How To Train For Cross Country Running
Whether you want to run cross country for health benefits, competition, or both, you need to know how to train for cross country running. Although it is possible to train for cross country running alone, training with a group will yield the best results.
- Join a running club: Many communities have local running clubs that train for 5K, 10K, and other cross country style races. By joining a club, you will meet plenty of people to run with and you will get yourself on a running schedule. Runners in school can join the cross country team. Joining a club or team is the best way to train for cross country running.
- Set a training schedule: If you are on a club or team this one is easy. Go to practice. If you are training solo you will need to take a bit more initiative. Create a training schedule to fit your individual needs. A seven-day schedule is ideal, but four or five day schedules can work.
- Speed work: Although cross country running is mostly about endurance, increasing your running speed is the only way to be successful in competition. Interval training is the best way to increase speed. This type of workout can be done on a track or on the street. Interval workouts are most effective in groups.
- LSD: "Long slow distance" is one of the most important ways to train for cross country running. At least once per week, but not more than twice, you should do a long slow run of ten or more miles.
- Tempo: Tempo runs help you increase your race pace speed. These are runs of moderate distance at a rapid pace. Along with intervals and LSD runs, tempo runs are one of the most important ways to train for cross country running.
- Stretching: As with any form of running, it is imperative that you stretch thoroughly before and after each run.
Race and set goals: Racing is one of the only ways to monitor your progress in cross country running. Run a few races and then set personal goals for desired race times.