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6 days a week vs 7 days a week for high school runners

Posted: Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:07 pm
by SamH
I’m a 14 year old runner from the UK. I have run 18:17 5k (was meant to be a tempo) 4:34 1500 and 2:13 800m . My aim is to run a sub 17 5k in Spring . I have been running for around 4 years and run 35-45km per week at the minute, I aim to build up to 50-60km this winter.
There seems to be a bit of debate as to whether serious high school runners should take a rest day or not, what are any of your thoughts on this?

Thank you

Re: 6 days a week vs 7 days a week for high school runners

Posted: Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:35 pm
by cweeks
In my opinion, It would be beneficial to run 7 days a week. Since you've never run 7 days a week before, you have a huge blank slate in your training which means you don't have to do very much. Maybe start with 20 minutes every other week until you get comfortable running 7 days a week consistently. Once you have done this, you can gradually add on more minutes to your Sunday runs as you go. As long as your patient, doing the little things to keep you healthy and not blasting every single run (like kids do here in the states) you should be fine.

That being said, if you are getting faster and stronger every race, it might be best to stick to the formula and not change anything to your training regime.

Re: 6 days a week vs 7 days a week for high school runners

Posted: Tue Oct 15, 2019 9:02 am
It depends on how running and stress fit into your life, but before you optimize running, you need to optimize school.
Are you taking hard classes? Are they hard enough so that you have to learn how to study for them early and often, or is cramming getting the job done?
If you haven't learned how to study early and often to get the best possible grades, then learning to run early and often to make you as fast as possible will be hard.
You don't have to be the student with the most academic achievement in your school if you have neither the talent or inclination.
But you have to challenge yourself and make sure you don't take any academic shortcuts.

The two things have to work together. For example, I think you should run 7 days a week rather than 6 because by running only an easy 20 minutes on Monday and Thursday, you feel like doing more homework on Monday and Thursday night. You still have 5 days for full workouts and since Tom stresses 2 workouts and a long run, so two short days are fine. If you are all stressed out from not dealing with academics correctly, your sleep will suffer and your running will suffer more. Running is a 24 hour a day deal so you have to fit things together. Of course, you might not be able to pick your short days if you run for a team but feel out your coach to see if they are taking this kind of balance into account. Good luck