5 Power Tips For Running Cross Country
Running cross country is a sport enjoyed by millions across the world. Not only does it keep you physically fit and maximize your cardiovascular health, cross country is the perfect way to challenge yourself to reach new milestones of personal excellence and determination. Here are five power tips to make sure running cross country is the best it can be for you.
Stretch It Out
Running cross country puts a significant strain on your muscles, especially your leg and calf muscles. Here’s a good guide to the best stretches to do prior to running cross country. Chances are you’re enthusiastic to hit the trail and start running, but taking at least five minutes to stretch prior to running is a must-do. Pulling a muscle or falling can put you out of commission for months, not to mention the risk of longer-term overstrain from not stretching. Don’t risk it: stretch.
Get The Right Shoes
Running cross country is all about hard work, good form and determination. However, in order to push yourself to new achievements you need the right tools to start. The primary equipment you’ll need is high-quality running shoes. If possible, be willing to pay a bit more for lighter-weight, durable and aerodynamically-designed shoes. Ask the salesperson at the store his or her advice on which shoes will be best for cross country. Having the right shoes will pay off majorly in the end.
Train On The Right Surface
Cross country is all about running on variable terrain that can be unpredictable. When training, try to do so on paths that are similar to those used in races. Running on a road isn’t really running cross country, and if you take the easy route and just run on roads or flat, even trails that are easier and smoother than the race-day track, you’re going to be caught flat-footed and a lot of your road training will go to waste. Study the race
track ahead of time and if possible run it in advance to really get the lay of the land.
Tailor Your Workouts
In between training on the trail you need to make sure you work out in a way that’s optimal to running cross country. Some time on the treadmill or stairmaster is a good bet, but make sure to incorporate elevation and decline that mimics the ups and downs of a cross country trail.
Race Day Recipe For Success
When it’s race day the pressure is on. Make sure to get a lot of sleep the night before, eat well but not right before the race and get your mental attitude in the right place. Stretch out prior to the race and when it starts go as hard as you can to gain an advantage in the first section. Tracks often narrow after the first few hundred meters so it’s vital you get some lead early on. Then slow somewhat and pace yourself out for the race.
Best of success in running cross country. May the trail be always in your favor and the finish line near in sight!