RunBlogRun provides, as it has since 2006, a summer cross-country mileage program. This is Week 8, day one. Over eight weeks, we help you build up your mileage, provide weekly tempo, hill workouts, and either a race or a third quality day. The idea is to get you ready for fall cross country. Thank you for considering our workout plan.
I will let you in on a little secret. First, there are no secrets. Secondly, you can be successful with many ways of training. Thirdly, and most importantly, if you do not pay as much attention to your recovery days as you do to the hard workouts, you will not be successful.
This revelation came to me during my first senior year in college (that’s another story). I was in fantastic shape in early spring, but I was not racing well. I had three absolutely crap races. I read this story by the late Kenny Moore called the Observer. It told the story of his relationship with Bill Bowerman, his track coach at Oregon. Bowerman kicked Moore off the team because he was working out too hard. So, they negotiated a deal. Moore could do anything he wanted on hard days, but on easy days, he could only run 30 minutes or swim. Nothing more. Moore did it and ran a huge steeplechase PB against Oregon State.
So I tried it. I would bust my butt on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday and did 30 minutes on the other days. Over six weeks, I ran PBs from two miles to 10,000m on the track. My end-of-the-season race was this 5.8-mile race where I ran 32:40 the last year, and the next year, I ran 31:08. That time was the year I was taking really easy days.
Lydiard spoke about this too. He had his guys do recovery days, not as severe, but slowing down the pace and keeping the runs on soft ground.
So, today, Monday, August 22, 2022, is an easy recovery day. Warm up, run 45 minutes easy on the trails, and then cool down.