My daughter runs division I college track and her specialty is the 800. She is a senior this year and the (new) coach suggested cross country which she had never done before. So, she did that and was good enough to make the 7 person roster and compete all the way through regionals.
It is now most of the way through indoor track and its safe to say she is behind…her times are just not where they usually are at this point in the season. Can Fall XC have this effect for some people? Are 800 runners better off staying away from XC? Does it sometimes take longer for those who ran XC to get their speed back?
Not looking for any miracle workouts suggestions, she is sticking with the coaches training program and hope the coach knows what she is doing. Just curious what others have to say about running XC (and high miles associated with it) and its effects on 800 running.
if her goal is to race well at 800m in the summer, then running x-country can be a very good part of her winter preparation. my 400m runners do 3000m x-country runs in the winter, and a college age 800m runner should be more than capable of handling 6 miles or so of x-country running once a week.
however, there is a world of difference between running x-country as training, and racing x-country as part of a competitive team. the two are not the same and should not be confused, particularly if she has not done it before. racing isn't base building, and it will affect the timing of her preparations for summer. as long as the coach knows she has not raced x-country before this should not be a problem.
no, especially not for women, who have more aerobic demands in the 800 (~2:00 vs ~1:45 of running)
And, as someone mentioned already, a good recent example is Clayton Murphy. He ran 1:42 9 months after a 20th place finish at XC Regionals. Of course, 20th place at the Great Lakes Region isn't super special in and of itself, but he also split high 45.xx on the 4x400 the February after he did that.
in general, I disagree - but it's likely your daughter is just running way too much mileage and is fatigued. i ran the 800m in D1 college and ran XC and my coach was trying to get me to run 60, 70, 80 mpw. I had done 30 mpw in high school, so i made it a point to keep it lower or i wasn't going to do it. sounds like your daughter is just tired and over-worked. I was exhausted after D1 XC and was worthless most of the indoor track season because of it. my first few meets went well but after that i got slower and more fatigued. that's because i doubled my mileage from high school/summer to the XC season and was running with much better athletes.
In high school, my track teammate and i credit XC as the reason why we had great track seasons. we were reluctant to do it but it helped us win a lot of medals at the state track meet.
We each went from about 1:58 to 1:54 after senior year of cross country. we both consistently split under 50 in the 4x400 too, so the speed was there.
our XC team was low mileage though, only about 30-35 mpw, and our coach was the track coach. He kept us in touch with speed (more than just strides) because he was a track-focused guy and really only cared about how the track team did
the focus was for track but i ended up getting pretty good at XC which it sounds like your daughter is.
see if she's tired. red-shirt outdoor (what i did) it made a difference
The idea that 5k or 6k is long distance is the problem. It's all in her head if she isn't as fast. You don't loose fast twitch muscles. She didn't marathon train in the fall. If she believes she is slower because of it, then she will be.
A few years ago I had a 60 sec 400m HS girl who wouldn't try too hard in XC because she was afraid it would make her slower in the 400 (her father convinced her of that). Her senior year when I finally sold her on trying harder (she ended up being 3rd runner) she also dipped under 59 sec. that track season.
How are the other people doing under the new coach's program? Are they also struggling or doing well? Anytime you get a new coach they will have a new training system so there will be an adjustment period. If your daughter took a good break after cross country to recover and went into indoor track on lower mileage, she should be ok. If she didn't take a break and went right into training for indoor track while keeping mileage up it's likely she's suffering from overtraining.