View Full Version : Mileage help

10-09-2012, 08:33 AM
First, thank you to all the coaches that actually take time out of their hectic schedules and post/reply to threads. Your information and insight is extremely valuable to new coaches such as myself.

So here is my question...I have parents of freshmen (girls specifically) who question the mileage their daughters should be running. Some feel that anything more than 4 days a week running is too much. Some feel that 30 miles is too much. As much as I can tell them these are both acceptable and that most XC girls run 6-7 days a week and 30 miles is in the lower range, it is only my word.

Can some of you please help by repsonding so I can prove to them that other outstanding programs require that their girls run a certain amount of days/distances?

What are your rules for freshmen girls who actually have been running for 2-3 years before they even get to high school?

Thank you.

Coach Razor
10-09-2012, 12:39 PM
Hello Seeking...

I'll give my 2 cents for what it's worth ;)

With our program, we make a clear distinction between kids with 2-3yrs experience and those with none. In part because there is some data as to how their bodies respond to volume increases of any kind. That said I use a few guiding principals:
1) Every summer starts with a 3wk transition period where new runners start at 3 days/wk and experienced runners start at 4days/wk and add one day a week for the 3wks. They run 30-45min based on feel at what we call General Conditioning pace or GC... I describe this as fast enough to do good form, no garbage miles, and that the run should end at 30min if they feel like they are struggling to maintain form.
2) After the 3wks, I keep new runners with one day off per week for 3-4 more weeks & even experienced runners at a lower volume range or just based on my knowledge of their bodies & running history as we begin normal training cycles with long runs, LTs etc.
3) We then start to build volume in 3wk cycles with a 15-20 percent down week for recovery following. Increases are 7-10% per week. With experienced runners we set goals after a few cycles to achieve best ever volume weeks.
4) lastly, and most importantly, I tell the kids they can only progress so long as their bodies stay perfectly healthy as volume goes up, otherwise we stabilize volume for a bit.

Sorry if my answer is a bit long winded, but I felt compelled to complete the thought.

While I have general limits for grades, I really try to remain open to the idea that they are truly individuals & I shouldn't make assumptions. I believe the 30miles a week you mention for your freshman girls seems totally reasonable if they are healthy.

For examples, Cami was doing volumes in the 30s on 6days a week as a freshman, but ended up topping 70 as a senior. We never made it a goal per se, we just carefully built up & that's where we got. Amy on the other hand was always lower volume along the way, topping out above 50 only a few times and ran 17:40 on Mt. SAC & 17:57 on the state course.

Well I hope that helped, let me know if it does :)

Tim Sharpe
Head Coach XC
Distance Coach T&F
Harvard-Westlake School

"To whom much is given, much is expected"

10-09-2012, 04:58 PM
Thank you for the detailed response. Any and all advice is more than appreciated.

Tony DiMarco
10-09-2012, 06:20 PM

This might help.

George Ramos
10-10-2012, 05:59 AM
I like!


This might help.