Question What do you have to do to reach a reasonably fit state at which you begin training for long distances?
Faya In the beginning when you start seriously training I think it's more the amount of time than distance and pace. Going out for a twenty minute run and not worrying about the pace and not worrying about the distance you've run. Concentrating on stretching. Concentrating on building strength and flexibility and your cardiovascular system. Then eventually you reach that level of fitness where you actually can train and you can attack an actual training program.
Elizabeth You should do that for a number of weeks. You want to start at a low level and work your way along...if you start at too high a level you're going to injure yourself. And you also build up endurance as you go along and you build up a knowledge of how to approach things as you're running greater and greater distances.
Question How many workouts per week is reasonable?
Rafferty Let's talk about workouts during a competition season. Sometimes you'll be able to do three in a week if they're light not very intense. If you're going to be doing intense workouts where you're really going to be pushing the limits I think we're talking about two a week. Now, that's difficult with high school sports because you have five days and then two days on the weekend. Two is good if they're going to be intense. If you're going to do lighter, you might be able to put them in on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
Elizabeth Yight...the later it gets in the season the more you want to work on speed doing speed workouts and earlier in the season you're trying more to build up the distance and endurance.
Question Is there a point in time when the workout begins to decrease as the season goes along?
Rafferty Maybe in the beginning of the season if you're running distance, you're a distance runner, you'll be doing workouts in the twelve-hundred meters, a thousand meters, eight-hundred meters. As you're getting later in the season, the distance of the actual workout will be less. Will you have fewer workouts? Not necessarily
Faya If you look at the season as a roller coaster, you're building in intensity and distance in the beginning of the season. You'll eventually reach a peak in your intensity, time, and distance that you work out and at the end of the season, especially with a longer championship season, you want to keep a certain level of speed and, I guess you could say, stay fresh. You don't want tired legs at the the end of a championship season.
Rafferty It depends on when you get to the championship season how far apart the regional meets are. If you have your county championships, your regional championships, and your state championships all within one week of each another, then you're going to be decreasing your workouts because you're not going to have enough recovery time to have everyone fresh. Honestly, you want your legs to run as though they're at their highest ability.
Question How many days can you take off during a week?
Elizabeth Seven! (laughter)
Rafferty Jokester. If you're trying to build distance and trying to get your cardiovascular level up and build strength then you won't need as much rest, maybe one day. Unless you're just starting out running, then you might want to rest two days a week because your body's not used to the intensity and you're going to need more time to rest.
Question For distance running, how often should you visit the weight room?
Rafferty Two to three times a week.
Question And what type of workout should you do?
Rafferty You'll want to do upper body workouts because in distance running your upper body can very easily get weak. So you'll want to do lap pulls downs, bench press, arm curls. Things that are going to build up the shoulders, the chest, the back. Situps and push ups are always going to be beneficial. Now, legwork...you don't want to do intense legwork like squats or leg presses but leg lifts, leg curls. Those are things that you want to do with light weight.
Faya Distance running is more endurance type lifting, where you're lifting light weight at high reps. You're building lean muscle. Most distance runners aren't built for bulk anyway. You want that lean muscle mass.
Question What are reasonable workouts for cross country and for distance track running?
Elizabeth A typical one might be a set of three twelve hundreds. And usually for cross country you don't want to do anything on the track, you want to keep it on the ground as long as the ground's not too hard so that your legs don't pound too much. For track runners, it's more important to train on the track a few times because you want to get used to the curves and everything. <
Elizabeth Hills are also important for cross country. Doing longer hills is more beneficial than the shorter hills because you actually get the full motion of the arms and everything for the full distance of the hill.
Question What type of terrain is best to train on for the different courses of the season?
Rafferty I would say hill workouts earlier. You don't necessarily want to do hill workouts later on because the hill workouts are then going to really fatigue you. Question Should you consistently run on harder surfaces or should you stay more towards grass and softer surfaces to decrease the chance of injury?
Rafferty Softer surfaces are better. Now not too soft, you don't want it to be like quicksand or anything, but grass. Grass is always going to be better than road, except for mulch trails things like that. Dirt trails are going to be good. But then you have to be careful because you're you're trading the hard surface for an uneven surface.
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