Why don't I improve?

Why don't I improve?

Post by Stephe » Tue, 01 Oct 2002 04:34:14


Hi, I'm 16 and on a high school cross country team and I have been for the
past two years. Last year I was running a three mile race at around 21 min.
This year, however, I have consistantly run 23:50 every race and time check.
It is early in the season, but these times have really been bad. I don't
feel as though I am running, I'm just jogging in a race. I am training every
day and when the coach says to run six miles, or three, I run them fairly
well but I do not improve when a race comes. Does anyone have any advice on
how to improve? Thank you.
 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by adi » Tue, 01 Oct 2002 11:52:51

Quote:

> Hi, I'm 16 and on a high school cross country team and I have been for
> the past two years. Last year I was running a three mile race at
> around 21 min. This year, however, I have consistantly run 23:50 every
> race and time check. It is early in the season, but these times have
> really been bad. I don't feel as though I am running, I'm just jogging
> in a race. I am training every day and when the coach says to run six
> miles, or three, I run them fairly well but I do not improve when a
> race comes. Does anyone have any advice on how to improve? Thank you.

Fire your coach!

 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by MaryO » Tue, 01 Oct 2002 12:00:41

Stephen,

Hopefully, someone with some really good advice will emerge from rec.running
and help you with your situation.  I know you have turned to this newsgroup
with the thought that this might be a good resource.  If you are unfamiliar
with the way things work around here, I need to tell you to expect one or two
smart aleck comments along with the good advice.  Please don't let that
discourage you.  I hope you get the help you need and that you can use it to
improve your times.

Mary

 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by RWalte » Tue, 01 Oct 2002 12:47:19

Quote:
>Subject: Why don't I improve?

>Date: Sun, Sep 29, 2002 12:34 PM

>Hi, I'm 16 and on a high school cross country team and I have been for the
>past two years. Last year I was running a three mile race at around 21 min.
>This year, however, I have consistantly run 23:50 every race and time check.
>It is early in the season, but these times have really been bad. I don't
>feel as though I am running, I'm just jogging in a race. I am training every
>day and when the coach says to run six miles, or three, I run them fairly
>well but I do not improve when a race comes. Does anyone have any advice
>on
>how to improve? Thank you.

        Actually, I like the "fire your coach" advice.  The track coach should be the
first one to be asked this question, and should be the one with the best
insight on this young runner's strengths and weaknesses.  If the track coach
doesn't have any good advice, what's he/she doing?

        From my own limited perspective, I would recommend doing more track work to
improve you 3 mile time.  If your training only consists of 3 - 6 mile runs,
then you're not training for top-end speed.  Try doing some 400 meter to 1600
meter track intervals at 6 to 7 minute per mile pace.  This should help quite a
bit.

R. Walter,  CA

 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by Brian & Kimberli Mollenkop » Tue, 01 Oct 2002 19:59:04

Are you just out there running your 6 mi.?  Try to do some speedworkouts,
tempo runs or fartleks.  I also would suggest some light weight lifting.
Some may agree and some may not, but hey, it worked for me shaving 1:20 of
my 5 k this year.  Also look at your diet, are you eating healthy foods?

Brian

 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by Scuderi Giusepp » Tue, 01 Oct 2002 20:06:04

I am an italian engineer, ideator of a new training system.
www.pistacentrifuga.com
useful for all runners.
All the athletes increase their personal best.
Two research in Italy University of Catania and University of Rome.
Tell about it with your trainer.



Quote:
> Hi, I'm 16 and on a high school cross country team and I have been for the
> past two years. Last year I was running a three mile race at around 21
min.
> This year, however, I have consistantly run 23:50 every race and time
check.
> It is early in the season, but these times have really been bad. I don't
> feel as though I am running, I'm just jogging in a race. I am training
every
> day and when the coach says to run six miles, or three, I run them fairly
> well but I do not improve when a race comes. Does anyone have any advice
on
> how to improve? Thank you.

 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by Bill Rodger » Tue, 01 Oct 2002 20:19:51

Quote:
>Does anyone have any advice on
>how to improve?

1) get a new coach.
2) ask him/her.
3) move your feet faster.
Bill R.
 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by Lauri » Tue, 01 Oct 2002 23:33:45

Stephen,
Like someone else said, you need some structure with your training. Just
running will not improve your times. How are the other kids doing.
Try some speed work, tempo runs when you do run.
 I hope you are not giving  it your all with these runs your coach is having
you do. Are some of them easy runs. You need some rest and recovery so you
can push in your races.
 Are you running your training runs like races so come race day you are
tired?

