A Cross Country Camp For Teens

Local running legend Jonathan Lyau hosts the fourth annual Aloha Cross Country Camp July 25 to 29 at Camp Erdman offering education and motivation for incoming eighth- to 12th-graders who are interested in cross country. Graduated seniors who are interested in running cross country in college also are welcome.

“Cross country is one of the first fall sports in the school year, so the kids should already be preparing for it in the summer,” explains Lyau, who also is assistant coach for Iolani School’s cross country team, head coach for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training and owner of Personal Best Training.

Jonathan Lyau

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Jonathan Lyau

“We have seminars from different professionals covering topics such as training philosophy, nutrition, injury prevention, form, strength training, visualization and picking the right equipment.

We have a professional athlete speaking as well. Also, a lot of our staff and speakers are former high school and collegiate runners currently coaching at various schools.”

There also will be a range of activities, including games, campfires, swimming and fun workouts.

“(A great runner is made) by becoming a student of the sport,” says Lyau. “Learn about the sport and become a fan of it. You also need to train smart, stay motivated and stay injury free. If you have natural ability but are missing one of the other ingredients, then someone of lesser ability with all the qualities can achieve greater success.”

Lyau started running as a sophomore at McKinley High School after seeing a notice in the school paper for the cross country team. He went on to become the Hawaii state high school track champion (for the 3,200m in 1982), and later dominated the local running scene for almost two decades.

On record, he was the top local-born finisher at the Honolulu Marathon from 1993 to 2004 and again from 2006 to 2009. He also won the popular Great Aloha Run in 1994 and 2002, and was inducted into the Honolulu Marathon Hall of Fame in 2009.

More recently, he took some time off from racing after recovering from a torn meniscus in his knee in 2011.

“I’ve been conditioning throughout the last year and feeling stronger, but I took my time and listened to my doctor,” says Lyau, noting that runners often make the mistake of returning too early from an injury. “I realized that my body weakened and had to build back my running muscles. I had to let my body fully heal, and do proper strengthening.”

Other common mistakes runners make, adds Lyau, are running in the wrong type of shoes, being too aggressive in your training, and not giving your body time to adapt or allowing sufficient time to recover.

“Probably the most important thing to prevent injury is selecting the right shoe to match your stride and foot plant,” he explains. “Also, a lot of times they’ll race their workout even when it should be easy.

“And many underestimate the importance of the base training period, which is the time your muscles and joints get used to the stresses of running with lots of easy runs with a few short non-stressful fast run drills. A bigger base equals bigger peak.”

Cost for the camp is $329 and includes food, lodging, seminars and all activities, T-shirt and goody bag. Space is limited.

For more information, call 277-8777, email alohaoutdoorsports@yahoo.com or visit alohacrosscountrycamp.com.