Dani Jones (AZ): Summer Training Blog

<p> <span style="font-size: 14px;">As part of the&nbsp;</span><strong style="font-size: 14px;"><a href="https://www.500milechallenge.com/landing?next=%2F">Saucony 500 Mile Challenge</a></strong><span style="font-size: 14px;">&nbsp;campaign, MileSplit is asking several of the nation&#39;s top returning cross country runners to share with us in a blog format a weekly post of their summer training as they prepare for the upcoming 2014 XC season. What greater inspiration for developing high school runners than to see how their elite peers train and push through logging those summer miles, while staying motivated and hungry to get in the base and conditioning needed for their next season and year of races. Follow along and become fans of these great high school runners as they start the first step of their journey into a 2014 cross country season which they hopefully reach all their goals that they set out to accomplish.</span></p>

Arizona state champion Dani Jones is ready for a big cross country season for herself and her Desert Vista squad. Both individual and team should find themselves nationally ranked in the pre-season, but Jones and her team are looking to put in the work this summer to be ready to perform when it matters in the championship meets and post-season. Jones ended her junior year running an incredible race at the adidas Dream Mile in New York City with a 4:43.40 PR third place finish to establish an Arizona state record. Jones is also looking to out perform her 2013 cross country season in which she ran a 5K PR of 17:19 in her victory at the Desert Twilight Festival (Arizona's best invitational meet), while ending up 15th place at arguably the best girls individual fields ever in the history of the Nike Cross Nationals navigating through the mud at Portland Meadows. Follow her training blog below, which starts off catching us up on her first 5 weeks of summer running.

Dani Jones (AZ) Training Blog

Week 1 (6/25-6/31) - Week 2 (7/1-7/7) - Week 3 (7/8-7/14) - Week 4 (7/15-7/21) - Week 5 (7/22-7/28)

Week 1 (6/25-6/31)

After crossing my finish line of the year at the dream mile, I take a huge sigh of relief. Now that the work is done, I can go get Mary Cain’s autograph AND I can also begin my ten day break. Of course, one day into this break and I’m already itching to get back. My first week back is an easy one with low volume and intensity. My first week consists of distance runs and strides. I do not incorporate my summer strength training until I am a little further into training.

June 25th - 30 minutes plus 3 strides 3.5

June 26th - 35 minutes plus 4 strides 4.5

June 27th - 40 minutes plus 5 strides 5

June 28th - 45 minutes plus 6 strides 5.5

June 29th - 30 minute cross training session

June 30th - 45 minutes at a steady effort plus 6 strides 6

June 31st - 60 minutes distance run plus 6 strides. I incorporated a 3.5 mile tempo into this run at about 6:30 pace just to change up the pace and prepare for a little more speed work. 8.5

Week 1 Mileage: 33 miles

Total Summer Mileage: 33 miles


Week 2 (7/1-7/7)

After a solid first week of distance runs I begin to move into some faster paces. A steady run is a distance run at a steady effort pace. This doesn’t mean I have to kill myself with a crazy pace. I usually run between 6:50 and 7:20 pace depending on how I feel on that particular day. In Arizona we like to take advantage of the trails and we run on mountains around our campus very often. It can get very hilly and rocky, so you have to adjust your pace accordingly.

July 1st - 45 minute distance run 5.5

July 2nd - 50 minute steady run plus 8 strides. First trail run of the season! It feels good to lead the team through the trails again. Desert Vista Distance practices at 5 am every morning. Getting up early is hard sometimes but watching the sunrise makes it worthwhile (sometimes). 6.5

July 3rd - 20 minute distance run. 2000 meter rep, 1600 meter rep, 1200 meter rep, 800 meter rep, 400 meter rep. 8 strides and a 20 minute distance run to close. My first day on the track! My workouts remain very controlled throughout the beginning of the season. My paces are very manageable throughout this ladder and it feels great to be reunited with the track! 8.5  

July 4th - 40 minute distance run plus 6 strides 5

July 5th - 60 minute distance run plus 8 strides 8

July 6th - 30 minute cross training session

July 7th - 20 minute distance run. 4 mile tempo run (between 6:15 and 6:30) and 20 minute distance run to close. First day of summer weight training. 9