Hang in there, you could just be trying hard.
Let us know how you do!! Please.
Have your mentioned this to your parents?
Laurie

Quote:
> Hi, I'm 16 and on a high school cross country team and I have been for the
> past two years. Last year I was running a three mile race at around 21
min.
> This year, however, I have consistantly run 23:50 every race and time
check.
> It is early in the season, but these times have really been bad. I don't
> feel as though I am running, I'm just jogging in a race. I am training
every
> day and when the coach says to run six miles, or three, I run them fairly
> well but I do not improve when a race comes. Does anyone have any advice
on
> how to improve? Thank you.

 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by Lynd » Tue, 01 Oct 2002 23:51:32

Quote:

>Hi, I'm 16 and on a high school cross country team and I have been for the
>past two years. Last year I was running a three mile race at around 21 min.
>This year, however, I have consistantly run 23:50 every race and time check.
>It is early in the season, but these times have really been bad. I don't
>feel as though I am running, I'm just jogging in a race. I am training every
>day and when the coach says to run six miles, or three, I run them fairly
>well but I do not improve when a race comes. Does anyone have any advice on
>how to improve? Thank you.

It's difficult to say witout more information.  At your age, though, if you do
the same training, you should improve every year as your body matures.  When
this doesn't happen, something is obviously wrong.

Have you discussed your frustrations with your coach?  This should be your
first move, and probably the only one that matters.  You should be cautious
about adding work to your training unless your coach knows about it, because
you could become overtrained.

Have you changed coaches or training programs?  If you didn't do the same or
increased training, you might have stagnated because the lack of quality in
your work.

Did you have a summer running program?  Sometimes HS runners will try real hard
to get ready for the season, with a lot more mileage and become overtrained and
peak in the first race of the season.  Others will not do any work and start
the season out of shape.  Either of these could explain your position.

It's difficult to recommend changes without knowing the background, and one
should not normally mess with a coach's program without knowing all the
details.  One thing you might consider, though, is to push harder on the hard
days, and take the easy days easier (without adding more running or different
workouts).

Lyndon
"Speed Kills...It kills those that don't have it!"  --US Olympic Track Coach
Brooks Johnson

 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by Andrew T Has » Tue, 01 Oct 2002 23:38:18

  The most important question is what did you do all summer?  DId you run or
at least stay active?  You can train hard all season but if you didn't do
your homework over the summer you could very well get slower.  The biggest
thing you can do in high school to put yourself at an advantage over 90% of
the other runners is keep running in the off-season.
ANdy Hass

 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by TopCouns » Wed, 02 Oct 2002 07:02:27

It's a runners proverb that long, slow distance makes for long, slow runners.
Just "jogging" won't make you fast;  it's good for your fitness and weight to
put in the miles, and will help you with your base, but if you want to compete
you will have to do speedwork.  Simple interval workouts, on the track, are
what is the normal method of making you fast.  Lots of literature on this
topic, but all you need to do is warm up well (e.g., run a mile at your race
pace plus a minute or so), and then alternate really hard laps with jogged laps
in between to recover.  Do as much as you comfortably can.  If you run
intervals like this, you will learn how to run fast.  Then all you have to do
is gain endurance at the new speed.  Expect soreness from speedwork if you are
doing it right, because every time you go faster, you are changing your stride
and form, and using different muscles.  In fact, if you aren't sore after
speedwork, you aren't going hard enough in your intervals.  -- KLM
 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by MJuri » Wed, 02 Oct 2002 07:46:24

On Sun, 29 Sep 2002 20:34:14 +0100, "Stephen"

Quote:

>Hi, I'm 16 and on a high school cross country team and I have been for the
>past two years. Last year I was running a three mile race at around 21 min.
>This year, however, I have consistantly run 23:50 every race and time check.
>It is early in the season, but these times have really been bad. I don't
>feel as though I am running, I'm just jogging in a race.

 Do you feel like you are just jogging in a race because you are
moving slower than you'd like or because you aren't pushing yourself
hard enough? If you are pushing as hard as you can and are feeling
like you are moving slow and or your times are slow it's a training
issue. If you aren't pushing yourself in a race it's a mentality
issue.

