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Hey, I've been running cross country for three years and I've started to get serious about competing lately. The only problem is is that my high school team consists of mainly overweight people trying to lose some weight so the program really isn't geared towards getting faster. I've asked my coach for individual help but he doesn't have the time to do so. If anyone could give me some advice on training or link me to any good articles it'd be great. I just ran a 7k race yesterday (pre-ofsaa) and my time was 30mins. I'm not really fast but endurance has never been a problem for me so maybe I should run longer distances? I don't really know. I'm 5"10 and 150lbs in case that matters. I'd really appreciate any help I can get. I'm ready to get serious about running and I'm willing to work as hard as I need to. Thanks.

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With XC. running the courses are undulating to hilly therefore I believe you should do a good deal of your training on a similar terrain (2 days)
Running up hills burns a lot more calories than running on the flat, even if you maintain the same speed on the hill your pulse rate will shoot up anywhere from 10 to 30 beats per minute so you have to practice this in training, if not you will end up in severe oxygen debt.
Find out the distance of your upcoming race and build up to running twice the distance once a week. Start out with your race distance and build up by 10 minutes each week.
It should be a medium/hard run, NOT A JOG.
Take your best 1500m./mile time and average out your 400m., to this add 5secs.
I have found this to be around the optimum training pace but it can vary with individuals.
Now while you will read here that a lot of people run hill repeats which may sound good in itself there is a tendency to jog down (even walk)after each ascent.
In XC. once you have run the hill you still have to push on at a good pace. So once a week choose a hilly loop, equal to or longer than your race distance. Run OVER the hill and NOT just to the top keeping the pressure on all of the way.
If you are going to run speed work it has got to be relevant. There is no point in running 200ms. with 200m. jog recovery.
XC. is similar to 5/10km. on the track. 6 to 8kms. without respite.
Think in terms of rep. miles at you 10km. pace with 60sec recoveries, the following week 1,000m. at 5km. pace 90sec. recoveries and for the third successive week 800ms. at 3km. pace with 145sec. recs.
You should go over my suggestions with your coach, after he is YOUR COACH and he has the advantage of knowing you and seeing you run.
If he cant find the time to at least look over what I have suggested, find yourself a new coach
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