Any cross country runners ?
Double3xposure · 17/02/2020 00:55
If so, can you please give me some advice.
My 15 year old DS has just found out he’s to run in a schools cross country race in two weeks time. So he has a fortnight to train - how can he best use that time please ?
He’s not a runner but he has a good level of fitness as he’s a squash player. Of course it’s much more stop and start with different movements from running.
So he’s not even used to being outside - and the weather isn’t great right now . He’s not good with rain and mud.
He already trains for squash 3 nights a week so that only leaves about 8 possible days to train for this race.
He also needs shoes as he only has indoor trainers of course and he has no one to borrow them from. Any advice on that too would be appreciated.
lljkk · 17/02/2020 06:43
Some endurance runs. We go to sports Direct for trainers but MNers are snobbish about them. Good luck! Squash makes you fit so I bet he'll do great.
Runningonempty84 · 17/02/2020 07:48
Go to Decathlon, get him some XC spikes, and encourage him to practice running around muddy fields in them!
XC is all about mud, so he needs to get used to running in the spikes, and in uneven surfaces. Hope he enjoys it.
DiscoMoo · 17/02/2020 13:49
Check the terrain of the course as sometimes XC races incorporate some elements of tarmac in which case he is better to get trail shoes rather than spikes. If it’s all mud / soft ground spikes will be fine.
You might want to kit him out in long sleeves and long running tights to protect his arms and legs from scratches and grazes. He will get muddy though so he needs to be prepared for that!
In terms of training - get him his XC shoes ASAP and encourage him to run on fields, including up and down hills as much as possible.
LochJessMonster · 17/02/2020 13:50
How longs the race?
Spudlet · 17/02/2020 13:52
He needs to practice running on uneven surfaces, to get the hang of compensating for each step landing differently to the previous one and also to get into the habit of looking where his feet are going so he can avoid tripping over roots, or slipping on muddy bits or whatever.
Double3xposure · 17/02/2020 14:27
Many thanks for all these great posts. It’s a 5000m race in a country park, so I’m guessing the course won’t be marked until the day of the race. So it might be safer to get trail shoes, what do you think ?
We have a decathlon and sports direct about 40 mins away so I will take him there tomorrow after school. I’d rather not pay a fortune for shoes he may never wear again. He can’t borrow shoes because he’s taller and has much bigger feet that all his friends who run.
He is quite fast but doesn’t do athletics out of school. So he’s only used to running on a nice clean track on dry days ( as you know school pupils dissolve in the rain ) .
He’s not really an outdoor child TBH, hence his choice of sport. He’s only got roped into doing this because someone else got injured yesterday at a race.
I think you are right that the issue will be getting used to uneven ground. The last thing he needs is an injury as he lost 6 months last season to a knee injury.
ElderAve · 17/02/2020 14:42
Lots of new XC country runners wear football boots, which he may have or be able to borrow more easily? IMO trail shoes won't be up to proper XC course after the weather we've had recently. Depends whether this is a proper XC, or a run in the park though.
Usually, this close to a race the main priority of training is to maintain fitness and not to get injured! The hard work is usually done by this stage, I don't think there's much he can do that will make a difference before race day. Just go and enjoy it.
If he has another sport that's very important to him, I might be inclined to decline the opportunity TBH. Running a XC race, especially with conditions as they will be with recent rainfall, without having trained and without being used to running through mud/on uneven ground is not a particularly sensible thing to do.
Double3xposure · 17/02/2020 14:53
Depends whether this is a proper XC, or a run in the park though
I have no way of knowing, although it is a national level competition. It’s in a large country estate.
And yes, his squash is very important to him, he plays at a high level. Hmm, now I’m worried.
Runningonempty84 · 17/02/2020 15:44
If his squash is important to him, and getting injured would be a disaster, then I'd be very, very tempted to pull him out.
XC is a recipe for injury for the most experienced of us - rough terrain, fast running, and unexpected slips and slides at every corner. If he's not used to it then that's bad enough at the best of times, but after this rain? The course will be a mudbath. And if it's a national level competition (maybe the same one my DH is running this weekend in Notts?) then it'll be a tough route too.
Maybe have a gentle word OP. Great that he wants to help the team out, but if he hasn't done it before he may not know how tough it is, and what a high chance there is of injury. National level XC isn't like an ordinary muddy Parkrun...
Runningonempty84 · 17/02/2020 15:46
Sorry, just reread the OP and it clearly says "schools cross country." So clearly not the same nationals my DH is in! Still, I'm betting it's a proper XC course if it's nationals level.
ElderAve · 17/02/2020 17:47
Does your son want to do it?
This is what the English Schools champs looked like last year
XC is proper elbows out stuff, slippery with steep up and down hills and tight bends. Most runners will be experienced but someone always falls. If it was horses there'd be campaigns against it. I love it
lljkk · 17/02/2020 18:04
My kids experience of x country is nowhere as dramatic as these stories. They run on grassy dryish courses in east Anglia. Good luck.
Double3xposure · 18/02/2020 00:43
Thank you for all your advice. I’ve spoken to him about it, he’s keen to do it but yes, it’s mostly about helping the team out.
He’s only done one XC race before, and that was the nationals when he was 13. And of course he’s in an older age group now, it’s a longer distance and I assume it’s much tougher.
The course wasn’t particularly muddy the last time ( not like In these photos that @ElderAve posted ). As he was in a younger age group, they ran first or second race so the course wasn’t chewed up .
Sadly we don’t live anywhere as dry as east anglia so yes, it will be a mudbath now After all this rain.
He’s going to talk to his squash coach tomorrow and get her advice. I think she will say no because another injury would indeed be a disaster, he’s still not recovered his ranking after time out last season.
123rd · 18/02/2020 22:43
Is it Liverpool OP? My Dc was at Temple
for the English schools x country for the last two years.
He will need spikes imo. 12mm & 9mm. The courses get VERY churned up after the first couple of races. You can pick up a cheap
Pair from Sports Direct. The actual pack of spikes are a couple of quid. He should decide on the day which ones he needs.
I would get him doing some 5k runs just so he knows he can go the distance. Are there any parks that he could go round?
The starts are brutal.
Double3xposure · 20/02/2020 16:13
Thank you @123rd. Will bear all your advice in mind for next year.
Ds has discussed with his squash coach, who advises not to run. Mainly because of the higher risk of injury from lack of training. Also because Ds has been selected to play in an international squash event in May, which he needs to be fit for.
Thank you too to everyone else, much appreciated.
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