Long run with progressive finish
This workout is used throughout the year (in and out of season), but more frequently in the last 2 months of our competitive season. Generally, the workout is 10-13 miles of running with the last 2-4 miles progressively faster starting ~marathon pace working down to ~anaerobic threshold pace or a little faster. These paces are estimated based on 5K pace + 50-60 seconds per mile & 5K pace +20-25 seconds per mile. Workout is preceded by lunge matrix (thanks Jay!) and almost always followed by 4-6 100M strides and some version of strength/core/hurdle mobility.
As the season progresses, the workout moves from less structured to highly structured – mostly because there is less concern (risk) about whether or not the athletes get it exactly right from a pacing standpoint early in the season. To illustrate this – this is how this workout was executed at three points during the 2015 cross country season:
“Pre-Season” (almost no structure) – Training camp in late June
– Lunge Matrix
10 mile out and back on hilly gravel roads. 10 miles is at the low end of the volume range for this run due to how early camp was for us this year. Most of the kids were only in the 2nd or 3rd week of training after their down time following track season.
Guys were not given paces, but were instructed that they could “get after it” a bit on the way back. This run has a bit of a tradition for getting salty and it did. I think Patrick Roos – one of our top guys ran around 16:00 for the last 3 miles on some pretty tough terrain. There was a lot of carnage! It was more fun to be in the car watching than for a lot of the guys.
– 4-6 strides across the “ultimate Frisbee fields” at Camp Chi Rho.
– Learn new strength routine
“Early Season” (lightly structured) – Saturday, August 29
For perspective, this is end of the 2nd week of “official” practice & one week before our “varsity” athletes have their first race.
– Lunge Matrix
Workout was 10-14 miles with 4 miles progressive on a flat hard packed gravel trail. Our top 3 guys’ progressive portion was to start at ~6:00 pace and get down to 5:20ish for the last mile. Due to differences in training background, etc, those 3 did varying distances leading up to the progressive portion.
– Patrick Roos only did a little over 10 miles total (got dropped off ~3 miles into the run)
– Jack Manderscheid did 12 (got dropped off a mile into the run)
– Sam Thomas had been doing significantly higher volume, so he did 14 (did out and back 13 & added on 1 mile
after progressive portion)
It was structured this way so that they can all do the progressive portion together. Run went as expected, last 3 miles
~16:20 (5:26 avg).
– 4-6 strides on gravel trail
“Late Season” (highly structured) – Saturday, October 31 (one week before State Championship)
– Lunge Matrix
10 miles with last 2 progressive on the track. The guys run 8 miles on the roads around Edina ending at our track and go directly into progression portion. They are given paces (usually as 400M splits) prior to leaving for their run. Our top 3 started at 82s (5:28pace) and worked down to 78.5s (5:14 pace) – each lap a half second faster per 400M.
They were feeling very fresh and peppy following this run, as was the intent.
– 4-6 strides on turf field
– Hurdle mobility & foot strength exercises