Cross-country training for any exercise or sport, supplements any primary sport you are involved in. Regardless of whether you are an experienced marathoner or a beginner runner, you are sure to benefit with cross-country training. Some of the benefits are:
Long Run for Aerobic Benefits
In cross-country training, an essential component is the long-running distances, and it is used by some of the best coaches to improve the stamina of the runner. There are other training techniques acquired through cross-country programs. There are aerobic improvement benefits in association with stamina improvement when you perform one long run per week. However, it is suggested to increase it by 5 to 10 minutes every week. In fact, the fitness history of the runner helps in determining the length covered or the time taken in the long run. However, there is a need to be careful when increasing the range quickly, owing to increased fatigue or injury risks. You may allow the body to recover sufficiently by having an easy day following the day of the long run.
Know the Terrain
In cross-country training, you must get to know the terrain. This offers you a lead during the race. While preparation for cross-country, it is common to encounter long grass, mud, sharp corners, snow, and hills. Most programs in the cross-country training help in focusing on the race terrain. Over time you learn how to access and behave with the terrain and control your energy levels and maneuvers efficiently across all terrains. Even sporting coaches offering cross-country training allow teams to run on unique terrains often and even in bad weather. Another common practice is to reach the race venues early and to scout for potential spots on the course.
In trail running, there is the additional challenge of twisty switchbacks, high elevation, rivers, snowfields; this is why knowing the terrain becomes critical. At times it may not be practical for some to scout the entire course beforehand. Practicing on various terrains offers comfort, and this translates positively on the terrain on the track day.
Cross country training needs strength. Runners should focus their concentration on the nature of the race; its surface, its turns, and its hills more than their speed. Make sure that you expend your energy in the right amounts at the right spots to ensure you save most of it. In fact, you will be happy to have some extra energy on the final leg right before the finish. The entire course acts as the testing time for your strength, and you should not give up.
Marathon runners, sporting athletes, and other hobby runners often have mixed emotions about cross-country training. While some use it just to get some form of activity on an off-day or to explore an area they are visiting, training in cross-country running has its immense benefits that will help every athlete. Strength, endurance, control, entertainment and timing are the different aspects that are covered through cross-country running. While most of it depends on the area where you train, it can be an opportunity for athletes to get a little change up in their everyday routine too.