Answered By Michael Bergmann
I am the captain of a varsity boys team. In practice, the only person who can keep up with me is my coach, but he can't always run with me as he must coach the rest of the team. How can I push myself in practice when I'm nearly all alone on any sort of distance runs? I saw the result of this training problem last year, as I would get into a race and not be used to running hard, since nobody can push me in practice.
Your situation is pretty common and you can have some ways to get the work in that you need in addition to setting a leadership example for the team. At Central Catholic we had athletes like Galen Rupp and Kenny Klotz that would need a higher level workout than the main pack of runners. We would incorporate longer intervals for them and the rest of the team would join in or have them start 20-30 seconds behind the main pack and then have them use the interval to catch up with the pack. At the end of the interval whether it be a 800, 1k or mile the team would finish together and the recovery time for Galen or Kenny would be less than the rest of the team. On longer runs you can loop back to reconnect with the pack... Good luck and I hope this works for you and your team.