I have just turned 16 and have been running for a year now, i set targets for myself one of which to get to the english schools cross country. i have been puttin the training in for the countys to try and qualify but failed to do so and ran a terrible race to finish in 11th position as top year in the race. the training i have been doing consisted of 5 mile runs, 10 mile runs and track reps but i didn't decrease the amount of training i was doing for up and coming races. Does anyone have any ideas on how i can trainin hard but race as well as i can? if so please post a reply here
As much as I'm sure you don't want to hear it, age 16 is really on the earliest of the improvement curve. Keeping at it, you're going to see some great improvement the next couple years. I'm guessing you're racing against 17 and 18-yr olds, right? You definitely gotta shoot for the big guns in races, but don't beat yourself up. In one year's time you've come a long ways. Give yourself a couple more before getting too introspective about reaching those really large goals.
What distance is the XC run over?
Did you have any lead in races before your qualifing race? I always reckon you can train as hard as you like, but you should always have at least three hard races to bring you to a peak.
Some things to take into consideration in training for XC.
Always train on natural surfaces
STAMINA. Covered by your 5 and 10 mile runs
STRENGTH. Strength endurance. The strength capacity you need to apply force. Endurance you need to apply force over a long distance, as well as overall bodystrength:- Short fartlek, Long fartlek Polish fartlek etc
Body weight circuit training:- sit-ups, Push-ups, trunk raises etc.
Hills (probally the best strength training of all) Short, medium and long hills of varying gradient.
SPEED. My preference is keep well away from tracks. We use a golf course or at least the perimeter of the course. Tee to green intervals.
Rugby/Soccer feild fartlek use the lines of the feild to run fast or slow.
SKILL TRAINING. Some time back a fellow countryman of yours posted how he saw no skill in running only soccer and tennis etc.
This bloke oboviously has never run XC
A XC runner has to know how to handle the start, finish and hills on the course, bends, downhill running and so on.
Some of the skills to keep in mind are:- Run over and down a hill. Use your arms to stabilise your body
Make good use of your arms when running uphill
Listen to the breathing of other runners but keep your own breathing as quiet as possible
Run round the bends like a thief when other runners are out of sight
Finish strong over the last Km/Mile
Look over the course before you race (will help your confidence)
These are only generalisations, hope they are of some help.
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