Quote:
>I am training every
>day and when the coach says to run six miles, or three, I run them fairly
>well but I do not improve when a race comes. Does anyone have any advice on
>how to improve? Thank you.

        I agree with most of the people here. in saying "Have you
asked your coach". I can say going out and "jogging" 6 miles every day
will do nothing more than make you a better 6 mile jogger. If this is
the regiment that your coach has the entire team on then the coach is
not doing a very good job of coaching.
        If your coach is, as many public school coaches are these
days, a semi volunteer and untrained in running, inform him of some of
the suggestions here. Ask if he/she would do some studing/searches on
things like "Speed work" "fartlek" "intervals" and "hill work". He/she
may also need to read a few books on injury prevention and beginning
running. "Running injury free" by (I believe) Henderson is a good
book. If he/she is a complete novice suggest that you or him/her
subscribe to a running magazine. Runners World comes to mind. They
occasionally have some good suggestions and workouts.  I'm sure many
here have other suggestions.

~Matt

 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by Bill » Wed, 02 Oct 2002 07:20:47

It does take patience.  To repeat what has been said:

Take breaks every other day, an easy week once a month, an easy month 3 or 4
times a year, etc., to let your body recover.  Push yourself occasionally when
you feel good and then back off for a day or two.

Running up hills can make a difference.  Increases in pace, especially on a soft
surface:  treadmill, sandy beach, trail, grassy field.  Vary the length of your
runs.  E.g., instead of running 6 miles each time out, alternate between 4 miles
and 8 miles on the next two runs.  Do the longer runs on a soft surface if
possible.

Do a longer run each week and do a faster, shorter session each week.  Do this
for 3 weeks each month.  Or, make up your own schedule to stress and recover.  
Experiment with short pickups in pace on a measured course, track or treadmill,
no more than once a week.  Results guaranteed.

Measurement helps me improve.  For example, if you are timing yourself on a
treadmill, you can increment your pace for a given length session in steps of .1
mph.  If you increment once a week skipping one increment per month, you gain 1.
0 mph in 3 months.

--
Use our news server 'news.foorum.com' from anywhere.
More details at: http://nnrpinfo.go.foorum.com/

 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by xenma » Thu, 03 Oct 2002 02:49:32


Quote:
> Hi, I'm 16 and on a high school cross country team and I have been for the
> past two years. Last year I was running a three mile race at around 21
min.
> This year, however, I have consistantly run 23:50 every race and time
check.
> It is early in the season, but these times have really been bad. I don't
> feel as though I am running, I'm just jogging in a race. I am training
every
> day and when the coach says to run six miles, or three, I run them fairly
> well but I do not improve when a race comes. Does anyone have any advice
on
> how to improve? Thank you.

When I was 16 I was also on my high school cross country
team.  For over half the season I was stuck on the border
of varsity and jr. varsity.  I also quit the team, but the
coach talked me out of it.

Then one day I ran a race in an angry mood.  I was angry with
myself for doing so poorly in the previous races.  It was
a competition against the worst team in the league, so the
coach withheld the top 4 runners on our team from the race.
My anger towards myself became anger towards everyone else
in the race.  I started at the front and refused to allow
anyone to pass me.  I won the race and my time dropped almost
a full minute over the 2.6 mile course.

This experience immediately taught me the that getting a good
performance during a race is just as much mental as physical.
If, when at the finish of a race, you're not about ready to
collapse and fall down, you didn't give it your best effort,
which is a mental problem.  If you feel "ok" at the end of
the race, once again, you didn't give it your best effort.
If you can talk, joke, laugh, smile... within five minutes
of the end of the race, you didn't give it your best effort.
The last half mile/800 meters should be pure torture, if not,
you didn't give it your best effort.

Get the picture?  Running your best in a race is about mental
ability as much as physical ability.  Now go for it!!!

 
 
 

Why don't I improve?

Post by TopCouns » Thu, 03 Oct 2002 04:09:26

Quote:
>Running your best in a race is about mental
>ability as much as physical ability.

I couldn't agree more.  I have often found that setting out with the goal only
of pushing myself to the limit will help me beat my prior times more easily
than having a specific time goal will.  What's more, you will sometimes beat
your prior times by surprisingly large margins.  True, on rare occasions you
will tank, but you have to find out your limits somehow.