We like to break the
season into three parts: summer, season, and peaking. Nothing
is etched in stone, and workouts are sometimes based on where
the athletes are and where they need to be. Our workouts are based
on distance, speed and hill training, with equal emphasis put
Our athletes are strongly
encouraged to use the time between the end of track season until
early July as a period of "active rest" or cross training. This
is a time when we want them to get away from running for a while,
more for mental rest than anything else.
We begin our summer
workouts on the first Monday after the 4th of July, and meet 3
mornings per week (usually Mon., Tues. and Thurs.) until mandatory
practice begins in mid-August (varsity runners should run 5-6
days per week). This is the most important part of the season.
We feel championships are won in July and August. Ironically,
our workout intensity is the lowest at this time. One of our mottos
is "2 miles per day is two more than zero!"
These workouts are
geared towards building a base. Our main goal is to prepare our
athletes to handle more intense workouts once the season begins,
and reduce the risk of injury. This does not mean LSD everyday,
but longer intervals (e.g. mile repeats), tempo runs, fartleks,
some hills, and pick-ups, with a slight increase in mileage each
During this time we
get on the track about once every 2 weeks, and our mileage is
relatively low. Varsity athletes will average approximately 30-40
miles per week all summer, while first year runners usually put
in 15-25. Please note that in Las Vegas the temperatures are usually
over 100 degrees as early as 6:00 AM, and as late as 11:00 PM
in July and August making it difficult to "beat the heat."
One of our favorite
and most beneficial workouts is running the 7-mile loop at nearby
Mt. Charleston, which sits at about 6,000 ft. and temperatures
are usually 30-40 degrees lower. Our athletes are expected to
race this course, not just run it; and since the first half of
the loop is nearly completely uphill, we feel there is not a course
or race all year that is more intense than this workout. We do
this workout 6-8 times per year between July and early October.
When official practice
begins in mid-August, we practice 6 days per week. These workouts
generally take the hard-easy approach, with 2-3 days dedicated
to speed (3-4 miles of intervals) and hills. The weekly mileage
does not increase much but the intensity of the workouts does.
We continue this pattern through mid-October.
A typical season consists
of a dual/tri meet once a week through September and attending
2-3 Saturday invitationals. In October, we typically run 1 invitational,
and our division, region, and state meets. During this time, we
like to "train through" the season, focusing on the last 3 weekends,
but understanding that all of the meets are important steps along
the way. We focus on 2-3 meets in September as the ones we want
to perform well in and evaluate our progress.
Peaking begins the
first or second week of October. Mileage decreases slightly each
week but the intensity remains high. Ultimately, we want the athletes
to go the starting line feeling fresh-legs and mind. Our practices
are shorter at this time. Rest is essential. Varsity runners put
in only 10-15 miles the week of the state meet.
Throughout the season
tremendous emphasis is put on nutrition, flexibility, rest and
academics. These are things each individual has control over.
The athletes know that cross country is a physically and mentally
demanding sport, so "don't let things outside of cross country
make it any more difficult."