov. 29.

“Some (boys) are away on vacation right now, but they are following a training schedule I have written for them. In all, I have 60-plus boys who have signed up for the fall season."

Workouts for both squads have varied, although the first few weeks of the program have been all about conditioning.

“We use these first six weeks for building base, and developing strength," Lalim said. “We run five days a week, are in the weight room two times a week and we do core strength daily."

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“Each day has a different objective," Brobeck said. “Right now, because we are just in our third week, we are primarily building general aerobic fitness and strength. Many of our runs are done at a slower pace, and all of our runs are timed to fit the ability and experience of the individual runner.

“Variety is very important in my training scheme "” and I control this daily with pace, terrain and time. I slowly introduce hill running and speed development through a variety of techniques. We do strength and flexibility exercises on a daily basis. We have weekly evening Yoga and weight room sessions as well. There are challenges in training each day. However, I never give anyone more than they can handle."

Brobeck said that the boys’ team will work on a “methodical and sequential" development of mileage, strength, speed and flexibility during the remainder of the summer program.

“The main training objective of the summer program is to go into the September racing season with a large base of miles and strength without injury," he said. “Our league, CIF and State championship hopes are built in July and August.

“In my 10 years leading this program, we have established a tradition of perennial success. However, what most people on the outside do not see is how much fun we have each day. And this is the point, in my opinion, of what high school sports should be about. I allow my kids to be kids, while still being disciplined and goal driven. We are a loose, fun-lowing group who look forward to being with each other each morning."

At the end of the month, Lalim said the girls’ team will travel to Mammoth for altitude training and team bonding.

“We have a great group of girls," he said. “Each of them bring something unique to the team. What is most impressive is their work ethic. They show up to practice each day with a smile on their face, looking to have fun and ready to work, and will do whatever it takes to improve."


MIKE SCIACCA covers sports. He can be reached at (949) 494-4321 or by e-mail at michael.sciacca@latimes.com.

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