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What gains can I expect?

Dear Run Coach
My name is Eric Gallos and I am a high school cross country runner. After coming off a disappointing junior season I am desperate to improve dramatically for my senior season. My current personal best in a 5k race is 18 minutes. Now, I understand that this is a mediocre time, but i am 100% sure that i have much more to bring to the table. I have only participated in two years of XC, but both of the two years i have struggled with stress fractures and shin splints(both injuries from working beyond a breaking point). Now, my question is this, realistically how much time off my 5k can I shed; I am willing to train starting now until next year.

p.s. I currently am recovering from a nasty stress fracture. (before my injury I had been running 10 miles per day)

Eric Gallos

One Response to “What gains can I expect?”

  1. Run Coach says:

    Hi Eric,

    You sound very positive about your ability to ‘bring more to the table’ which is a perfect place to start.

    To improve from 18 minutes should not be difficult if you have a good program. Assuming your recovery from your stress fracture is complete, which I would highly suggest you allow to happen, you can easily drop 30 seconds within a couple of months of quality training. This would mean improving from 3:36/km to 3:30/km.

    Anything faster than this will take longer, as you get nearer to your potential the gains will come slower than if you were just starting out. It may take a year to drop from 20 mins to 18 mins but then will take another year to drop to 17 mins and another year to drop to 16m30s.

    Allowing for good training and injury free running, I would think about setting your sights on the 17 minute mark this year.

    Best of luck with the training, feel free to let us know when you hit your goals.

    Train Well


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