Submitted by: Sid Stegall (@sidtech04)
I put this one first because it is seemingly a very underrated goal and/or priority, but is something that should be at the very top of our priority list as track and cross country athletes. Simply put, if you keep stacking miles on miles while staying healthy, you will get better - Even if one simply ran a recovery day every day. Prioritizing things such as yoga, ice baths, rest, etc. can do some great things for you in the long run!
'Be an aerobically stronger runner'
Another underrated aspect, this one specifically in distance running. Let me put it this way:
You take 2 identical clones and train them for the 800m for 3 months. Clone #1 does nothing about easy running, a long run, and maybe a 4-5 mile tempo here and there. Clone #2 does nothing but 100-200m sprints, wickets, heavy weightlifting, and sled pulls. After 3 months of training, the clones line up to face off in the 800m. The winner... Clone #1, and will win that race 9 times out of 10. Although you shouldn't just stick to either aerobic or anaerobic because both can be used hand-in-hand, the 800m is more aerobic than anaerobic - the same goes with the 1600m and 3200m. With all of that being said, being aerobically developed does some great things for you in distance/middle-distance running.
'To Run Every Day' and 'Run a total 1500 miles for the Year'
I put these 2 together because they somewhat go hand in hand. Although running 5-6 days is somewhat common, if you are progressed and/or healthy enough to do so, running every day is a great goal!! Even if 1 of those days has to be a 1.5-2 mile run, it is better to do that than nothing at all if you are able to.
Running 1500 miles in a year is a slightly more aggressive version of running every day, averaging out to be around 4.1 miles per day. Obviously, with long runs and tempo runs and whatnot, your training days would average to that - You wouldn't necessarily run that exact number every day. Anyway, while that number may not be right for everybody, someone of Noah Mason's caliber(16:36 5k PR) can most likely hit that number in a healthy manner, and I think it's a great goal to be reached for Mason and a good goal for many others in the future.
Now, with that being said, if someone is struggling with a slight nag or early-onset injury, it may be smart to insert some cross-training days into your training routine. It would also be smart to slowly progress into 7 days a week, instead of going from running 4 days to every day in 1 week. Remember, while there are some bread and butter running workouts that everyone may need to get, there is not a 'one size fits all' training program. Everyone's body responds to different training stimluses, and you need to find the one that is right for you.
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