Nadja Ueckert-LaPlante

[Nadja is a Junior at Ipswich High School. At the Division 6 xc meet in Wrentham on November 11, she was 7th in 20:37. A week later at the All-State meet in Wrentham she took 10 seconds off her time, finishing in 20:27.]

GTD: Nadja, how many summers have you trained in Coach Braz’s program? What got you started doing it?
Nadja: I started training in Coach Braz's summer program, two years ago, as I was going into my sophomore year of high school. I started the summer camp after hearing a few girls on the cross country team, from the previous years, talk about how much they improved as runners, both mentally and physically.

GTD: Each of the 90 to 120 minute onsite conditioning sessions this past summer had phases, and each of the 18 sessions was a bit different. What drills did you look forward to? Were there ones you would like to forget about it?
Nadja: As challenging as hill workouts and tempo runs were, I never dreaded doing them because of how good I felt after pushing myself during the workout. I knew those tough workouts would be the way to get stronger as a runner. I particularly enjoyed finding a group of girls to run with; we shared a similar pace, we pushed each other and motivated one another to work harder. I found that to be really beneficial towards giving every workout my best effort. I also found it helpful to do different workouts each week and focusing on engaging different muscles in those specific drills.

warming up with All-American college runner, Sydney Packard

GTD: The last phase of each training session was devoted to core work, flexibility, and strength. Tell us about it. What did you like and didn’t like?
Nadja: I found the time devoted to core work, flexibility, and strength to be really crucial and an important part to every workout. I've noticed in my running, that core work and strength improved my form, as well as prevented many injuries. The flexibility drills really helped with loosening up my muscles after a tough run and resulted in less soreness and tired feeling legs for the next day of running.

GTD: When you’re doing the “running” parts of the program, do you ever “visualize” a xc race?
Nadja: I definitely found myself visualizing a cross country race in my head through the summer training camp. Specifically on hills and tempo runs, I would focus on my form and overcoming the struggles I would likely encounter during a real cross country race.

GTD: When you race, do you have routines that you always do to prepare, leading right up to the start?
Nadja: Yes, I like to do the same things leading up to a race. On the day of a meet, I always eat an English muffin and throughout the day I eat a lot of small snacks, mostly fruits, granola bars or nuts. I found that having a strict meal plan on the day of a meet helps me feel refreshed and ready to run. On the way to a meet, I usually listen to music or take a nap. I try to keep my mind off the actual race because I tend to make myself really nervous and anxious. During warm up, I like to really focus on positive thoughts and a strategy for running my best.

GTD: Tell us about your fall xc season.
Nadja: My race season went really well. Over the summer, I improved my form and physical and mental capabilities as a runner and it has shown in my races. I got stronger and learned to push myself to the point where I run my best. Throughout my cross country season, I was able to apply the skills I learned from Summer camp, as well as continued to work on form and end-of-race performance, by weekly hill workouts and speed workouts on the track. As a result, I felt stronger throughout the whole race and was able to shed seconds off my average mile pace by the end of the season.

All of the training I did during the summer, prepared me for the tough races throughout the season and I was able to perform my best at the end of the season during the big races against the top competitors in the state.

During the winter and the spring seasons, I plan on continuing with distance events, I want to run the two mile and improve on my times from last year.

XC Edge Athletes

Interview Home

Nadja Ueckert-LaPlante, Ipswich HS, Dec. 2017
Marissa Farago, Triton HS, Apr. 2017
Anthony Pizzo, AIC, Dec. 2016
Matt Loehle, UConn, Dec. 2016
Emily DeMarco, Ipswich HS, Apr. 2016
Sarah Oliver, Marblehead HS, Jan. 2016
AJ Ernst, Marblehead HS, Dec. 2015
Abby Walsh, Beverly HS, Dec. 2015
Sydney Packard, Bishop Fenwick HS, Dec. 2015
Griffin Barriss, Melrose HS, Dec. 2015
Tia Patterson, Boston College, Dec. 2015
Thomas Mackin, Lynn Classical HS, Dec. 2015
Riley Dowd, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Emily Weigand, American University, Nov. 2015
Connor Wolff, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Lexi Buonfiglio, Stonehill College, Nov. 2015
Victoria Holleran, St John, Peabody, Mar. 2015
Abby Walsh, Beverly HS, Dec. 2014
Riley Dowd, Peabody HS, Dec. 2014
Sarah Oliver, Marblehead HS, Dec. 2014
Tia Patterson, Lynnfield HS, Nov. 2014
Emily Horgan, Univ. of Vermont, Nov. 2014
Arianna Maida, Bishop Fenwick HS, Sep. 2014