Official Cross Country/ Distance Running Thread

With high school/ college cross country season about to begin, I figured it would be a good time to start this thread. Also it's the greatest sport of all time, and don't make me explain why it's a sport, it just is.

Feel free to discuss PR's, goals for the season and in general, why you like to run XC (competitively or not), favorite places to run, your team and its success, etc.
 

Ununhexium

i am groot
is a Contributor Alumnus
HAHA YES FINALLY PEOPLE WHO ENJOY RUNNING

I suck though lol I'm a sophomore in high school and my current 5k PR is like 21:14 but I really didn't actually enjoy running until last year. My school used to have a really good team but last year we kinda fell off the map. However, the freshman we got this year are going to kick ass in time and I'm definitely hoping to break 20 minutes.

Like I said I'm not great but XC is fun
 
HAHA YES FINALLY PEOPLE WHO ENJOY RUNNING

I suck though lol I'm a sophomore in high school and my current 5k PR is like 21:14 but I really didn't actually enjoy running until last year. My school used to have a really good team but last year we kinda fell off the map. However, the freshman we got this year are going to kick ass in time and I'm definitely hoping to break 20 minutes.

Like I said I'm not great but XC is fun
mfw somebody does XC here :D

That's a good goal, I hope you get there!

My current PR is 17:24 for 3 miles, I set it my sophomore year at League Finals. I'm going into my Junior year now.
My team is pretty competitive, we made it to 4th in California for D2 Boys two years in a row, going for the state pedestal. Although that means to be on Varsity I need to be sub-16:00 so for now it's the JV life :).

I've been able to race against (ok, well, race "against" is pushing it, I just happened to be in the race but I never posed a threat to them :p) guys like Austin Tomagno, Garrett Corcoran, and other insanely fast guys. If you look up their times, it's amazing, they've both gone about 14:00 for 3 miles and have several records between them O_o.

Anyways it's definitely fun getting to compete with my team and (literally) chasing after all the guys our team goes up against.
 

DaAwesomeDude1

waiting for a moment
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Ayyy nice to see that other people are doing Cross Country; I agree it is the best sport haha

My current PR for the 3 mile is 18:16, which is what I hit last year. All of the meets I've been to this year had either been shorter than a 5K or longer, so I don't really have a good time for it haha. My school is actually one of the top teams in my state. We won 6A, which is the big division I'm not sure if it is different in other states, Track state last year and we were runner up for Cross Country for the past 3 years. This year, the best team had their entire Varsity XC team graduate so we're gunning for state champs! My goal for this year is to get under 17:30 in the 5K. I've trained with one of our seniors, who graduated already and is one of the top runners in the state, all summer but I only dropped a few seconds from last year. Honestly, I think the biggest problem with me is that I'm scared of pain so I unconsciously hold back whenever I race so I was wondering, how do you guys usually deal with that and how do you push through?
 
Honestly, I think the biggest problem with me is that I'm scared of pain so I unconsciously hold back whenever I race so I was wondering, how do you guys usually deal with that and how do you push through?
Imo it's just something you gotta overcome on your own. You have to decide what is more important: having no pain, or getting to your goal? The way I got through this was telling myself that the faster I go, the faster I can get a glass of water after the race.

A little background: I ran cross country from freshman to sophomore years and absolutely loved it. My teammates however weird, were my best friends and it was my favorite thing in the world. My fastest time for 2 mile was 11:45. Anyways the summer of Junior year, I went on the two running camps (one in Santa Cruz the other was high altitude camp in Mammoth Lakes) and was a really strong runner. After that though, I realized I couldn't do homework for ap classes and run twice a day at the same time. My coach said we had to run twice a day everyday or I could quit. I chose to quit and its by far my biggest regret of high school. It really didn't matter cause I got shitty grades junior year.

