Transforming Your Cross Country Program

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The correction has been made. This program is for anyone who is looking to start a running program from scratch. A person with a history of athletics may find that a bit of muscle memory comes back to them, but the program can be adapted for any beginning fitness level. The important thing for any new runner is to start slowly with a combination of walking and short jogs, and then increase the jogging time in very small increments as your body adapts.

Any advice for a beginner who does night shift on how to adapt the programme? I find any form of excercise prior to night shift leaves me exhausted half way through the shift.

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Any advice would be beneficial. Are you eating a high-protein snack after your exercise? It sounds like there may be something in your diet that is causing you to crash during your shift. Try one of these options and let us know if you notice a difference: It is most important to find a routine that works best for you. As of now, there is no printable for this, but thanks for the idea! Sarita, I removed that phrase from 12, it was a little confusing.

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Keep us posted on your progress. I am a total beginner who has always wanted to run but been to embarrassed. My son is a runner and it does wonders for his stress level. I will use this program to work toward this goal and not be afraid or intimidated by what someone thinks when they see me going down the street.


21-Day Learn to Run Challenge

Thank you for offering this! Keep going and hold your head high! Begin the first workout by teaching the difference between fresh, good and hard swing. Have your team run at the various tempos and they will naturally assume the gait that accomplishes the objective. The coach will do perhaps three or four meter intervals with a rest period between each so the group can regather together after each segment. The breathing techniques are taught on the grass field using the concept of the acceleration point.

Usually accomplished just once at the point of acceleration, the technique known as tidal breathing propels the runner into a faster tempo half way into the interval.

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The coach can explain the following breathing principles to his team while standing in front of them on the grass field. The technique of tidal breathing teaches the runner to fill his lungs to capacity, store it for a moment, and then spring forward into a faster gait thereby increasing speed and achieving a higher heart rate without greater exertion.

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  7. On the grass field, the coach can stand in front of his team and give the following instructions. Store the oxygen for a split moment as you imagine the fullness to the top of your throat, then turn your palms over, exhale and drive your body forward. Teach tidal breathing by having the group begins running at a fresh swing and at the acceleration point doing a tidal breath, which accelerates them into a good swing tempo. Tidal breathing drills have the extra capacity to allow the runners to become more aware of their lung capacity and training aid potential. Using the same location of the grass field, another technique used in the training and applied in racing to accelerate is the surge.

    This technique always gets a laugh, as the coach can explain it is like pouncing forward like a tiger.

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    Of course physiologically, your heartbeat goes to the top of the exercise heart range when you surge. How the runners finish a workout is as or more important than how one starts.

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    This recovery sets the day for the next workout and is part of the entire sequence of a training segment. A cool refreshing color. It might be gold, green, or soft blue or any color that you identify with becoming refreshed. As you are thinking of this color, press your toes, then your heels to the ground, and squinch up your feet. Imagine the color leaving from your toes when you relax. Following the day of instruction in which you introduced the gaits, tempos, and other techniques, the pre-season conditioning for weeks can include variations of the following:.

    Interval Segment from 80 to meters using the interval language with sections that express workouts like:. Finish with full body recovery. Techniques for the pre-season include: Optimum use of the exercise heart range and avoiding the anaerobic threshold. Proper running locations are necessary for maximizing results. For the early competition phase, the coach should add:.

    The grass field introductory methods of this phase introduce the mental aspects of the training program. Using your mental capacities is like training your body. It takes time and persistence, and your runners improve in increments.

    Transform Your Training: Run Cross-Country

    The coach has introduced mental training techniques during the full body recovery. On the grass field, the group has had at least six workouts of using short intervals in sets, and now we will add a few new mental awareness applications to the workouts. The technique used in mental training on the grass field is called active visualization , and it uses the methods of soft eyes and the principles of push and pull imagery to attain the desired results. Next, have the team open their eyes slightly, so they can see out and at the same time keep the image of the bird in their mind.

    When the team applies this to an interval run,remember this technique should only be done in a safe environment and never on a street where there are cars present or you can trip over a curb. Keeping the momentum going on a soft surface is hard work, so you are building muscles that will give you great strength and power. George Gandy, lead endurance coach at Loughborough University, adds that cross-country can increase your core strength. He explains that despite being on substantial conditioning programmes, the athletes he works with still feel the effects of a tough cross-country race.

    One of the greatest challenges of cross-country is the ability to keep a constant speed on ever-changing terrain. And while Gandy maintains that no amount of core strength training can properly condition runners to breeze through their first cross-country effort, he agrees that working on improving this crucial area can certainly aid posture when running over uneven ground, resulting in a more relaxed running style. A strong core will allow a runner to conserve more energy than someone who is having to work harder to maintain grip and balance on steep and often slippery slopes.

    Running to the Top: How Coach Turner Transformed the Cross Country Program

    The payoff for runners opting to take a bit of pain going cross-country in the off-season is clear, as far as Gandy is concerned: But the benefits are more than just physical. Mastering the skill to run over uneven terrain while being battered by the elements will stand runners in good stead come spring and summer.

    Cross-country also is a great way to see beautiful areas of the British countryside, which can help break the monotony of a training regime and offers a sense of liberation that you won't find on the road or track. Cross-country courses do not tend to be precise distances or feature mile markers, and this, coupled with the changeable terrain, makes times irrelevant.

    Runners can learn to gauge their effort and pace themselves more effectively and, as they get more competitive, the race skills learnt in cross-country can be readily transferred to other surfaces.

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