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Hello! I'm 17, ~130lb (~59Kg), and reasonably fit (Body-weight exercises, mild jogs, Basketball, etc), and just started actively running in preparation for Cross Country. I was told that the basis for CC is the 5K, being ~3.1 Miles. As such, I thought that training for over that would be good prep, to make sure that I don't break down on the final stretch. My reasoning is that if I always practice to strictly 5K, that I would never be able to do any further than that.
Anyways, I did my first run this morning (16th July), being 4.5Mi (~7.2Km), and finished at around 65 minutes, meaning ~14 minute miles. I am wondering if that is a good base, and how much I could expect to improve. My current plan is to go running every other day on my arranged loop, to give some break-time in between (Atleast, until I get used to the strain). If I recall correctly, I got quite a few stitches, which made me walk for ~1 mile of the total, and am curious if anybody had advice on how to settle those as they appear, or if that is just because of my being new to the longer-distances.
Well, other than what I've asked, all advice and opinions are much appreciated! I'm reasonably sure that a few of my questions could be solved by searching the forums, but I'm new here, and don't know how to go about finding solutions. Thanks again in advanced, and I hope that I can stick this through to the end, heh.
Edit: Forgot to mention what my route/set-up is. I go 0.9Mi to the nearby track, do a mile there (4xLaps, using HIIT(Jog 1 Lap, do 1 lap sprinting straight-aways, Jog a lap, Sprint straight-aways)), then 0.9Mi to a nearby McDonald's (Not to buy anything, but just as a central reference point, heh), and then straight back to my house via 1.7Mi. Everything besides the HIIT at the park is done either Jogging or Walking(In the case of side-stitches).
Edit 2: Anybody know how I can get the website to show my DisplayName, and not my actual Name and E-Mail? I have no idea why it's showing them now... Hm.
I guess a lot depends upon what your goals are; if you want to make a mid-level high school junior varsity cross country team so you can work out with them, then yes, you might be able to adjust your training schedule to do so, however, if you want to be a competitive runner on your varsity team, probably not going to happen.
As for what would give you the best bang for the buck from a training perspective, lose all of the middle and short distance stuff, and concentrate on building your mileage base up by running at least 25 to 30 miles per week with individual runs of at least six miles.
Please understand I'm not trying to rain on your parade or dampen your enthusiasm for running, but being a competitive runner at any given level takes many months (or years) of consistent training before you "arrive".
If you're still serious about trying to make your local high school team, look at the times they posted last year for a typical "home course" race for both varsity and J.V. and then use the times of the seventh runner (of either team) to determine what kind of improvement you're going to have to make. I strongly suspect you're going to see the slower varsity runners turning in 5K times under 19:00 (at least that's what guys did on my team back in the early 1970s, and we were pretty middle-of-the-road), and times of 24:00 or better for junior varsity. Long story short, a 24:00 minute 5K time means you're going to have to drop your pace down into the 7:30 to 7:45 range to make the J.V. team and more like 6:10 or better to make the varsity team.
Well then, thanks for the advice. No need to mention any "raining on parades", since I DID ask for advice, which you so helpfully handed to me. I'll certainly have to pick up if I decide to join competitively, but atleast being able to run with some of my friends will be good enough. I'll take it into consideration, and adjust accordingly. Thanks again, and I'll skulk around the forum for anything else. My mates have been doing CC for 2-3 years anyways, so I can hardly think to be able to match them off the bat, or even with just a few month's running.