2015 RunBlogRun Fall Cross Country Challenge, Week 23, Day Seven, by Larry Eder

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Derrick_Chris1c-USAxc15.jpgChris Derrick, photo by PhotoRun.net

Chris Derrick is one of our favorite runners. A Stanford graduate, now running with Coach Jerry Schumacher's Nike Bowerman club, Chris has had moments of brilliance.

Cross country is one of Chris Derrick's talents. I was fortunate to see him run in Edinburgh at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country in 2014.

Will this be Chris Derrick's year?

We think so!

Monday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 5 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 8x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Tuesday: Tempo Day or...

1. Tempo Run, 1-mile warmup; 20-min tempo run, To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. So if you can run 18:00 for a 5K now, that means a 5:50 pace. Add 30 seconds to get your tempo run pace of 6:20 per mile. Recalculate your pace as your fitness improves, about once a month. Finish up with 6 x 300 meters, with 100 meter jog in between, and then, long cooldown, 2-3 miles.

2. Try this: Warm up, go to the track, run three miles on the track, where you jog the turns and sprint the curves. Get the speed going here, have some fun, change some gears, then, cool down for two to three miles.

Wednesday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 8x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Thursday: Fast Day

Warm up, go to the track, run a mile at race pace, jog a mile, then, finish up with six 300 meter cut downs, making each one faster than one before. Have some fun, cooldown with three easy miles.

Friday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 5 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 8x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Saturday: Race Day

Warm up, then, 5K race. After race, do a long cool down.

Sunday: Easy 7-11-mile run on grass or dirt with friends. Depending on how they feel from this week, the key is that they will be tired and their bodies are recovering from the racing.

The 2015 RunBlogRun Summer Cross Country Challenge is part of a program that goes back to 1996-1998, when we started online training programs on the American-trackandfield.com site. The RBR Program has been going since 2007 and it comes from conversations with some of the top junior and national coaches across the country. Tempo Runs, Hill runs, and Long runs, along with core work and proper nutrition and sleep are crucial. Special thanks to Tim Hutchings and David Frank on their suggestions to improve the weeks 9-12.

Please find weeks 1-20 below. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions! Send inquiries to [email protected]

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Eyestone-Porter-Williams-USxc93.jpg

Pat Porter, Todd Williams, Ed Eyestone, XC 1993, photo by PhotoRun.net

All the above were primo cross country runners, and all were also Olympians. Coincidence? I think not! Run Cross Country!

And here is our earlier four weeks of training suggestions:

Before You Begin:

1. Get your gear in order.

If possible, you should have two pairs of good training shoes so you can rotate them. Most training shoes last for 8-10 weeks, depending on your training. Take your time at your local running store when selecting shoes and remember to go at the end of the day as your feet swell during the day. Bring a clean pair of socks and be prepared to check out 5-7 different shoes to find the right one for you. Assess your stash of socks, shorts, tops.

2. Hydrate yourself.

Eight to 10 glasses of water a day plus sports drinks and juice are a good start. Minimize the amount of coffee, tea, and carbonated soda you drink.

3. Fuel your engine with the right food.

Get the proper amounts and types of food into your system. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pasta, and modest amounts of fish, chicken, and beef make sense. For snacks, try apple slices spread with peanut butter. Nuts are also good. Pizza, tacos, and fast food places are fine as infrequent treats.

4. Sleep!

I know that at 17 or 18 you can text all night or check out the newest game on Xbox, but itwillaffect your training. Get 8-10 hours of sleep and, if you can, try for a nap (yes, a nap) on a few afternoons.

5. Establish your training group.

Though some people prefer to train alone, a group helps with the hard days and long runs. Figure out what works for you and your training style.

6. Inspiration.

Find some good books that support your running goals. Some classics include Once a Runner, The Irishman Who Ran for Britain, The Lonely Breed, A Cold, Clear Day, and Self-Made Olympian. Music can also be a great motivator. Find great additions to your playlist by talking to your friends and searching online, plus we'll post the Shoe Addicts' running music lists. We don't recommend running with earbuds or headphones, however, since they compromise your awareness and possibly your safety. They can also mess with your ability to "tune into" the pace you're running, which is essential come race time.

7. Set your goals.

Do you want to make the top 7? Improve your times at your league and section meets? Race better over the second half of the course? Think about these things now, write them down and prop them in your room where you can read them each day. It will help you stay on track.

