Week 4 Training Blog: Humphries excited about improvement

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* Samantha ran a new 5k PR of 17:20.00 for third place at the Marcus Coach T Invitational.

Photo credit: TTFCA/MileSplit Texas

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The dynamic sister duo Flower Mound (TX) of Nicole Humphries and Samantha Humphries head into their college cross-country season as two of Texas’ top performers and ones to watch on the national stage. The sisters put in their best cross-country performances to date last season, with Nicole and Samantha clocking personal best 5k times of 17:39.30 and 17:39.98, respectively. They also competed in two rounds of the record-breaking National Indoor 4xmile team from Flower Mound which ran for a new American high school best of 19:37.78 at the New Balance Indoor Nationals. After such successful 2021 seasons, Nicole and Samantha are gearing up for what’s to come this fall. We asked the Humphries sisters to document their training for four weeks as their junior cross country season begins to ramp up, and the fourth and final week is narrated by Samantha.

Week 1 Week 2 – Week 3 – Week 4

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Week 4 (September 5-11)

* Week 4 is told in the words of Samantha.

Monday, September 5 — 5 miles

Today was Labor Day, so we didn’t have school. Slept in a bit (but not too late since it’s so hot) and ran with an old team mate/friend. The run was easy at a conversational pace so we could catch up and enjoy some unfamiliar scenery. I spent the rest of the day hanging out with my friend, spending time with my family, and catching up on my schoolwork. Above all, I favored relaxation and took advantage of the rest day to prepare for the week of training to come.

Tuesday, September 6 — 6 miles

Today was another typical 7 a.m. back-to-school track Tuesday. Training built on previous weeks by running 2km instead of 1600ms. We did a fast 400m followed by 3x2k with a minute rest in between and finished with another fast 400m with a mile warm up and cool down. The workout was the same volume as before but allowed us to simulate the start, middle and end of a race and work on maintaining a threshold pace for a bit longer. I felt good in this practice and still felt controlled on the fifth extra lap. In the afternoon, we went to the gym for cross-training and strength training. I slept well after a long day of hard work.

Wednesday, September 7 — 5 miles

I ran the occasional 5 mile today to recover from training yesterday. Today was a fun run as we had quite a large group taking it easy with us and had some fun conversations. After the race, we did some hurdles and some quick core exercises. It was an easy day at school and I had no homework after school. In my spare time, I went to the mall for a bit with my friend, then came home to have dinner, take a relaxing bath and get some sleep.

Thursday, September 8 — 6 miles

At 7am we headed out to the local park to run on the grass for the second practice of the week. We ran to the park to warm up for a mile and did our dynamic exercises once we got there. The workout expanded on previous grass workouts by adding a few extra reps to get stronger and more comfortable with the effort. This time we did 12 x 200m up a hill with about 500m of jogging down. We had a strong pack of boys this time to stick with and push us around. I felt stronger and softer than the last time we did this workout as I was focused on having a good workout since we won’t be racing this weekend. After a mile back to school, I spent some time stretching before getting ready for the day. I had a math test that I blew through since I was prepped, and again I had no homework. After school, we hit the gym to do some extra cardio, weight training, and replace worn-out running shoes with new ones.

Friday, September 9 — 4 miles

I got an extra 30 minutes of sleep from the beloved 7:30 workout. In training we ran 4 miles at an easy pace to recover. We were joined by Coach Cook on the run and had some great conversations. Then we did 6 x 100m strides to keep the body engaged with this system. Besides a chemistry quiz, it was a really easy day at school that got me through the weekend. In the evening we had another weekly team dinner full of pasta. I went to bed early to sleep well before a long run early the next morning.

Saturday, September 10 — 9 miles

Today we had a long run since we had a week off. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. to meet team mates at school to go on a long run at 6 a.m. We were running early so we could get to our home meeting to cheer on the rest of our teammates and help with meeting him. Today’s long run was the best I’ve had all week because it was much easier than a typical long run. I ran my longest race of the season at 9 miles, and I feel like I’m getting stronger every time I do one. Even though it was dark when we started running, the weather was great as it is finally starting to get cooler in Texas. The team performed very well in the meeting with a lot of PR, and the meeting went well. For the rest of the day, I spent time with friends and rested.


Sunday, September 11 — Cross Training/Rest

I slept since I didn’t run. Once awake, I went to the gym to train with Nicole for an hour but I made sure that the effort was not too hard so that I could recover. Today I was able to relax and spend time with my family for my mother’s birthday. I enjoyed my weekend off and made sure to set myself up for success for the big week ahead. Next up is the Woodbridge Cross Country Classic in California on September 16!

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Total mileage — 35 miles

This is the fourth and final installment in the Humphries series and is part of several workout blogs written by various athletes as the 2022 cross country season progresses. Discover our training blog serial sheet for more content.

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