Like this site:

What's New?


Weight Loss
Beginner Run Programs

Training & Tools


Race Distances



Heart Rate Monitors


Marathon Training Secrets
Fat Loss Jumpstart

...And Other Things...


[?] Subscribe To This Site

follow us in feedly
Add to My Yahoo!


High School Cross Country Running

by Paul
(Jackson, TN)

Hello I am an upcoming sophomore in HS. I run cross country and track for my HS.

My PRs are:

400 = 58.5

800 = 2:12

1600 = 5:05

5k = 18:24

I've been working hard all summer working on my goal of 17:15 for a 5k.

I'm trying to run 5:40-45 mile splits in a 5k.

I'm having trouble running that time and end up running an average of 6:10-15 or so per mile.

Could you give me some workouts to do so that I can get my splits down to 5:40-45?

Thanks, Paul

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thanks for your running training question.

I have put your PR in the Race Conversion Calculator.

Here are some of the results:

Based on your 800m time of 2:12 mins, your expected 1,600m time is 4:35 mins.

Based on your 800m time of 2:12 mins, your expected 5k time is 15:20 mins.

Based on your 1,600m time of 5:05 mins, your 5km time is 17:00 mins.

See what is happening? You are running out of steam. And fast! Your shorter races indicate that you can establish faster times on the longer ones.

The problem you have is that your basic speed is alright, but you can't maintain it for a long enough time. This means that you need to do a lot of base running.

What it sounds like you are doing in your running training currently is trying to run that 5k at your fastest speed regularly. However, you need to run slower and longer in this summer period. This sounds very counter-intuitive.

But just think about this for a second: if you build up your stamina so you can run 8-10 miles quite easily, then running those 3 miles at a faster pace should become easier to do.

Now when you consistently do your base running for a longer period of time you may find that in the initial few weeks after changing to faster workouts again (when summer is over), you will be a bit slower than usual. You simply need to re-adjust to running faster runs again.

But after that you should be able to go faster for longer and start establishing some PRs.

I give away a very good ebook about the importance of running with my Best Running Tips Newsletter.

I hope this helps.

Get Marathon Training Secrets Now
KILL Your Next Marathon

Marathon Training Secrets eBook

Kind regards,

Comments for High School Cross Country Running

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 26, 2010
He's right... this is my story....
by: Bob

When I was in high school (about 800 years ago ;-) in my 1st and 2nd years I was a mediocre runner.

By the end of my 2nd year my best 3 mile xc time was 18:19 and best 2 mile track time was 11:01. I never ran more than 15-20 miles
in a week.

Then in the Summer between my 2nd and 3rd years I read Jim Fixx's "Complete Book of Running" and got inspired! I increased my mileage to over 50
miles/week, lost about 15 pounds (didn't even know it either until I went back to school in Fall and all my friends thought I got cancer!). I actually learned to love running instead of dreading it, and that made the miles really easy.

My first 3 mile time in the Fall of my 3rd year sucked... 18:55. But two weeks later I ran a 16:46!!! I completely skipped PRs in the 17s! All that XC season my times plummeted... I ran under 17 min in every 3 mi race, and bottomed out
at 16:29 (two seconds under my school's record). The next year I hit 15:58, and in college I hit 14:52!

SOOO, all that to say: the long base miles matter!

Aug 10, 2010
advice please
by: dmd

i need some training tips so that i can run 3mi in under 17min my best 3mi is 18.34min,2mi 11.13min, 1mi 5.20min,400m 60s. those were my freshmen times tho and i know i have got alot faster since then so if i were to run a 3mi right now i would definetly be in the mid or low 17 but i need to be in the 16min area so what should i do to take that extra step do i bump up my distance running if so what should i run in a week

Aug 11, 2010
Just read this page...
by: Dominique

You asked in your comment about advice on how to run a faster 3 miles.

I think there is a lot of valuable information on this page already.

Build that base because your 1 mile and 2 mile time are indicating that you'd be able to run a low 17min 3 miles. Instead you run a 18.34 3mile, showing quite some deterioration.

Also see my page about Base Running Drills.

Dominique (webmaster)

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to 5k Running Questions.



Click the picture above to subscribe to the FREE Best Running Tips Newsletter
Comes with free ebook.