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Thread: crosscountry running page

  1. #1
    echoyjeff222's Avatar
    echoyjeff222 is offline Senior Member
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    crosscountry running

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    My friend runs crosscountry, and I was wondering if the sprints that is incorporated in Mark's philosophy will actually help improve times in his races, versus training by running 3-4 miles at a time.

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    SeanC's Avatar
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    They can help for sure but specificity is best when it comes to competition. You have to run the distance (or close to it) to be on top in the competition. Cross country is mostly middle distance running so the sprints would have to be longer to really help. Say 400 - 800m intervals.

  3. #3
    Ian's Avatar
    Ian
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    I run cross country and I'm sorry I'd have to say no. Would it be healthier/ save time? Definitely. But middle/long distance runners benefit sooo much more from long, slow runs with large amounts amounts of mileage, particularly in the off season. However, I would recommend that your friend slowly incorporates some barefoot/minimalist shoe running. It will make his stride more efficient and make common injuries like shin splints and runner's knee very unlikely. In the actual XC season however, intervals once or twice a week should be good, but like SeanC said, they should be longer- like 400, 800, or mile repeats.

  4. #4
    stu3cla's Avatar
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    I run distance in track, and I do cross. My answer would be no. Because if he is running cross country, which consists of things such as 5 and 10K's, sprinting would make him faster, but he would not be able to maintain that speed, for very long. The farthest would probably be a 400 Dash. Let me explain why sprinting won't help.

    There are two different types of muscle that your body has. Fast twitch, and slow twitch. First, the fast twitch. These are the muscles that a sprinters body consists of mostly. Fast twitch muscles produce a strong, fast burst of speed and power, but it can not be maintained for very long. So this would not benefit a cross runner. Second, slow twitch. These are the muscles that a distance runner's body consists of. These muscles produce a long, steady flow of energy, allowing you to run for a long time. Slow twitch muscles are also a lot more efficient as far as energy expended to distance traveled goes.

    Here is what he should do if he wants to get faster. Simply run the same distance that he normally would, except do it faster. Aim for 5 or 10 seconds less each time. This way he will still train for slow twitch muscles, but he will make them more efficient, and this will allow him to go faster.

    Visit the site below for an article on How To Dominate In Track/Cross Country.
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  5. #5
    robf's Avatar
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    Yes, sprints will increase your speed for cross-country runs. Look up Cross fit Endurance for proof of this. This program emphasizes the ability to run long distances without doing LSD (long slow distance).

  6. #6
    max219's Avatar
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    I run cross country as well, and while doing sprints would make him faster over shorter distances, in a cross country race it wouldn't benefit much. Cross country is pretty much just all endurance, and the best way to be able to compete would be to run long and a lot.

  7. #7
    citric's Avatar
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    The sprints are essential if you want to get faster. Long runs will improve endurance, but they won't make you faster. You need either track workouts, or (as I prefer) hill repeats. They hurt, but they make you stronger. Which in turn is what makes you faster.

  8. #8
    Hippykid's Avatar
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    I think that i am going to disagree with the majority of you. sprint work is essential to fast cross country times. especially if we are talking about high school cross country where the race is 5K. (i ran track and cross country in h.s.) in order to be down in the 15-16 min 5k range aerobic endurance is important but so is lactate threshold. some modifications would need to be made to the PBF sprints. Generally speaking 400-1200m tempo runs are necessary but a high volume of 200-400m sprints is essential for top end speed. Probably 1 day per week of 200-400m sprints (and a mid distance warmup/cooldown). once or twice per week depending on if the runner is in season for 400-1600m "sprints"

  9. #9
    gator70's Avatar
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    I will also have to disagree with most on this thread. I feel that 400, 800, and 1200 meter intervals are essential if you want to pick up speed. Long slow runs will only ensure that you can run the distance slowly. I speak as a former cross country runner and a Marine. Part of our PFT is a 3 mile run. As I have gotten older I have also found that Kettlebell swing or snatch workouts make an awesome subtitution for sprint or interval workouts. Works your cardiovascular system, includes your upper body muslces and does it all without a lot of wear and tear on your knees and ankles.

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