Need some guidance for my son, who will be a HS sophomore in fall (he's 15). I'm trying to help him prepare for some hard-core conditioning tests his soccer team will put players through this fall. Two of the tests include all-out 3-mile runs, essentially 5Ks. Last year, as a freshman, he acquitted himself well, but this year, he wants to finish in the top 3 for each of the two runs.
I'm a long-time triathlete (sprint, Oly, and half Iron), so I'm accustomed to a lot of long, easy runs, putting in the mileage and constantly building the base. Obviously, for my son, this is different, as he's racing a 5K and I'm not quite sure how to prepare him.
I looked for a 5K for him to run this past weekend but couldn't find any in our area, so I'm planning to have him race a 5K in two weeks (the weekend of the 22nd) to get a better, more accurate measure. Instead of an official 5K, I had him run 3 miles this past Sunday as hard as possible and my wife and I waited at the 1 and 2 mile marks to encourage and push him. Not real-world race conditions, but the best we could do under the circumstances. For the 3-miler he did, he ran a 20:10—a 6:37 first mile, a 6:57 middle mile, and a 6:36 final mile. I wanted to try to determine CV, so I opted to use 19:50 for a 3-mile race time. Basically, I assumed if he'd been running in a real race with competitors and adrenaline, that he'd have AT LEAST run the middle mile 20 seconds faster. Chances are, the time would have been even faster than that, but that's how I opted to look at it. So I lopped 20 seconds off the total time for a 19:50, then used Tinman's calculator to determine CV as 6:46 to 6:55.
With those calculations/paces, if you had one month to get an athlete as fast as possible, given his time and pace above, what would you do? What kinds of runs? How long? What paces? Intervals? Repeats? Distances?
He'll likely only run 3 to 4 days/week, as soccer pre-season starts next Monday (the 17th) and he'll have practice from 9 to 11 a.m. every day. So, recovery is obviously important and as a triathlete, who's used to running just 3 days/week, I feel like we can still help him realize some gains without him doing running workouts every day of the week.