Jaden Theis broke out in a big way last cross country season. The Lansing Catholic junior -- the younger sister of University of Michigan sophomore Olivia Theis -- scored her first Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 2 Lower Peninsula state championship, her first Foot Locker Nationals qualification and her first All-American finish, finishing sixth in San Diego. She broke 18 minutes for 5K six times last fall, and ran a personal best of 17:07.30. While injury from the outdoor track and field season, where she finished fourth in the 3,200m (10:44.90) and sixth in the 1,600m (5:02.67) at states, slowed her runway into the fall, Theis and her Lansing Catholic coach, Tim Simpson, are taking things slow as the high school junior builds back into full form. Theis wrote about her road to recovery below, along with some key insights. Check it out.
Monday, August 19th: 3 miles, which included 2x 800m
Today at practice, following a lunge matrix and plyos, we did an easy 10-minute warm up run around the fields at school. We then headed over to the track to do some 800s (just to get our legs moving fast because the team has a meet tomorrow). Coach told us (me and the boys team) to run around 2:45 (we went 2:37, 2:44). Both of those felt pretty good and I finished it off a short cool down run, making the day's total three miles. I also did PT after school and foam rolled and stretched after the run.
Tuesday, August 20th: 80-minute swim = a little over 2.5 miles
I did PT in the morning and then did an 80-minute swim around noon. I swam a little bit over 2.5 miles during that time. I started with a 20-minute easy swim warm up and then went directly into some pickups to make the time go faster (12x 6 lengths moderately hard, four lengths easy). After the pickups, I just swam easy until the 80 minutes was up. I did some light stretching when I got home. Then I went to the meet my team was at to cheer them on!
Wednesday, August 21st: Workout, 3 miles
I started school today, so I did PT between school and practice. At practice, after doing a lunge matrix, plyos, and a few short sprints, I did a workout on the track. It consisted of an 800m at 2:45, 400m easy, 800m at 2:45, 400m easy, 800m at 2:45. These were continuous so it added up to 3,200m in total. I split 2:41, 2:43, 2:42 for the 800s, finishing the whole thing in 11:20ish. Afterwards, I did a mile cool down with one of my teammates and led the team in some active recovery drills/stretches. I foam rolled and stretched later in the evening.
Thursday, August 22nd: 40 minute aqua jog
I couldn't make it to practice today because I had to take my senior pictures. Therefore, I just did an easy 40 minute aqua jog when I got home from that.
Friday, August 23rd: 20-minute stationary bike, 1-mile run
Today was pre-race! Since I haven't ran two days in a row yet, I just did a short run and a 20-minute easy stationary bike session. My legs were feeling pretty tired so I didn't go overboard on the bike or running. Then we had a PASTA PARTY(!!!!!!!!!) after practice to fuel up before our first 5K race the following morning! Pasta parties are a team tradition before any Saturday meet. We always have a very good time (both because the food is EXCELLENT and we get to hang out with the team). I foam rolled and stretched later.
Saturday, August 24th: 5 miles
Ah yes, the Michigan Catholic Invitational. This is always a really neat experience because it includes nearly every single Catholic school in Michigan and we all come together to race and then have mass following that. We host 17 other teams at our home course (rather hilly and pretty uneven ground). We warmed up with an easy jog (0.8 miles), the lunge matrix, plyos, and some long sprints. I ran a 17:46 to win the race. As a team, we got second by only three points, which is very impressive because we raced four freshmen (it was their first 5K XC race), one sophomore, and two seniors. During the race, I felt way better than I expected! After the first half mile, I was pretty tired because that is the hilliest part of the course (we finish on the same hilly loop) but I felt much better after it leveled out a little bit. I ended up negative splitting each mile and finished under 18 (which was my goal). Afterwards, we did a little over a mile cool down while cheering on the guys team (they also placed second!). I did PT when I got home later. Overall, I am very pleased with how the race went, especially due to the fact that I have been running for less than three weeks.
Sunday, August 25th: 25 minutes core
Today was my easy day so I just did PT and 25 minutes of core work.
- - -