I started running again on Thursday after several years of not running one bit and it's kinda painful. I run at my high school's home course because it's a grass surface so it hurts my legs less. Anyways sorry for the rant on my life but running's relevant to me again. I hope I can get in good enough shape to run next year in college if possible. I won't be able to run this season as a freshman but it's an option next year.

I hope everyone had a great experience in xc like I did.
 
Why would you need to run twice a day in high school? Doubling is for people running high mileage. Your coach sounds like a tool.
That's something I failed to understand as well, but the coach made it his personal goal to get us to state and doubling was the way he saw it happening.
 
sup, former extremely avid runner with PRs of 1:59 and 4:30 in the 800 and 1600 from my junior year in high school now getting back into it. back in the day I ran 2-a-days and 60 miles per week in season touching on 80+ in the off season, now 5 years and 30 lbs later I'm running 15-20 miles per week. boy how the times have changed

guess I'll post relevant progress in here if I stop sucking. I ran a mile in the 5:40s a few weeks ago, so that was pretty cool. didn't really expect to break 6. I'm hoping that over the next few years I can scare my old PRs but it's a long shot!

re: doubling, I can say definitively that doubling is what turned me from a really shitty runner into the average runner that I was by junior year of high school (got injured senior year). between seasons I dropped 15 seconds off my 800m PR, 40 seconds off my mile, and minutes off my 5k. it wasn't an accident, it was 2-a-days and higher mileage. doubling has a TON of benefits. the first is obviously that you inevitably run higher mileage than otherwise (duh). the more aerobic training you get without getting injured, the better. but the benefits don't stop there. physiologically, doubling with an easy run the morning of and the morning after a workout can help you run the workout better and recover from it better due to increased blood flow to the legs. the usefulness of an extra shakeout run after a very hard workout for getting oxygen- and nutrient-rich blood to your recovering muscles and connective tissues cannot be understated. finally, doubling is a great way psychologically to convince yourself that you're dedicated to running fast. once I started doubling, I lived more "like a clock" as john L. parker puts it, and everything else around my life sort of just fell into place. on the other hand of that last psychological point, it is an enormous commitment and now that I have nothing to compete for I definitely wouldn't even consider doubling. I don't know if mandatory doubles are really the way to go in a high school program, but at a bare minimum it should be an option and if you have a good program maybe mandatory for varsity. I don't think you can really say you're doing everything you can to be as good as you can if you're not doubling. the benefits are just too significant to pass up. every morning you're not getting out there is a morning you're losing to your competitors who are.


re: pushing through pain, over time and a lot of training you know what your body is capable of. a lot of the pain early on can be mitigated by pacing intelligently so as to even split rather than massively positive split which is usually a lot more painful than evenly splitting. of course if you're running at PR capacity whatever that may be at the time, you're going to be hurting a lot near the end. for me, I always ran through the pain a lot better if I had someone to chase. our coaches also frequently had "going to the well" workouts that were designed to break our spirit so that racing seemed easy. I disagree with this training philosophy physiologically but boy did it work for making us tough mentally. stuff like mile repeats at 5k pace, 400-600 repeats at mile pace with short rest, 300-400 repeats at 800 pace, etc. will turn you into a man (or woman). toughest workout for me was probably 4x90s (at the time nearly 600m) at 800m pace with long rest, though we had a bunch of killers like 10x2x400 at mile pace, on "1 minute" rest between reps and 3 minutes between sets (essentially 20x400 but split up with a dumb recovery scheme designed to get you to race every 2nd 400 even though you shouldn't be), and 5x300 all out (I did them in 36-38 seconds with a 400m PR of 52.high at the time). all of these will grow hair on your balls in extremely short order
 
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Just got back from Cool Breeze invitational. Ran 17:38, not a PR but decent for my first race of the season. I was 5th man and got us to 3rd place for JV boys. Nothing crazy but I had fun. Got pimp-slapped by stacked teams such as Great Oak and Desert Vista (which decided to visit from Arizona...) but we still placed well overall. Looking forward to a good season :)
 

Bad Ass

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is a Tiering Contributor Alumnusis the 2nd Grand Slam Winneris a Past SPL and WCoP Champion
my PR for 5k is 19:58. i came across the line muddy, gasping, and nearly delirious but god damn it i can claim a sub-20 5k to my name.

also i don't run anymore, i like to smoke cigarettes more. but i hold eternal admiration for anyone with enough willpower to do shit like what stathakis describes above.
 

