The other day we announced that we now have available High School Summer XC Base plans from legendary coach Dr. Jack Daniels. We asked Jack for tips on how high school athletes should approach their summer training and what to expect from one of his summer personalized plans.
Coach Jack Daniels: Summer is a good time to increase weekly mileage if an increase in mileage is desired for the year, but be cautious in your rate of increase. I recommend making an increase of about 7-10 miles every 3rd or 4th week, but not more often than that. Try to arrive at the mileage you will be using once school starts in the fall so you don’t have to go up during the cross-country season, when you will have enough stress with classes starting for the new year.
As for quality sessions in the summer I prefer a couple light repetition sessions (couple miles of 200s and/or 400s) each week, but speed should not be any faster than CURRENT (not PR) mile race pace, and recovery between the faster runs should be 2 or 3 times as long as was the faster run being followed. Reps keep your mechanics in tune so when you start some harder sessions once school starts you will not have trouble with stride rate. If you do hills for a rep session, add a couple 30-second flat runs after the hills to get into a nice turnover. Maybe one long run each week. Most important during summer is to get adequate rest, hydration and quality food, and take a day off if you’re feeling tired — rest is part of training, not avoiding training.