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Adrian Martinez Memorial, photo by Kevin Morris/PhotoShelter
June 19, 2015, Week One, Day Five of the 2015 RBR Summer Cross Country Challenge! 

Today is a rather easy day. In order to get the benefits of our program, tested out with teams from across the country for the past decade, one must have days like this. Relax, run with friends, and know that you have nearly made it through our first week. Oh, and get your friends from cross country involved. Even those who run in NB Outdoors and USA Juniors can join up July 1, so remind them! 

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

Welcome to the 2015 RunBlogRun Summer Cross Country Challenge! 

Coaches & Athletes: 

A strong cross country team is built during the off season, so take your squad to the next level with our daily workouts at, posted each morning, June 15-September 15. 

 We will post training tips daily, as well as workouts and notes of inspiration off Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, all at 

American Track & Field has done summer and fall cross country training programs since the late 1990s. This year, as we have since 2006, we teamed up with

The program is turn-key. If you can run 40 minutes, you will be able to start this program and build up over 12 weeks to being a strong cross country runner. Make sure that you share this program with your coach. Always run training by your coach, that is why they are there! 


Dathan Ritzenhein running cross country ! photo by

Great Summer Training = Great Fall Racing

Summer training is vital to success, not only in cross country this fall, but also for the following spring track season. The key is to build yourself up, both physically and mentally. To help you crush your goals this year, American Track & Field and RunBlogRun have created a 500-mile summer training program. There are also 400- and 300-mile options for younger and less experienced athletes.

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 it will affect 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. We just saw McFarland USA, a really nice cross country movie! 

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 or tweet us @runblogrun and we'll get back to you within 24 hours.

Leo Manzano, waiting to pounce, photo by

Katie Mackey won her 1,500m heat, photo by

I was watching the meet from Doha, tweeting away with Peter Abraham. When, the rain came down! After the 800 meters, steeplechase, women's 1,500 meters and one heat of the men's 1,500 meters.

The HOKA ONE ONE Middle Distance Classic was a noble effort by HOKA to put something back into the sport. The weather gods were not talking to the track gods on Thursday, May 14, 2015.

David Monti wrote the following story for us...


Now in it's forty-first year, California Track & Running News is the official publication of the four associations of USA Track & Field in California & Northern Nevada. 

We have embedded the issue, our first of five this year. We deliver a print version as well as a digital version. USATF members get the magazine as part of their yearly membership. Others who want to subscribe can write for info to 
Gatorade at RNR San Antonio, 2013, photo by

Cait Chock wrote this piece to get us all to think about the importance of hydration and how a lack of hydration will affect even the most well planned races....
Cait Chock wrote this piece a few weeks ago for RunBlogRun, and we thought it was quite appropriate this week as the winter weather has hit the Midwest, cross country is coming to its championship season and the fall marathon season is coming to an end. 


In the 1970s and 1980s, running 100-140 miles a week, I watched sugar and white flour, but ate everything else. It was only when I stopped racing, and watching my diet that I had weight issues. 

I remember an article in the Runner magazine, where Nancy Clark reviewed Bill Rodgers' diet for a week. She was mortified. Bill, and this was in 1979-80, was eating whatever he could put into his mouth. From pickle juice (that was actually good for hydration and minerals) to lobster, to mayonnaise on cold pizza. As Frank Shorter noted, Bill Rodgers was an anomaly in many ways. 

Then, Americans became obsessed with food. And, not in a good way. If one spends time in Europe, as I did this year, one notes that portions are much smaller, food is healthier, on average and that somehow, people find out how to get the right foods inside them. The countries that have the biggest challenges with diabetes: US, China and India, are undergoing changes in how food is collected and junk calories seem to be the name of the game. 

Cait Chock's message here, after interviewing athletes is to figure out what your goals are, and set up a plan, but also, eat some fun things once in a while. It is the combination of fitness and nutrition that will keep you healthy for a long time to come. 
Saucony 500 Mile Challenge, Week Thirteen, Day Four, Thursday, September 11, 2014: 

Thursday: 1-mile warm up; 7 hill repeats (run 200 meters up hill, turn, jog downhill to the start. Repeat six more times, no rests); on the flat at the bottom of the hill, try for 8 x 150 meters as easy stride outs, jogging back to the start, no rest between; 1-mile easy cool down. #saucony500, #findyourstrong

Saucony 500 Mile Challenge, Week Thirteen, Day Three, Wednesday, September, 2014: 

Wednesday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 mile; 5 miles/ 300 mile; 3 miles): 8 x 150 meters, relaxed stride outs on grass, jogging back to start after each, no rest between; cool down, #saucony500

Saucony 500 Mile Challenge, Week Thirteen, Day Two, Tuesday, September 9, 2014: 

Tuesday: 1-mile warm up; 20 minute tempo run, 1-mile cooldown. To determine your tempo run pace, add a half-minute to our present mile pace for a 5k. For example: If you are currently running 18:50 for a 5k, that is a 6:05 per mile pace. Add 30 seconds per mile and your tempo run is 6:35 per mile pace. Recalculate your pace as your fitness improves, perhaps, once a month. #saucony500, #findyourstrong

Saucony 500 Mile Challenge, Week Thirteen, Day One, Monday, September 8, 2014: You've Made it!

Monday: Warm up; 6-mile run (400 mile: 5 miles, 300 Mile: 3 miles); 8 x 150 meters, relaxed stride-pits, jogging back to the start after each, no rest between; cool down, #saucony500, #findyourstrong


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