The information below has been used as a template for summer running for the past several seasons. The dates have been updated for the 2017 season, but the message remains the same: to maximize your potential this XC season, and increase your enjoyment of the sport this fall, you need to spend the summer building up your base of miles. There. It's as simple as that!
Please take a couple minutes to read and understand the information below. It's not complicated. You'll find specific training plans for all levels of runners - newbies and returning varsity!
Good luck - and we'll see you at the Summer Running Club Runs: Mon, Weds and Fridays at 6pm at Monte Vista. Meet in the south (main) student parking lot near Oak Hill Park. Be prompt!
Summer Workouts - Overview.
There is an old saying among cross country coaches: the two most important words for the cross country season are.... July and August! What happens in the summer is what separates the top programs from the mediocre ones. Teams that win leagues and send runners to State, do not simply show up at the start of the season to begin "the work".
Here's the good news - the summer program is all about the 'joy of running'. It's about building a base of miles, a training base, so that when the season officially starts, you're prepared and ready to make an impact right away. The summer is not about hard, gut wrenching workouts. It's not about hill repeats and track work. It IS all about running easy to moderate paced miles, building up slowly over the summer. Think of it like the foundation of a house - you can't start with the walls or the roof!
The Mustang Running Club will get started on June 20th, 2016. The club will meet on M-W-F most every week of the summer, at 6:00PM at Oak Hill Park near the Monte Vista's parking lot. The goal of the club is to help you build the base of miles - by providing workout suggestions and the camaraderie of your 'club-mates'.
For newcomers to the team, or younger runners who anticipate running on the Frosh/Soph or JV teams, running 3-4 times per week will probably bring you to the start of the season in fine shape. For returning Varsity runners, or those with their sights set on making the varsity team this year, 3 days a week will not be enough miles. You will need to run 5 to 6 days per week, with specific mileage goals to hit by the start of the season. Our top runners should be running 6 days a week by the end of the summer training season.
To help us plan the summer, lets look at a 10 week program, and then lets look a what makes up a good summer training week:
1. The 2016 Summer Season - Mileage Goals.
Varsity Boys - should be at 40-50 miles per week by August 15th*
Varsity Girls - should be at 40-50 miles per week by August 15th*
Returning JV/FS Boys - should be at 25-30 miles per week by August 15th*
Returning JV/FS Girls - should be at 25-30 miles per week by August 15th*
Incoming Freshman - should be at 15-25 miles per week, depending on your running and previous sport backgrounds (CYO running, soccer, etc)
* official start of practice for fall sports
It is the coach’s belief that the above guidelines will not only adequately prepare both boys and girls for the upcoming season, it will limit the potential for injury. Be your own judge of where you are at in terms of your running development.
2. How to get there? Work backwards! To avoid injury, miles/minutes must be built up with a steady increase, while following the well accepted rule of no more than 10% increases per week. So if you are trying to hit 40 miles per week with 10 weeks to go in the summer, then you might follow something like this:
Week 10 - 40 (week of August 8th)
Week 9 - 36
Week 9 - 32
Week 7 - 29
Week 6 - 26
Week 5 - 24
Week 4 - 21
Week 3 - 19
Week 2 - 17
Week 1 - 15 (week of June 6th)
For a goal of 25 miles per week, if you had only 8 weeks to go, you would do something like this:
Week 8 - 25
Week 7 - 22.5
Week 6 - 20
Week 5 - 18
Week 4 - 16
Week 3 - 14.5
Week 2 - 13
Week 1 - 12
The above illustrations follow a straight-line methodology. However, your summer will have conflicts (trips, work, maybe an illness) and you will have to improvise. If you keep the above concept in mind, you can catch back up if you have a bad week. Just don't run 9 miles per week all summer (3 days of 3 miles) and then crank it to 25 or 40 at the last couple weeks (5 or 6 days of 6 or 7 miles per day) or you will get injured. I can promise you that!
Take your ending goal, times .90 to get prior week. Then take that result times .90 for previous week. (For example 40 X.90 = 36. 36 X.90 = 32… etc.). If you are calculating it going foward, take your current week times 1.10 to find out the next week target (20 this week, times 1.10 = 22 for the next week target).
3. The Anatomy of a Perfect Summer Running Week.
No, this isn't a science class, and there will not be a test. But yes, there is an ideal running week for the summer. It basically looks the same for JV runners and Varsity. Here's how it breaks down:
- One LONG RUN per week. This run, at a comfortable pace (can carry on a conversation while running) should be 25% of the weekly total. So... if you are running 30 miles in a week, then the long run should be 7.5 miles. If you are running 40, your long run should be 10 miles. A 20 mile week is a 5 mile long run.
- One or two days that have striders for speed maintenance. Yes, speed! Not speed as in eight X 200 meters all out. But a couple times a week, all XC runners need to work on stride and speed. Year round! Remember - speed kills...those that do not have it! So a couple days per week, you need to incorporate striders into your workout. These might be 8 X 50 meter striders at 80 to 90% of top speed. Or 4 to 6 X 100 meter striders at the same speed. If you do them at the end of a run, be sure to jog for 5-10 minutes to cool down your legs aftewards.
- " easy to moderate paced miles"... the rest of the week should just be "running". The summer club will provide a number of workouts to 'fill' the weekly miles. Run in the hills, in the trails around Mt Diablo. Do some varied pace, tempo runs as you fill your week with miles (or minutes). Do NOT run hard hill repeats. Do NOT go to the track and run repeat 800's on your own. There will be a time and place for that, and it's called "the regular XC season".
- Core Work - Two or three times a week, you need to work on your core - situps, pushups, light weight work, stretching. Don't wait for the season to start for this - stay in balance!
- Rest Day. Regardless of your weekly goal, you need to have at least one day of complete recovery.
It's that easy!
4. Putting it all together - A few sample weeks:
a) 25 mile goal week:
Mon: 4 miles easy, core work afterward
Tues: 2 miles to park, 1/2 mile of striders, 2 miles back (4.5 total)
Weds: 3 miles easy
Thurs: 5 miles on a hilly course (Macedo ranch, Hap McGee)
Fri: 2 miles easy jog, striders & core after
Sat: 6.5 mile LSD (long steady distance)
Total for week - 25. 1 long run, 2 strider days, 2 core days, one harder hill run.
b) 40 mile goal week:
Mon: 6 miles easy to mod pace. Course with some hills.
Tues 4 miles easy, core afterward
Wed: AM - 5 miles with Summer Club. PM - 3 miles easy, wi striders
Thurs: 5 miles easy pace, core afterwards
Fri: AM - 5 miles with club, PM - 2 miles easy with striders after.
Sat: 10 mile LSD run.
Total for week - 40. 1 long run, 2 strider days, one harder hill run, 2 core days
c) 20 mile goal week:
Mon: 4 miles, course with hills
Tues: 0 miles
Weds: 5 miles easy, perhaps 3 miles, 1/2 mile striders, 1.5 cool down.
Thurs: 3 miles easy (core)
Friday: 3 miles easy
Sat: 5 miles LSD
Sun: 0 miles (core)
1 long run, 1 day with harder course. 2 days of core. 1 day of striders. 2 rest days.
Note: If you can run twice a day a couple times a week, that will really allow you to crank up the mileage, or, take other days off to compensate for trips, work, etc.