High School Cross Country Summer Work Out Schedule

High School Cross Country Summer Work Out Schedule

There are two different groups listed on the workout schedule. If you are a freshman or sophomore and/or you haven’t been running much this summer, run Group B. All others run Group A. The first line will show the total mileage you should run in a week. Tuesday and Thursdays I have a specific run you should do, the rest of the week run enough miles to equal what the total mileage should be for the week. So, for example, week 1 says Group A should run a total of 12 miles and Tuesday and Thursday it says to run 4 miles each day which is a total of 8 miles. Therefore, you would have to run another day of 4 miles or 2 days of 2 miles each for a total of 12 miles. Do not run less than 2 miles on any given day. If you want to do anything else in the week, bike one day for an hour.


Week 1 (6/17-6/23) – Group A should run a total of 12 miles this week and Group B 10 miles                                  Tuesday & Thursday – Group A: 4 miles

                                     Group B: 3 miles easy

  • Focus on form/posture/relaxation, hill running & respirations/effort

  • Try 170-180 foot contacts drill on the WU & CD

  • Pay attention to course terrain (footing, hills, mud etc)

  • Lunges (L) (20), balance(ABC’s for legs and ankles), push-ups(PU) (3x10), planks (P) 3x25 secs) and core training(CT) (3 minutes) – 3 times

  • -  hydrant 10 each leg, crunch with holding leg up 5 seconds each leg, opposite arm and leg 10x5 seconds, donkey kicks 10 each leg


Week 2 (6/24-6/30) – – Group A 13.5 miles total & Group B 11.5 miles total

                 Tuesday & Thursday Group A: 4 miles

                                        Group B: 3 miles easy

  • Focus on form/posture/relaxation, hill running and respirations/effort

  • Try 170-180 foot contact drill on the WU & CD

  • Pay attention to course sections

  • L(20), balance, PU (3x10), P (3x25), CT 3:30 – 3 times

  • Hip WO 2 times


Week 3 (6/24-6/30)–Group A 15 miles & Group B 13 miles

               Tuesday – Group A: 5 mile: 15 minute warm up, 15 minute

                                                   cruise pace 80%, rest of 5 miles CD

                                 Group B: 4 miles:1 mile WU,1 mile at cruise pace 80%, 2 mile CD


  • Focus on relaxing/posture during cruise pace

  • Pay attention to your respirations/effort

  • L (20), balance, PU (3x12), P(3x30), CT 3:30 – 3 times

  • Hip WO 2 times


             Thursday – Group A: 5 miles: 15 min. WU, 2 x 5 minutes @ 85%                                        Tempo Pace with 5 min recovery jog in between, rest of 5 miles CD

                Group B: 4 miles: 1 mile WU, 2 x 4 minutes @ Tempo pace 85%, rest of 4 miles CD


  • Focus on your respirations/effort – try to hit the correct effort (85%) up and down hill and the flats

  • When the effort goes up the more we have to learn how to relax

  • L(25), balance, CT(4 min), PU (3x12), P (3x30)  - 3 times

  • Hip WO 2 times


Week 4 (7/8-7/14) – Group A 17 miles & Group B 14.5 miles

               Tuesday – Group A: 6 miles: 15 minutes WU, 15 minute hill repeats @ 90%

                                                  up recovery jog down, 2 miles CD

                                 Group B: 5 miles: 10 minute WU, 10 minute hill repeats @ 90% up

                                                   Recovery jog down, 2 miles CD

  • Focus on effort based on respirations; understand now what lies ahead so you can plan your effort for the whole workout


   Thursday – Group A: 5 miles: 15 minute WU, 20 minute Tempo @ 85%, rest CD

                                  Group B: 3 miles: 1 mile WU, 1 mile Tempo,1 mile CD

  • Understand how to maintain 85% for the whole tempo portion of run; as you get tired you must maintain “tempo respirations”

