Summer = Success?

Hi Coach,


I'm a senior in high school who runs both track and xc. I know the importance of base training over the summer, and I usually am very motivated in doing it.

This past summer however, I ran less local 5ks than I normally would and I ran less miles overall weekly than I typically would.
I did run... just not 5 or 6 days a week. I do still do long runs most weeks, but admittedly took some of those days off too. I did quite a bit of bike riding this summer, many miles... which is not something I typically do at all.

I participated in some track meets that happened post season at the end of my junior track year, so that delayed my base and my usual taking 10 days off between seasons was pushed back too. And I only took about 7 days or so, because i felt like I had been pretty lax.

Now, I'm full on training and competeing, we have gotten to mid-season, and my times are not so hot. I'm feeling pretty fatigued overall with my long runs, tempo runs, and mile repeats.... although feeling tired hasn't kept me from hitting all my times at practices. Actually my times in practices tell my I should be running faster in my races.

Here is my question....
I was hoping to be running much better times this year than I have so far. I was thinking maybe my improvements are just delayed because I delayed my base training, but I don't know.
Could I have sabotaged myself by getting a little lazy this summer? Or do you think that likely once my miles/training starts backing off I will see the improvement that I'm hoping for?
Over all I feel good/healthy, but I'm starting to get frustrated that I haven't seen 1 pr yet this season. Every other xc season I have run 1-3 prs by this time. So far, I haven't even matched last seasons pr. my season best is 20 secs of my last season pr.
I hope I get a dramatic improvement soon.

thank you for any advice

Hello XC Runner,

I hope you have a month or so left in the season, because then you'll probably PR. If you ran some during the summer, that helps, but you don't have the same base, so you're probably worn out a little more from the work during the in-season training. When you start tapering for the end of the season, your legs will spring back to life, you'll feel less fatigued, and you'll probably start racing better.

Since you can't squeeze in more miles, here are two tips that might help. 1. Make sure you are getting enough rest every night. Senior year is tough because academics can be time consuming, and so can be your social life. Do your best to increase the amount of time you get to sleep. This might help you to feel better come race days.

2. Watch this video on how to run a great tactical XC race. Maybe you're just going out too fast. Maybe you're wasting opportunities on different courses to improve your time.



I hope this helps. Stay positive. Be confident.

Happy Trails - Coach Tief.

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