“When you want what you’ve never had you must learn to do what you’ve never done.”

“Great cross country teams are built in the summer.” XC coaches say it all the time because it’s true. A sound distance base enables the athlete to achieve maximum results. The runner will be more consistent and encounter fewer injuries. It’s a simple, undeniable truth. But the details — the little things —  also matter, so we must do summer training right.

First, you will chart your summer mileage on a shared Google sheet. That sheet can be found HERE.

How to do summer training right:

1. Run with your teammates. RUN WITH YOUR TEAMMATES!! If you are in town then you should be at ‘Captain’s Practice’ – either the 8AM or 7PM run at the high school. If you are on vacation, you need to find a way to run at least 4 days a week.

2. Vary your pace – we have three basic pace categories: 

Conversation pace: this is slow enough to comfortably talk with your teammates. We will often run this pace on recovery runs, when we’ve done a hard workout on the previous day, or when returning from illness or injury. Our long Sunday runs will often be at conversation pace. Our slowest pace.

Glide pace: this is a relaxed fast pace. You’re not straining, you’re not aggressively pushing, you’re not competing. You’re gliding. We run glide pace frequently. One of the keys to our sport is to learn to run a fast pace in a very relaxed state. A medium-to-fast pace.

Push pace: this is a very fast pace. You are pushing yourself, you are attacking hills, you are unlocking your knees and gliding downhill. We always want to run as relaxed as possible. But unlike glide pace, there’s more effort during a push pace run and there’s also a competitive edge. It’s an excellent idea to do most or all of your push pace runs on trails and/or grass. These are hard runs.

Important – It’s smart to combine these pace concepts. For example, we almost always start at conversation pace. Yes, we will occasionally have workouts during which we ask you to run hard from the beginning. But most road runs should start slow. Then you can agree that at the mile mark, for example, you will accelerate to glide or push pace. We want to train hard, but we also want to take good care of our bodies. Listen to your body and be smart.

3. Record your summer training on the shared Google document in your Google drive account – every team member will have a spot to record their training. You can find it HERE. The tabs are divided by month. Put your name on a line. Include your mileage, the loop you did, and time spent running. It’s helpful to also include the weather, how you felt, and any aches and pains or any extra stretching/ab workouts that you completed.

4. If you are injured, and especially if you have a chronic/ongoing injury issue, your priority for the summer is to HEAL. Physical therapy, ice, heat, everything you can do to get better. Consult doctors and trainers. We want every athlete (NO exceptions) healthy and fit in late August. Notice that the word “healthy” came before the word “fit”. Our preference is that you are healthy and fit. But our priority now and always is NO INJURIES and, if we do get hurt, we keep injuries small, minor. If you have injury concerns or questions, immediately ask a coach. This is essential to our success.  

5. Hills. Do lots and lots of hills. I’ve put asterisks throughout the training schedule next to certain runs – every time you see this make that run a very hilly run (do the hill loop) or else incorporate 5-6 hill repeats in the middle of that run.

6. Invest in a good pair of running shoes. Go to Bryn Mawr Running Co. have them look at your feet and suggest which shoe they think is best – tell them I sent you and that you run for Haverford, you should get some kind of discount. After you know what type of shoe is best for you, you can get them cheaper at another store.

7. Alternate doing core and push ups before you run one day and 4 x 100m strides after you run on the next day. Lift weights. Lift weights more. Plyometrics — before or after you run — are also fundamental to the sport. If you know plyometrics, lead your teammates through a session. If you’re not sure about anything, ask a coach.

8. STRETCH after every run.

9. Drink water before, after and during your runs. Drink a good amount of water the evening before a morning run (you might have to pee in the middle of the night but it will help you to feel SO MUCH BETTER).

10. Run on trails (Haverford Reserve, Haverford College, Wissahickon Trail, Ridley Creek) and grass as much as possible. Especially for a long run. Go over and run the Lower Merion course – often!

