For the women’s cross country team, success in Ann Arbor depends on its preseason training camp in Glen Arbor.

For thirteen years, coach Mike McGuire has started the season with an eight-day training camp in the town about four hours northwest of Ann Arbor, on the shores of Lake Michigan, to get in shape for the upcoming season.

Including conference titles in the last three years, Michigan has finished first or second in the Big Ten Championships in 11 out of the 12 seasons that the squad trained in Glen Arbor.

“We get some good work in, and there is a laid back atmosphere,” McGuire said. “It is not a boot camp, but it is productive.”

The daily routine includes two practice sessions, one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The day begins with a short run at 7 a.m., followed by strides, core work and push-ups. In the afternoon, the team goes for a longer run that is between six and 11 miles long.

“Two-a-day training is tougher because you have a shorter recovery,” redshirt junior co-captain Katie Erdman said. “It’s tough to get back in the groove.”

When not reacclimating to intense training, the team uses its downtime as an opportunity to apprize their teammates of summer experiences.

“When we’re not training, we hang out,” Erdman said. “It is good to catch up because people do so many different things over the summer, whether it’s travel or internships.”

There is such camaraderie on the team that Erdman considers her teammates to be friends before she thinks about them as teammates.

“We are a bunch of friends,” Erdman said. “We always have a close-knit group of girls, but it seems especially close this year.”

The camp allowed the team’s newest members — a quintet of freshmen — to become integral parts of the group.

“It allows them to spend a lot of time with the team and gives them a good transition,” McGuire said.

Every year, coach McGuire holds a team meeting at camp to discuss goals for the upcoming season.

First and foremost, McGuire hopes that his team can stay healthy and continue to improve.

Last season, Erdman suffered an injury at the end of the cross country season that forced her to miss the entire indoor season.

“I want to train at the highest level that I can and still maintain my health,” Erdman said.

In terms of tangible goals for this season, McGuire hopes that his team will post results similar to those of last year’s squad that won the Big Ten Championship and finished sixth at nationals.

Expectations will be high since the team returns its top six finishers from last season’s NCAA championships, and it will be boosted by a strong class of freshmen, both true and redshirt.

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