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Year-round training

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar

Question

Hi. I was wondering if during the summer I should build up aerobic capacity and strength or if I should work on speed. I'm in seventh grade this year, it was my first year in track and I improved considerably in speed. Before track started I could run 11 miles in a long run. Before track, my PR for the mile was 6:13, now it's 5:30. I don't really want to lose my speed this summer but, if (for sure) increasing my mileage will help me with my speed during the xc season, I'd be happy to try it. I also ran xc this year but we never got a coach so we never got to train like everyone else. Middle School xc is 3k,so if you have any suggestions please let me know ASAP, I want to train my hardest this summer. I would also like to know about winter training and pre season training to get ready for track and xc. Thanks!!

Answer

You're doing very well. You want to think about long term development. Gradually build your miles. Enjoy your training. What you want to do is build up an aerobic base that is very high going into high school and college. Start small and build. Have discipline and patience...never take shortcuts. To maintain your speed, I like to run 6 x 200m once a week. They don't need to be that fast. The pace we run depends on what we are training for. You might run your 200's in 35 or 36 during the summer. It isn't that fast, but it is much faster than both mile and cross country race pace. Also do some strides a couple times per week after your distance run. Something like 6 x 70-100m. 3 at mile pace and 3 at 800m pace. Pre-season training is just about always about working on your aerobic endurance base. Think Long Term Development Have Fun