Slow and Steady Training Load Progression
While volume (mileage) is just one training component out of many, because it is so easily quantifiable, it makes for a convenient basis for comparison.
All three followed strikingly similar, very moderate, mileage progressions.
All three topped out at around 25-30 miles a week as freshmen and gradually progressed about 5-10 miles per week per year, topping out at approximately 50-55 miles per week, give or take, as seniors.
Born, who ran an eye-popping 10:11 two-mile at Brooks PR as a soph, reached approximately 50M/week the winter of her junior year but her progression was interrupted shortly after that by a severe navicular stress fracture late in track season. Exhibiting maturity, foresight, and patience unusual for an ambitious runner her age who was on the cusp of breaking a significant barrier (10:00), Born opted for a surgical repair that would significantly reduce the chances for a recurrence, even though it meant a much longer recovery and missing her senior cross country season.
Logue peaked briefly at 60M/week the summer before her senior year, then maintained 45-55M/week during the season "depending on what was going on."
Venters believes she started at about the same level her freshman year but admitted she "didn't really keep track" much at that time. She maxed out at "about 45M/week" during her senior year.
Each said their longest single run in high school was "about 10 miles."
Born was the only one of the three ever to do any two-a-days, and those were limited to easy three mile runs only twice a week, in the summer and early cross country season her sophomore and junior years. "I wasn't a big fan of them," says Born. Neither Logue nor Venters ever ran any two-a-days in high school.
Logue and Venters just completed their freshman year in college, and both of their college programs (Boise State for Venters, Iowa State for Logue) continued their mileage progressions at the same rate, picking up from where they were in high school. While Venters's peak mileage has risen only slightly, to about 55M/week, her average mileage is up, running around 50M/week more consistently. The same has been true for Logue, whose highest week her freshman year was 68M, but estimates she more consistently averaged around 55M/week her freshman year in college.
The slow, steady progression has continued into college and bear spectacular fruit for Venters and Logue as each made two U.S. Junior teams their freshman year. They were named to the U.S. Junior team for the Great Edinburgh Cross Country Race in Scotland last January, and the pair earned three out of the four available team spots at 3,000 and 5,000, including sweeping the 5,000, at the USATF Junior Championships to make U.S. Junior team for the IAAF World Junior Championships in Finland next month.
L-R: Logue, Venters and Born discuss their high school training