8. Calculate your workout amounts.

To run 300 miles over 12 weeks, for example, you'll need to average 25 miles a week, which is very good for freshmen and sophomores. To reach 400 miles over the summer, you need to average 34 miles a week, and to reach 500 miles, it takes a weekly average of 40 miles. The default numbers noted in the daily workouts (miles, reps, minutes) are for those accepting the 500 Mile Challenge. Numbers for those in the 400 Mile and 300 Mile Challenges appear in parentheses that follow. If there's only one number/amount, it's for all runners.

9. Questions?

Email us at [email protected].com or tweet us @runblogrun and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.

Here is a rehash of our first two weeks:

Weeks 1&2: Summer Training Begins

You'll start on the road to a good summer of training with a long run, a tempo run, and some moderately paced runs. Don't worry about pace in these first two weeks; just get out there, have some fun, and get into the habit of regular running. Workouts always begin with a warmup, some gentle stretching of major muscle groups, and light jogging. Repeat for your cool-down.

Monday: Warm up; 5 miles easy running (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); cool down.

Tuesday: 1-mile warmup; 20-min tempo run; 1-mile cool-down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: If you currently run 19 min for a 5K, that's 6:10 pace. Add 30 seconds to get your tempo run pace of 6:40 per mile. Recalculate your pace as your fitness improves, about once a month.

Wednesday: Warm up; 5 miles easy running (400 Mile: 3 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); cool down.

Thursday: 1-mile warmup; 2 hill repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start; repeat once with no rest); 1-mile easy cool-down.

Friday: Warm up; 5 miles easy running (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); cool down.

Saturday: No workout. Walk, bike, watch a movie.

Sunday: Easy 6-mile run on grass or dirt with friends. (400 Mile: 5 miles/300 Mile: 5 miles)

Weeks 1&2 Totals per week (total): 500 Mile-31 (62) miles; 400 Mile-24 (48) miles; 300 Mile-22 (44) miles


Week 3: Getting the Habit Started

Make sure you're doing your runs on a variety of surfaces--dirt, grassy fields, sand, road, track. It's good for the feet and helps you use your feet in a healthy variety of ways. You'll be a little sore this week as your body adjusts. Drink your liquids, sleep, eat well, and hang out with your friends.

Monday: Warm up; 5 miles easy running (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 2x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Tuesday: 1-mile warm-up; 20-min tempo run; 1-mile cool-down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: If you currently run 19 min for a 5K, that's 6:10 pace. Add 30 seconds to get your tempo run pace of 6:40 per mile. Recalculate your pace as your fitness improves, about once a month.

Wednesday: Warm up; 5 miles easy running (400 Mile: 3 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 2x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool-down.

Thursday: 1-mile warmup; 3 hill repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start; repeat twice more, no rests); 1-mile easy cool-down.

Friday: Warm up; 5 miles easy running (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 2x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down.

Saturday: No workout. Walk, bike, watch a movie.

Sunday: Easy 7-mile run on grass or dirt with friends. (400 Mile: 6 miles/300 Mile: 5 miles)

Week 3 Total: 500 Mile-37 miles; 400 Mile-30 miles; 300 Mile-25 miles

Week 4: Training Gets Rolling

This week, runners taking the 500 Mile and 400 Mile challenges begin running daily. Advanced athletes should add a 20-25-minute session (3 miles) of easy running on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Do these runs at the opposite time of day that you do your hard workout.

Monday: Warm up; 5-mile run (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 3x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down.

Tuesday: 1-mile warmup; 20-min tempo run, 1-mile cool-down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: If you currently run 19 min for a 5K, that's 6:10 pace. Add 30 seconds to get your tempo run pace of 6:40 per mile. Recalculate your pace as your fitness improves, about once a month.

Wednesday: Warm up; 5-mile run (400 Mile: 3 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 3x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Thursday: 1-mile warmup; 4 hill repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start; repeat 3 times, no rests); 1-mile cool-down.

Friday: Warm up; 5-mile run (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 3x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Saturday: Easy 3-mile run or walk. (400 Mile: 2 miles/300 Mile: off)


Sunday: Easy 8-mile run on grass or dirt with friends. (400 Mile: 7 miles/300 Mile: 6 miles)

Week 4 Total: 500 Mile-35 miles; 400 Mile-30 miles; 300 Mile-21 miles

Mo. 1 Total: 500 Mile-134 miles; 400 Mile-108 miles; 300 Mile-90 miles


Week 5: Training Gets Tougher

By now you should be running at a better pace than when you started and noting that your tempo runs are more fun. Do the tempo and hill runs with teammates--hard workouts are easier that way. Check your shoes weekly!

Monday: Warm up; 5-mile run (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 4x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down.

