T Nation

Summer Track/XC Training

Hey Guys,

I run track and cross-country for my high school, and am going to be a junior this upcoming year. In XC, I’m hoping to go under 16min at the District meet and make states. For track, under 2 in the 800 and under 4:20 in the mile (4:24 is states).

I was wondering what members here would consider beneficial to that end. I plan on training legs semi-heavy early in the season, and taper off as running workouts get more intense. Also plan on working shoulders and back.

Obviously I’m not trying to gain mass, just strength. Thoughts/comments? Specific exercises to do or avoid?Running specific programs? Any help is appreciated.

Wow, there have been a lot of track threads lately. I never thought I’d see a distance runner asking for advice here!

I did this same sort of thing myself. Basically, do upper body lifts with 80%+ of your max for strength, and you need to make sure you eat PLENTY. Your upper body lifting should have equal parts pulling and pushing movements, to try and minimize the advent of shoulder pain.

As for lower body lifting: you need to watch the volume of your training sessions in season. If you’re training for that extra kick at the end of your races, you’ll want to have heavy squats and deadlifts in your program. You’re going to have to have a huge intake, especially in season, to gain strength with XC running and your time in the weight room. I was eating 4500-5000 calories in season a day, and I still lost weight. Cut out a LOT of your lower body volume in season.

Good luck!

Dont forget your olympic lifts! They will beneficial for your with your kicking and overall sprinting. Most distance runners do a lot of lifting and it pays off. If you get a chance,look at Alan Webb’s upper body,hes a bit bigger than past but he can sprint and thats because he lifts.Your mileage in the summer will negate the mass you could gain but please make sure you eat as previously state. Good luck.

Does doing heavy squats and deadlifts really work for improving your kick at the end of a distance race?

I am asking because I really have no idea how to incorporate lifting into a distance runner’s program.

[quote]smallmike wrote:
Does doing heavy squats and deadlifts really work for improving your kick at the end of a distance race?

I am asking because I really have no idea how to incorporate lifting into a distance runner’s program.[/quote]

Heavy compound movements will inevitably fire your larger muscle fibers (type IIa and type IIb), which are the same muscles that are responsible for that explosive but limited kick athletes get towards the end of a long distance race.

The only problem with training these fibers with heavy weight is that it will break down the smaller muscle fibers as well. This is why it’s important to limit lower body lifting volume in season. Some sort of periodization is necessary.