Cross country running is a unique sport, but it can also be a powerful activity for changing your life. The benefits of running as part of a team, whether high school, university, or masters, can far outweigh the simple physical improvements that come with distance running.
Cross country running is a sports activity that can build strength, self-confidence, and healthy habits for the rest of your life. Here are some tips as to how you can achieve these benefits:
Use Positive Peer Pressure
Here we mean peer pressure in a positive sense, not negative. The benefits of having other runners as teammates are powerful if used correctly. Whether it is during competition, speed work, or team camaraderie, your fellow runners can motivate and inspire you to become the best runner you can be.
You can form bonds with your teammates, unlike any others in your life. This is the setting that can raise everyone's performance to new levels. By your words and your deeds, you can inspire the other runners to be better, and they can do the same for you.
So remember, out there on the cross country course, the real competition is between you and yourself. Don't tear down your teammates and fellow runners. Build them up instead, and they will do the same for you. Look at the best teams around you and try to see why they are so successful. Is it because they have all of the best runners, or is it because they work so well together that they all look and run like winners?
Stress And Rest
The best recipe for becoming a better cross country runner is "Stress & Rest". The stress comes in the form of your daily workouts: hill running, endurance runs, speed work. Each time you undergo these physical stresses, your body responds by adapting and getting stronger and faster, in order to meet the next challenge.
Just remember not to skip over the "Rest" part of the recipe. Your real progress does not happen out on the course, it happens when your body is resting. That's when the muscular and cardiovascular systems are actually growing, changing, and adapting. They can't grow when they are busy working. Without adequate rest, your body never has a chance to reach its full potential. So schedule in your rest days, and limit your stress to gradual increases and don't try to do everything all in one week.
So lace up those cross country running shoes, and get out there and have fun running!