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Coach's Corner: Falcon Cross Country

Getting Fast

You are running four or five days per week, and feeling pretty good.  You want to take it to the next level.  Here are some things to try.
1.  Long runs.  No more than once per week, run a chunk longer than your usual.  If you typically run for 30 minutes, try 40-45.  During the season, our long runs are usually on Friday or Saturday.  The day after a long run should always be a rest day or cross-training day or very easy (short, slow) running day.
2.  Tempo runs.  No more than once per week, try doing part of your run at a faster than usual tempo.  If you usually run for 30 minutes, start with your usual jogging pace (10 minutes), then pick up the tempo (10 minutes), then finish with your usual pace (10 minutes).  You can gradually increase the length of the up-tempo if you want.  During the season, racing takes the place of a tempo workout.  The day after a tempo run should always be a rest day, a cross-training day, or very easy running day.
3.  Interval runs.  You may have heard of interval training, or you may have done intervals with me in previous seasons.  For the summer, stay away from interval training.  Have fun.  Save the stressful stuff for later.
4.  Go with it.  If you feel like running fast, or racing your buddy, or chasing down the cyclists on the recreation trail (my personal favorite), go with it.  Have fun.