Summer Cross Country Training Plan for 12th Grade Athletes

Average Weekly Training Hours 05:00
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 05:00
Training Load By Week

After five years as a competitive distance runner for Auburn University and Drake University I realized a few things about success in distance running. Of the most shocking was the overwhelming amount of talented high school athletes who burned out in college, or even at the end of high school due to their training programs. Aside from the very best of the best, a vast majority of the good collegiate athletes were the ones who weren't necessarily the most talented or had the best times out of high school, they were the ones who didn't get hurt. So, I have developed this program for high school athletes (or coaches of high school athletes) because it is the one I needed 10 years ago. This program has three critical components. 1. Time based: Time based running is what most athletes, regardless of age, should do. The only exception is for the confidence boost going into a Marathon to know you're able to handle the distance. Time based running also allows for the athlete to go based on their INDIVIDUAL pace, not the average pace of the team, which prevents runners from over focusing on distance as a measurement of their training. 2. Core strength: Core is NOT abs. Core strength is the ability to hold your body in an ideal posture and form, especially when fatigued, which primarily involves gluteal strength and hip flexor strength. When these muscles are weak, the body misplaces the stress of the impact of running which causes injury. 3. Cross Training: Cross training is really a focus on being an overall good athlete and making sure you are challenging and developing your neuromuscular system. Running is a great sport because, for the most part, it helps you get in better shape for other sports. But running is also strenuous on the body and cross training helps lighten the load or place it elsewhere. Especially for younger athletes cross training is crucial as it allows them to continue to be multi sport athletes. 4. Fun: This is often the forgotten component, but fun is such an important factor that Fridays are dedicated to it, and Tuesdays are conversational because of it as well. Running is an incredibly social sport, even for the introverts like myself. There is something unique about running together that breaks down barriers both inwards and outwards between friends, so it is important to encourage that aspect of it. A team that has strong bonds often outworks and outperforms a talented team that is fragmented. As a former runner and now coach, I can tell that there is only so much a coach can say or do to inspire, a true team comes together almost at random in the middle of a run, or surrounding pancakes at a post long run team breakfast. The goal of this program is to focus on those four elements and develop well rounded athletes that are ready both physically and mentally to take on the cross country season!

Sample Day 2
0:20:00
20 Minutes Easy

20 minutes of light jogging to start the process of getting used to training again.

Easy running is conversation pace. Toward the end you may get slightly winded and the conversation could sound choppy, but you are not trying so hard that you can't string together full sentences.

Sample Day 2
0:05:00
Hip Drills: Explanation

Hip mobility and strength is an often overlooked part of training. A runner can be in fantastic aerobic shape, but with tight hips and a weak core, they are probably making the race much harder than it needs to be.

The great news is that these drills only take a few minutes. They are great to do immediately post run as well as after periods of prolonged sitting (class, traveling, homework, etc.)

As we progress we will begin to add in more core and strengthening parts, but for now the focus is on mobility.

5 on each leg of the following:
- Donkey Kicks
- Fire Hydrants
- Hurdle Leg Forward
- Hurdle Leg Backward
- Scorpions
- Iron Cross
- 3 Spidermans
- 3 Inchworms

30 second hold on the following
- Downward Dog
- Hip Flexor (both legs)
- Pigeon Pose (both legs)
- Quad Stretch
- Hamstrings

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Cross Training

30 to 60 minutes of activity. Try something new: Yoga, wake boarding, kayaking, rock climbing, etc.

Sample Day 4
0:20:00
20 Minutes Easy

20 minutes easy. Again, easy means conversation pace, and no faster!

Sample Day 4
0:05:00
Hip Drills

5 on each leg of the following
- side shuffle band walks L
- side shuffle band walks R
- side shuffle band walks forward
- side shuffle band walks backward
5 on each leg of the following:
- Donkey Kicks
- Fire Hydrants
- Hurdle Leg Forward
- Hurdle Leg Backward
- Scorpions
- Iron Cross
- 3 Spidermans
- 3 Inchworms

30 second hold on the following
- Downward Dog
- Hip Flexor (both legs)
- Pigeon Pose (both legs)
- Quad Stretch
- Hamstrings

Sample Day 6
0:30:00
30 Minutes with Drills

30 minutes easy with some dynamic warm up drills after the first 10 minutes. The goal is to establish a consistent warm up routine that you will do before workouts and races.

Sample Day 6
0:05:00
Hip Drills

5 on each leg of the following
- side shuffle band walks L
- side shuffle band walks R
- side shuffle band walks forward
- side shuffle band walks backward
5 on each leg of the following:
- Donkey Kicks
- Fire Hydrants
- Hurdle Leg Forward
- Hurdle Leg Backward
- Scorpions
- Iron Cross
- 3 Spidermans
- 3 Inchworms

30 second hold on the following
- Downward Dog
- Hip Flexor (both legs)
- Pigeon Pose (both legs)
- Quad Stretch
- Hamstrings

Griffin Jaworski
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Sweat Equity Athletics LLC

Services:

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  • Training plans and supplementary Strength Training plans for Marathon and IRONMAN events.