DaAwesomeDude1

waiting for a moment
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Yeah I've been starting to do extra miles after our workouts; can't say its made much of a difference since I just started haha. One thing that I'm wondering about is what kind of core workouts do you guys do that are helpful? I got some from the internet but I want to see other people's workouts. I've brushed it off for the past 2 years but if I want to make it to the next level, I really should start them up.
 
Well 80+ in high school definitely qualifies as high mileage.
when I first started doubling, I was running 40 miles per week, with just 2-3 miles in the morning. the other benefits I stated other than increasing your total mileage are true at any mileage number. mandatory doubles for an entire team is silly but thinking that they're only useful if you're running 80+ mpw is also silly. anyway, a ton of the benefit of doubles is precisely the fact that they get you to higher mileage, so saying you need to run high mileage to consider running doubles is a bit circular.

slightly related, if I could redo my high school training I'd stay away from the higher mileage and stick to the 50 or so that really dropped my PRs like crazy. I definitely believe in a "mileage sweet spot" that lets you get in a ton of aerobic training while still letting you do hard workouts and recover fully. 80 was overkill, and though I had a lot of things working against me that led to my injuries overdoing the mileage was definitely part of it. I'd still have doubled at 50 mpw without hesitating.


Yeah I've been starting to do extra miles after our workouts; can't say its made much of a difference since I just started haha. One thing that I'm wondering about is what kind of core workouts do you guys do that are helpful? I got some from the internet but I want to see other people's workouts. I've brushed it off for the past 2 years but if I want to make it to the next level, I really should start them up.
honestly with this type of ancillary stuff it probably doesn't matter what you do as long as you're doing something. 99% of the time if you ask your coach they'll give you something good. if you do some planks and hanging leg raises a couple of times per week that should be more than enough




edit: since I'm geeking out now, I'm gonna post some of my favorite letsrun threads. great reading in these!

http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=5934662 - HADD on general training
http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=2375989 - HADD & Antonio Cabral on Fast Twitch vs Slow Twitch runners & how to train them
http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=2669719&page=0 - many different sources on 800m training, my favorite thread of all time
http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?board=1&id=192559&thread=192559 - John Kellogg on many different aspects of training
 
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i ran in high school and was on pace for good things when very early into my junior year i developed the remarkable condition known as "runner's diarrhea" which is exactly as enjoyable as it sounds. actually moreso. When i was running, I had to shit constantly even though it was basically just chunky brown juice. When i wasn't running, I couldn't force out a shit if i ate nothing but fiber one bars and sat on the toilet for hours.

this basically obliterated my junior year; heading into senior year, my 5K (19:31) and mile (5:26) PRs were both numbers i had achieved as a sophomore. i managed to more or less get the diarrhea under control by this point, fortunately. unfortunately I only managed to get the 5k down to a 19:11, but something must have clicked or something when track season rolled around—i definitely remember feeling like i was getting more out of the workouts than ever before—because i took 26 seconds off of my mile between the end of xc season and graduation (so i graduated with a 5:00). if u got below 5:00 on the team then u got a shirt for it, so i didnt get the shirt. moral of the story: dont get runners diarrhea, dont let urself graduate without getting the shirt.

i enjoyed the hell out of my time on cross country but i quit running when i graduated because for me it was like 20% about the personal improvement and 80% about the friends. looking back there's so much i regret not taking advantage of that maybe i could have gotten the shirt, and im really upset i didnt figure out how to properly train until i had two seasons left in high school, but hey thats life isnt it, you figure it out just in time to die.
 
