Here's my training background. I am a junior in high school looking to be very good in cross country next year (track has not been perfect). The summer before cross country season I made a huge mileage shift. During, and even before my sophomore year I was averaing around 50-55 miles per week. When I hit summer, I was perhaps a little bit to hasty by jumping to 75-80 miles per week. A typical week would look like
Sun: 15 miles Mon: 9 miles Tues: AM 8miles PM 4 miles Wed: AM 9 miles PM 5 miles Thurs: 6.75 miles Fri: AM 10 miles PM 5 miles Sat: 9 miles
Despite this, all the runs were very slow. I was averaging about 7:50-8:20 pace for most of my runs. I was very fatigued all the time. I did no extra strength, speed or threshold workouts. Just jogging.
I definetly improved however. For most of my cross country courses I improved by 25-35 second, and for the more hilly courses, almost a minute. At Woodward park for state, I ran in the low 15:40s, high 15:30s. During Cross Country season, I typically ran around 65 miles per week, at a slightly faster pace for my runs, and pretty standard long interval sessions.
The Winter before track season, I averaged around 65, and kept that throughout track.
My main, and final question is:
Should I expect more improvement by: 1) consistently running 90-95 miles per week, at a 7:40-7:30ish pace
2) Maintaining 75-80 miles per week with a focus on utilizing this mileage into more quality aerobic sessions. Two progression/long tempo runs would be introduced in the week, and on recovery days I would be running at a 6:40-7:10 pace.
As well as this, strength sessions would be introduced into both of these schedules.
I have the goal of running at least sub 15:20 at Woodward park, and am wondering which one of of these blueprints would help me achieve my goal best.
Be careful upping the pace if you increase the mileage. That can get you in trouble and could hurt you come CC season. If you go with option 1, keep the same slow pace and add a few strides and 1 tempo a week.
Regardless of which option, DO NOT increase the speed of your recovery runs.
First off, props to you for the high mileage.. I too am a HS junior.. wanting to run 15:20s but I only ran 50-55 mpw last XC season.. (ran 15:48). I want to do 60-70 mpw this summer.
hmm.. How about:
Sun : 13 - 15 mi Long Run
Mon : 5 mi Tempo (5kPace + 40 sec) (2 mi warm, 1-2 mi cool)
Tue : Easy 5 am / Easy 9 pm
Wed : Progressive 5 mi (8 Total)
*start 7:20ish.. work down to 6:10s?
Thu : Easy 5 am / PM: Easy 3 mi + Hills (Ex: 15 sec x 15.. fast but under control, good knee lift) + 2 mi cool
Fri : Easy 8 - 10 mi
Sat : Easy 5 am / Progressive 5 mi(same idea as wednesday)
@ 75 - 80 miles
Keep the easy runs EASY.. Like 7:30s easy.
Im not a fan of the 90+ All easy with few striders. Personally i think 70-80 with a hill workout and a Tempo or Fartlek works much better and you will improve speed endurance, power and aerobic capacity without burning out.
Just remember to eat well and stretch.
Just my 2 cent.. hope it helps!