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 fourth of four blogs in a series of training journals Rich will write for MileSplit this fall.
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Week 4 (August 16 - August 22)
Monday, August 16: 11 miles -- First Day of School Double (6+5)
Today was the first day of school and the first day of official practices for Catawba Ridge. The forecast did not look good for the afternoon, so my coach wanted me to get in six miles in the morning before school. My teammate Ty and I ran that distance at the Greenway early before school started. The first day of school was OK but kind of boring with all the syllabus and classroom rules we had to go over. This afternoon there were really bad thunderstorms, so I ran five miles on the treadmill to get in 11 miles for the day.
Tuesday, August 17: 10 miles -- Greenway
Today was another easy day with the first week of afternoon practice in the heat. I ran 10 miles on the Greenway trails. I ran on the Blue Star Trail which was nice because it is mostly shady. There was a tropical storm coming our way that evening, and with about a mile left on the run I heard the tornado warning sirens come on for the town. It was a little eerie, but an overall really good run.
Wednesday, August 18: 11 miles -- Double (4.5 in am, 6.5 hills in afternoon)
This morning before school Ty, Josh and I ran 4.5 miles on the Paradise Loop at the Greenway. It was a pretty cool run in the morning and we felt really good. That afternoon we did a hill workout in a neighborhood by our school. There is a loop we run that is about 0.7 miles long with two big hills on either side. We did this loop six times and focused on powering up the hill on the back end. It was really hot, but I felt really strong on the hills. Spending time at elevation in Flagstaff has helped me run hills more efficiently and easier than before. I finished with 11 miles for the day.
Thursday, August 19: 10 miles -- Double (3 and 7)
This morning my teammates Josh and Spencer ran with me in the morning. We ran a three-mile shakeout after the hills the day before to get our legs loose and get the stiffness out. That afternoon we ran the Founders Trail for seven miles. It was really hot, so this run was not the most fun, but it went by fairly quickly. I finished the day with 10 miles, and I feel really good about training.
Friday, August 20: 10 miles -- Double (4 and 6) -
This morning I ran four miles by myself on a four-mile loop near Riverwalk. We ran six miles in the afternoon and did some strides afterwards. We had a scrimmage meet the next day, so our coach went over the race plans and strategy, and I finished the day with 10 miles.
That night we had a team pasta dinner at one of my teammates' houses and that was fun. To top it off, our football team tonight beat our rivals, Fort Mill High School, 35-0. We have a really good football team, so the game was really cool to watch!
Also, another big announcement: Today I committed to run cross country and track at the University of Notre Dame!
I am really excited about the opportunity to run for such a great team and coach!
Saturday, August 21: Fort Mill Clash
Today was the scrimmage meet against the other two schools in our town, Fort Mill and Nation Ford. I ran a two-mile warm up and then ran the race. The course was about 150-180 meters long, but I ran a 16-minute flat race and it felt pretty easy. With me still building up mileage, I treated this race like a tempo and felt really really strong. Our team finished second, so we did pretty well as a team collectively. It was cool to get back into a race situation and get to tempo the course. After the race, I ran a seven-mile cool down to get to 12.25 miles for the day.
Sunday, August 22: 1.75 miles -- In neighborhood
This morning I ran 1.75 miles after I woke up. I normally take Sundays off, but I ran a little bit today to get to 66 miles for the week. This week was really fun being the first week of senior year and getting back into a groove. It was fun to race in the scrimmage and I'm looking forward to a strong senior year! I have really enjoyed getting to share this blog of my training with MileSplit.
Total Mileage: 66