Archives for coaching cross country

A Test for Aerobic Capacity

There are many tests available for coaches to use in assessing the track and field and cross country athletes aerobic abilities on their teams.  Throws coaches commonly use the over-head backward toss of the shot, jumping coaches use the three-legged bound, and distance coaches use the Kosmin Test; all in an attempt to predict future…

Speed and Ancillary Training in the Distance Events

Perspectives. Distance run training geared toward the development of energy system efficiency, cardiovascular fitness, and buffering capabilities is the foundation of any good distance program. Yet, there are several other forms of training that are applicable to endurance training, serving a specific purpose that can enhance performance, increase the effectiveness of other forms of training,…

The Tempo Run

The tempo run is a valuable training unit component that should be found in the microcycles of both middle-distance and distance runners, including cross country athletes.  The name is derived from a musical term that refers to a recognized “rate of speed”.  The rate of speed, or tempo, used in training distance runners is the…

Levels and Types of Competition

The word competition takes on many meanings in the natural world.  For two animals in competition for the same basic needs in the same ecosystem, it means survival, and ultimately life and death.  Fortunately for humans, competition in the athletic domain of our society has far less consequences.  Loosely defined for sporting application, competition is…

Cold Weather Considerations for the Runner

Distance running at any temperature generates metabolic heat production inside the athlete, even with cold weather running. The chemical conversion of carbohydrate and fats to ATP is only about 35% efficient, with the remaining 65% lost as heat in the complicated bio-chemical processes inside the cell.  While this seems like a lot of lost heat,…

Carbohydrate Metabolism

Understanding and following proper nutritional protocol is crucial to the success of any athlete.  Human cells require nutrients ingested from outside of the body to provide an energy platform for muscle contractions, amino acids for synthesizing a wide variety of protein-based components, and micro-nutrients that provide a sort of co-enzyme function in many cellular functions….

The Long Run

Aerobic training is the foundation of all cross country programs.  The length of the race dictates the energy demand required, and the intensity of the effort establishes the proportion of aerobic to anaerobic energy system contribution.  All cross country races of two miles or longer have a greater than 90% aerobic contribution at full effort. …

Managing Your Phases and Periods

By now almost every cross country coach in America has had some contact with the basics of training theory.  This is quite a contrast from the 1980’s when only the most diehard coaches were familiar with the works of Tudor Bompa and others from the Eastern Bloc that had first organized sport training into chunks…

Hydration and Carbohydrate Replacement

While distance runners should be concerned about fluid replacement every day that they are in training, the summer heat puts these concerns at the top of the list.  Like so many issues in sport training there is no shortage of anecdotal information about hydration, and then there is the scientific research.  The goal is to…

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