Monday, August 20, 2012

Cross Country Discussion...

A couple of interesting links I found this morning pertaining to cross country.  

I am sure many of you have heard the following consent from somebody at your school.  
Want to Stink This Winter?  I Have the Answer
Thoughts?

The following article link is by Scott Christensen who coaches at Stillwater Area High School in Minnesota.  His claim to fame is that he has had four of his athletes break 4 minutes in the mile past high school (most by any high school in the U.S. according to a Running Times article in this month's edition).  According to the same article, "Christensen's approach is geared toward helping team members excel in the mile, the reasoning being that if his runners could run the mile fast, they would probably also be able to run a good 3200m. or 800m.  But "if cross country were 5,050 meters instead of 5K, I'd be in trouble," Christensen says.  His mile emphasis, he concedes, "only makes me a mediocre cross country coach."  His 1997 team did finish at the top of the standings in Marc Bloom's Harrier National Rankings so he must know a little something about XC coaching as well.
Planned Balance (Multilateral Training) for Cross Country Runners

Any plans to incorporate anything new to your training plan this year?  What have you added recently that you feel has helped your runners run faster?  

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have heard this argument over and over... cross country kills speed.

These people have no concept of exercise physiology, general fitness, or the social benefit of being on a team. Rather a "pay me money to coach you" attitude that fixates on a specific movement that more often than not leads to over-use injuries. And there are a lot of scientific evidence to back that up.

But what do I care. Don't run cross country. It will make my team all the better!

Marty Beene said...

Um, I pretty much stopped reading after the part where he says "there are no team sports where you run for miles at a time," confirming that he knows zero about XC. And then he responds to a comment with "I can guarantee you that there are far more cross country programs that simply run distance every day than there are that train as you describe [using speedwork, etc.]."

Wow. Can someone be more ignorant?

Nils said...

I think, though, that you can say that the description he gives of his hypothetical "typical cross-country training regimen" is a good description of what to avoid if you want to be competitive in X-C!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, just look at Nick Ratto - REALLY slow.

Nils said...

Precisely, Anonymous- Nick took 3rd in California in the 800. 'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

If you are running cross country in order to get ready for basketball, I promise you that cross country won't get it done. You're still going to have to work on basketball skills...that's a no brainer.

However, any decent cross country program will give the kids the conditioning to make them better if they do this along with their sport specific training.

Here's the key. Most kids will do a lot more conditioning if they're on a team than they will on their own. The kids who run cross country to be good at another sport are generally pretty useless to our team, anyway as our top seven runners all have cross country or middle distance in track as their primary sport anyway. The soccer players, swimmers, etc. that come out don't help us. I'm willing to help them if they come out, but I don't beg them to come out because they simply never end up helping us score better.