| The key to summer training is getting in your mileage. For most girls training seriously for the first summer, I would suggest sticking around 40 miles a week. For more experienced runners, 50-55 is fine. If you did that last year, you can always add more! But try not to go over 60.
Now, right from the start, I can hear you reading this going, wow, that's a lot of miles. Well, honestly it is not, and you can do it in 6 days. The key to any true distance training is the long run. The long run, about 10 to 12 miles, provides numerous benefits. You will gain strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and a wealth of aerobic training. The long run should be done at about 1-1.5 minutes per mile slower than your race pace. If you run about 20 min for 5k, this run will be done at about 7:30 - 8:00 min/mile pace. Why 10-12 miles? Anything longer is not suggested for 5k training. Former 10,000 meter record-holder Alberto Salazar says that "any run over 12 miles is unnecessary for the 5,000. It puts too much stress on the body and is only needed if you want to run a 1/2 or full marathon." Anything shorter will not give you the full benefit.
The next key to summer training is building strength. The best way to do this is with intervals. The two simplest and most beneficial interval training workouts are repeat 400s and repeat 1000s. You can do these on the track for accuracy or on grass or trails and go by time. These repeats are to be run at goal race pace. If your goal is to run 18 minutes for a 5k, then the 1000s will be done at 3:36 and the 400s in 86-88. Usually you would do 400s one week and 1000s the next. For the 400s give yourself 2 min rest between the repeats and build to 24. 24!!! What?!?!? Am I crazy! Listen. This is not just take out of nowhere. This is approximately twice the distance of a 5k and will build a lot of strength. This workout is a key part of the Rockford Michigan girls NKRC summer training program. When you get into the season you will try to run the repeats at 10 seconds faster than race pace. (76-78 for an 18 min goal).
The 1000s work a little differently as they are more of a strength and mental workout. Aim to build to 6 repeats. The first time you do the session give yourself 3:30 rest between repeats. Then, each additional time you do the repeats, cut 30 seconds of rest. When you get down to 1 min rest between intervals you should be close to the end of the XC season and about ready to start your taper.
The other days of the week you should do easy runs and a day of hill repeats if you desire. I suggest lifting weights if you do not do so already. Don't worry!! Lifting weights will not make you look like some overmuscled ogar! This is a common misconception among girls. If you lift 2-3 times a week and do high reps with low weights, you will build core strength and endurance and will be able to dig deeper at the end of race than someone that doesn't. A simple 6 excercise plan is listed below. If you don't have access to weights, do push-ups and sit-ups every day, it's a great substitute!
Monday: 7 miles easy
Tuesday: 8 miles with hill repeats or run a hilly course
Wednesday: 9 miles easy
Thursday: 6-8 miles (Intervals)
24x400 with 2 min rest between each
6x1000 with 3:30 rest, cutting 30 seconds every other week
*****All intervals done at goal race pace*****
Friday: 5 miles easy
Sunday: 12 miles (Long run)
Total miles: 47-49
## For less miles subtract 2 each from Monday - Wednesday ---41 miles a week
## For more miles, add to Monday and Friday as desired. You can also add an
easy run on Saturday if you wish.
Lat Pull downs
Military press (overhead shoulder press)
Do 2 sets of 15 reps at a comfortable weight for each excercise. Calf raises can be done with no weights. Simply stand on one foot on a flight of steps and raise up on your toes on your foot and then go down and raise back up.
** If any runners or coaches have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me! [email protected]