Q: I'm 14 years old and run the 2 mile race in cross country, but I just don't get the times I think I am really capable of getting. Just recently I got 11:43 but it was on the easiest course I have ever ran. I'm trying to get my 2 mile time under 11:30 during the offseason. What I am doing during the offseason is running 8 quarters 3 days a week, a 2 mile run for my rest days, and a 5 or 6 mile hard run in the hills during the weekend. Is this a good schedule to get using or should I change it? What kind of workouts would you suggest? Thanks for your time. - Buddy, 11/01/02

A: I wouldn't change much. You seem to have all the bases covered...speed, longer hard runs and hills. Any suggestion I would have would be just fine tuning. I would listen to your coach first, but you might ask him/her if some 200s substituted for one of your 400 workouts might help you develop some more speed. A word of caution first: Remember, you're only 14. You are already very good and going to get even better if you remain patient and don't take on too much too soon. Listen to your coach. Good luck. The Rage

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10kTruth.com is a place for runners who have the attitude to train harder and smarter, who want to race faster and stronger, to better their race times and lower the chance of injury. The Rage and Manciata answer running and training questions with their own unique insight and spew. You'll also find running advice and inspirational quotes by sports legends and others who epitomize the spirit of 10k Truth.