How Training with Run365 Prepped Me for High School Cross Country

Written by two time Berkeley Half Ambassador and 3 time Berkeley Half finisher, Landry Schoennauer. 


As an incoming freshman at Lincoln High School, I decided to run cross country. Why not? If I could run a half marathon, I could certainly run 2.5-3 miles in school competitions. 

After the first couple of practices, my coach moved me up to be a varsity runner….as a freshman! Our first meet was a scrimmage against 10 other schools and there were almost 100 girls running in my race. I finished 16th overall and as a girl’s varsity team, we finished in first place. This meet was against schools that were not even in our league, which was huge motivation for me to push harder in my practices. Our coach explained that it was a lot more challenging that our upcoming weekly meets. 

Our second meet was last Thursday, at the Montgomery Hill course in East San Jose. This meet was against seven other schools including our rivals, San Jose High. I finished in 4th place out of almost 50 runners. As a girl’s varsity team, our runners finished first, second, third, fourth, fifth and seventh. My twin sister, Kennedy, who is also an ambassador for the Berkeley Half inched me out at the last minute. Our next meet is in a couple of days and I am hoping to improve my time and help my team!

Training for cross country meets can be very tiring, but with practice it will pay off. I learned this lesson in training for half marathons over the years, but I see it coming to fruition even more at the high school level. The harder you work and practice, the faster you run. 

My practices help me build up my stamina and endurance so that I am well-prepared for upcoming meets. Run365 training program has helped me because I can get lots of mileage in when I’m running with the run club. Also, it’s really special to be a kid running with a group of adults. It also helps me understand what a positive running environment is like. I know that since running is not always easy, people may need more encouragement. Run365 has really shown me that over the years. I still think its funny when the fast pacers ask me what my mile time is and tell me that I’ll have to slow down to run with them. 

Cross country is very different from a half marathon. First of all, there is a greater difference in mileage. In our cross country meets, we usually run 2.7 miles. That is very different from a half marathon’s 13.1 miles. Therefore, my style of running cross country has had to change. I know that for half marathons I have to pace myself the entire time. But for cross country, I need to start off a little bit faster in order to have a good position for the rest of the race. Our course consists of some pretty intense hills and also some flats, and so I know that the flats have to be pretty fast and the hills need to be more relaxed. Having run some huge hills over the years in the Berkeley Half and the San Francisco Marathon half distance, I’m no stranger to hills. But in cross country, I need to sprint them whereas in the half marathon, I’ve been able to take them a little more gently. 

Running isn’t for the faint of heart. One of the main reasons I am enjoying cross country this year is because I have a super fun team that helps me be a better runner. I’ve always felt the same when running with the South Bay Run365 group on the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Every day at practice, we are always having fun while we run while working hard. None of our work goes unnoticed because we always have our other teammates paying attention to us. I couldn’t be as successful as I am without everyone’s encouragement.

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