St. Francis DeSales High School

Running Program

The Run DeSales program has been designed to facilitate quality year round training for runners of all types. The program, Cross Country, and Track + Field teams are directed by Head Coach Ben McGinnis. This provides our athletes with a unifying and athlete-centered approach to training. We are able to monitor the athlete's health, progress, and training goals throughout all of our athletic seasons.

You do not have to compete in all three offerings. You can run Cross Country and Winter Track, for example. Alternatively, you may just run Track + Field in the spring and have two other sports for the fall and winter seasons. Any combination is okay! Just know, runners at SFD have a dedicated and quality coaching staff to help them achieve their running goals all year long.

Click here for the program training and competition calendar.

Cross Country

Cross Country conditioning begins 2 weeks after the conclusion of our Track season. This is usually the 3rd week of June. We will run together 2 days a week at Sharon Woods Metro Park and 1 day a week at Highbanks Metro Park. We will continue working 3 days a week until the first week of August when official required practices are allowed to begin 5 days a week.

Cross Country races are 5k (3.1 miles) long in high school. Our season carries us through the end of October. Once the season concludes, athletes are asked to take a 2 week break and then we return to our 3 day a week running schedule. We will begin to add some strength conditioning as we prepare for Winter Track season.

Cross Country athletes are strongly encouraged to run Spring and Winter Track + Field. Keeping their mileage up and improving while taking the two off seasons to work on their strength, stability, and speed.

For more information about our Cross Country program. Click here.

Track + Field

Spring Track + Field conditioning begins as soon as the athlete is able to drop into the Run DeSales program. If this is at the conclusion of another winter sport season, that's perfectly okay! Official required practices usually begin the second week of March with the first meet usually hitting during the last week of March or the first week of April.

There is something in the Track + Field program for every type of athlete. The programs consists of year-round runners to athletes training to become quicker and stronger for their primary fall or winter sports. Regardless of your ability, we can help you work towards your goals in this season or the next.

Runners will run events that are suited to their strengths. Running event distances in high school TF are as follows:

  • 100m (one straight)
  • 200m (one curve and one straight)
  • 400m (one full lap)
  • 800m (two full laps)
  • 1 mile (4 full laps)
  • 2 miles (8 full laps)

If you are also focused on a sport like volleyball or basketball, you may consider spending some time in the Jumps program. We will work with you to increase your strength and vertical power. This type of training will carry you forward in those other sports. Jump events are:

  • High Jump
  • Long Jump
  • Triple Jump (occasionally offered)

Athletes that do not want to run or may find themselves wanting to work strictly on strength and stability may find the Throws program particularly useful. Throwing events are:

  • Shot Put
  • Discus

Winter Track

All Cross Country and Track + Field athletes not participating in a winter sport at SFD are asked to take part in the Winter Track conditioning season. We will work 3 days a week with running, strength, lifting, stability and flexibility training, and will attend 4-5 indoor Track Meets hosted by various universities around the state of Ohio.

This program is absolutely crucial for runners. We all like to think that we can push ourselves to stay fit and conditioned throughout our Ohio winters, but this is not likely. We do take the time indoors to work on some of the parts of training that some runners like to ignore on their own. Stability and flexibility training, for example, are difficult to do on your own but are absolutely crucial for healthy running and competition.

Winter training carries us right through to outdoor Track + Field season. Athletes that put the work in during our Winter Track season, find themselves much more prepared for outdoor season. This decreases the amount of time we have to take to quickly build a training base for runners while fighting the often cold and snowy beginnings of outdoor track.