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Cross Country Workouts


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  • Cross Country Workouts

    I am looking for a good training program for Junior High School age runners. This is for next year's fall x-country season (six weeks of competition), but could also include a simple program to start these kids on for the summer to prepare for next year.
    Anyone with some ideas or a place I can get a plan or program would be greatly appreciated!
    God bless you all!!

  • #2
    Re: Cross Country Workouts

    What distance are the races? I'll assume 5K although "junior high" may be shorter. At that age the most important thing is to have fun so make sure that the team is not just a sweat shop - have social activities and games associated with training. That said, it is a lot more fun to win!

    For the summer, I would suggest at least 5 days a week of running with the goal by the end of the summer to be running at least the race distance on easy days and a long run once a week building to around 8-10mi. Once a week a harder effort of maybe 10-20 min. 6-10 x 100m strides (not sprints!) a couple of times a week.

    During the season:
    Start 2-4 weeks before the first race with hill repeats twice a week. Use a hill 300-400m long with a grade that still allows decent running speed, but forces effort. Focus on higher knees. Repeat 10-15 times and finish with 6-10 100m strides on flat ground. Maintain the weekly mileage built during the summer.

    After the first race begin proper speed work once or twice a week depending on race schedule. Start with 15-20x200m with 200m jog recovery. the next workout should be 12-15x300m with 200m jog recovery, then 10x400m, then 5x800m the 4th week of competition (all have 200m jog recovery). Again, maintain the mileage from the summer as much as possible and continue the long run once a week.

    The final 2-3 weeks consist of SPEED! 2 times per week do 200s, 300s, 400s very fast with plenty of recovery and very few repititions. Example workout 5x300m with 2.5min rest. Mileage should come down at this point and the long run is dropped. They should be sharp and fresh at the end of this. Then you race the championship after 3 days of almost total rest - only light jogging and a few strides.

    To make workouts fun you could do them as relays or hand out awards such as cookies for champ of the workout and chump of the workout (everybody gets cookies, winners get more). If it is fun, they will want to do it and they will want to win and they won't be too upset if they don't.

    I am sure others would disagree with my plan. I hope they will post their ideas also.
    In the sun with a popsicle, everthing is possible