View Full Version : Few tips for cross-country.

05-30-2006, 06:34 AM
Few tips for cross-country.
First, consider your shoes. If the course is completely off road, wear spikes or spikeless shoes with a waffle-type tread specifically designed for cross-country. For a circuit that includes long stretches of pavement, wear racing flats.
Usually short or medium length spikes will work best in your shoes. The choices when I was running were in lengths of 1/4, 1/2, and 7/8 inches. Today the increments are all metric. Because your body weight is tripled when your foot strikes, the short or medium spikes will provide adequate traction.
Long spikes provide additional drag and should be used for extreme conditions such as mud. In addition, they may increase your chances of tripping. In the Southern Conference meet one year earlier than the one mentioned above, Doug's long spikes picked up a stick that he had to stop and remove.
If a course has long paved sections, try to run on the pavement rather than the ground next to it. Asphalt or concrete is a faster surface than grass. Just be sure you have the appropriate shoes for the day. Years ago when I was coaching at West Georgia College, the University of Georgia came over for a dual meet. Although our course had several 400-800 meter sections of asphalt, the Bulldog harriers had only brought spikes. The noise sounded like tap dance-a-rama, and we watched the sparks from all the steel striking stone.
Looking up from your feet, follow the runner ahead of you. Usually the first several athletes run the course as marked. Subsequent runners tend to run the tangents better. In a cross-country race at Stone Mountain Park decades ago, a Florida runner ran a turn so tightly that he ran over one of the poles holding a colored directional flag, snapping it in two. Remember that passing is possible, even on narrow courses. Often we have a tendency to go out too fast thinking that people cannot get around us. Certainly position needs to be established; however, after starting too quickly, I can remember cooler heads making their way past me. Do not panic at the start.

05-31-2006, 07:25 AM
goood nice tips .. thanks for that