You don't need to be 80+ to double, especially for something like a race shakeout. But doubling at 40-50 miles a week? Almost pointless. Especially during the base building stage, running an 8 mile run is significantly better than running a 2-6 or a 3-5. Your body needs the added aerobic stress of the longer singular run.
it's never between doubles at 40-50 and singles at 40-50, it's between doubles at 40-50 and singles at 30-40, or doubles at 50-60 vs singles at 40-50. anybody who can run 30 miles per week in singles can add 2-3 mile shakeouts a few times per week without getting injured. in fact I would argue that the help with recovery from workouts makes it less likely for any given runner to get injured if they add morning shakeout runs surrounding their workouts. out-of-season, doubling helps you achieve higher mileage totals than you would otherwise which makes your base bigger, and in-season they are an invaluable recovery tool. this remains true at every mileage total.

You also don't need doubling to psychologically convince yourself to become dedicated, training smart and hard should be enough for that.
true. anecdotally it has helped me a lot mentally but maybe others don't need it.

"every morning you're not getting out there is a morning you're losing to your competitors who are." This is also not true. The amount of top end hs runners succeeding without doubling is not small.
if you took the average times of all the people in the country who run doubles and the average times of all the people in the country who run singles, which group is going to be faster?

Obviously anecdotal, but the amount of people that I know who doubled in hs that burnt-out and quit or got injured is significantly higher than the amount who kept with it and stayed healthy.
very unlikely that this is causal. people who double are more likely to be obsessive etc. and overdo it irrespective of whether they run once or twice a day, and those are the types who are going to get injured. they double because they are obsessive, they overdo it because they are obsessive, they get injured because they overdo it not because they double. if you made the same guys run once a day instead I bet they'd still get injured or burnt out 90% of the time.
 

Lee

@ Thick Club
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May I ask...and I base this assessment purely on years of internet forums (this thread alone has a few examples) but it seems to me that running in the USA ends after high school? I'm 27 now and still very involved in competitive running - earlier this year I ran 11 races in 10 weeks. It keeps me fit, it's a great social activity and even a modestly gifted runner such as myself can make a few hundred pounds in prize money over the course of a season. Why do so many stateside runners hang up their running shoes after high school, despite showing such fervour and enthusiasm for it? I didn't even really start running until I was 18...it seems a ridiculous age to stop!
 

queez

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nah Lee running is rather popular in the U.S. from what I can gather. I can't say I know many dedicated marathon runners, but it's still a common choice of physical activity.

I'm not exactly a track star (not even on an organized team or anything fancy like that) but I do enjoy running/jogging, and it's really the only physical activity I get, so I'll probably check in on this thread from time to time. Hello everyone!
 
May I ask...and I base this assessment purely on years of internet forums (this thread alone has a few examples) but it seems to me that running in the USA ends after high school? I'm 27 now and still very involved in competitive running - earlier this year I ran 11 races in 10 weeks. It keeps me fit, it's a great social activity and even a modestly gifted runner such as myself can make a few hundred pounds in prize money over the course of a season. Why do so many stateside runners hang up their running shoes after high school, despite showing such fervour and enthusiasm for it? I didn't even really start running until I was 18...it seems a ridiculous age to stop!
at many universities especially the largest state schools you need to post times of like: 50, 1:55, 4:20, 9:20, 15:30 or better to make the team. put simply, most kids don't have that level of fitness. you're not going to choose your university based on being able to run there because there are so many more important factors, so many simply wind up at a place where they can't make the team. some continue to run and others don't, but it's significantly harder to stay motivated if you're running alone.

that being said a lot of people do stay competitive even if they don't run xc/track in university but they are in the minority by comparison. a lot more jog regularly without trying to be competitive in any way and that's just fine too!

i'll be breaking 5 in the mile by june 2016!
 
