last summer i ran about 60 mpw in my 2nd year of running. i only ran mileage, which consisted of 60 min runs every day except sunday, where i ran for 90 min. i only improved my 5k PR from 18:48 to 18:17. how could i change my training so that i can see better improvements?
You need to run two days of "speed" a week, for example one tempo run and one day of track work at goal pace.
If you are a high school student and those are your cross-country times my answer would be different. I would do one tempo run a week during the off season and maybe 10 x 100 meters a couple of times a week. But also be patient with yourself. It takes your body a while to gain the strength especially if you are young.
Not necessarily, there's a time for everything.
Really focus on summer training, and the first 1-2 months just build up mileage. Long run once a week, but all the other runs don't have to be the same, change it up a little. You don't have to keep it 60 minutes all the time.
A little over halfway through the summer, start adding in a fartlek or tempo once a week, say Thursday if your long run's Sunday. A four-mile tempo works fine, so does a 7-mile fartlek (3 min on, 2 min off is what we do, you can change up), both with solid warmup and cooldown. Once you start getting closer to the actual season, through in some longer repeats, like a 3x1600 with short rest, or even 1200's.
And don't forget striders.
p.s. I'm assuming you're a high schooler training for XC... if I'm wrong, let me know. And I haven't been as good as I've liked for XC, just as a disclaimer, but I skipped a month and a half of base training this last summer and the program's worked great for some of my teammates (two guys 15:40-ish).
You need to decide if you are going to be a runner or not going to be a runner. IF you decide you want to get SERIOUS about this sport and really DO something with it, one hour runs are not the answer.
Can you measure the first mile? I would tell you to start your sixty minute run at a dead sprint and attempt to hit that first mile in 4 minutes! Whether you hit 4 minutes or not is not important. What IS important is that you are calling up every ounce of strength you have to TRY and hit 4 minutes. Then, make it through your one hour run in 45 minutes. You do that twice a week and you'll be posting us asking how you can get under 13:44 for 5K.