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14 year old having a better season

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar

Question

Dear Coach Mick, I am 14 years old,and I am planning on being in Cross Country this coming fall. I was in it last fall, but I wasn't very good. I have my mind set on being good this year,and I need some advice. I've been running some this July up to now for about 20 minutes a day,and I'm now running about 2 miles,but that's all I can do. Our races for Cross Country are 1.6 miles. On the mile, my time was 7:47 which obviously isn't great. Can you please help me improve before August 25th? Thank you, ~Rachael~

Answer

Dear Rachael, The main things you need are enthusiasm and experience. It's great that you have enthusiasm and enjoy running. The next thing is experience, which requires consistent training and patience. You will need to work on improving speed. This can be begun with a once a week set of 200's. It is a year-round program, starting slowly in the late summer (maybe 6 x 200 @ 45) and ending in the late spring (maybe 6 x 200 @ 35). I also recommend plyometrics (form drills) be done daily. You are a beginning runner, so you must be patient. You will slowly build strength over time. Have fun, be consistent and improve your speed. Fun first, Coach Mick