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at many universities especially the largest state schools you need to post times of like: 50, 1:55, 4:20, 9:20, 15:30 or better to make the team. put simply, most kids don't have that level of fitness. you're not going to choose your university based on being able to run there because there are so many more important factors, so many simply wind up at a place where they can't make the team. some continue to run and others don't, but it's significantly harder to stay motivated if you're running alone.

that being said a lot of people do stay competitive even if they don't run xc/track in university but they are in the minority by comparison. a lot more jog regularly without trying to be competitive in any way and that's just fine too!

i'll be breaking 5 in the mile by june 2016!
From my experience the times you listed sound accurate. For smaller schools, they're a lot more forgiving. My friend runs for a small college and his 3-mile PR is somewhere between 16:30 and 17:30 (I could look it up but I'm too lazy to check). His mile PR was about 4:45. I personally wouldn't worry about running at the college you go to unless it's convenient. In my case, I have the grades and test scores to go to some D1 schools but I'm probably D2 as running goes. But hey, don't let your memes be dreams :)
 
Cross country and track were my passion in high school. I ran for a college team for 1 year before transferring to a bigger college. My PRs were 16:40 for the 5k, 27:30 for the 8k (~5 miles), 4:45 mile, 10:05 2 mile (senior year high school). I also did a 10k race in college on a track, it was 25 laps so you get how monotonous it was. But I did get a 31:55 for that which broke this school's record. Now I still run but pretty much for exercise. I do think about getting back into running seriously, especially as college winds up, who knows where life will take me in that regard. For now I just remain really proud to have contributed to my high school's team successes and my college records that I hold. I'm really surprised and happy for everyone here nad their progress in the sport though!
 
Cross country and track were my passion in high school. I ran for a college team for 1 year before transferring to a bigger college. My PRs were 16:40 for the 5k, 27:30 for the 8k (~5 miles), 4:45 mile, 10:05 2 mile (senior year high school). I also did a 10k race in college on a track, it was 25 laps so you get how monotonous it was. But I did get a 31:55 for that which broke this school's record. Now I still run but pretty much for exercise. I do think about getting back into running seriously, especially as college winds up, who knows where life will take me in that regard. For now I just remain really proud to have contributed to my high school's team successes and my college records that I hold. I'm really surprised and happy for everyone here nad their progress in the sport though!
Those PR's are pretty impressive, kudos to you.

I've heard that the best way to get back into running is to start slow and easy, and eventually build up to where you're comfortable at. For some people it's the fitness needed to run a respectable 5K time, for others it's getting in shape for marathons and ultras. You can definitely handle both, but the important thing is to find where you're happiest and strive for that.
 
lol I managed to find this thread by looking at the PS! quote database and checking JTD783's signature.

Well anyway I am currently in 8th grade and am an aspiring Cross Country and Track runner. I'm very impressed by some of the PRs here, I haven't gotten anywhere close to that so far ^.^

One thing I've been testing out is the art of barefoot running. This interest stemmed from a book called Born To Run by the way, I would definitely recommend that book to anyone, not just runners. Well anyway, I've just kind of been running around 1.7-2.0 miles in my yard each night. My yard is very hilly but is also pretty big, so it does just fine for training and such. The first time I ran barefoot I was actually surprised at how good it felt and how much my running shoes actually held me back. It's turned into kind of a daily thing; whether it's after XC practice or on the weekends, I always do it. I won't go too into detail about the whole idea of barefoot running versus "regular" running, but basically the idea is that we were actually meant to run barefoot or with very little footwear, the exact opposite of what running shoe companies want you to think. When you run barefoot, you don't have any support on your heel, so your foot is forced to adjust and you end up landing more on the fat in the middle of your foot. You straighten up your back and your legs now fall squarely under your hips. It's an interesting concept and I would certainly consider adding barefoot running to their workouts, if not primarily running barefoot.

