So I'm a collegiate middle distance runner at a small school. for just about everyone in our program, if you run the 800, you run XC. Even if you don't race the 1500 in outdoors at all. Some context, I'm a junior, I redshirted my first 2 years of college due to injury/covid year and have really only just started my college career. in XC I was able to put together some solid training, but couldn't find any success on the course. My seasons best was 28:0x on a fair course, with a few races a good bit slower. End of the season we do a track 5k TT and I run a low 15:40, beating a lot of guys I had gotten smoked by all fall. over the indoor/outdoor season, I came in feeling pretty out of touch with my basic speed, and felt that my sprinting ability was significantly limiting my potential in the 600/800. Ended up running 1:55 but was for the most part in the 1:57-2:00 range for the other races. My few 400s of the year were all 53.x relay leg as part of a double, and I also ran one 1500 in 4:08 early in the season.
I am uncertain that another year of XC will do me much good, as I am well on the outside of our varsity group as it stands and really only contribute to our scoring in the 800m. Would it be appropriate to ask my coach to tailor my training a bit more towards middle distance? It would buck our history of going all in on XC but I just don't know how much good 8k focused work is gonna do me. I'd even be willing to race, I just think focusing on an event so different than my main one for half the year seems kind of silly especially knowing that if I want to keep improving in the 800, I have to bring down my 400m time which is hard to do when training for a 5 mile race. Am I being unrealistic in wanting to pursue this?