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Preparing for Cross Country Races

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There’s nothing as exciting as a cross country race. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve seen more than 200 people lined up at the start of the race just waiting for the gun to go off so they could push their way up front. Several cross country runners agree that the start of the race is most important since a lot of courses narrow down to a winding trail. This creates the tension at the beginning of the race.

There’s a lot more going on with the sport than the actual race. The night before the race, there are carb parties, pre-race rituals like walking the course, power bars, stretching, applying icy hot, and warm-up jogging and most importantly, several months of training. Long before the race begins, the serious runners train for the cross country season. A good training schedule is important. Several of the runners peak during the mid season then drop off during the closing races that include the state, district and regional. An effective workout schedule prevents early burnout and provides the runners the opportunity to show their best when needed.

There are many online sources that help in creating a good training schedule. When you develop your schedule, remember you need to push your body to do its best, but you won’t want to wear your body out prematurely. Rest completely one day in a week. During the race, use the day right after the race to completely relax and let the body recuperate. The day before the race, do a short and light workout so the body has reserves for the next day. For the entire wee, try a variety of workouts by mixing long runs with other kinds of exercises like sprinting, weight training, intervals and plyometrics.

A young runner must average 35 to 45 miles a week. More advanced runners like high school seniors and college athletes must run 2 times a day and average 100 miles a week. Don’t force your body to do more than it can handle. A young runner that trains with advanced schedules will only wear out their body.