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Off season running volume for HS cross country (Read 1379 times)

    My 15 year old daughter has been running for the past year or so, doing both XC and track. Outdoor track is ending soon and I'd like to start her off season training a week after the last meet. Anyone have an idea of what kind of volume we should be working towards by the end of summer? She's currently doing 25-30 miles/week with a bit over half with the track team and the rest done real slowly with me. I was thinking of building her up to 50 miles/wk, which seems reasonable (10% increase/wk would get her to 50 miles/wk about 4 weeks ahead of cross country practices starting up, so we could consolidate the 50 during that last 4 weeks). Sound like a reasonable plan? The summer miles will definitely be base building as she'll do the bulk of her running with me and I'm butt slow (just started running to run with her). Thanks, Kirk
    MrH


      Rather than just throw out a number of miles, I suggest you buy the Brad Hudson book; Run Faster from 5k to the marathon. He includes 12-week high school cross country off-season training programs at four levels (labeled freshman, sophomore, junior and senior). Each program has different elements which are explained and will help your athlete understand the purpose of each workout and how she should adapt if needed.

      The process is the goal.

      Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

        Each program has different elements which are explained and will help explain to your athlete the purpose of each workout and how she should adapt if needed.
        let me say... I sure could have used such a book at that age. I almost never ran in the summer, almost never ran on the weekends, ran one season of CC, getting finally half-way in shape late in the season off zero base and getting down to around 17:40. Then the next year I was injured. I obviously had no idea what I was doing or why.

        In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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        MrH


          Then the next year I was injured. I obviously had no idea what I was doing or why.
          It's very common. Motivated kids decide that they are going to run 50, or 60, or 70 miles a week to get ready for cross country season. So they decide how many days they are going to run and divide the total mileage by the number of days. And run each and every one hard. If they don't get injured first they give up because they are too tired.

          The process is the goal.

          Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

            for me I was hurt mostly because my weekly miles looked something like this... 0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-35-40-45-50-ouch!

            In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

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              It's very common. Motivated kids decide that they are going to run 50, or 60, or 70 miles a week to get ready for cross country season. So they decide how many days they are going to run and divide the total mileage by the number of days. And run each and every one hard. If they don't get injured first they give up because they are too tired.
              Dude, you see into my past quite clearly. I decided 70 miles per week. 10 miles per day, hard as I could. IT Band by about late July put me out for the last three weeks of the summer. But I was still pretty dadgum fit in August.
                Thanks, they have the Hudson book at the local bookstore. I've reserved a copy.
                MrH


                  Thanks, they have the Hudson book at the local bookstore. I've reserved a copy.
                  For the number of hours she (and you) will be investing in training it's a great use of less than $15.

                  The process is the goal.

                  Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.

                    Using my experience I would say that 50 miles per week is probably safe for most runners given a proper buildup. The main thing is how fast she does them. If she is pushing and turning most of them into tempo runs it is not good. The point in the summer is to build up a base because in the fall there should be more strength and speeed as the racing season begins. Most of it is going to be easy mileage. Early on in high school I just didn't do the base mileage in the summer. When I finally did, I made the mistake late in my career of running with a couple friends that were much better than me so I usually had to hammer to keep up and either got hurt or flat before the season got going. Spend some time on the hills. Working some hill repeats into an afternoon run or just picking the hilly courses - it will help her in the fall. Try to incorporate some fun and variety, its great you're running with her. My dad smoked 2 packs a day, he couldn't keep up with me for more than a block. Find some parks and trails, run around the lake or at the beach, run through all the puddles in the rain. 12 weeks doesn't seem long to us but for a 15 year old its forever. It would be natural for her focus to wander. I would get to early July, hit the first stretch of high 90 degree temperatures, and that would be it for me until the first practice in August. I always thought I had more time to get in shape for the season, and not enough time in the day to get the run in. Be wary of staleness/burnout. Its better to take a day off rather than pushing her and then she ends up hating the sport. Younger people tend to burn out on things faster. If I could do it all over again I would have slowed my pace down by 30-40 seconds per mile and just done the 60-80 miles per week all summer like I should have.


                    I've got a fever...

                      If I could do it all over again I would have slowed my pace down by 30-40 seconds per mile and just done the 60-80 miles per week all summer like I should have.

                      On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                        Your plan sounds fine. Keep the miles not so quick. Try to mix in one longer run per week. This really helps build up the stamina. 40 to 50 miles in a week is quite a lot but try to make it so there is still one off day a week. Also, make sure she really wants to do the mileage. Don't make her hate running when she is only going to be a sophomore in high school.
                        Egg


                        Arrogant Bastard....Ale

                          Also, make sure she really wants to do the mileage. Don't make her hate running when she is only going to be a sophomore in high school.
                          I assume she wants to start a week after the season and asked you for some help finding out what to do? Your paragraph makes me think otherwise, but I could be mistaken. Get in touch with her coaches, I'm sure they could help you out especially since they know what her experience is and what type of workouts she's been through, etc.
                            I'm definitely not pushing this (yeah, I realize even the most maniacal parents will say the same... Wink ). If anything I'm trying to keep her from doing too much. She's the driven type and I have to reel her back in (e.g., if she were to get a 'B' on her report card she would be inconsolable). I'm super laid back so I'm not sure how she's ended up this way... As far as going too fast/too often, well, I'm a 5'7" 200 lb powerlifter (I'm scaling back my lifting to barely maintenance to get myself into running shape and plan to allow myself to lose 25-30 lbs) so the runs with me will be, by necessity, low end aerobic for her. I plan to ride a bicycle with her while she does tempo/faster stuff... I raced road bikes in my 20s so this sort of thing is not new to me. I'll head out to the bookstore this evening to pick up the Hudson book... Kirk
                              She has been running for a year and wants to do 50 miles a week? That sounds like a lot. I have been running for 4 years and each year I do a little more mileage. This year I want to be around 40 miles per week. If she has 2 more years of high school left she may want to keep to 35 mpw or so this year. That is plenty of miles for a 5k. But if she runs 50 mpw and does it right (most slow) I can tell you she will be hard to beat.
                                I think 50 mpw is a bit excessive for a girl that age. That gives her about eight miles a day, a 10 mile long run, and one off day per week. That's a lot to be doing over the summer. Which track events is she doing? Is it distance? You make it sound like she does less than 20 MPW with the team, which is rather low for a distance runner.
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