Preseason Training Blog: Katy Cinco Ranch's Heidi Nielson

Heidi Nielson has been crushing cross country and distance running in the Lone Star State since she was a freshman in 2017. But this year the Texan seems to be headed toward much bigger success. A qualifier for Nike Cross Nationals in 2018 and a 2-time finisher at Foot Locker Nationals, Nielson made two USA U20 teams over the past calendar year -- wearing the nation's colors at the IAAF U20 Cross Country Championships and at the Pan American U20 Championships. As a junior, Nielson will challenge for her first Class 6A state title -- the state's toughest division, with talented runners like Brynn Brown, Natalie Cook, and Aubrey O'Connell -- and then will hope to clinch tickets to national meets like she did in 2018. Check out the Houston native's training this preseason. 

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Week 1 - Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4

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Week 3 (August 19th - August 25th)

Monday, August 19th: 6K of work + warm-up and cool-down

Another Monday workout this week! We had a really good workout; we ran on the front field and did alternating 1K-2K repeats : 1K-2K-2K-1K. It was really tough but a really good one. Me and Sophie hit some really fast times. I did a short recovery run afterward and it was a good day.

Tuesday, August 20th: 7+ miles

Today I ran with Sophie. We had a pretty good run and it was over seven miles. I felt a little extra tired, so we made sure to take it easy.

Wednesday, August 21st: 2.5 miles worth of repeat 400s with 30-minute recovery

Workout day!! Today we did 10x 400s with 1 minute and 30 second rest. I started off just trying to hit pace, but I felt really good, so I picked it up on the last five and it just felt good throughout. I did a 30-minute recovery run later, too. And we had a team dinner tonight which was really fun.

Thursday, August 22nd: 7+ miles

Today I ran with Sam, Alex, Greco and Connor. We just did an easy pace run and it was really nice, just over seven miles.

Friday, August 23rd: 

Race day!! Today was Friday Night Lights (see video), which is one of my favorite meets to go to. It's only two miles and the atmosphere makes it feel "low key," so it's a great alternate to a early season time trial.

We left after school and had so much fun before the race (see video), which was at 9:00. The lights were all on and they had music playing, so that makes it a fun atmosphere. There were also a lot of people at this meet and it's pretty big for an early season meet. The race went really well (see video). I got out good with the big crowd and I felt really solid the whole time.

The race was tough, but I felt really good during it so that makes me really excited for the rest of the season! I won and my teammate Sophie was second. It was a super fun. I love my team (see video).

Saturday, August 24th: 10 miles

Since last night was such a late night I waited to run until night and luckily Alan was back in town to pair up with. We did a long run and got in 10 miles. It was really great to catch up with him. I also spent a lot of time today editing our weekly XC Vlog (see video :)). Last year and now this year, it's becoming a tradition. Our Team makes vlogs of our meets/team dinners. I really enjoy it; it's a super fun way to remember our adventures and it helps remind me why I love to run. If you want you can watch the one we made this week haha (see video yet?)

Sunday, August 25th: 

Day off!!

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Weekly Total: 45

Entire week: I was up at 45 again this week ;overall it was a really good week. I got in some really good workouts!! So far, I am higher in mileage than I was at this point last year, so I think I am in good place for this season. I've been carefully building my mileage since I started high school and dropped all my other sports and now I'm really excited for what this year will bring.