11. Ice anything that hurts – a bag of frozen peas works well as an ice pack (just maybe label it as “for icing only”). Apply ice for 10-15 minutes and then take it off – repeat every hour if needed.

12. Nike Dri-Fit t-shirts will be awarded to athletes that achieve 250 miles (girls) and 400 miles (boys) during their summer training – this should NOT be attempted by first time cross country runners.

13. Cross-train once a week – swim, bike, hike, prioritize a hard weight-lifting session, and so on. It’s okay to substitute another type of workout for your run once a week, but please take it seriously. Swim hard, bike hard, lift hard – make it count.

14. You can break days up into two runs — say, a short morning jog and then a longer, harder evening run — in order to achieve the day’s mileage goal. But remember: long runs are essential to our training. By the end of the summer, varsity runners should be doing TWO long runs each week – the traditional Sunday long run and a second long run mid-week.

15. Gather your teammates and do something fun. Make sure to invite everyone – all XC members welcome, no exclusions. Eat together, swim, bike, hike, watch a movie, make a movie, go to a museum, go to a Phillies game – the list is long. Have fun with your teammates!

16. The basic concept over the summer is we are gradually building towards late August and our official pre-season practices. June is the beginning of summer training, getting back into it. July should be a transition month, making progress, improving fitness, increasing mileage, building. August you should be healthy, fit, confident, ready!

17. Bring all required paperwork to the first day of practice on Monday, August 14th at 8AM at Haverford College. It is an HHS XC tradition to have a ‘pre-season‘ period of practice at the end of the summer. We will meet in the college’s lower parking lot and train on the nature trail. We will begin to do long interval training. We will discuss the season, answer questions, and welcome new team members. We will also have activities and dinners and swimming trips and all kinds of fun! After that week ends practice will be moved to the high school.

18. Here are your suggested training goals for summer. This is a basic guide. You can vary the mileage and day as it benefits you. For example, if you’re supposed to go 10 miles over hills, but you feel terrible/tired/sick/whatever, do an easy four mile run and do the 10 miler w/hills a few days later, when you feel better.  The point is, the weekly mileage totals are to be followed specifically and consistently.  The way you divide each week up can be adjusted depending on how you feel, what your teammates are doing, your schedule, and so on.

 

GIRLS SUGGESTED SUMMER TRAINING – WEEKLY GOALS:

 

Varsity JV Novice
6/6 – 6/12 4 – 4 mile runs

(16 mpw)

3 – 4 mile runs

(12 mpw)

3-4 – 2 mile runs

(6-8 mpw)

6/13-6/19 5 – 4 mile runs

(20 mpw)

4 – 4 mile runs

(16 mpw)

3-4 – 2 mile runs

(6-8 mpw)

6/20-6/26 2 – 5 mile runs* (*make one a hill run)

4 – 4 mile runs

 

(26 mpw)

5 – 4 mile runs*(*make one a hill run)

(20 mpw)

4 – 2.5 mile runs(10 mpw)
6/27-7/3 1 – 6 mile run

2 – 5 mile runs (one w/hills)*

3 – 4 mile runs

1 – 3 mile run

(31 mpw)

1 – 5 mile run

3 – 4 mile runs*

1 – 3 mile run

(20 mpw)

4 – 3 mile runs (12 mpw)
7/4-7/10 1 – 7 mile run

2 – 6 mile runs*

3 – 5 mile runs

(34 mpw)

2 – 5 mile runs

1 – 4 mile run*

2 – 3 mile runs

(20 mpw)

5 – 3 mile runs(15 mpw)
7/11-7/17 2 – 7 mile runs

2 – 6 mile runs

2 – 5 mile runs* (one w/hills)

(36 mpw)

1 – 6 mile run

1 – 5 mile run

3 – 4 mile runs*

(23 mpw)

5 – 3 mile runs(15 mpw)
7/18-7/24 1 – 8 mile run

2 – 7 mile runs

2 – 6 mile runs*(one w/hills)

1 – 5 mile run

(39 mpw)

