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Girls Cross Country

The program below is adapted from a training preparation plan created at and used by the United States Naval Academy. The goal is to build the lower leg strength gradually to reduce incidence of foot and lower leg injuries “in-season.” While your cardiovascular system may adjust to your physical training rather quickly, leading you to feel that you can handle more, your bones do not adjust as quickly to a rapid increase in weight-bearing training.

While the outline below addresses the issue of building lower body strength at a healthy and effective pace, you must complement this plan with core and upper body strength training as well. At a minimum, incorporate core and push-ups regularly. If possible, you should do a combination of core strength training along with upper (weights,medicine balls) and lower body (squats, lunges) strength training.

The basic rhythm of the plan below is: two weeks running, one week cross-training. The mileage and pace are increased very gradually. The paces give are guidelines and are the fastest each distance should be run. If you feel pain, rest! Consult a physician for any persistent pain.

IMPORTANT: When planning your summer training, work backward from the first full-team practice on Friday, September 8th. That is, Week 9 in this training schedule should be the week of September 4th so that you have a week of cross training before the start of the fall season.

 Fastest Pace (minutes per mile)
 Week Distance, # Days
 Beginner Intermediate
 Advanced
 1  1 mile, 5 days a wk  11-12 min  9-10 min  8.5-9.5 min
 2  2 miles, 5 days a wk  11-12 min  9-10 min  8-9 min
 3  Swim or bike for 30 minutes daily
 4  3 miles, 5 days a wk  11min  9 min  8 min
 5  3 mile, 5 days a wk  10 min  8.5 min  7.5 min
 6  Swim or bike for 45 minutes daily
 7  3 miles, 5 days a wk  9.5 min  8-8.5 min  7 min
 8  3 miles, 5 days a wk  8.5-9 min  7.5-8 min  6.5 min