That’s a really good question … and a really hard one to answer!
The first thing I would say is that it all depends. I always approach runners as individuals. Running 30 miles/week for one runner might work great where another runner needs to stick to 20 miles/week. So, the answer to your question depends on your individual strengths and weaknesses along with your individual training and injury history. I’ll do my best to give you some information below that might help you determine what would be ideal for you.
Given that your outdoor season will likely kick off in 3-4 weeks, whatever you are doing now will for the most part be what leads you into the season. That being said, here are some thoughts on the type of events you are working toward and a little training advice:
* 1500-3000m are events that are unique in that they rely heavily on both the aerobic (think endurance) and anaerobic (think power/speed) systems pretty equally for best performance. Most other events lean heavily toward aerobic or anaerobic instead of riding the line between
* The above mix of aerobic and anaerobic makes this a very tough distance to train for and coach through because you need to be a “distance guy” and a “speed guy” all at the same time
* I would say that most HS coaches tend to look at these events more from a speed/power perspective than endurance perspective (lots of intervals and repeats during the season training), which would lead me to encourage you to focus on your endurance during the offseason since you’ll get plenty of other focus during the actual season
So, to give you a bit of an answer to your original question: I would recommend that you spend the next 3-4 weeks increasing your aerobic base and mileage by focusing on easy runs, long runs, and some light tempo runs.
* For the easy and long runs, they should be at conversational pace – don’t push your pace or it changes the benefits of the run – it is meant to be slow so it develops your cardio system without working you too hard
* For the light tempo runs, think of working about 80% effort for 15-30 mins at a time – you could maybe add this into an easy run once/week
As far as total mileage, ideally you would be hitting mileage totals similar to a prep for cross country season (if you do both). This is so individualized that it is difficult to tell you what to do now. I would say that over the next 4 weeks you should steadily increase your weekly mileage with the above type of runs – keep your total mileage increase for each week under 25% of the prior weeks volume (i.e. if you ran 20 miles this week, you could run up to 25 miles the following week). I would work up to running 5 days/week if you aren’t already. But remember in all of this: DON’T GET INJURED! If you are feeling tweaks or too fatigued, back off … it’s a long season and more fun to run than to watch :)
As a HS athlete, the most important things are to stay healthy and have fun, so don’t worry too much if this doesn’t match what you have been doing. Learn from it, and you’ll be better prepared for your next season. Good luck this year!
PS – Feel free to send an email if you’d like to get into more specifics about your training. As mentioned above, I would need a lot more detail on your running history to fully answer this question.
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