Knowing 10 cross country running tips gives an athlete the opportunity to appreciate the natural environment and its challenges that running in fall and early winter affords. The goal of the cross country runner is to finish in the shortest time possible while dealing with the weather and obstacles like hills, water and grass. Running on an outdoor trail is an exhilarating experience like no other. Certain tips can help the runner achieve his goals and improve conditioning.
- Start your training for cross country running by learning to breathe properly. Top athletes in this sport use a pattern called the 2-2 to avoid cramps. Begin the breathing pattern with the same foot, breathing in on that foot, then two steps later breathing out. Take another two steps before breathing in again.
- Proper stretching for all sports cannot be over emphasized. Stretch your legs and warm up before you start training sessions for cross country running. This avoids muscle tears and shin splints.
- Use cross country running to increase your speed and set up a running schedule. Train for four or five days a week, and be sure that one of your runs is a longer distance. This will build your strength so that you can keep up your pace in competition.
- Practice good posture, both in running and in day to day life. This reduces back and neck strain. Have your shoulders back and your pelvis in a neutral position. Use a shorter stride, moving your feet heel to toe.
- The best shoe for cross country running is a light running shoe with lots of support. Buy a good brand, and consider whether or not you will need spikes. Shoes are available that have a screw in spike so that this is optional for the terrain.
- It is very important to pay attention to the path when cross country running. There will be hazards such as branches, and slick spots. This is not the time to be distracted, so watch where you are going.
- Take care of your body so that you can participate at an optimum level. This means that you will drink plenty of water both the day of the competition, and when you are doing your training.
- Provide energy for cross country running by eating high quality carbohydrates. Many racers like to eat a carbohydrate loading meal like pasta the night before a competition.
- When running cross country dress comfortably for the conditions that you will be experiencing. You generally will wear shorts and a running vest. Sometimes in colder weather you will also need to wear a long sleeve shirt to prevent getting too chilled.
- Avoid distractions to avoid accidents. Wear glasses if you need them, and be selective about listening to music with head phones. You want to hear any potential hazards that are over taking you.
Cross country running is a sport that is healthy and challenging. Enjoy your training and competition.