  • Focus on not letting your form break down

  • L(25), balance, CT(4 min), PU (3x12), P (3x30)  - 3 times

  • Hip WO 2 times


Week 5 (7/15-7/21)– Group A 19 miles & Group B 16 miles

              Tuesday – Group A: 5 miles: 15 minute WU, 2 minutes @

                                                  90% - 2 minute jog for 6 times, rest CD

                                 Group B: 4 miles: 10 minute WU, 2 minutes @ 90%-2 minute jog

                                                   for 4 times , rest CD


  Thursday – Group A: 5 mile progressive pace run

                                  Group B: 4 mile progressive run

  • Focus on first 20 minute warm up and then rest is progressive

  • Every ten minutes shift up a gear (know how many gears you will be shifting prior to going out to run)

  • As it becomes harder maintain good running posture and relax

  • Concentrate on running form

  • L(25), balance, CT(4:30 min), PU (3x14), P (3x35)  - 3 times

  • Hip WO 2 times


Week 6 (7/22-7/28)– Group A 21 miles & Group B 18 miles

               Tuesday – Group A: 6 mile: 15 minute WU, 1 x 15 hill repeats @ Tempo, rest


         Group B: 5 miles: 10 minute WU, 1 x 10 hill repeats @ tempo, rest



   Thursday–  Group A: 5 miles: 15 minute WU, 8 x 1

                                                       minute @ 95% 1 minute jog in between, rest is CD

          Group B: 4 miles: 10 minute WU, 5 x 1 minute @ 95%

                                                    1 minute jog in between, rest is CD


  • L(25), balance, CT(4:30 min), PU (3x14), P (3x35)  - 3 times

  • Focus on fast leg turn over but in a relaxed state

  • Always be under control and focus on running posture

  • Hip WO 2 times


Week 7 (7/29-8/4) – Group A 24 miles Group B 21 miles

                Tuesday – Group A: 6 miles: 20 minute WU, 20 minutes

                                                          Tempo 85%, 20 minute CD

         Group B: 5 miles: 1 mile WU, 15 minutes @ 85%, 1 mile CD

  • Once you get started on the tempo portion try to get into a zone and try to hold it until the end; do not go faster as you go along – always at 85%; this means if you get tired then you must slow down to 85% (not based of pace but effort)


  Thursday – Group A: 5 miles: 15 minute WU,

                                                   3 minutes @ 90% 3 minute jog for 4 times, rest CD

          Group B: 4 miles: 10 minute WU, 3 minutes @ 90% 3 minute jog

                                                   In between for 3 times, rest CD

  • L(25), balance, CT(4:30 min), PU (3x14), P (3x35)  - 3 times

                     Hip WO 2 times


Week 8 (8/5-8/11)–  Group A 27 miles & Group B 24 miles

                 Tuesday – Group A: 6 miles easy

          Group B: 5 miles easy


   Thursday – Group A, B: 15 minute WU, 2 mile race pace,

                                                              15 minute CD

L(25), balance, CT(4:30 min), PU (3x14), P (3x35)  - 3 times

                     Hip WO 2 times


Practice starts the next week


Training Terminology


Warm-up = this is always the beginning of the run and is considered to be at 70%

Cruise pace = 80%    Tempo = 85%  - 88% Push-Pace = 90% - 93%  

Race pace = 95%    Monster pace = 98-100%   Cool down = 70%


Progressive Run = going from 70% and working up from that point to a specified % over a specific amount of time or distance


Intervals = running a specific distance in a specific time (not all out running)


Tempo or Threshold = about 25-30 seconds slower than “current” 5K pace or 85% effort


Fartlek = Speed play (running various undetermined distances at various undetermined running speeds) (80-100%)


Anaerobic Threshold = The point where lactate (lactic acid) begins to accumulate in the bloodstream (tempo or threshold training 85-90 % of MHR)


All perceived effort percentages could be determined two ways: 1. Intuitively or 2. % of Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)


Intuitively is all about your respirations – your rate and quality of respirations tells you your effort. Use your anaerobic threshold as your ceiling and your warm-up as your basement.