Tuesday: 1-mile warmup; 20-min tempo run, 1-mile cool-down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: If you currently run 19 min for a 5K, that's 6:10 pace. Add 30 seconds to get your tempo run pace of 6:40 per mile. Recalculate your pace as your fitness improves, about once a month.

Wednesday: Warm up; 5-mile run (400 Mile: 3 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 4x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Thursday: 1-mile warmup; 5 hill repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start; repeat 4 times, no rests); 1-mile easy cool-down.

Friday: Warm up; 5-mile run (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 4x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Saturday: Warm up; 4-5-mile run; cool down. (400 Mile: 3 miles/300 Mile: off)

Sunday: Easy 9-mile run on grass or dirt with friends. (400 Mile: 8 miles/300 Mile: 7 miles)

Week 5 Total: 500 Mile-36 miles; 400 Mile-29 miles; 300 Mile-25 mile

Week 6: Getting on Track

You're getting there. You're running faster and feeling fitter. Stay focused on your goals. Think about purchasing some cross country racing shoes in the upcoming weeks. And check your training shoes.

Monday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 5 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 5x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down.

Tuesday: 1-mile warmup; 20-min tempo run, 1-mile cool-down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: If you currently run 19 min for a 5K, that's 6:10 pace. Add 30 seconds to get your tempo run pace of 6:40 per mile. Recalculate your pace as your fitness improves, about once a month.

Wednesday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 5x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Thursday: 1-mile warmup; 6 hill repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start; repeat 5 times, no rests); 1-mile easy cool-down.

Friday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 5 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 5x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Saturday: Easy 3-mile run. (400 Mile: 2 miles/300 Mile: off)

Sunday: Easy 9-mile run on grass or dirt with friends. (400 Mile: 8 miles/300 Mile: 7 miles)

Week 6 Total: 500 Mile-38 miles; 400 Mile-33 miles; 300 Mile-24 miles

Week 7: Midway Through the Summer

This week is tough. Check your shoes to make sure they aren't too worn. Consider getting racing shoes for the fall and using them for your tempo runs. College runners can start adding a mile to their long runs. Get to 90 minutes to 1:45 in the month of August.

Monday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 5 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 6x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Tuesday: 1-mile warmup, 20-min tempo run, 1-mile cool-down. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: If you currently run 18:50 min for a 5K, that's 6:05 pace. Add 30 seconds to get your tempo run pace of 6:35 per mile. Recalculate your pace as your fitness improves, about once a month.

Wednesday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 6x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Thursday: 1-mile warmup, 7 hill repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to start; repeat 6 times, no rests); 1-mile easy cool-down.

Friday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 5 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 6x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Saturday: Easy 5-mile run. (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: off)

Sunday: Easy 9.5-mile run on grass or dirt with friends. (400 Mile: 8.5 miles/300 Mile: 7.5 miles).

Week 7 Total: 500 Mile-40.5 miles; 400 Mile-36.5 miles; 300 Mile-25.5 miles

Week 8: Increase Your AM Runs

This is a good time to get your fall racing shoes and use them for tempo runs. If you're an advanced runner, up your easy runs to 30-35 minutes on Mon-Wed-Fri, still doing them at the opposite time of day from your hard workout.

Monday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 5 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 7x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Tuesday: 1-mile warmup; 20-min tempo run, 21 minute Fartlek session, 1-mile cool-dow To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to your present mile pace for a 5K. For example: If you currently run 18:50 min for a 5K, that's 6:05 pace. Add 30 seconds to get your tempo run pace of 6:35 per mile.Recalculate your pace as your fitness improves, about once a month. 20 minute Fartlek, with 7 times 2 minutes at 5k race pace, with one minute jog, then, one mile cooldown

Wednesday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 4 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 7x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down.

Thursday: 1-mile warmup; 5 hill repeats (run 200 yds uphill, turn, jog downhill to the start; repeat 4 times, no rests); on the flat at the bottom of the hill, 25 minutes fartlek, with 12 times one minute, 5k pace, one minute jog, then, 8x150 yds as easy strideouts, jogging back to the start, no rest in between; 1-mile easy cool-down.

Friday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 Mile: 5 miles/300 Mile: 3 miles); 7x150 yds relaxed strideouts on grass, jogging back to the start after each, no rest in between; cool down.

Saturday: Easy 5-mile run or a hilly 4-mile race. Warm up and focus on running the second half well. You might feel rusty early, but you'll feel better on the second half. (400 Mile: 4-miles or 5K race/300 Mile: off)

Sunday: Easy 9-mile run on grass or dirt with friends. (400 Mile: 7 miles/300 Mile: 6 miles)

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