High School Cross Country

by Steven
(Phoenix , AZ)

I am a sophmore right now at a small highschool in Phoenix, AZ.

My PR for the 5K is 18:18 and I am highly motivated to have a breakout season my junior year. The school record fot the 5k is 17:42 but I want to smash that next year by hopefully running a 17:20.

What workouts and what training schedule should I have this summer in order to have a great season next year? Thanks!

Hello Steven,

If you run consistently this summer, I don't think you will have to follow some rigid plan to do well in your Junior season. The main thing is to get in a lot of distance runs.

The key, as I said before is consistency. I would focus on doing a distance run at least five days a week. Make sure one distance run every week is a little longer than normal. The rest of the runs that I do during the week are simple distance runs.

Some fun things you can do to spice up the summer running would be to enter in some local road races. This can keep you motivated to run and then you can see how well you are doing during the summer.

Another nice thing about summer road races is that they are run on pavement. You could put down some decent times running a road race 5k.

I also advise you to "touch speed" at least twice a week. This means doing some strides after a distance run. Once your run is done, run four to six strides. This means run for about 100 meters four times. Start off slow, work up to just under full speed for about 15 meters in the middle, and then gradually slow down.

Another thing you could do is do some hill runs. Find a route that has some decent hills. Run up the hills hard, but take it easy on the downhills. The reason you want to run the hills a little harder is they can build up speed in your legs. The reason you don't want to run hard down the hill is that there is more pressure on your legs and joints going down a hill fast, and you don't get as much fitness benefit by racing down hills. Save the racing for the cross country season.

I hope some of these tips help. There aren't any big secrets in running. Just keep on getting out there almost every day and you'll set yourself up for a big season.

Keep me posted.

Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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