The Sacred Heart Distance Running programme continues throughout the year from Week 1 until Week 40, and prepares students for the disciplines of Road Racing and Cross-Country. Many of the members of our Distance Running team also run middle-distance track during the Athletics season.
Early-morning training runs form the basis of the training programme, with squads meeting at the gym at 6.50am three times each week for 45-70 min runs. Our team can often be seen pacing along Tamaki Drive for tempo runs, or weaving its way up and down the local hilly streets for strength endurance sessions. Runners are encouraged to attend as many sessions as they can, depending on other commitments.
A Junior Monday-afternoon session is also held for our younger Year 7 and Year 8 boys, introducing them to group runs and the fun and challenge of endurance run training.
Cross-Country and Road Racing are team events with the results for most races decided on points, based on finishing positions of the runners in the team. For this reason, runners are still able to be part of medal-winning teams even though they may not yet be individually top finishers. This was epitomised in 2015 when our Senior Boys 6-man Cross-Country team WON the National Championship for the first time. From this result the team were selected to travel to Hungary for the World Championship in April 2016 where they placed 2nd in the World. We have a structure that works if students are prepared to train hard.
This sport is one of personal goals and challenges where, more often than not, the runner is competing against themselves rather than against other runners. The qualities of persistence and perseverance that are well trained in distance running, go on to serve the students in many other areas of their lives. Running is truly a sport for life. Our aim, as well as competing with other schools, is to give the students confidence to continue in the sport into adulthood, to take new and varied challenges and to develop a fitness for life, and for living.