Can I get in shape before school starts on August 8th?

I stopped running for a while because of an injury and didn't start back running until the middle of June. I only did crosscountry once and my fastest 3 miles was 28 minutes. My first mile was about 9 minutes. In track my fastest mile was about 7:40. Right now I can't even run a mile in 10 minutes. I run around my pond and I think its the size of a track. I run around it 5 times everyday and finish in 20 minutes which is way too slow. One day I was finaly able to run 2 miles but I finished in about 30 minutes which is around the time I used to do 3 miles. If I continue to run everyday and gradually increase my laps will I be able to run 3 miles before school starts August 8th? Also can you give me any training advice for the shape i'm in?

I think you are on the right path. August 8th gives you some time to get into shape, and you are already doing some running. I would stick with what your are doing right now and add in two or three of these workout ideas below. Here are a few suggestions to help you increase your fitness level quicker.

1. Find a hill to do some Hill Runs.

2. Mix up your workouts by doing some laps easy and some laps hard around your pond. Do the first lap easy, don't worry about pace, to warm up. Do the second lap harder, faster than you normally run, but as fast as you would run a cross country race. Keep alternating laps slow and fast like this for as many as you can. It sounds like three miles is as far as you are going right now, so this is a good place to start.

3. Contact some of your teammates from school. Running with someone else who is in about the same shape as you is always a great idea. The run will feel much easier and you probably will run a faster pace.

4. Go on a longer run. Don't worry too much about pace, but run for an extended period of time (40 - 50 minutes instead of 30). When the long run is done, do about four 20 second wind sprints. This is where build up to almost sprinting for five seconds, hold the fast pace for about 10, and then gradually slow down to a stop for the last five seconds.

I hope some of these ideas help you. Like I said before, you are already on the right path with your workouts. Hopefully some of these ideas can help you get in even better shape leading up to August 8th.

Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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This article was written by David Tiefenthaler, the founder and main contributor for In addition to running, he's also an author, and a full time teacher.

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