Week 2 Mileage: 42.5 miles

Total Summer Mileage: 75.5 miles


Week 3 (7/8-7/14)

After a couple weeks of solid training I’m ready to incorporate weight training and doubles into my training. On double days I cross train as a second session. I’d be the first to tell you that I cannot stand cross training and that I’d almost rather run for the rest of the afternoon than jump in a pool. However, I understand the benefits of cross training. I can get some extra minutes in without putting so much stress on my body. I usually aqua jog during my second session and I think it’s worked best for me because I can get my heart rate up while protecting my legs. There is a strict “No belts allowed” rule for me while aqua jogging. I about drowned the first time I tried it, but eventually I got my head above water.

July 8th - 45 minute distance run plus 4 strides and 5 sprints 5.5

July 9th - 55 minute steady distance run plus strides 7.5

July 10th - 20 minute steady distance run. 5x1600 meter repetition (6:00-6:10) on soft surfaces. Short  repetitions on the track  followed by a 20 minute distance run. Weight training session. 10

P.M…30 minute cross training session

July 11th - 40 minute distance run plus 4 strides and 5 sprints 5

July 12th - 70 minute distance run plus 8 strides 9.5

July 13th - 30 minute cross training session

July 14th - 20 minute distance run, 5 mile tempo run (6:40-6:20), short reps on the track, 20 minute distance run. Weight training session. 9

P.M…30 minute cross training session

Week 3 Mileage: 46.5 miles

Total Summer Mileage: 122 miles


Week 4 (7/15-7/21)

On the 17th my team is packing their bags and taking a road trip to Flagstaff. We have a 6 day camp in the largest Ponderosa Pine Forest in the country. We are also running at 7000 feet, so training here is very beneficial. To top it all off, Flagstaff is the summer home of many professional athletes like the Ryan and Sara Hall (my favorite couple). Up in Flag I also up the mileage and take advantage of the beautiful weather and trails. My team breaks into groups or ‘squads’ and we compete against each other in games like capture the flag between our runs. It’s a great opportunity to get in some quality training days but also have a lot of fun with my team mates.

July 15th - 45 minute distance run plus 4 strides and 5 sprints 5

July 16th - 55 minute steady distance run plus 8 strides 7.5

July 17th - 20 minute steady distance run, 6x1600 meter repetitions on soft surface, short repetitions on the track, 20 minute distance run, 5x100 meter strides, 5x stadium step ascents 11

Flagstaff P.M…30 minute recovery distance run 3.5

July 18th - 45 minute recovery distance run plus 4 strides and 5 sprints, general strength 1 6

July 19th - 15 minute steady distance run, 10 sets of 2 minutes “up tempo” and 2 minutes of jog recovery, 15 minutes recovery, 8 strides.   9

P.M…30 minute distance run 3.5

July 20th - 45 minute recovery distance run plus 7 strides. Core routine 5

July 21st - 75 minute steady run plus 8 strides 10

Week 4 Mileage: 60.5 miles

Total Summer Mileage: 182.5 miles


Week 5 (7/22-7/28)

The week back from camp is always a recovery week. I decide to take the Tuesday after camp off to give my body a chance to recover. I also substitute my Thursday run for a long cross training session and come back the next day to run some 1200 repeats. A recovery week is beneficial after a long training week at camp and I enjoyed this week. It also gave me a chance to catch up on talking to schools. The recruiting process has been so exciting but it also takes up a lot of time. Recovery weeks allow me to catch up on my summer homework, my recruiting process, and resting my legs.

July 22nd - Off day

July 23rd - 45 minute steady distance run plus 8 strides     6

July 24th - 45 minute cross training session

July 25th - 20 minute steady distance run, 6x1200 on soft surface, short track repetitions, 20 minute distance run, 5 strides, 5x stadium step ascends 9

July 26th - 80 minute distance run plus 8 strides 10.5

July 27th - 5 miles recovery

July 28th - 20 minute steady distance run, 40 minute fartlek, 15 minutes recovery. 5 strides and 5x stadium step ascends. General strength 1 11

P.M…30 minute cross training session

Week 5 Mileage: 41.5 miles

Total Summer Mileage: 224 miles