I got the following email. Probably the first time anyone has ever written saying their coach wants them to run too much.
What advice do you have for the kid and why do you think he improved on the shorter mileage?
Email follows. I removed his times because the point isn't to identify the guy.
Hello Mr. Johnson I Am a fairly new runner and I need some help with my training.
I decided to go out for XC my freshman year of high school. Since the first race I have been hooked on running ever since. My team did about 30-40 miles per week during xc and it was focused on miles and not hard running. We only did one track workout a week and it was usually mile repeats. I felt great early in the season doing this kind of work but towards the middle I stated felling tired every time I ran. My legs were always heavy and sore. I ran my 5k PR of 19:3* in my 3rd race of the season. After that I only hit 19:3* later in the season.
When the season ended I took one week off and started training for indoor track. My team doesn't have a indoor team so it's all on your own. So I came to let's run for help on what to do. I guess I read some post that suggests mid distance guys do low mileage bit at harder paces. So I tried that. My typical schedule looked something like this.
Mon-repeat miles (3)
Thurs 4-5 miles
Sat 6 miles
With this plan my mileage was very low but the weird thing that was that this worked for me. I dropped my mile from 5:3* to 5:0* in around a month and my 800 went from 2:1* to 2:1* (5 seconds). During this time I felt great and fell in love with the sport even more and was super excited for outdoor track.
Then outdoor starts and my coach sends me back to around 40 miles per week and I barely improved the whole year. My 800 only went to 2:0* (3 seconds faster than above) and my mile was only 4:5*. I fell I could have gone lower if I trained like I did during indoor.
Some my real question is what should I do for summer training? My coach wants my to build up to 50 miles a week by the end of the summer. I don't think I will be able to handle this and I told my coach and he said that high mileage works I just need to build up and get used to it. So should I build up to 50 miles per week or doing something like I did during indoor?
I choose to ask you for help since I read you made big improvements when you changed your style of training. I hope this wasn't too long.