Answered By Jeff Arbogast
I currently run XC and my mile time from it is around 5.20 or lower. I have had a good season so far and it ends with the state meet on October 25th. I'm 13 (14 in 2 months) and hoping to go sub-5 in the 1600 this spring. I got a lot of improvement from a 5.47 mile to the 5.20 by mileage of around 35 mpw over 6 weeks in the summer. Anyway, my question is: Including my two-week break after XC, I have 15 weeks to prepare for the first practice of track. With my current PR and goals, what should my mileage look like this winter?
In a solid year-plan, this is not the best time to ramp up mileage to anything substantially over what you have already done, so let's look at this as a "mini" year plan over the next 15 weeks and give you a solid answer. I don't know the level of mileage you had during the season (just 35 mpw for 6 weeks in the summer) so I would presume you were doing a bit less while racing during the aseason just over. To that extent, I'd build from a starting point of 20-25 miles up to a maximum of 40 at your age, being careful to go 'hard-easy (hard days in intensity or duration alternate with easy recovery run days), run in good shoes, and vary workouts to avoid staleness. Next year, expand your summer base from 6-12 or 13 weeks and start with your 30-35 mpw, building up gradually for three weeks, then cutting back the fourth, all the way through the summer. Your times are solid and increased workload will certainly let you explore your potential! Train hard . . . have fun . . . Arb