Hi Coach Ed,|
I am writing this letter because I am a cross-country runner and I started out running in 7th grade and I was running 1.5 miles. Now I am in 9th grade and I am going to be running 3.1 miles. I am writing to see if there is any way I can build myself up from 1 to 3 miles so I can still be as good as a runner as I was. Also how can I control my breathing?
Mike from Pennsylvania
What you have to do now is build up your weekly mileage a little more. To be competitive at this level you will need to run a 5 mile long run in training. It doesn't have to be fast it is an endurance run. You have time so work up slowly. If you are currently doing a 3 mile long run add 1 mile this week and 1 mile next week now your there. I am not going to suggest any speed work at this point. Your coach will probably have certain workouts planned for you. Just get the mileage up and include a 5 mile run every week.
About that breathing. Cross-country does put different breathing requirements (than track races) on you because usually everyone is running toward a narrower trail at the beginning of the race so you must go out hard to establish position. It's conditioning, conditioning, conditioning, and it comes with training and experience. One tip I will tell you to put you ahead of the game is to take some Yoga classes. It will help your breathing and your concentration. Running coaches at the Olympic level have their own ideas on how to train top athletes.
One thing the all agree on is Yoga is an important part of an Olympic runners training program. My guess is no one you know on your track team does this. Try it Mike. It will put you one step ahead and one step ahead is all it takes to win a race.
Ed Poirier, "Coach Ed", recently was invited by the United States Olympic
committee to attend a workshop and training seminar at the Olympic training
center in California.
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