% of MHR can be determined by using the Karvonen method (better suited for athletes) and then Target Heart Rates (THR) can be determined such as 70%/80%/85%/90%/95% etc.

Karvonen Method = 220-age = MHR; % (MHR – RHR) +RHR = THR

Example of a runner who is 20 years old with a Resting Heart Rate (RHR) of 60

220-20 = 200        .65 (200-60) + 60   .65 (140) + 60 91 + 60 = 151 is his THR


Experience lends itself for intuitively (body and mind connection) whereas inexperience % MHR is valuable


The Foundation of Principles for Training


  1. Patience

  • Running your fastest takes years of planned training

  • There is no quick fix

  • Understand from the beginning it takes time but look for short term improvements

  • Have faith in what you are doing


  • High Mileage


  • High mileage is necessary in order to achieve your maximal potential for the longer distances (the term high mileage is ambiguous but is based on each runners past experience and goals)

  • Increasing mileage will help create efficiency/economy of running and aerobic capacity (based on each individuals past experience)


  1. Periodization

  • The training design must be periodized to maximize peak performance

  • Periodization is applying various principles/training strategies in specific time frames in order to bring about a peak level of fitness


  1. Monitor Hard Training

  • Hard training is a must but too much will create fatigue, injury and slow racing times

  • Always running hard equals less recovery = tired legs = poor racing and increased chance for injury


  1. Have a Plan

  • Design a training program specifically for each individual

  • Following the plan accordingly

  • Follow each workout as planned


  1. Learn How to Run (not just run hard)

  • Learn to run easy & hard relaxed

  • Learn how to maximize your posture/biomechanics

  • Learn how to run specific pace for any distance (most important)

  • Learn how to progress training so it is effective and reduces injury

  • Learn how to run/train based on the environment (heat, humidity, hills, wind, mud, etc)

  • Know yourself and where you are in your running and training!


Training Tips

  1. Be patient with your training. It takes months to get into good shape and longer to get into racing shape.

  2. Rest is not a “bad” four letter word. Your easy days should be easy so you can recover to run hard again.

  3. Sleep is important. 7-9 hours of sleep when training at your peak is recommended. I believe that one day of little sleep (3-5 hours) will set your body back for a couple days. It does matter when performance counts.

  4. Run at the level of fitness and training you currently are at. Many runners try training much faster/harder than what they should be training at and consequently leave their race legs in practice.

  5. Progress your training over several months, not several weeks. Too much too soon leads to fatigue, injury and/or racing poorly.

  6. Have a training plan developed based off of your main goal race(s). A lack of planning leads to happenstance type of training.

  7. What you eat does matter. When training hard you must replace your glycogen with carbohydrates. Keep a balanced runners diet of 60% Carbohydrate, 20-30% Fat and 12-15% protein. Remember “Garbage in garbage out” if you are training hard and feeling sluggish it may be what you are eating. After long runs and hard runs always eat something high in carbohydrates as this is the prime time your muscles will suck it up.

  8. Always run in good shoes – ALWAYS. The general rule is 500 miles or 6 months, whichever comes first. P.S. if it is muddy out don’t wear a really old pair but break in those new shoes.

  9. Be flexible with your training. If you are really tired one day and are scheduled for a real hard workout maybe go easy, get a good night sleep and do the hard workout the next day. Running tired and slower only leads to a bad workout, developing a higher level of fatigue (which will take longer to recover from) and will not be productive from a performance standpoint.


Running Posture


  1. Run tall – lengthen your spine; stretch it upwards (like lifting your head up towards the sky).


  1. Run with your shoulders back or neutral (not rounded forward).


  1. Run with elbows at 80-100 degrees of flexion. Try to swing your arms forward and back – not across your body.


  1. When and if you lean forward, lean the whole body forward and not just your trunk. If you lean forward too much at the trunk this leads to low back problems and puts a strain on your hamstrings. When running you should be leaning forward as a whole unit so gravity can help pull you forward


  1. Land on each foot lightly – Do not pound your foot into the ground; focus on landing soft.


  1. Foot contacts per minute – 170 to 185 foot contacts per minute (first - time yourself running naturally for one minute and count each foot contact; if it falls below 170 then try increasing stride cadence up to suggested 170-185). This takes a lot of practice and helps with leg turnover and landing softly.