1 – 6 mile run

1 – 5 mile run

3 – 4 mile runs*

(23 mpw)

3 – 3 mile runs2 – 4 mile runs

(17 mpw)

7/25-7/31 2 – 8 mile runs* (* one w/ hills)

3 – 7 mile runs

1 – 5 mile run

(42 mpw)

1 – 6 mile run

1 – 5 mile run

3 – 4 mile runs*

(23 mpw)

3 – 3 mile runs2 – 4 mile runs

(17 mpw)

8/1-8/7 2 – 7 mile runs

2 – 6 mile runs

2 – 5 mile runs* (one w/hills)

(36 mpw)

1 – 7 mile run

2 – 5 mile run*

2 – 4 mile runs

(25 mpw)

5 – 4 mile runs(20 mpw)
8/8-8/14 1 – 9 mile run

2 – 8 mile runs* (one w/hills)

1 – 7 mile run

1 – 6 mile run

1 – 5 mile run

(44 mpw)

1 – 7 mile run

2 – 5 mile run*

2 – 4 mile runs

(25 mpw)

5 – 4 mile runs(20 mpw)

 

BOYS SUGGESTED SUMMER TRAINING – WEEKLY GOALS:

 

Varsity JV Novice
6/6 – 6/12 4 – 6 mile runs

(24 mpw)

4 – 4 mile runs

(16 mpw)

4 – 2 mile runs

(8 mpw)

6/13-6/19 5 – 7 mile runs

(35 mpw)

5 – 5 mile runs

(25 mpw)

4 – 3 mile runs

(12 mpw)

6/20-6/26 2 – 8 mile runs* (*make one a hill run)

3 – 7 mile runs

1 – 5 mile run

(42 mpw)

5 – 6 mile runs*(*make one a hill run)

(30 mpw)

5 – 3 mile runs(15 mpw)
6/27-7/3 1 – 10 mile run (easy)

2 –  8 mile run*

2 – 7 mile runs

2 – 5 mile runs

(50 mpw)

1 – 8 mile run

3 – 7 mile runs*

1 – 6 mile run

(35 mpw)

5 – 4 mile runs (20 mpw)
7/4-7/10 1 – 10 mile run*

2 – 9 mile days

2 – 8 mile days

2 – 7 mile days*

(58 mpw)

2 – 8 mile runs

2 – 7 mile run* (make one a hill run) 

2 – 5 mile runs

(40 mpw)

5 – 5 mile runs(25 mpw)
7/11-7/17  

1 – 10 mile run*

2 – 10 mile days

1 – 9 mile day

3 – 8 mile days

(63 mpw)

1 – 9 mile run

3 – 7 mile runs

2 – 6 mile runs* (one hilly)

(42 mpw)

3 – 6 mile runs

2 – 5 mile runs

(28 mpw)

7/18-7/24 1 – 11 mile run

1 – 10 mile run*

3 – 10 mile days

2 – 8 mile days*

(67 mpw)

3 – 8 mile runs

3 – 7 mile runs * (one hilly)

(45 mpw)

3 – 6 mile runs

2 – 5 mile runs

(28 mpw)

7/25-7/31 1 – 11 mile run

2 – 10 mile days*

2 – 8 mile days

2 – 7 mile days*

(61 mpw)

3 – 7 mile runs

2 – 6 mile runs

1 – 3 mile run*

(36 mpw)

5 – 5 mile runs

 

(25 mpw)

8/1-8/7 1 – 12 mile run

1 – 10 mile run*

3 – 10 mile days

2 – 8 mile days*

(68 mpw)

1 – 9 mile run

3 – 7 mile runs

2 – 6 mile runs* (one hilly)

(42 mpw)

5 – 6 mile runs

(30 mpw)

8/8-8/14 1 – 13 mile run

1 – 11 mile run*

3 – 10 mile days

2 – 9 mile days*

(72 mpw)

3 – 8 mile runs

3 – 7 mile runs * (one hilly)

(45 mpw)

5 – 6 mile runs

(30 mpw)