T Nation

Track & Cross Country

Im a track 400-800 runner and i decided to run cross country this season. My 400 pr is 55 & 800 is 2:22… i ran my first 3.2 mile course for CC i got 25… how can i improve my endurance and speed? I have lots of potential & experience maybe some techniques recommended.

Sorry, no magic bullet.

You must get on a proven program and you will improve your endurance and speed over time (as long as everything else is in line). The only real difference should be our stride. check with a coach for that one.

There’s a disconnect between your alleged 800 time and your 5k. If you really trained to a 2:22 half then you should already know how to train for the 5k.

Not really. I came from a 400-800m and 5k is quite different if you don’t pace yourself and if you the longest you have ever ran is 4k.

Projected 5k based off that 800 is 18:00 or so. I ran the 800 in track and our training was similar to cross country. Not the same but enough that I easily ran the 5 under 20 mins.

Well honestly i ran a slow pace for it being my first CC race i didnt wanna run my best because i was afraid I’d get tired easily. Yesterday we ran 5miles & i ran pretty hard so i believe my endurance is going up… im racing in a week so i would see if my time gets better.

Just do what your coach says. run during the off season. keep building up your miles

Go to runners world and ask this question.

OP don’t worry man, if you got there once and you’ll get there again. I can run a 5k in about 21 min but you’d have to put a gun to my head to run an 800 significantly less than 3min.

Just run.

The great news is you’ve already got speed; your endurance should follow quickly.

[quote]JRT6 wrote:
OP don’t worry man, if you got there once and you’ll get there again. I can run a 5k in about 21 min but you’d have to put a gun to my head to run an 800 significantly less than 3min.[/quote]

Same here. My best (recent) 400m is 1:16, but I can hit a sub 22min 5k with three weeks of endurance training. I do it about once per year.

[quote]JRT6 wrote:
Projected 5k based off that 800 is 18:00 or so. I ran the 800 in track and our training was similar to cross country. Not the same but enough that I easily ran the 5 under 20 mins.[/quote]

Not to come off as rude, but whatever system you’re using to project times is ridiculous. High school was a long time ago for me and maybe things have changed, but if you ran an 18 minute or under 5K, you started to enter the realm of being above average to good rather than just filler for the race. A 2:22 800m on the other hand was a pretty pedestrian time (no offense, OP).

We had a guy at our school that would hit low 17s on really challenging courses to once going a sub 16 on an easy course with good runners. This guy by senior year was consistently running 1:55s in the 800m. The guys that ran in the 18 to 19 range were all guys running about 2:05 to 2:10 range with PBs once in a while under 2:05. I was in this group. There were always exceptions but this was usually the norm for my area.

And OP, your time will come down with races. I’ve seen guys do 25s to running 21s by the end of the season if they truly are in shape and it’s just a matter of learning the race. For learning the race, there’s the pacing aspect and the learning how to push pass the mental wall of ‘I’m going to feel like shit and this hurts’ and actually run faster and harder for longer.

And learning the course as the season progresses will pay dividends as well. Conference meets are usually the same course so you’ll learn areas where you can pass, how to pace yourself on up hills, and how to lean back and open up your stride and let gravity work for you on downhills.

For training, keep doing what your coach has you all doing and hopefully that includes progressively increasing your weekly mileage to tolerance. From what I recall, most of the 4 year CC guys at least were running 50 miles a week (mixed between intervals, strides, and long runs) and the really good guys (17 club and below guys) were doing anywhere from at least 75 miles to above a week (and therefore replacing their trainers once a month).

Those weekly miles all take time and I say just keep the progress going at a reasonable rate. Not sure how your practice schedule goes, but if there’s no weekend meets, we were off from practices but were expected to go out on longer but relaxed runs (5 to 10 milers). At the very least, running CC will put you in much better position for the winter and spring track seasons.

Your base will be much better and therefore your times as well. When I switched to football from CC, my base for spring really suffered and it was noticeable by my coach. I would always turn it around by the start of large meet season but damn it sucked.

I don’t know if this is much help or not but I am a thrower. I have experence sprinting so i have a slight idea about this. Maybe try to run with ankle weights to help improve your stregnth and endurance.