As for how I'm doing with the actual running, I think improving a lot. I've gotten a lot better at the mental part of running, just waiting for the physical part to catch up ^.^ It's steadily improving though. Right now I'm the 3rd best runner on my team (again it's a small team though) and we just started practice on the 15th. We've had one meet so far and I placed 24th overall (I think there were about 5 teams overall and the course was 2 miles long). Not good lol but it's a start. Our coaches say we haven't gotten our times yet for some reason, but they'll receive them by Monday. I'm currently working on running longer distances and improving my mile and 2 mile times.

So yeah, just thought I would just point my thoughts and stuff. I'm glad to see that other people on this forum run, I'll definitely be checking this thread and maybe posting updates about times and such. Distance running is an amazing sport and I'm definitely going to be sticking with it for a while!
 
lol I managed to find this thread by looking at the PS! quote database and checking JTD783's signature.

Well anyway I am currently in 8th grade and am an aspiring Cross Country and Track runner. I'm very impressed by some of the PRs here, I haven't gotten anywhere close to that so far ^.^

One thing I've been testing out is the art of barefoot running. This interest stemmed from a book called Born To Run by the way, I would definitely recommend that book to anyone, not just runners. Well anyway, I've just kind of been running around 1.7-2.0 miles in my yard each night. My yard is very hilly but is also pretty big, so it does just fine for training and such. The first time I ran barefoot I was actually surprised at how good it felt and how much my running shoes actually held me back. It's turned into kind of a daily thing; whether it's after XC practice or on the weekends, I always do it. I won't go too into detail about the whole idea of barefoot running versus "regular" running, but basically the idea is that we were actually meant to run barefoot or with very little footwear, the exact opposite of what running shoe companies want you to think. When you run barefoot, you don't have any support on your heel, so your foot is forced to adjust and you end up landing more on the fat in the middle of your foot. You straighten up your back and your legs now fall squarely under your hips. It's an interesting concept and I would certainly consider adding barefoot running to their workouts, if not primarily running barefoot.

As for how I'm doing with the actual running, I think improving a lot. I've gotten a lot better at the mental part of running, just waiting for the physical part to catch up ^.^ It's steadily improving though. Right now I'm the 3rd best runner on my team (again it's a small team though) and we just started practice on the 15th. We've had one meet so far and I placed 24th overall (I think there were about 5 teams overall and the course was 2 miles long). Not good lol but it's a start. Our coaches say we haven't gotten our times yet for some reason, but they'll receive them by Monday. I'm currently working on running longer distances and improving my mile and 2 mile times.

So yeah, just thought I would just point my thoughts and stuff. I'm glad to see that other people on this forum run, I'll definitely be checking this thread and maybe posting updates about times and such. Distance running is an amazing sport and I'm definitely going to be sticking with it for a while!
DON'T barefoot run on pavement or other hard surfaces it's a bunch of pseudoscience that will fuck up your feet.

That bein said, barefoot running on grass/loose packed dirt feels pretty good, though i've never done it for longer than a couple hundred meters. Also don't even remotely worry about your times now, I started with a bunch of friends who were right around an 8 minute mile and by graduation we were all (except me) sub five
 
DON'T barefoot run on pavement or other hard surfaces it's a bunch of pseudoscience that will fuck up your feet.
I disagree with this, your foot can easily adjust over time as long as you have good forefoot or midfoot strike form. I also found a page that has FAQs about barefoot running: http://www.barefootrunning.fas.harvard.edu/6FAQ.html

That said, I definitely appreciate the support about the times, I'll try not to worry about it too much ^.^
 
i run all my miles (all 15 of them per week) barefoot now and I must say it's been the difference that has left me able to run 15 miles per week rather than 0

just do it on grass or turf. i do some of mine on a track when those are available and other than it kinda hurting the skin / giving blisters i haven't had problems with that either

don't run barefoot on pavement, been there done that and it's not worth it
 

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