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Cross Country Training for the 2009 Season Starts Now

August 25th, 2009

The San Luis Obispo chapter of the Asics Aggies RC starts training for the upcoming season this week with the first organized workout scheduled tomorrow.  The group will meet at the Fairbanks Cross Country Course at 6:30 AM and head out for their warmup.  I’ll follow a short time later with the girls and plan on meeting them for the first interval at 7:15.  Tomorrow’s workout is a light one, just working the bugs out and getting back into the groove.  8-12 x 200 w/ an easy 100 jog on the grass field at Cuesta College.

I thought I’d post the general outline we’ll be following this year and provide updates as the year progresses with workout and race results.  Should be fun.

General Training Outline:  Cross Country 2009

Goal Event:  USATF Nationals Club XC Nationals December 12 – Lexington KY.

Blocks of training and goals of each.  4th week of Stages 1-4 are easy weeks.

8/23-9/12:  Stage 1 Transition
-Reestablish a training routine, get back into the groove.  On a scale of 1-4 w/ 4 being hardest, this should be a 1 in terms of physical and emotion energy given to workouts and races.  Races should start at tempo effort and end with the last mile being solid.

9/13-10/10:  Stage 2
-Work on building the miles – emphasis is not too much on the harder workouts, instead it should be on establishing double days, increasing the miles and ramping the volume consistently up.  On a scale of 1-4 w/ 4 being hardest, this should be a 2 in terms of physical and emotion energy given to workouts and races.  Races should start at tempo effort and end with the last 2 miles being solid.

10/11-11/7:  Stage 3
-Continue building miles, the weekly schedule should be firmly established at this stage.  Workouts become more intense.  Races take on greater importance.  On a scale of 1-4 w/ 4 being hardest, this should be a 3 in terms of physical and emotion energy given to workouts and races.

11/8-11/26:  Stage 4
-The hardest stage in terms of weekly miles, volume of individual workouts, and race expectations – all are at the high water mark for the season.  On a scale of 1-4 w/ 4 being hardest, this should be a 4 in terms of physical and emotion energy given to workouts and races.

11/27-12/12:  Taper
Get mentally and physically ready to roll in Lexington.

General weekly outline:
Sun:  Easier long run
Mon:  Play track day of an easier maintenance run + strides + drills.
Tues:  Easy to moderate maintenance run
Wed:  Harder workout
Thurs:  Mid week long run
Fri:  Easy recovery run
Sat:  Harder workout or race.

If doing double days, start with doing them on the harder workout days.  Next in priority are the maintenance days.  The recovery day and the mid week longer run are the last days to add double to.

Examples of workouts based on miles per week.  Not set in stone, shown to illustrate a point. Mileage and intensity rise each block:

50 MPW or less
Stage 1
Strides:  4-6 x 80-100
Warmups and cooldowns:  15 min
Short intervals:  8 x 200
Long Intervals:  3 x 5 min on/3 off or 5 x 3 min on/2 off
Tempo:  3 miles at 80%
Mid Week Long Run:  6
Weekend Long run:  7
MPW:  25-35

Stage 2
Strides:  6-8 x 80-100
Warmups and cooldowns:  15-20 min
Short intervals:  8 x 300
Long Intervals:  3 x 1600
Tempo:  3 miles at MP
Mid Week Long Run:  6-7 / last 10-20 min at 80%
Weekend Long run:  8-9
MPW:  30-40

Stage 3
Strides:  4-6 x Diagonals
Warmups and cooldowns:  20 min
Short intervals:  8 x 400
Long Intervals:  4 x 1600, 8 x 800
Tempo:  4 miles Progressives
Mid Week Long Run:  8 / last 20-30 min at 80%
Weekend Long run:  9-10
MPW:  35-45

Stage 4
Strides:  6-8 x Diagonals
Warmups and cooldowns:  20-25 min
Short intervals:  10-12 x 400
Long Intervals:  4 x 1600  Adams States
Tempo:  4 miles Progressives, Wake Forest
Mid Week Long Run:  8-9 / last 30-40 min at 80%
Weekend Long run:  10-12
MPW:  40-50

60-80 MPW
Stage 1
Strides:  6-8 x 80-100
Warmups and cooldowns:  15 min
Short intervals:  10 x 200
Long Intervals:  4 x 5 min on/3 off or 7 x 3 min on/2 off
Tempo:  4 miles at 80%
Mid Week Long Run:  8
Weekend Long run:  10
MPW:  45-65

Stage 2
Strides:  8-10 x 80-100
Warmups and cooldowns:  15-20 min
Short intervals:  10 x 300
Long Intervals:  4 x 1600
Tempo:  5 miles at MP
Mid Week Long Run:  10 / last 15-25 min at 80%
Weekend Long run:  12
MPW:  50-70

Stage 3
Strides:  6-8 x Diagonals
Warmups and cooldowns:  20 min
Short intervals:  10 x 400
Long Intervals:  5 x 1600, 10 x 800
Tempo:  6 miles.  Progressives
Mid Week Long Run:  10-11 / last 25-35 min at 80%
Weekend Long run:  12-14
MPW:  55-75

