Summer XC Training Plan 2018
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Hello! I have made this purely for fun and for me to follow. Once I had my training in place, I realized that it would be pretty easy to translate it into similar plans for different mileage "groups" depending upon what your goals are. I hope that someone will find it useful to them this summer as they go about training for the upcoming cross country season. I will never claim to know very much about distance running or physiology but I know some very good coaches who have developed good teams using training methods very similar to what is in the following plan.

The purpose of the summer phase of our training is to systematically build the aerobic capacity to the highest level possible before beginning any significant volumes of faster/anaerobic work. By building these systems we are also trying to prevent injury later on by getting our body more efficient at recovering from hard efforts.

While it is a fact that repeated intense exercise bouts well over the level of the anaerobic threshold (i.e. 800-5k race paces) can stimulate “growth factors” in capillaries supplying skeletal muscle, (as long as sufficient recovery time is allowed between intense exercise bouts) it’s also an established fact that the prolonged “acidosis” and muscle trauma that accompanies such exercise can be detrimental over time. Don't do this. Under these circumstances more recovery time is required that could otherwise have been spent doing productive aerobic training, which does not require the same recovery period that intense anaerobic workouts require. Training too intensely – too soon – is like playing with fire. Aerobic training is safe and predictable. There is certainly a place for more intense work during the season when we are close enough to races for it to have a positive impact on races late in the season (Regionals and Nats).

The goal of summer is to do as much strong aerobic running as possible while improving week by week, but not so much that general fatigue will result. That is why we have a weekly schedule that varies the distances and efforts so that you are able to absorb the training and come back for more. TRAIN DON’T STRAIN!!!

CONTROL of efforts is key. Start at lower end of range in distance and pace. Gradually raise distance, THEN pace over the weeks of summer on your runs/workouts. This has kind of been written into the plan with a build up to your goal mileage before you really begin incorporating workouts. It is possible to incorporate aerobic workouts earlier but I've personally found it best to have a really nice base before you start doing any real aerobic "workouts".

Hope and Persistence are everything. Start at one achievable level and chip away steadily week by week, and by the end, definite improvements will have been made in aerobic endurance. Resting heart rates will be lower, blood volume will have increased, running muscles will greatly increase their ability to utilize oxygen. The body will utilize more fats as fuel, sparing carbohydrates, and excess body fat will drop away, leaving the runner as a lean, mean, running machine.

"YOU CANNOT RUN FOR YOURSELF AND BE SUCCESSFUL" - Tom Arnold
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