Cross Country Time!

The photo on the left says it all. Cross Country is a brutal sport. You need to have the strength of a marathon or half-marathon specialist and you need to have the wheels of a 5K guy to handle all the surges and burst of power needed to run a good cross country race. Last week I brought out the cross country spikes and did 5 x mile repeats on a grass loop with 440 jog recoveries. The session went pretty well but I averaged about 25 seconds per mile slower than I would have done on the roads or a track. Cross country running is an entirely different animal and the only way to get better at it, is to do a lot of off road workouts. The best XC runners seem to be able to run nearly as fast on grass and dirt as they do in road races. I'm planning on doing an XC specific workout every week this fall leading up to club nationals, with the exception of weeks when I'm racing (I'll hit the track for lighter tuneup workouts those weeks). In past years I haven't done enough cross country work, so this time there will be no exceptions. Tomorrow I have a good one planned on the grass loop at Lakewood Park, a ladder consisting of mile, 1320, mile, 880, mile, 440 with 440 recoveries between each surge. The miles will be run at 10K effort and the shorter reps will be run at increasingly faster paces with the aim of finishing the last 440 at about the effort I would sustain in a mile race.

As far as racing goes, I won't be toeing the line until I run a low key 5K on October 3, followed by a much higher profile 5K on a hilly course on October 24.  I had initially planned on doing the Cleveland Heroes Run 5 miler this coming Sunday, but Bella is having surgery on Friday to get her tumor removed and will be in the hospital over the weekend. Racing is definitely not on my mind this week.

Post a Comment

  © Designed by Mousetrap Marketing from

Back to TOP