Stage 4
Strides:  8-10 x Diagonals
Warmups and cooldowns:  20-25 min
Short intervals:  12-14 x 400
Long Intervals:  6 x 1600  Adams States
Tempo:  6 miles.  Progressives, Wake Forest
Mid Week Long Run:  11-12 / last 35-45 min at 80%
Weekend Long run:  14-16
MPW:  60-80

80-100 MPW
Stage 1
Strides:  6-8 x 80-100
Warmups and cooldowns:  15 min
Short intervals:  12 x 200
Long Intervals:  5 x 5 min on/3 off or 8 x 3 min on/2 off
Tempo:  4 miles at 80%
Mid Week Long Run:  8-10
Weekend Long run:  12-14
MPW:  65-85

Stage 2
Strides:  8-10 x 80-100
Warmups and cooldowns:  20 min
Short intervals:  12 x 300
Long Intervals:  4 x 1600
Tempo:  5 miles at MP
Mid Week Long Run:  10-12 / last 20-30 min at 80%
Weekend Long run:  14-16
MPW:  70-90

Stage 3
Strides:  8-10 x Diagonals
Warmups and cooldowns:  25 min
Short intervals:  12 x 400
Long Intervals:  5 x 1600, 10 x 800
Tempo:  6 miles.  Progressives
Mid Week Long Run:  12-14 / last 30-40 min at 80%
Weekend Long run:  16-18
MPW:  75-95

Stage 4
Strides:  10-12 x Diagonals
Warmups and cooldowns:  25-30 min
Short intervals:  14-16 x 400
Long Intervals:  7 x 1600  Adams States
Tempo:  8 miles.  Progressives, Wake Forest
Mid Week Long Run:  14-16 / last 40-50 min at 80%
Weekend Long run:  18-20
MPW:  80-100

Joe Run Training

  • Dusty

    I’m curious about the general weekly outline: how do you balance running a hard Wednesday workout and still get a quality midweek long run the next day? My legs don’t seem to absorb the pounding as well the day after a track workout, so I’ve been keeping the next day either easier effort or shorter distance.

    Have you seen any non-weekly schedules (ten day?) that work well? I try to follow the hard/easy principle, but it’s not easy to schedule in a seven day week. Thanks!

  • http://www.runningwarehouse.com Joe

    The Mid week long run the day following the interval workout is no big deal as long as you realize you need to work into it. The first few miles are stiff, etc, but after the first 30 minutes or so, people warm up and the last few miles they actually feel good. I haven’t had anyone complain about them, but the people I’m dealing with tend to have been doing the competitive running thing for some time, so are used to pounding themselves for the most part.

    10 day schedules? They exist, but given the realities of the 7 day work week and the fact that people tend to group up on a particular day each week, we make due with a 7 day schedule.

    Joe

  • Dusty

    Thanks Joe! Best of luck to you and your athletes this season. I look forward to reading the updates.

  • Doug E.

    I know taht you prefer that the mid-week long run be done on hillier terrain, but I don’t see any other sort of hill work mentioned?
    Also, could you please explain “Adams State” and “Wake Forest”?
    Thanks…..

  • http://www.runningwarehouse.com Joe

    @Doug E.

    I’m not sure if we’re doing hill reps this year is the reason they aren’t listed. If we do, we’ll start them in October in place of 400′s. Here are the bulk of the descriptions not listed in the write up.

    Diagonals = corner to corner accelerations of a football infield ideally barefoot. Start at 1500 pace and work down to top end relaxed speed the last 10m or so.

    MP: Marathon Pace. Roughly 15-30 sec slower per mile than tempo pace
    80%: 80% of current 5k fitness or 15-30 sec per mile slower than MP.

    Adams State Miles. Find a gradual steady uphill on a soft surface. Run uphill at race effort, take your recovery at the top. Run downhill at race effort focusing on being fast and smooth. Works on becoming efficient at running downhills fast.

    Wake Forest: Tempo run on a 800m gradual uphill on softer surfaces. Run uphill at tempo effort, then around and run downhill at MP or so. Continuous run the length of a normal tempo. Late season run race effort uphill and tempo back. Tough workout.

    Progressive: Another tempo run. Make each mile 10 sec faster than the previous finishing the last at race effort. So a 5 miler for a 30 flat guy would look like this: 5:30, 20, 10, 00, 4:50. A 8 miler would be 6:00, 5:50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 00, 4:50

    Cool?

    Any other questions, lemme know.

    Joe

  • Glorybelle

    Hi Joe, I’m still following your marathon plan (for CIM), but had passed on the XC schedule to some friends along with your explanations above. But one question they had that I keep forgetting to ask you is about the long intervals during Stage 3. Are they supposed to run both the 1600s and the 800s as part of one workout, or are they supposed to alternate, i.e.: 5 x 1600s one week and then 10 x 800s the next week, etc.
    Thanks Joe.

  • http://www.runningwarehouse.com Joe

    Those are just examples of workouts, what actually makes them up isn’t that big of a deal as long as they are roughly 800-1600 in length, the recovery is right, the pace is XC race pace and the volume stays the same each session.

    Joe