The summer has long gone and the leaves have started to fall and that can mean only one thing..... It’s Cross Country Season!!!
Whether you love it or hate it, cross country is engrained in our running culture! And to be fair to the often muddy, wet and cold event - it's good for you! It will strengthen your body and mind.
Here are my top tips for surviving a cross country season!
- Over the years I've experienced some horrific weather conditions so here’s my first tip… Bring lots of warm clothes! You WILL need them before and after the race as its cold, wet and most probably windy.. Also bring a flask of tea to warm you up!
- Now, let's talk a bit about the racing..... Spikes? To wear them or not? For me they make a big difference! Off road shoes are fine too, but a good pair of spikes are best suited to XC racing.
- My other tip - pace yourself. Don't get carried away and go off too quick, the mud really zaps your legs and you don't want to use all your energy in the first half of the race. So try to build a good pace and by half way you can start picking off runners as you finish strong!
- Run in a pack - use your team mates who are of similar speed to you to run with in a little group, but remember.....it’s every man or woman of course, for themselves towards the end of the race!
- And most importantly..... BRING CAKES! This is totally the best part about XC, as the post-race nibbles are amazing, and who better to eat cake and drink tea with than your running chums!
- The men and women race in separate races. Men’s distance usually around 10k, women's races 5k. Separate races give both parties a chance to support each other so stay around!
- Use the XC season to build up your strength ready for the new year and the road running season
So have I inspired you?! More details of XC races can be found here
Ps – You need to belong to a running club and be Welsh Athletics registered to take part. Not part of a club, there are loads of trail running races over the winter that you can take part in!