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FHS XC: Training Zones and Interval Splits
by posted 08/28/2021

Hi team,

Here are links to some materials we've gone over in practice: 

Training zones: This describes both rate of perceived exertion and heart rate zones.

Interval splits: This will give you the interval times required for a given 2-mile or 5k race pace.

Athletes, please go over so you are familiar with the intensity required in various workouts and the interval pace for A) your current race pace and B) a target race pace for late in the season.

Parents, for kids who don't have an email address in the FHS system, please give them a copy or point them to the website.

Many thanks,

Coach Swiston

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Welcome message
by posted 06/23/2021

For those who were not able to attend the fall sports interest night, below is a link giving some brief background on my vision for the team:


For those who did attend, the above link would be great to share with others who may be interested in our program. I'm happy to give more details and answer any questions.

I'd encourage those who plan to participate in conditioning to register by the end of June, even if you may not be coming to the first couple weeks of conditioning. The reason is that we will begin to send out relevant information such as details about the locations and weekly training plans. This will only go out to people who are registered.

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Fall 2021 Cross Country Information
by posted 06/04/2021

Head Coach: Andy Swiston

Assistant Coaches: Amanda Turk, Hope Schaaf, Mimi Thomas

Team Manager: Nellie Boyer

Other volunteers: Looking for assistant coaches and trainers to interact with the kids and help at practices and meets.


Conditioning: July 7 - August 21 

Monday & Wednesday, 7:30-9:30 AM; Saturday, 8-10 AM

Locations: South Run Rec Center, Lake Accotink, Burke Lake, Fountainhead Regional Park

Attendance at conditioning is highly recommended but not formally required--there should be no worries about conflicts with family vacations, summer camps, etc. The objective is to prepare people for tryouts and the season, by which time athletes will be expected to run 5-6 days per week.


Tryouts and season:

August 23-September 4 (tryouts); September 6-November 13 (season)

Monday, 4-6 PM

Wednesday 4-6 PM (tentative, depending on track availability; could be as late as 5:30-7:30)

Saturday, 8-10 AM (excluding weeks with meets)

Locations: Same as conditioning, plus an FCPS track TBD and/or Redeeming Grace Church

Tryouts are less about running a certain speed and more for you to try out cross country as well as us to gauge your commitment. There is not a set number of team members—spots will be offered based on attitude and effort.

Cancellation policy: Practice will be called off in case of thunderstorms or heavy rain. Practice will go on in light rain.

Meets: 5k for high school, 2-mile for middle school. The intention is for all team members to participate in all meets. Some meets may not offer middle school races, but middle schoolers may have the option to run with high schoolers in those meets. Meets are held Saturdays and occasionally on weekday afternoons. The number of meets will vary depending on scheduling availability—aiming for 7 to 8. We will aim to host a meet at Lake Accotink on a Saturday morning in October. Locations will vary from local to 1-2 hour drive. Parents are allowed to work out their own carpool.



Registration fee: $30, must be paid before an athlete can participate in conditioning or tryouts.

Season fee: Final fee for the year will be determined based on budget and communicated during tryouts (fee in the past has been $180-$200). Once a spot on the team is offered, the athlete has 48 hours to accept the spot on the team by paying the fee.

Black singlet to be purchased in the Online Store for $25 once a spot on the team is accepted. Singlet can be used from track or previous years and can be re-used in the future. Uniform is completed by a pair of entirely black shorts provided by the athlete.


Other equipment: A pair of running shoes. Ideally, a wristwatch with stopwatch function. GPS is not needed.

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