When Brittney thought this she was correct, have you ever seen a cross country runner that was overweight? Most likely not, so could this be a clue for those that want to lose weight?

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Well, Brittney, started training to become one and we are sure you know what happened. She lost weight, became in great shape and health.

With many that set New Years Resolutions or goals, loosing weight may be one of them. And though you don’t need to train to be a competitive cross-country runner, it may be wise to follow some of their leads on training, and most likely you could lose some weight and become healthier.

Now, for those of you who do not know, cross country is a long distance running sport. It is run at meets, like track & field, but unlike track, cross country is ran on trails, golf courses, and even roads. The sport is not only a challenge of who can run the fastest, but who can run the longest, and who can master the terrain the best. In the end though, all that matters is running to the best of your ability.

It is both an individual and a team sport; runners are judged on individual times and teams by a points-scoring method. Both men and women of all ages compete in cross country, which usually takes place during autumn and winter, and can include weather conditions of rain, sleet, snow or hail, and a wide range of temperatures.

Cross country running is one of the disciplines under the umbrella sport of athletics, and is a natural terrain version of long-distance track and road running. Although open-air running competitions are pre-historic, the rules and traditions of cross country racing emerged in Britain. The English championship became the first national competition in 1876 and the International Cross-Country Championships was held for the first time in 1903.

USA Track & Field hosts four annual national cross-country championships. The USA Cross Country Championships, first held in 1890, include six races: masters women (8 km), masters men (8 km), junior women (6 km), junior men (8 km), open women (8 km) and open men (12 km). In addition to crowning national champions, the championships serve as the trials race to select the Team USA squad for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. The USA Masters 5 a km Cross Country Championships, first held in 2002, incl men’s race and a women’s race. The USATF National Club Cross Country Championships, first held in 1998, feature the top clubs from across the United States as they vie for honors and bragging rights as the nation’s top cross-country team. The USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships, first held in 2001, has raced for boys and girls in five different two-year age divisions.

 

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Most American universities and colleges field men’s and women’s cross-country teams as part of their athletic program. Over 900 men’s cross-country teams and over 1000 women’s cross-country teams compete in the three divisions of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Men usually race 10 km (6.2 mi) or 8 km (5.0 mi), and women usually race 6 km (3.7 mi) or 5 km (3.1 mi).[5] The season culminates in men’s and women’s championships. Jr. College men often race 4 miles.

Supplies needed for cross country running

Running shoes –  Trainers are your basic all-terrain, all-purpose shoes. They are used in all workouts, and off many different varieties to fit every runner’s needs. It is even possible to run races in trainers. Spikes, on the other hand, are specialty shoes used only in races. They are called spikes, because the bottoms of the shoes have holes to insert metal spikes of various sizes and shapes. Because the spikes are not immune to wear and tear, these shoes can only be worn off-road. In other words, on the track or on the trail.
Proper running attire The most basic standard for running attire is shorts, and a t-shirt, but if you live in an area where the temperature rarely exceeds 30 or 40 degrees, you will need to dress more warmly (and no, it is not impossible to run this kind of climate). When choosing what clothing to wear on a particular day.

A watch Unlike the two prior steps, this one is quite simple to achieve. The basic principle is that the less you spend on a watch, the easier it is to learn its functions. All that is needed in a watch to workout is a stopwatch. Become familiar with the location of buttons and what the watch can do. When you know how to use the watch, you can accurately record the times you run, which will help you improve over time.

A coach and team (if you plan on running on a high school team) This is very important when running cross country in high school, because your coach will be the person who organizes your workouts, arranges meets, provides supplies, and of course offers motivation. This motivation also comes from the team, which is why knowing the runners on the team is just as important as knowing the coach.

Time (not really a physical supply, but very important) give yourself an hour on this

Willpower (again, not a real supply, but cross country is a very trying sport, both physically and mentally. Always have goals and don’t give up on them)

Ok, so you may be thinking, I just want to know how cross-country runners train, so I can get into shape by following the same training or similar.

Before you start, it is important to speak with your coach (if you have one) or doctor if older to verify ok to start and about what sort of training is suitable for you, your age and your fitness ability.

