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whats a "good" time for HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY runners?

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i'm thinking of joining the team, but.... i want to see if i can make varsity too.

our meets our about 3 miles..... whats a good 3 mile time?

and how should i be preparing? right now, 6 days a week, i run abouttt 5 miles within 40-50 min... is this good enough?
i forget what my 3 mile time was, but i THINK it was a better rate......



and... any tips? thanks. i would LOVE to make the varsity's team.... hehe

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Well, times really depend on whether you are male or female. I would say that running 5 miles in 40 minutes (8 minute mile) is pretty fast and that 5 miles in 50 minutes (10 minute mile) is average for a cross country runner if you are a girl. I bet your time for 3 miles was faster, because you didn't have to maintain your speed for as long.

I ran cross country in high school - and my fastest time was just under 27 minutes for a 5K. I was considered .... slow :) The girls on my team that were REALLY good ran a 21-23 minute 5K. 

I'm actually a faster runner now (I'm 22) because I work out more - my cardio capacity is pretty high because I use the elliptical machine. I definitely recommend switching up your workouts - both for speed/endurance - but also to save your joints!

Regardless of your current times, you definitely have time to train for the season (I'm assuming the season starts in the fall?) - but also - I'm sure your team would love to have you as is! 

My recommendations for becoming a better runner:

1. WEIGHT LIFT. I can not stress this enough - my team lifted twice a week (full body, legs/core most important) and we hardly ever got injured. Injury rates were high for other teams. 

2. Switch up your workouts - do long easy runs, short fast runs, and switch up the intensity as your run -  but also bike, swim, use the elliptical, etc. I really recommend the elliptical - it helps you get your lungs in shape and is easy on your joints, so that when you run, you have an easier time of it. 

These are just my personal thoughts - and I'm no professional - but I hope they help! 


yeahhh i'm a girll :D


hm, i guess its nice to know i'm average :D yippeee! but varsity seems more fun......

you see, the JUNIoR varsity (me) tennis coach told me to join cross country ONLY if i can make varsity or it won't look good on my "transcript".... (I hate school)....... i should have done x-country fromn freshmen year... i loveee running so much more :( its just that my parents paid for tennis lesssons and alll..


thanks foryour advice.... whats a 5k?


As a coach - A girl in cross country needs to be able to run a 8 min. mile to be anywhere close to making Varsity- but remember most cross country courses are golf courses- meaning you will have hills be running on soft grass.  A 7 minute mile would be good. Although all this depends on the size of your team.  We have had some small teams where almost all the girls made varsity due to the lack of numbers.  Also remember that usually in high school cross country all girls run together - there is no varsity race and jv race- at least not in my state.  

I would be working on building endurance for one or two days a week and then doing hill work one day and speed work the other days.  

I also don't agree that junior varsity cross country won't look good on a transcript.  That is stupid.  A college is looking for people who are active in groups or sports- whether varsity or not you were involved and part of the group.  

Lastly - I would get ahold of the xc coach as they are probably doing a summer workout program that could get you started.  Hope that helps.  

Original Post by todayyesterday:

thanks foryour advice.... whats a 5k?

 I'm a girl in highschool and I run XC. A 5k is 3.1 miles, the length of the meets. Honestly, it's unrealistic to think you can just join and be on varsity. Most of the girls on there had to work their way up, as will you. There's no reason why JV cross country won't look good on a transcript though. I say go for it, work hard, and if you make varsity then it's just icing on the cake.

I'm pretty sure there will be a summer training program that the team is doing. E-mail the coach and get the details, and I'd say that's the best way to get started. You work out with the team, and you start getting to know everyone.

Good luck!

is this helphelpskinny??

yeah it takes me an hour to do five miles. maybe more. if your cross country team is anything like the one at my high school, they'll accept you and if you get good enough they'll bump you up to varsity.

Also, as others have said, jv will look good on a transcript. colleges like to see good grades, good SAT scores, and involvement in the school/community. I got into college with doing marching band and playing in a local rugby club. A lot of high schools (mine included) like to scare the crap out of everyone and think if they aren't completely perfect they won't get into any school and end up working at McD's for the rest of their lives. This just isn't true.

