Cross Country Training Program provides ten weeks oftraining and it’s specially designed for high school runners, to use during thesummer. It follows the hard/easy approach founded by the famous coach Bill Bowerman,from the University of Oregon.
The first three days of the week include the some kind of a speed work:fartlek, interval training or tempo runs. The goal is to develop speed andstrength in the legs. One long run is being practiced on Saturdays, so that theaerobic fitness and endurance are improved. Wednesday and Friday feature easy30-minute-long runs while Sunday remains an optional day either for restor a run.
If you follow this program exactly you will average between35-40 miles a week. That should be enough for most. If you feel somehow limited, you should discuss this with the coach before running a greater number of miles. Remember the importance ofquality training.
Tempo runs: a workout of 30-40 minutes, that should beconducted on trails or woods so that a person loses reference of how far or fast they are running. You should begin easily and after 5 to 10 minutes of joggingand slowly accelerate to the maximum speed. Focus on holding that speed for 5 to10 minutes and then again slowly decelerate, the same way you started.
Fartlek: the name originates from Swedish, and it can betranslated as “speed play”. Fartlek was developed in the 1940s by Swedish coach GöstaHolmér. Fartlek considers a workout of 30 to 45 minutes with constantchanges of pace at different distances. The intensity and speed of the exercise varies throughout thisperiod. Being that it’s similar to tempo runs, it is best conducted on trailsor in the woods. Begin with slow 5 to 10 minutes jogging, then pick up the paceand push for 10-20 seconds, then proceed with jogging or walking untilcompletely rested.
Long runs: best for endurance and improvingaerobic fitness. You should increase the duration of your runs, starting with60 minutes run in the first week adding 5 minutes each week and finallyachieving a goal 90 minutes long run. Running with your teammates isrecommended, both on the roads or on trails.
Rest/Easy Days: days when you don’t have to practice a hardrun. Run easy because you don’t want to risk injury. Your run shouldn’t belonger than 30 minutes, or you can even decide not to run at all. Hardtrainings every day can even have a negative effect on progress. That iswhy you need some time to rest and think about the progress you are making.