Cross country running has become a rage globally. More and more people are getting themselves involved in the sport. While earlier cross country running was only popular in Europe and the United States, now even developing countries like Africa, India, Brazil and many others play the role of host to countless cross country races.
If you’re planning on taking up a cross country race, or you wish to start training for cross country running, there are a few tips that you must know. Today, we have put together a limit of these tips. Here are some good tips for cross country runners:
Train Well In Advance
Cross country running and racing can be a pretty gruelling sport. If you aren’t properly trained for it, you can end up collapsing out of exhaustion and dehydration. You need to start training at least 3 to 6 months prior to the cross country race. You can get a professional trainer to guide you through your training too. Dedication, perseverance and hard work are what will help you conquer that cross country race.
Eat Healthy During Your Training Period
Being physically fit is not just about training, it also requires a healthy eating and living. If you’re looking to run a cross country race, you need to make sure that you eat nutritious, calcium-rich and protein-rich foods. Adding eggs, lean meats, fish, pulses, legumes, green vegetables and leafy greens to your diet can prove to be very good for your overall health when you are undergoing training. If your vitamin or calcium levels continue to remain low, you can always add calcium and vitamin supplements to your diet.
Get Proper Footwear
In order to be able to train for and run the cross country race easily, you need to have the correct footwear. People who run cross country races typically wear spiked shoes. These spiked shoes are specially designed to provide grip and traction on all kinds of terrains and surfaces. They are also designed in such a way that they manage to provide proper support for the lower back and knees of the runner. You can visit your local sports and fitness store to purchase the necessary footwear. There are several online shopping portals that also offer great cross country running footwear.
Speed Isn’t The Criteria Here
Another common mistake that most people make while running cross country is that they end up starting the race at a brisk speed and somewhere midway through the course they begin to feel burnt out. This race isn’t as much about speed as it is about completion. You need to make sure that you maintain a brisk yet achievable speed throughout the course. If you start the race at speed and then gradually begin to feel worn out, you may not have enough energy in you to complete the race also.
Cross country races can go on for up to 12 kilometres. If you aren’t going to keep yourself hydrated through the race you may end up blacking out. You need to make sure that you take small sips of water through the course. You can either strap on your own sipper bottle, or in many races, water booths are set up along the running course.
Warming Up Before You Begin Is Essential
If you’re planning on jumping out of the bed and hitting the race track, you will probably end up having some sort of muscle injury or sprain. You need to ensure that you warm up properly before you start running. Warming up should include stretching, loosening up your muscles in whatever way you can, light on the spot jogging and so on. Don’t let your warm-up routine become very extensive as you will only end up getting exhausted before the race begins and that may affect your performance in the race.
Make It A Point To Add Uphill And Down Hill Running In Your Training
Cross country races involve a running on all kinds of natural terrains that include snow, Tarmac, hills, muddy roads and so on. You need to ensure that your body is trained to run uphill and downhill for the race. Inclination training can be very gruelling and exhausting. If your body isn’t ready for it, you may get exhausted during the race if you have to run up a hill.
Find Proper Attire For The Race
Cross country races are often held in autumn and winter months. These months tend to witness snowfall, rainfall, hail, chilly winds and other harsh weather conditions. You need to make sure that you have proper attire for the race. If the race is being held in the winter months make sure that you put on some warm wear. If the weather forecast shows rains, you may want to keep a rain jacket handy to avoid getting drenched and cold.
Stop If You Feel Chest Pain Or Severe Discomfort
If you suddenly start feeling some sort of physical discomfort, or you have chest pain, or you begin to get muscle cramps, make sure that you stop and get medical attention immediately. While completing the race is an achievement, completing it at the cost of your health can prove to be lethal. Most race organisers have first aid and medical facilities available and you can approach them in case you feel any sort of discomfort or pain.
There you have it, the basic tips and suggestions that you require to run a cross-country race. Besides these above-mentioned tips and suggestions, you can also consult with your trainer or speak with a professional cross country racer for additional tips. Once you start running these cross country races regularly, you will find that they get easier. Cross country races are run by men, women and often even senior citizens. There may be separate categories for different age groups and genders. Get right to it and start your training soon. Cross country racing can be very beneficial for your physical health too.
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