  1. Relaxation – focus first on hands, then shoulders and then lower jaw (I use 3-5 inch wooden dowels as hand sticks as a teaching tool for this exercise) It starts with the hands and works up. Being relaxed will help being efficient when running hard which increases performance output.


Hill Training Stuff


  1. Hill training is essential in the progression of running strength, aerobic power, economy (increased economy = faster running) and injury prevention.

  2. Hill training is a multiple joint (ankle/knee/hip/shoulder/back) strengthening exercise and specific to running – hill training creates power which will help with increasing your speed.

  3. You should have a solid base of running prior to any hill training.

  4. Hill training can be incorporated for any distance raced.

  5. If you are injured do not attempt hill training until your pain/injury is healed completely (flat terrain will keep you running longer).

  6. Like any new training regimen start out easy with the intensity and low in volume. Know your current level of fitness and apply reasonable time or repetition goals.

  7. Always warm up 20 minutes easy and then “bridge the gap” to higher intensities.

  8. As the hill increases in steepness take shorter and faster strides up hill, mid-foot to toe landing depending on steepness. Arm swing is shorter unless it is a very tiny hill or with very little inclination.

  9. Focus on relaxing, start with the hands, shoulders and jaw.

  10. Do not lean too far forward but more perpendicular to ground.

  11. As you crest the hill maintain the same effort (respirations will tell you it is the same effort) start to increase your stride length as you crest.

  12. While running downhill do not slam your heel into the ground but land mid-foot and focus on landing soft.

  13. Foot contacts should be quicker going downhill especially on trail running.

  14. While running downhill on trails control speed (depends on your experience and technical level).

  15. Running downhill on road or even trail let your pace be fast; relax and let your stride flow; push the pace hard but never out of control.

  16. Hills can be fun (believe it or not) and should be a part of your training, especially if you race hilly courses or run cross country. Know the courses you will run and prepare accordingly to the distance, terrain and frequency of hills.


Trail Running Tips

  1. Trails come in all levels of technical running. The more technical it is the more focused you have to be.

  2. BE FOCUSED! Trails have rocks & roots jutting up, uneven terrain, holes in the ground, mud, gravel and much, much more. Prevent from falling by being focused 100% of the time. Keep your eyes on the ground at all times about 5-10 feet ahead of you so you know where to place your feet. Sometimes a trail will be out in an open meadow and the trail is flat and even (then you can look around or go into a short daze). I have seen broken arms, faces planted into a trees, broken toes, etc. Trails have trees and other hard objects which may hurt when falling into or on them.

  3. Do not follow a runner right behind them. This will not allow you to see the ground and puts you at risk for falling. Be 10-15 feet behind so you can visually see the trail.

  4. Run the trail at the level of confidence and experience you have. This will help in allowing you a safer experience. The more you run on them the faster you can go.

  5. Run the switchbacks and down hills under control. This probably is the leading cause for tripping and falling (being out of control).

  6. Run in trail shoes if possible as they have thicker midsoles and more stability. They come in different levels of stiffness so try a bunch on before you buy a pair. Thick midsoles help protect the feet when running on rocks and roots from pushing through and the stability helps from rolling the ankles. Shoes are individual (I run in road shoes as I have found them to be the best for me).

  7. Know the type of trail beforehand. Some are flat whereas some are incredibly hilly, some will have smooth trail and others will have a ton of rocks to run over. Then you know what to expect when out there.

  8. When running in the fall and the leaves are down be careful. Each step be sure to “lift” the foot high enough to clear any unknown object under the leaves.

  9. Have and/or review a map or know where you are running prior to starting out on a new trail. Getting lost is not fun especially after running lots of miles.