Here's an overview of the next block of training for those looking to be their best at Club XC Nationals or CIM in December with 5k-1/2 Marathon or XC stops along the way.

10/15-11/11: Block 5:  XC specific II (4 weeks - week #4 being an easy week):  

  • Time to start getting focused. 8 weeks left in the season!
  • Workouts:  On a scale of 1-4 with 4 being hardest, we want these in the 3 range, solidly hard but not over the top.
  • Wednesdays on the rec fields at Poly.  Be warmed up and ready for the first interval by 6:15 PM.
  • Saturdays, meet at Fairbanks.  Warmup leaves at 8:00 AM.  Meet at the Cuesta track for drills by 8:30 AM
  • XC Races:  Matt Yeo 10/21, Johnny Lawson 11/5
  • 42k:  Clarksburg Half at goal MP pace 11/12
  • Long Run:  Should be 90-120 minutes based on experience, try to make it roughly 20-25% of your weekly mileage.
  • AE days:  approx 45-60 minutes.  Aerobic Endurance runs (AE) are simply runs where you start at a very easy recovery pace and run with the primary goal of covering the distance.  As your fitness improves the pace at the end of these runs can become fairly brisk.  If this happens to you, feel blessed and go with the flow.  This isn’t the type of run where you force the pace at all, rather you run on the easy side of life and as you warm-up you naturally pick up the pace.
  • Double days:  20-40 minutes easy.  Add these on harder workouts or tempo days first and foremost
  • Recovery days:  make one - two days each very easy recovery days.  A 30-45 minute jog or a DNR or active recovery such as swimming that sort of thing. The other option would be 2 x 30-40 minutes easy (one in the AM and one in the PM), just easy.  Make sure that a recovery day is at a butt slow jogging pace.
  • Strides:  4-8 x 100m efforts at mile race pace effort on grass after 1-2 runs during the week if possible.  30 + seconds between each.
  • Mid Week Longer AE run in the hills if possible.  Ideally 12-15% of your weekly mileage, this should be a 60-90 minute run.  Start at an easy to moderate effort and finish up the last 30-50 min at a steady state type effort if it’s coming easy, please don’t force the issue though.

Warmup Routine (AKA Play Track):

  • 2-4 mile warmup for XC, 3-4 miles for 42k
  • Drills next after warmup jog:
    • High Knees 2 x 20m,
    • A Skips 2 x 20m, 20m stride out
    • B Skips 2 x 20m, 20m stride out
    • Straight leg bounds 2 x 20m, 20m stride out
    • Butt Kicks 2 x 20m, 20m stride out
    • Caraocas x 40m full standing rec
    • C skips 2 x 20m
    • 6-8 diagonal acceleration after drills (XC race effort>Last 1k XC race effort>Finishing straight XC race effort) on grass infield with walk across recoveries.  Barefoot is ideal, but start with shoes and work to get there.
    • Primary Workout for the day after diagonals
    • 2-4 mile warm down run for XC after primary workout, 3-4 miles warm down for 42k
    • Injury Prevention, Core Work optional on Saturdays


Mid Week:  
XC/MD:  6-8 x In/Out 400’s (400 at 5k/400 20 seconds slower, back and forth, no breaks - a continuous run) on dirt or grass for XC, track or roads for 42k w/ 2-4 mi WU and WD
XC/LD:  8-12 x In/Out 400’s on grass or dirt.
XC:  Matt Yeo Invite + 4-8 mile warm down for LD types.  2-4 miles for MD's
42k:  Matt Yeo Invite <OR> LATR (4-6 miles easy, 4 miles at MP, 1 mile easy, 4 miles at tempo, 1-3 mile WD) in place of weekend easier long run.

Mid Week:  
XC:  2-4 x 1600 at 10k/800 at 5k w/ 400 jog on grass or dirt
42k:  12-15 x 1k at tempo w/ 200m or 60 sec rec.
XC/MD:  2-3 mi at MP on roads, 800 jog, 2-5 x 1k at Tempo w/ 60 sec rec on grass or dirt
XC/LD:  2-3 mi at MP on roads, 800 jog, 2-5 x 1k at Tempo w/ 60 sec rec on grass or dirt, 800 jog, 2-3 mi at MP on roads.
42k:  2-3 x 3 mi at MP w/ 1 mile rec.

Mid Week:  
XC:  3-5 x 4 x 400 (5k, 5k, 5k, 3k) w/ 200 jog btw each and 400 jog btw sets on grass.  These should be 2-4 seconds faster than the last time.
42k:  8-10 x 1k at 10k w/ 2 min rec.
XC:  2-3 mi tempo + 2-5 x 1600 at 10k w/ 400 jog on dirt or grass.
42k:  7-10 x 1600 at tempo w/ 60 sec rec.

11/5-11/11: Easy week cut back all runs by 15-20%.
Mid Week:  
XC:  12-20 x 300 at 5k w/ 100 jog on dirt or grass
42k:  8 x In/out 400’s w/ 3-4 mi WU and WD
XC/MD:  4-6 x Wake Forest Drill In/out 800’s on dirt or grass.  First 800 on slightly uphill slope at XC race effort, turnaround and run the same course downhill at 30-40 sec slower.  Up and back = 1 set.  800m back and forth, no stop, no breaks <OR> Johnny Lawson Invite + 2-4 mile warm down
XC/LD:  6-8 x Wake Forest Drill In/out 800’s on dirt or grass <OR> Johnny Lawson Invite + 4-8 mile warm down
42k:  Clarksburg Half at goal CIM pace