Thanks to two full years of training (on top of the several years of track seasons before that), I kept surprising myself my senior year. By the State Meet, I had run a 4:42 and a 4:44 mile. Honestly, I did not expect to PR that day, but I had confidence in my ability to run those times. More than anything, I wanted to be proud of my last Massachusetts State Championship race.
In high school I liked running in the front, where I could find my zone and just focus on pushing a smooth, even pace. I had learned by how much to increase my effort on each lap in order to maintain my pace. In this race, like any other, I pushed myself through that daunting third quarter, actually increasing the pace. I was encouraged by my half-mile split and even more so by my three-lap. I knew I had enough strength to finish with a fast overall time. Running slightly negative splits was effective, at least for me, by barely avoiding redlining until the last half.
Several factors ended up being effective for me that year. From my limited knowledge, it seems that the basic ideas underlying my training could work for most high school runners, but many pathways lead to success. Building an aerobic base, gradually introducing speed, adequate recovery, and enjoying the ride are all key elements, in my opinion. I hope this helps. Good luck to all in attaining the most you can from this gut-wrenching but exhilarating sport.