Base training for cross country... what type of workouts should I do?


Track just ended and I have a month before summer cross country camp starts. I ended up with a 6:04 mile and I desperatley want to break 6... but thats a different story. What sort of workouts should I do before cross country camp? Should I mostly just go on long runs to build endurance? btw I'm entering hs next year so hs cross country will be a totally new experience for me. What sort of times do girls get in races? I ran a 5k a few weeks ago and got 22:07... how does that compare with times other highschoolers get? How much can I expect to improve? Thanks!



Answers:

Pre-race meal or snack?

You have the right idea so far; I also just ended my season last Saturday with a 4:50 in the mile but since then I have just been building base (which is basically accumlating mileage.)

Start out at what you feel comfortable with in order to build upon that. For me I am running 40 miles a week and I plan to build up to 60-70 miles a week near the middle of the summer.

Keep in mind I run at least 1 mile everyday where as some runners take breaks on weekends but this weeks schedule for me looks like this:

Monday: 7 miles
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: 4 miles
Thursday: 9 miles
Friday: 6 miles
Saturday: 2 miles
Sunday: 10 miles

None of my running is done at a fast pace although occasionally it is good to run a three mile time trial to make sure you are in tune still. For your mileage run approximately 2:00 to 3:00 slower than your mile pace...which for you would be around 8:00 to 9:00 a mile. During your time trials try and maitain close to a minute faster than your mile which would be close to 7:00 for you. If you can build up to where you run 21:00 for three miles then a 21:35 5k is not out of the question.

As for your time a 22:07 is a decent time depending on where you live and what kind of school you go to. For a smaller school in a state not large like California a 22:07 will most likely put you on your varsity squad with a chance at medaling in smaller meets. I think with you mile time you should be capable of running below a 21:00 though which would be pretty decent.

Keep up the awesome work and good luck this summer. If you really want to improve you time also consider doing some free weights and ab workouts to build strength in your core. Good luck and I hope you have a successful season!

Does anybody no what songs are good to run to, as i am training for a long distance run?

I say you should run to build endurance.

How do i improve my Stamina for running in a marathon?

Run. A lot. Try to run two to three miles a day. But don't forget to take a day off for rest here and there. Now as far as pace wise, don't go all out but at a pace sllightly below. Somedays, go farther, and slower if you need to. And you can work in some biking and leg exercises.

How do I deal with this big blister while trying to train? more...?

First, take a little time off after track to rest and recovery. Then, the best thing you can do is lots of easy runs. Save the hard running for next fall. The time spent running is more important than the pace. Try to run 5 days a week, 30 minutes each run at an easy pace. One day a week run longer. If you can build over the summer to running 40 minutes for your regular run and 60 minutes for your long run that is great. Based on your mile time, your easy pace should be between 9:00 and 8:20 per mile.

You get the most benefit from training by running at least 20 minutes. Don't worry about mileage and don't do junk miles for the sake of miles to write in your log. Run at least 20 minutes or take the day off.

By the way, if you are already running this much, you can certainly run more. Rather than giving mileage per week, I prefer to limit running by time. For 5K cross country, 6 to 7 hours per week of easy running is getting close to the maximum that you should be doing. Naturally, how much you run depends on how well your body withstands training. Even easy miles can cause injuries. There is a point of diminishing returns where the benefit gained by additional miles is outweighed by the increased risk of injury.

Here is a sample week for an advanced runner, Even though everything is easy, runs are not the same length. For example,

Monday - off or cross train
Tuesday - 40 minutes
Wednesday - 60 minutes
Thursday - 30 minutes
Friday - 60 minutes
Saturday 30 minutes
Sunday 75 minutes

It's also good to add some core strengthening exercises a few times a week to help minimize the risk of injury. Crunches, sit ups and planks are good for that.

Because cross country courses vary, it is difficult to compare times. Typical times for girls are between 23 and 17 minutes. 17 to 18 minutes is what the top hs girls in the state run. 18 to 19 wins dual meets. Naturally some states are more competitive than others.

22:07 is a already good time. With running over the summer you should be able to improve on that. It's always difficult to predict improvements, but I think you should be able to run under 21 with a solid base of summer running. Your mile time is relatively better than your 5k.

Do you think weightlifting helps distance runners?

Scientific fact. Running under 4 miles does not help your body build a tolerence to lactic acid, this is why you have recovery runs under 4 miles at easy pace to develope. Run atleast 6 miles a day, and once a week run 8 miles hard... it will hurt but it will pay off.

Does anyone know any good sprint workouts?

Try the link below for some XC tips. It sounds like you're well on your way...keep it up & best of luck next season!

- Mike

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