The Cross Country season is upon us and many are new to the event. So here are a few tips to prepare for what is truly the purest form of running.
1/ You first need to adequately train for the event…pretty basic, eh?? Saturday morning training with Crusaders in the Phoenix Park is ideal, with the emphasis on endurance over grassy and hilly terrain.
2/ Have spike shoes and you need spike pins fitted with a length of 9mm - 12mm, depending on how wet the ground is. Check out the specialist running shops in Dublin.
3/ Double knot your laces, as a loose (or lost) shoe during a race, spells disaster!!
4/ Bring a waterproof bag (or a large bin bag) with you to races so as to put in dry clothes to change into after the race.
5/ Distances in Cross Country are rarely accurate. As a result, forget times, watches, garmins etc and just run to race against your fellow runners.
6/ Most Cross-country races have a club team competition, so make sure you arrive in plenty of time as our Club captains must declare a named team well before the start time.
7/ Make sure you warm up well by jogging for at least 10-15 mins followed by a dynamic warm up.
8/ The start of races tend to be fast before settling down. Do not get sucked into running too hard at the beginning of a race. Instead start off steady and then work past all those runners who went off too hard!!
9/ Post race, don’t forget to cool down by doing a nice easy jog with your club mates.
10/ Bring something to eat for post-race fuel. Food would be bananas, Muller rice, flavoured milk etc.
Michael McGovern, Crusader Committee Member, Chairman of Irish Milers Club