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Im interested in trying XC stuff, I used to really enjoy it when I was at school and seemed to do quite well. How do people train for them though? As most of you know I run with my club but we just do road runs and speed sessions, no XC stuff. I would like to try it without entering a race to make sure its for me. Probably wont run any races this session (still need to loose some weight!) but maybe next session.

O.
 

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if there is anything local to you, you could find out their route and try running it.

i know locally to me there are a few leauges, and most of the races seam to be 3 laps to make up around 10k ish.
 

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Training for XC = Hill Training.

Or at least that's how I see it! :) Personally I don't really see much difference between road racing and XC - course that the courses are a little less predictable and a little tougher/slower when XC. *awaits shooting*
 

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Still can't work out why people ran through this?!?! I jumped it on the two occaisions I encountered it, not only did it mean I had lovely dry feet for the whole race, but I made up at least 3-4 positions each lap on people who waded through?! fools :p
 

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quite a few people tried, and then failed which amused me in the crowd

even the chap who stood in the stream for 15mins fishing around for his lost shoe tried to clear it.

i wonder how the size of that compared to other venues
 

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Im interested in trying XC stuff, I used to really enjoy it when I was at school and seemed to do quite well. How do people train for them though? As most of you know I run with my club but we just do road runs and speed sessions, no XC stuff. I would like to try it without entering a race to make sure its for me. Probably wont run any races this session (still need to loose some weight!) but maybe next session.

O.
XC is different from road races and track races... first of all the ground is normally muddy and uneven... secondly XC races pretty much everyone runs whatever the conditions, there's no 'it's too wet to run' crap... saying that if there are 5 foot puddles that can swollow you alive i guess you have some justifable excuse not to run :lol: !...

training for XC i suggest doing some runs on some park trails or off-road to get used to running on an uneven surface, that's all pretty much... i think for XC i'll give you two tips...

1) you need to run a bit differently than on the road with a shorter stride to have your foot land on the spikes to give you good grip. if you overstride and land hard on your heel you wont land on your spikes of the shoe and this defeats the point of wearing them. it wont just slow you down a bit because you're balance is worse - you're likely slip and skid on the mud and fall quickly particularly if the conditions are bad!

2) i think it helps if you are stronger in XC than on the road - i.e. strong legs and a strong core. if you are weak in the core and have never done a sit up in your life or if you are a anorexic with pencil legs then XC running will quickly get you injured. the thing is you sink into the mud and the ground is uneven and you have to work harder to run as you lose a lot of your momentum.

i would suggest everyone doing a local XC league, they are generally best suited for people new and want to do some running races to see how they would do but who are not complete beginners to exercise (i.e. things like race for life probably wont be for them). i know a lot of this sort think that excessively long distances are the ultimate goal but i dont agree. i guess i cant relate to a lot of you here. most seem to be trying to lose weight and trying to prove a point by how much exercise you can now do and have a marathon as the ultimate goal. the thing with half marathons and marathons is that it is very much an elitest sport and to be competitive it takes years of training and even some exceptionally good runners with years of experence can never get times under 3 hour marathon times so never truely competitive at that distance and in the end they have little rewards for all those years training. if you compare with shorter local races, you are likely to be part of a team and the standard is pretty much inclusive for everyone so everyone gets to run if they want to. if you want to be competitive in a local x-country league then it's much easier to get into and the standard is good but it is easily achievable. XC is much less of an elitest sport than track or the marathon distances and so it is much easier to get involved in it. it is quite fun particularly if the XC leagues is with a running club you are in. it is also a good motivator to get you running long term and i think this is one of the most important points as lack of motivation is probably one of the main causes of people stopping running.

i hope you enjoyed the ramble, i having to take a few days off running as have bad tightness in calves due to the overtraining but should be all good in a day or two.
 

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saying that if there are 5 foot puddles that can swollow you alive i guess you have some justifable excuse not to run :lol: !...
and i thought that was called a water jump/ hazard
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Revenged!

I have decided to wait until next session to try my first XC as I will be much fitter than I am just now and as you say, will have a stronger core. My legs are quite strong anyway but after a full year or running then I should be at least a stone lighter and my hill sessions will have improved as well.

I have a hill / woods quite near my house which I think I will start running round, the problem I have is I need to run on road to get there and back so I can't wear spikes on the way there. Might look at getting some trial shoes just for wearing when I go in to the woods. The other option I guess is to get some spikes and drive to my local park and run around that going up and down and around the hills.

O.
 

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Owain,

I think there are some trial shoes that are good for road too. There was a video review in RunnersWorld about Asics Gel Trial Sensor and they said these are designed with some road running in mind.

Also check the "multi terrain shoes" thread in equipment>shoes :)
 

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Personally I don't really see much difference between road racing and XC *awaits shooting*
*BANG!*

I did my first cross country in November after 4 weeks of road running with my club, it was so hard!!!

Hill work helps as you do encounter hills and slopes, if u can get hold of some quick-sand and train in that then you'll be fine! I did the Riseholme XC on 23rd Nov (part of the Lincs League) and it was a horrific course, i spent alot of it jumping over puddles and powering my way through thick mud, i guess thats why i enjoyed it so much! :d

Owain, i would recommend joggin through woods or fields to help you but at the end of the day alot of it is down to general fitness and determination on the day!

I bought the Mizuno Wave Kaze 3 spikes for my first race and they were great! I went to my local running shop and was recommended them

Start Fitness Cross Country & Track Spikes

...and to do XC you will need spikes, i wouldnt have been able to do it in normal road trainers

Got my 2nd XC 2moro at Skegness!! I'm sure it will b nice and warm there!
 
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