One of the first steps in becoming a cross-country star is TIME. You must make time during the week and on weekends to run. Start by setting up a schedule of 3-4 days a week of running.

If you’re a beginner, it will obviously take more time to run a mile than someone who has been running for a while and is just trying to get back into it. To start, try running a half mile one day, a mile the next, then a half mile again. As each week passes, work your way up to 3 miles each day you run. This “step-up” procedure helps build your endurance and strength. Typically, running 3 miles is going to take you about half an hour, but you’ll get better as you build up your muscles and endurance.

Where to run

You can run…pretty much everywhere. If you’re in the city, you’ll have to run on the side walk, and where ever you can in the city. If you are in the suburbs, running on the grass next to the side walk is a good idea. This is where your spikes are good for use. It will help you get used to them and is softer on your feet than the sidewalk or street. If you’re in the city, you might not find many places to run CC (cross-country). We recommend running in local nature or forest preserves that has a path. DO NOT RUN THERE IF IT IS OFF-LIMITS. Very rural areas are good for CC running also. If you can’t find time to run around your neighborhood, a treadmill works perfectly fine. You can always use that if for some reason, you’re stuck in the house and can’t go out. Try and get out to run as much as possible.

You have to cross train, too. Cross training means doing other stuff besides just running all the time. On days you aren’t running try different forms of exercise. Riding your bike is an excellent one. So is swimming, lifting weights couldn’t hurt either. Just try to add a bit of color to your schedule then just running.

Starting to run

Before you run, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS…stretch. Stretching is important in making sure your muscles are ready to run. Spend at least 5 minutes doing different stretches to warm up. There are many helpful guides in stretching out there, so we won’t go into detail in this area. Hydration: drink lots of water!!! THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT!!! Drink lots of water before, during and after your run. Gatorade and the like are good to drink also, but don’t substitute them for water!

Cooling down

Now that you’ve run, reached your destination, got back home, or what-have-you, you need to “cool down”. This means your body needs time to bring your body back down to your normal temperature. To help with this, walk, don’t run, for another couple minutes after you’re done, and focus on breathing. Drink lots of water, also. Stopping and crashing on the couch immediately after running is not good. Your heart needs to gradually work back down to its normal pace.

This is the most important step. Have fun! Run if you enjoy it, and don’t push yourself to hard!

Remember when beginning cross country running

Start Slow

The ideal way to start running is to follow a Couch to 5K training program which uses the walk/run method– this prepares you for running by combining periods of walking with gradually increased periods of running. In your first session you run for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes and repeat eight times – over an 8-week period you would improve stamina by increasing the periods of running until you can run for 30 minutes non-stop (about 3 miles)

Build Up A lot of runners are worried about making sure they work up to big mileage weeks and tough workouts. But for someone who just started running, focus on time and adding more and more to your running after two to three weeks of getting in shape. Keep in mind: For a first-time runner, a 20-minute run is a workout.

How fast to run

Run at an easy pace – a pace which you could maintain for a long period. A beginner running tip that experts say is for this is to do the ‘talk test’ – if you can talk in complete sentences as you run without losing your breath, you are running at easy pace.

Breathing

Breathing deeply through the mouth seems to be the most efficient way to get oxygen to the body and that is your ultimate goal. You need to be comfortable so find the way that feels right for you.

As a beginner it is normal to feel breathless during a run, this is usually nothing to worry about and should pass as you become fitter. If you feel too breathless slow your pace or have a walk-break.

Nutrition

You don’t need to worry about running-specific foods until you are fueling much longer runs. Focus on a “normal healthy diet” for now, you still expend a lot of energy as a beginner and your body needs a reliable supply of energy. You will see as you stick with running, you will begin to really feel what you ate or drank😊

To stay motivated always have a target. Your first target might be to run a 5K but what then? The mistake beginners often make is to reach their first target and not have another one already planned – without a target you soon become bored, train less and eventually stop running, so move from one target to the next and make gradual improvements.

Running is a great way to stay in shape and fun. And if needing to lose a few pounds, remember if you have ever seen an overweight cross-country runner😊

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