Running The Mind

Running The Mind
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Friday, November 30, 2007

Winter Training

Cross country is over, you are well rested, and ready to start training for track. Now what? The best way to approach winter training is generally the same as summer training, base building. The only catch is that winter training is much shorter. If you are lucky, you can get in six to eight weeks of base before the indoor track season starts and you have to get on the oval and run speed sessions.

The following eight week example is based on the principles of periodization. The amount of miles used are just numbers, not a strict schedule that must be followed. If you have done nothing since the end of cross country, starting with a 30 mile week (assuming you averaged more than this during cross) is a good place to start. If you took an active rest or little to no rest at all, you may want to start with a 40 mile week or more. In other words, use the chart to your capabilities and current condition.

Week S M T W R F S T

1 -6 -3- 4 -3- 6- 4- 3 -30

2 -8 -4- 5 -4- 6- 5- 4 -36

3 -10- 5-6 -5- 8 -6- 5- 45

4 -10- 4 -5- 4- 8 -5- 4- 40

5 -12- 6- 7- 5 -8- 6- 5 -50

6 -12- 6 -8- 6- 8- 6- 6- 52

7 -14 -7- 8 -7 -10- 8 -6- 60

8 -12 -6 -8- 6- 10- 8- 6- 56

One to two times a week a Tempo run or Fartlek can be added to keep some of the speed you developed in cross country, as well as prepare you for upcoming track sessions. Tempo runs can be between one and three miles at a pace that is controlled and comfortable, yet 10 - 15 seconds per mile slower than cross country race pace. Good fartleks are 1 minute hard by 1 minute easy, or 20 seconds hard by 40 seconds easy.


Enjoy your break from racing and be smart in building your base for track. PLEASE REMEMBER to not run all of your days hard. You will only burn out by May when you should be peaking. Keep the majority of your runs easy to steady state.

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