Watch out for Derick Peters in 2017. The rising senior at West Central High in South Dakota finished the 2016 cross country season as his state's Gatorade Cross Country Athlete of the Year. He competed at both the NXN Heartland Region, where he finished 31st, and Foot Locker Midwest, where he was 32nd, and won his first state title in South Dakota, posting a time of 15:37.67. Peters also went 14:57.18 at the Lennox Invitational in September, breaking 15 minutes for the first time in his career. He's quietly emerging as a national talent from the Midwest. Peters' hopes likely hinge on qualifying for NXN and/or Foot Locker to finish out his senior season. In the meantime, check out his weekly training as he prepares for the beginning of the season.
WEEK 1 l WEEK 2
WEEK 1 (August 7-13)
Monday: 4 miles at 6:21 pace
The workout was just 4 easy miles and I ended up averaging a 6:21 mile. The run was super nice and relaxed. The temperature stayed nice and cool, but the wind picked up. It's important to get those legs moving without burning them out early, so my easy runs were backed down a bit this week to accommodate for the start of quality training.
Tuesday: 6 miles, 4x1 mile repeats at 4:45-4:55 pace + 1 mile warm-up and cool down
My first quality workout of the year started with mile repeats. The full workout was 1 mile easy, then 4x1 mile repeats at 4:45-4:55 pace with a 2:30 minute break in between and then just a 1 mile cool-down. I ran a 7:27 mile warm-up. My splits for the repeats were 4:48, 4:49, 4:49 then a 5:12. My last cool-down mile was at eight-minute pace. The first 2 miles felt decent and relaxed and the third was tough, but the last one put me in my place. I know that last mile will come along with training and getting in shape, so I'm not overly critical of it at this stage.
Wednesday: 7 miles at 6:41 pace
This one hit the spot. I got together with some other runners in the area and it went by super fast. We averaged 6:41 for all 7 miles. I think it was important for me to not let the legs fully refresh for the tempo workout the next day, but still have a bit of a breather.
Thursday: 13 miles, tempo at 5:20-5:40 pace + 4x200s + 1-mile warm-up and cool down + bonus 3-mile shakeout in the PM
Tempo day!! This is one of my favorite workouts. The full deal was a 1 mile warm-up, 6 miles of tempo work at 5:20-5:40 pace, then 1 mile easy, then 4x200s with a 200m recovery jog and finally a 1 mile cool-down. I averaged a 5:28 mile on the tempo and went 31, 32, 30, and 30 on the 200s. It felt nice to start off, but the last mile and a half was burning. The 200s were FAST and RELAXED. I let my legs run while I maintained a mild breathing pattern. These types of runs are always nice to help with that endurance and getting your legs getting up to those speeds. In the evening later that day, I went for a short 3-mile shake out run with no watch.
Friday: 8 miles, two runs, second at 7:21 pace
I had two 4-mile runs. I did one with my team -- again without a watch -- in the morning, and the other in the early afternoon averaging a 7:21 mile. I tried to keep it very relaxed coming off my heaviest week so far. I could definitely feel those mile repeats coming back at me.
Saturday: 16 miles, 12 mile long run + 4 miles easy at 6:29 pace
I had a 12-mile long run to start my weekend. I felt it was a nice progression throughout. I started off with a 7:58 mile then worked it down to a 5:44 by the last mile, averaging a 7:02 mile. It was extremely nice! My team headed out to a bike trail in Sioux Falls and got to see some new scenery. I stayed in control and found the right groove and went with it.
I had one last 4-mile easy run to finish off the week. It was a short out and back that was hot going out, but then we ran against a cool wind coming back. My main goal was to back it off a bit after finishing my long run, so I was very conscious not to push the pace. In the end I averaged a 6:29 mile.
Sunday: OFF DAY!
I feel that it is super important to rest and recover after a tough week of training and hard work so I took it easy and tried to catch a little extra sleep.
Total Mileage: 54
Overview: Overall, I thought this week's training went well! The mile repeats were slightly disappointing, but were still good for the most part and the fourth rep will come as the season goes on. The tempo felt super nice and ended exceptionally! I just have to remember to stay in control and relaxed on those easy runs. I'm getting pumped for this season!