Complete Track and Field

Posts Tagged with "Cross Country"

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How to Establish Cross Country Training Groups

The cross country season begins anew and the coaches face their first training challenges as the team gathers for the first day of practice.  Foremost in training group formation is the fact that half the team has done some summer training, while the other half has not run a mile all summer long.  To further…… More

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Shifting the Training Paradigm

Cross country running does not require a great deal of skill, a fact that makes physical conditioning of vital importance.  With little need to work on skill development, more and harder training is often seen as the only path to success.  Unfortunately, this path usually leads to injury, immune system problems, psychological burn-out, and a…… More

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How to Train Sprinters Who Run Cross Country

 “SHOULD SPRINTERS RUN CROSS COUNTRY?” The question is often asked, “Should sprinters run cross country?”  You will hear some power/speed gurus quickly say unequivocally “NO!” because it will have a negative effect on an athletes speed qualities.  I think the question requires some deeper investigation. ANTI EARLY SPECIALIZATION I am happy to see that the…… More

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Your Favorite Workout

Most cross country coaches have been running since high school and college, or newly enjoy running now.  There are some workouts that seem to always go very well for you, but others that result in an endless struggle.  From these workouts emerge favorites, but they may not be the best type of work for your…… More

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The Secretions of a Winner

It has been jokingly said that 83% of statistics are made up on the spot in conversation.  Coaches do this all the time, as they say such things as: “give me 110% effort today” (huh?), “slow the second lap down to 95%” (again, huh?), or the classic line; “sports is 90% psychological and 10% physical”. …… More

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10 Facts About Successful Coaches

There comes a time in a cross country coaching career when the last steps are taken to cement a personal coaching philosophy.  Done too early, the philosophy will lack the experience that is necessary to really have meaning.  Done too late, it will not serve as the guiding light that it needs to be to…… More

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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…… More

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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…… More

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Planned Balance (Multilateral Training) for Cross Country Runners

Cross country coaches frequently wear blinders while setting up the training macrocycles for their athletes, instead of using multilateral training.  This narrow view prevents coaches from fully developing their athletes into a complete and balanced manner. Sport scientists have done an excellent job at identifying the five major bio-motor factors that an athlete needs to…… More

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Workout Recovery Protocol

Workout recovery practices can be placed in three domains when discussing training for cross country runners.  First there is the recovery that takes place between interrupted bouts of work in anaerobic or VO2 max training.  In most cases this is some sort of incomplete recovery that takes pace for 1-10 minutes with the exact time…… More

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Performance Comparison in Endurance Athletes

After the race or key workout is over, it is time for an athlete performance comparison by the endurance coach.  All too frequently coaches simply analyze performance on the basis of what they have witnessed their athletes did in regard to pacing, strategy, placing order, and how the final time compares with past efforts in…… More

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Daily Use of a Sports Psychology Tool

For the most part coaches interact with the athletes they coach by using the herd mentality.  The herd (training group) is seated in front of the coach, with similar words of greeting spoken to each, and then the same workout is explained to all.  Usually time is short, and athletes are many, so more personal…… More

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Hill Training for Cross Country Runners

Winter and summer training periods are the ideal time in the annual plan to develop effective hill racing skills and to use various forms of hill training to develop strength in cross country runners.  Most geographical locations in the United States possess ideal physical changes in topography which are suitable for hill tactics and training. …… More

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Winter Development in Cross Country Training

Exercise physiologist like to reduce athletic performance ability to five physical skills that are a product of the athlete’s genome, age and cross country training development.  Coaches have accepted this reductionism viewpoint and have described these five skills as “bio-motor” skills.  While the word bio-motor has no true scientific definition, both coaches and physiologists understand…… More

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Peaking Period Physiology in Cross Country Training

Late October through November is a time of change.  It is not only the peak time period of animal migratory behavior in North America it is also the championship racing season for cross country runners.  While wild animals prepare for their journey by altering their basal homeostasis through feasting and resting for a period of…… More

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