I have a question about the timing of when you start these mile reps? Is it the first week after the start of the organized season? What is the date on that for you and when is your state meet? I have a hard time believing that your kids are doing 6 x 1 mile @ 94% of mile race pace the week of the state meet!
For us, the season breaks down like this
1. Summer base (14 weeks) Memorial day through our first meet the Wednesday after Labor Day
- 2-3 weeks of easy, running on your own. Kids meet up for runs if they want. Try to re-establish volume after track season taper
- 2nd or 3rd week of June - 2nd Monday in August. Continue to build mileage. Include: 1 day of biomechanical emphasis (short reps, extensive drills, etc... 1 Official long run (20-25% total weekly volume). 1 steady state (M pace) type effort. The second Monday in August is when CIF says we can start practice. It also is within 1-2 days of the beginning of our school year. Our camp is during this period. I prefer to have it just prior to the start of school, but the last 2 years, scheduling conflicts have forced us to go really early.
- Practice start - First meet (4 weeks). The first week back to school, volume drops pretty sharply as kids acclimatize to running after school in central CA august weather. The last couple of years, we've had weeks with temps at 103-107 during the first 2-3 weeks of school. The long runs and sustained M pace stuff gets dropped by the wayside because maintaining hard effort in the heat is difficult. We replace with CV reps and hill repeats. Getting kids together for weekend long runs is problematic and many of my top kids are Mormon and do seminary before school, so getting the team together then is also problematic.
- Summer base officially ends the day before our first league meet. By this point, kids have been going 100 days and we award mileage T-shirts the day before first meet.
2. Early season. (4 weeks)
- The last few years we've had a string of meets early in this period, so we don't actually do many "workouts" for a couple of weeks. Maybe some relaxed 200s the day before meets get done, maybe some short hills where we focus on mechanics.
- For the next two weeks, more CV stuff, maybe mixing in some VO2 max type stuff. Example: 1 mile CV, 800 VO2 Max, 1 mile CV, 800 VO2 max, 1 mile CV. We might do a workout like this once during the end of the "early season" period. We also bring in the first "lactate tolerance" session. Usually high rep 200s with 30 seconds rest. Goal is to run about mile RP.
- This period finishes with our mid season league cluster meet. For the last 7-8 years, I've given the athletes a 4 day break from organized training at the end of this period.
3. Mid Season. (5-6 weeks depending on how far into the post season I think we'll go)
- We've traditionally run in a big invitational on our state meet course at the beginning of October.
- We usually have 3 meets in October, the meet mentioned above, Our home invite, and our league finals race.
- CV work becomes faster. Kids often start exceeding previous season best 5k paces in workouts as the weather cools.
- We do maybe one more mixed CV/VO2 max workouts.
- We do 1-3 more lactate tolerance workouts, working on extending the duration of reps, still with short rest.
- Toward the end of this period, we may do a session such as 2 x 2 miles very hard with 10 minutes recovery. Kids may run at least one 2 mile PR during this workout. If I think we are going to win or get second at our section meet, we might do this workout 2-3 days before the section meet qualifier (which we try to run at 90% effort).
4. Peak Season (1-3 weeks)
- This is our section meet and state meet.
- volume of hard work drops off.
- The workouts during this time vary quite a bit, depending on the physical and mental state of the team. Mostly the focus is on staying mentally fresh and maintaining the fitness we've gained while also letting the legs recover.
- Workouts might include: 3 x 1k starting very fast for 200m then settling in. 6 min recovery. 3 x 1200 CV + 3 x 800 VO2 pace, 2 miles very hard + 1 mile very hard (10 min recovery)(we often see 1 mile PR happen on this workout).
If I started the 12 week progression of 6 minute reps after summer base, it would continue right up to the week of state. If I start it on the first week of school, it takes us up to about our section qualifier. To me, it seems like starting the progression in early August is the answer