Just keep doing your best at everything and I'm sure you'll do fine. And remember to have fun! Good luck!

thats funny i used to take tennis lessons too. then i joined XC and like it about 1000x more (:

The really good girls get 20/21 minute 5Ks. maybe faster but they're ridiculous.  I've never gotton under 27 minutes :/ I will this year though! (I'm on JV; we have a large team)

I agree with what the above poster said about switching up your runs.  If you don't make varsity this year there's still a good chance you could in the future.  I wouldn't believe what the tennis coach said about colleges.  I think they like to see commitment.

That's silly for your coach to say that jv won't look good.  Any involvement looks good. I'm a senior in college and got in doing band a few years off and on and was on jv soccer my senior year (I wanted to try something new). I wasn't great but it was fun. That and my grades and SAT I had no problem getting into the one and only college I applied to. So good luck and if you do just make jv that's still awesome and still looks good. Getting into college is serious but they do try to scare the crap out of ya, just like trying to scare the crap out of ya about going into high school heh.



For girls, 24 minutes is respectable for a 5K CC race.  21 minutes even more so.  To run at the state meet, you need to go under 19 (in Pennsylvania, anyway).

nonono, the transcript part was BECAUSE of the "consistancy" thing..... if i go from jv tennis to jv xc, then it wont look good. but a jv tennis to varsity xc will look good.... so thats my biggest delima.



i get around 30 min or less for a 4 mile run, so i think i'll do pretty good in the 3 mile :D

and yeah, i looked itup, we do have a summer training thing startng august.. i think i'll try that out..... but guess what, for 2 of the days, tennis lessons get in the way XD haha.


(i've been training on my own for a while though... dont know if its the "right" training though.... just run 5 miles a day, 4 weight training days, stretches.... then 2 tennis per week) yeah, i love being active :D running beats alll!
okay, thats it. you guys convinced me to go practice with the team for over the summer....  and i actually kinda wish i'll drop off the tennis team :0omgsh!

hey, im a runner too a national level runner, and my time is 17:58 for 3 miles, but to make it to states you should be around 21-22 min. and that will put you at the back of the pack. it also kind of depends on which state and the courses you run on ( hilly, flat, road,grass ect; )
i would do one long run a week ( 50-70 min. ) one intreval type, 1 day rest and the rest just easy distance of 30 - 45 min. (:

thanks for that info :)

i dont know the average it depends on a lot of things but i know it was my first year this year along with my friend and we ran varsity (boys) we run in the mid 17 minute range for 3 miles and varsity (girls) were i live usually run in the 20 minute range

Original Post by devilmaycriy:

i dont know the average it depends on a lot of things but i know it was my first year this year along with my friend and we ran varsity (boys) we run in the mid 17 minute range for 3 miles and varsity (girls) were i live usually run in the 20 minute range


oh so this is where you found me...


well guys guess what


joining xc team was the best idea ive ever had


went on varsity :) and i love the team

I know you say that to be good, girls need to have an 7 or 8 min mile time, i'm not sure if that's the case I just barely made varsity on my team and my mile times were somewhere around 6:15. Granted my team is very good considering we won sections and went to state in 2013! That being said every teams ability is different, but if you work hard you can do anything!

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A good time for a girl is sub-20 minutes, for a 5K

Honestly, a good time depends on the course. For a normal course, a pretty good time would be around 23-24 minutes. However, making varsity is pretty difficult and varsity times depend on the high school. I am a freshman and I'm on varsity. At first, my time was around 21-22 minutes and I didn't make varsity. I worked VERY hard and got my time down to almost under 19 minutes. If you want to make varsity, I recommend you practice almost everyday and run as hard as you can every practice. DON'T BE LAZY! However, if you don't make varsity, it's no big deal. Varsity is kinda dumb anyway. GOOD LUCK!!!!!


Im a 9th grade male, and this year was my first time doing cross country. My first ever 5k, i got 21 minutes, which i think is pretty good. In a couple weeks, i have gotten my time down to 19:57. I made varsity after the first meet, and there is about 25 males on my team. i am the only freshman on varsity. if you are a female, you should probably be 24-23 minutes or less. For males, you should be around 20

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Our team is ranked in the nation and we have hard practices 1-2 times a week, and if you want to get to the average time at like 21 for girls you just have to work for it. Push yourself as hard as you can. Our team has 2 runners under 16 and they push themselves hard each and everyday. and so does the rest of the team who arent far behind them

Do not care too much about your time, just get out and run. Have fun is much more important than a time

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