I have my first cross country race in a month and its going to be a 3 mile race. I've skipped most of summer conditioning and have started running this week, I can do a 3 mile in 24 minutes but that's no improvement from last year. How can I shave off at least 4 min. in the month I have left?
"The Trials of Miles, Miles of Trials..." That's how you can improve. Run pretty much every day unless you experience an injury. You don't have to do a bunch of tough workouts. Just lace up those running shoes, and get out the door for a run EVERY DAY! You have absolutely no chance of improving that much if you don't get out and run at least 5 times a week for an extended period of time.
You still have plenty of time to improve during the season, but your running must start NOW!
Here are some CC videos to get you motivated for the upcoming season.