Week 1 Preseason Training Blog: Catawba Ridge's Sam Rich

Sam Rich returns in 2021 as one of the top cross country runners in the United States. A year ago, Rich won his first South Carolina Class AAAA State Cross Country Championship and completed a season that saw him record seven wins and finish with a personal best 5K time of 14:52.51 at the RunningLane National Cross Country Championships. With national championship meets like Foot Locker Nationals and Team Nationals returning in 2021, Rich could contend for a title of his own. He remains one of the country's brightest talents. This is the second of four blogs in a series of training journals Rich will write for MileSplit this fall. 

Week 1 - Week 2 - Week 3 - Week 4

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Week 2 (August 2 - August 8)

Monday, August 2: 10 miles -- Founders Trail 

This was my first run back in South Carolina after being out of town for the past four weeks. I was still a little tired from the travel the day before, but I was happy to get back and run with my teammates. Today I ran 10 miles at an easy pace around 7:03 per mile with my teammates Josh and Ty. Surprisingly, the weather was pretty cool and I felt really good. This evening, I watched one of the greatest track races of all-time in the men's 400m hurdles. Karsten Warholm broke an insane world record -- his own!

Tuesday, August 3: 8 miles -- Tempo workout at Catawba Ridge Track 

Today my teammates and I did a workout at the track. We did a 3-mile warmup in a neighborhood nearby and then 3x mile at threshold pace with 1-minute jog recovery in between. My splits were 5:06, 4:58, 4:53. It was raining during the workout, but I felt really strong and relaxed. I was really happy with the workout. After the workout I did a 2 mile cool-down to get to eight miles for the day. 

This afternoon I also went to the gym with my personal trainer for the first time in almost four weeks. We worked out hard and after being gone for so long, I was really sore. Icy Hot was my constant companion that afternoon and the next day. 

Wednesday, August 4: 8 miles and 4 miles - Double

This morning I did an 8-mile loop at the Anne Close Springs Greenway trail system we have in Fort Mill with my teammate Ty. I was still pretty sore from the workout and the gym so we ran a bit slower at around 7:15 per mile. I got home and watched the 200m Olympic final, which was really cool. That night I ran a 4-mile double with my teammate Josh at around 6:45 per mile as a shakeout. I felt better after this run and with the double I finished with 12 miles for the day. 

Thursday, August 5th: 10 miles -- Greenway 

This morning I went to the Greenway and ran 10 miles with Ty and Josh. The Greenway is pretty hilly with a lot of single path trails, so I focused on powering up the hills and running pretty easy on the flats to get in some hill work. I averaged around 6:55 per mile for this day. 

That afternoon I went to the gym again, but this time I was definitely not as sore. When I got home from the gym, my state championship ring arrived. It is really cool and I really like it. 

That night we had pictures taken for Cross Country senior banners. All the sports at Catawba Ridge do banners for seniors, so it's a cool honor. After pictures, I went with a couple guys for frozen yogurt. 

Friday, August 6: 9 miles -- Wilmington 

Today I woke up early and drove to the beach. I met up with a couple of friends who live in Wilmington -- Evan Pena and Andrew Whitehead -- so we could run together at Wrightsville Beach. It was super humid running near the beach, so it was a little difficult. I ran nine miles at 6:59 average per mile. After the run, I went to my girlfriend's beach house and we spent the day at the beach. 

Saturday, August 7: 13 miles -- Carolina Beach Long run 

This was one of the worst runs of my life. I ran at about 8 o'clock in the morning and it was really humid and hot. I started to run on the beach, but with the heavy wind and super soft sand it was not very good. So I changed plans and followed a bike path beside a road in the town for the remainder of the run. With there being no shade and the humidity, I did not feel the best on the run. Still, I did 13 miles at about 6:48 pace. Right after I finished the run, there was a huge thunderstorm, so I finished just in time. After the run I drove home from the beach. 

Sunday, August 8: Off

Today was my day off. This week was the highest miles I have ever run in a week, and also my first time above 60. I ran 62 this week and am still building my base for the season, so I will add a few more miles next week.


Total Mileage: 62

Note: This is the second journal of what will be several training blogs ahead of the cross country season. Stay tuned for more coverage of more boys and girls athletes heading into the 2021 season.