My question though, Is I've always done speed speed speed, what about hills/ or continuing XC training into Winter training, but just lowering the distance say from Mile repeats to 1000 repeats? I feel as though whenever winter starts I begin to lose my aerobic capacity b/c All the focus is shifter towards nailing speed workouts.. Do you think If one was to continue there XC training,but at a lowered distance, and perhaps a few seconds faster (b/c we'd be doing the workouts now on the track as compared to on a grass loop)?? I'm stuck right arounf the 1:51 range, and seem to lose gas the last 150m of my race. Any thoughts?
Absolutely you consider XC traning through Winter....just shift a gear. no more mile repeats as you suggest, and move your tempo runs gradually from 6 miles down to 4miles. Keep your Sunday run constant. We would keep our mileage constant as well from XC to Winter phase...just to be running on tired legs. I think the difference is to structure the Winter work as cut downs (ie starting slower and finishing fast) rather than holding pace.
Lastly, a workout that is really good for younger runners of those that are not going to fit in as much work are continuous 800 runs with change of pace. This is straight out of the Oregon system, but something like 3-4*800m where you do first 200m quick, 400m middle at a decent tempo, and last 200m quick. For a 1:50 800m person, you might do this workout in February in 27 - 75 - 27 for a 2:09 total time. This is sort of cramming for a test since you are getting not only 4*800m in, but 8*200 as well! Changing gears to rev up that last 200m is the crux of the workout. You can fiddle with the intervals (200 on, 200 pace, 400 on is particularly cruel), but the idea is trying to hold form in the middle and then having to change gears tired. Breaks up the monotony in the later strength phase as well.
OldSub4, if you're still around, or other guys who have run the workout in the last paragraph quoted above, how much rest between 800s for high schoolers doing this?