Quick progress update on our summer XC training. We by and large are following our Summer / Fall Middle School Cross Country Program. As previously mentioned, we wanted to build on the momentum and motivation gained during the track season.
For the first 3+ weeks, we followed the program closely and my 13-year old son ran 105 miles on 5 or 6 days of training per week (30-35 miles per week). This was a solid training block that included hills, tempo, speed development, and long runs, with adequate rest and recovery. We also focused on the “small stuff” (i.e. important ancillary work) to build a stronger, faster, healthier runner, and improve his work capacity without compromising his health. I will post separately on the subject of balancing running and ancillary work. The second-half of this training block included 10 days of vacation in Costa Rica, which enabled us to not only explore and experience this beautiful and diverse country, but to incorporate hill training from long uphill runs at 11% grade to 200’s on 4% grade.
Shortly after our return from Costa Rica, my son developed a very high fever (we did follow protocol and test for tropical diseases – all negative), and we stopped all sports activity for several days until he recovered. Apparently that was insufficient, because after 3 days of running, he experienced a relapse that required 2 weeks of rest and recovery. Lesson learned is that a few more recovery days may have prevented the relapse and resulting 2 week layoff from training. In total, he missed close to 3 weeks of running, or almost 100 miles of base building.
Today we start ramping up again with a 1 mile easy run, followed by a 3 mile easy run tomorrow, and then a day of rest, before continuing the build-up. My son will complete another 2 weeks of training before heading to the Northeast Kingdom Running Camp in Vermont’s Green Mountains for a week of running camp, an experience that he’s looked forward to all year.