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Cross Country

11 Dec

Cross Country is an interesting sport. From the outside looking in, it looks as boring as boring can get. If you ask a cross country runner, then they will tell you mixed emotions. At times, cross country may be tough and grueling, but it is also a fantastic time in which you can get in shape and hang with friends and teammates during practices and meets.

Cross Country workouts, when your doing them, can be really tough on the legs and the lungs. Even long runs can be brutal because you are running miles and miles and miles. But just when your tired, you think ‘These runs will really help me in the races and meets’. When you are not running (stretching, waiting for race, on bus…), then XC can be a really great time.

As one anonymous runner said “Cross country was quite fun from beginning to end… the team dinners and hanging with the team were a blast.”

Another runner quoted, “It was one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences”.

These two runners were teammates who I have been with during cross country, and even though the workouts may have been very hard, it really paid off and they had lots of fun.

Why should you run cross country?

  • Get in shape… Running many times a day will really give you the time to get active and physically fit. Along with running, many teams may do some ab and upper body work. Plenty of runners also lose weight while running and it is great for gaining a healthy heart!
  • Socialize… While it may not be the social hour some people are looking for, it still provides plenty of time for you to talk and hang out with friends and teammates. As one of the quoted runners said above, “the team dinners…were a blast”, which is 100% true.
  • Personal Records and Experience… Runners will often achieve PR’s every race that they run in. Experiences will also provide you with things you may never forget.
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XC/Distance Track Workouts

9 Dec

Assuming you run a mile or more in track and XC races, there are some workouts that can really help out your speed and overall strength. Some sprinting, some hills, some more! They may not be fun to do all the time, but it will help you get to a time that you wish to achieve while running.

While there may be 100’s of different workouts for runners, some will give you the top results in get you in top form.

200’s, 400’s and 600’s- These three different distances will help you gain speed, but will also keep your endurance where it is. Obviously, the longer it is, the better it is for your endurance and the shorter it is, the better it is for your speed. Either way, your speed will see a huge difference after doing speed workouts for a couple weeks.

Hills- Hills range from dirt hills to roads to sand hills. Sand hills will give you the best workout because it is not flat and you really need to dig your feet into the sand. What I would do at times is get a mixture of the three different hills into my workout. You will have three different surfaces to run on while getting three different hill feelings.

Mile Repeats- This is another workout that can increase your speed and help your endurance. Your getting a feel of a full mile, but since you get a break after it (for a certain amount of time), then you will be able to run it at race pace or faster. The number of mile repeats you do is all up to how advanced of a runner you are.

Interval Training- This has a feeling like the repeats… Get a good and fast pace going for a little while then slow down the run. Depending on what event you may do, your distance and time may be different.

True or False: Running Version #2

8 Dec

This feature will talk about things in the world of running that may be considered true or false. Opinion answers will be given.

 

1) Running is a team sport

True You may not think of this when you are looking at a race, but it is true. The most obvious reason is finishing at the end. Teams win meets… an individual may win a race, but you need many people on your team to finish high if you want a chance of winning. Also, teammates can motivate you in a race to keep up a certain pace. It may not be the teammate-like game that you may play in basketball or football, but a team is needed.

2) Running-related injuries will rise in the next ten years

False At the moment, runners are learning a great amount about what is happening to their bodies while they run. I think better shoes are coming out that will help with foot and leg injuries. Also, doctors and trainers are able to diagnose injuries quicker and that will help prevent major injuries for runners.

3) Running too much in the summer training will tire you out for Cross Country season

True I have seen this with my own two eyes. Runners will sometimes do multiple workouts per week in the summer. Even though they may have great success at the beginning of an XC season, they will burn out and fall down to the middle or back of the pack if they started out at number 1 (or around there). Don’t get me wrong… you do want to get plenty of running done in the summer, but not too much that will end up burning you out.

 

Runner Profile: Tyson Gay

7 Dec

Tyson Gay has always been a good runner and has always had family who have been good runners. From his sister being a high school sprinter to his grandmother being a college runner, you could say that there is speed in his genes. His road went from running as a kid to running in high school to running college to running as a pro

Gay is a USA Olympic Sprinter who is one of the top sprinters in the country, if not the world. He was a top collegiate sprinter and that has translated to great achievement as a pro running for his country.

Personal Records:

100m: 9.69s

200m: 19.58s

400m: 44.89s

His times and his sprinting speed have taken him to many top 3 finishes in races such as the Olympic Games, IAAF World races, World Championships and many other races (both college and pro). In a 2010 race, Tyson Gay upset one of the best runners in world, by the name is Usain Bolt. Gay outran Bolt by .13 seconds. Tyson has also beat many American sprinting running records along his journey.

The American still has plenty in his tank to offer and will look to upset Usain Bolt at future races.

Adventure Runs… The Best

1 Dec

Please be careful when attempting an adventure run or adventure race. Some parts of a run may be dangerous and should take caution in any parts of an adventure run.

Ever get bored while running the streets of your town? Well, it happens to most people who take running seriously. The flat roads (with a couple of hilly spots) can get really boring and force you into a runner’s slump which is when a runner just gets tired from running… mentally. You always want to challenge yourself  and you want to visit new places while running. Some runners run for the sights that they may see while running.

Adventure running can give you some GREAT sights (if your safe) and will have some awesome experiences. Running adventurous with “running buddies” will make adventure running 10x better. It’s a great time and there are many reasons why you should do it.

  • Sights- When you go out for an adventure run, some areas of your run may have some wonderful scenes in which you can really take in. This will give a boost to your running because you want to see that area multiple times and you will think ‘I want to go see that. I will go for a run’ and runner;s slump will never kick in.
  • Reaction- Maybe part of your run is running the woods. Since there may be many roots around the ground, you will always have to adjust your reaction to where the  roots are so you don’t get injured. It will help your footing as it will help when you want to place your feet in specific parts during a regular race.
  • Doesn’t Feel Bad- When I go for adventure runs, I will sometimes end up running longer than I usually do on a road. This will happen as you don’t realize you have ran far because you may be having a lot of fun looking at different areas you may have never seen before.

Adventure running in the woods can pay off for your running and it can also be loads of fun. They even have adventure races so get to your adventure side and do a race.

Why is Stretching so Important?

28 Nov

Stretching will not take you very long to do, but it is a very important factor of running… especially if you want to be a fast and healthy runner. It is going to provide a great amount of benefits to your body and to your overall running speed. It does not matter what event you do; cross country, distance track or sprinting… it is all important to get good stretches in before AND after your run.

Why is it important to stretch before running?

– Stretch out your muscles (most obvious)

– Increase blood flow wear you stretch

– Provide an oxygen to supply to those muscles

Stretching before running is a very key factor in being the best runner possible. Most runners take a jog before the stretch because it is not good to stretch cold muscles. Have you ever tried running at a decent speed without stretching? It is very uncomfortable and can lead to some injuries such a muscle pulls.

Why is it important to stretch after running?

– Helps prevent lactic acid from building up in your muscles

– Helps muscles loosen up and will help prevent pain if they become very stiff.

Stretching after running is as important as doing it before you go for a run. You will want to relax all your muscles in your body and if you do an effective stretching period after you run, your legs will feel a lot better the next day than if you decided not to stretch out your muscles.

Some runners find that dynamic stretching helps loosen the body up as well. You want to stretch both sides evenly so it will feel the same while you run and so that you don’t have greater risk of injury on one side. Stretching will also include flexibility which can help runners.

Poll #2, Starting Running?

19 Nov

Please take our next poll.