Cross country running has become a new fad amongst fitness enthusiasts. More and more people are interested in taking up cross country running for fitness and other purposes. If you’re planning on taking up running too, there may be some questions about it that cross your mind. You must be wondering about things like how hard is the cross country as a sport and whether or not you will be able to do it. Today, we have put together detailed information about cross country running. Here’s everything you need to know:
Cross country is a popular running sport that requires an individual or team to run across open-air courses that include grass and dirt and other natural terrains. The people who participate in cross country running are called Harriers. The average course of a cross-country race ranges from 4 kilometres to 12 kilometres. The surface of the course in these races can include hills, gravel roads, patches of grass, muddy roads, woodlands and more. Individuals and teams can participate in this sport. Individuals are judged on the timing within which they complete the race and teams are judged on the basis of a point system. Both women and men actively participate in cross country races. Typically these races are held during the autumn and winter months. Runners may have to face chilly temperatures, rainfall, sleet, hail and snow when they are running.
Is Cross Country Racing Hard?
If you’re wondering whether cross country running is hard as a sport, well, that would totally depend on your fitness levels and how mentally prepared you are to withstand the harsh weather conditions. If a newbie wakes up one morning and decided to enrol himself for a cross country race without any prior training and experience, the race may prove to be hard and unconquerable for him.
On the other hand, if an individual is properly trained for the race, he may find it to be a complete cakewalk. You need to start training at least 3 to 6 months prior to the scheduled race. While training you need to ensure that you train under all kinds of weather conditions so that you’re not in for a shock on the day of the actual race. You also need to make sure that you maintain a proper diet and avoid smoking if you want to fare well in the race.
Cross Country Running And A Healthy Lifestyle
In order to run a cross country race, besides training, you need to make sure that you maintain a healthy diet too. You can’t be snorting down unhealthy carbs and smoking cigarettes and expect your body to be prepared for the race. In order to be prepared for the race, your diet needs to be a nutritional and well-balanced one. You need to make sure that you eat a high protein diet. You need to add protein and calcium-rich foods to your daily meals. Further, you also need to ensure that your body is getting all the other essential nutrients that it requires. In the event that your vitamin levels are low, you can consult your general physician and add a multi-vitamin supplement to your diet.
Proper Clothing And Footwear For The Race
Another very important thing to keep in mind is that you need to have proper running attire for the race. Depending on when the race is being held, you may even require warm clothes to battle harsh weather conditions. Always invest in top quality running shoes so that your knees and back don’t end up facing the brunt of your training. Also, make sure that the shoes that you purchase can withstand running on all kinds of terrains including snow and ice. The most popularly purchased running shoes are cross country spikes. The spikes on the shoes are very important to avoid slipping and falling on icy or slippery terrains.
Keeping Yourself Hydrated Through The Race
Cross country running can be extremely tiring and can cause severe dehydration. In many cases, runners have blacked out in the middle of the race because of dehydration and exhaustion. Keeping yourself hydrated throughout the race is essential to avoid any mishaps. Most cross-country races have water booths set up along the way. To be ok the safe side, you can always strap on your very own water bottle. Don’t take large gulps of water mid-race. Always have small sips of water during the race. Once you’re done with the race you can consume as much water as required or you can even grab an energy drink if you find the need for one.
How Old Does One Have To Be To Participate?
The best part about cross country running is that you don’t need to be of a specific age in order to participate. People of all ages participate in cross country races. Senior citizens who are in great shape are also often found participating in these races too. There may be different categories for people of different ages in the race. You can mark the category that best fits your age when signing up for the race.
Focus On Completion And Not Speed
A lot of runners make the mistake of focusing on speed instead of focusing on completion. If you’re running for the first time, you need to make sure that you complete the race. Don’t make the mistake of running at speed and then getting worn out halfway through the race. It is always better to maintain a fixed speed throughout and the race and complete the entire course.
Well, there you have it, all the information that you need to know if you’re planning on participating in a cross-country race. Cross country races aren’t very hard if you’re properly trained and mentally prepared. Make sure that you train well in advance and keep yourself fit and healthy so that you can complete the race. Cross country races can be a lot of fun for people who are obsessed with running and cardio.