Musicians marching under Michael Leckrone usually need some hot air. The newest recruits will get plenty of it this week.
The freshman class Badger Band members took their first steps under Leckrone’s direction, and things heated up in Madison just in time.
“This is great weather for conditioning because it really speeds up the process,” Leckrone said.
Between that conditioning work and learning the fundamentals, UW Madison’s band director has blocked out six to eight hours of practice a day.
“The football team talks about their two-a-days. We have our three-a-days periodically, so that keeps everybody honest here,” Leckrone said.
Unfortunately for Leckrone’s crew, the heat index is topping out in the triple digits this week.
“As long as you take care of yourself, get a lot of hydration,” Leckrone said. “We try to give them a lot of water breaks, and hopefully they eat well and sleep well and if they do that, they'll be all right.”
The climate was just as sticky for the Memorial High School Cross Country team. On their first day of afternoon runs, they were stuck braving a hilly route at Pope Farm Park.
“Pretty gross, pretty hot,” girls cross country Captain Catherine Bartzen said. “We're sweating really hard, but we're working really hard too,”
Bartzen noticed the heat and humidity taking a toll on her and her 90 teammates.
“Your body just feels really really sluggish, and it's really difficult to push yourself and get to that pace that you want to be able to do,” Bartzen said.
Kelsey Kircher, also a captain for the girls cross country team, said coaches are constantly reminding them to stay hydrated in this kind of heat.
“We need to be yelled at sometimes to get off the course and we have to drink every time between intervals so you're able to keep going,” Kircher said.
Kircher said this kind of weather has been very different than the mild summer they’ve been sprinting through this summer, but she would take the cooler temperatures over unbearable heat any day.
“There were a couple of weeks ago where it was fifties and that was better than this, but this is definitely the hottest,” Kircher said.