Cross Country

My coach suggested me doing cross country to prepare for track, practicing with them, then lifting and plyos after practice. It is a normal cross country team so i would be dong lots of miles and whatever, how good of an idea is this. Any ideas for something extra for me to do? ( i run the 1 and 2)

no one tell me to do a search.

And dont say ‘well uhh buy this cuz we cant give you a personalized work out cuz we dont know you as an athlete’ i just want basic suggestions

Don’t do it.
Sprint, lift, plyos, medballs, and do basic low intensity exercises (different forms of tempo). That will all be more beneficial than running miles for XC.

Charlie’s comment on this in Speed Trap is great: “But most Canadian coaches continued to push numbing amounts of endurance work to build “a great base.” And so they did - but there was nothing on top of the base. If these people had designed the great Pyramid, it would have covered 700 acres and topped off at 30 feet. Their athletes were champions of the sand hill and the forest paths, but not of the sprints.”

hmmm. the annoying thing is that my coach thinks its absolutely neccessary to ‘build a base’. He said he will design me a lifting program if and only if i do cross country. Would 2 months of cross country have a bad affect on my fast twich fbrs? Why shouldn’t I do it? I could see why it would be good for a 400 runner but not a power sprinter like me.

It would, but that isn’t the biggest problem. You would simply be away from speedwork for a long time and building a “base” or nothing specific to what you need to do (sprint fast). Do you want a guy to design you a lifting program who believes in cross country for sprinters? If you really need it though, just do it and slack off and do something else on the side.

yeeee,get a grip.XC is not suitable for any sprinter nor are long runs.PERIOD…

we have debated this in great detail in the past and the final outcome is not to do XC as it will effect your performances as its training the wrong system

if your coach was such a great coach then we would know this

Unfortunately, this is a problem that younger members of the forum encounter regularly. Even if they learn better training methods here, their school coaches won’t let them employ those methods because they conflict with the coaches’ sacred programs and threaten the coaches’ authority (which is probably the real reason for resistance).

Yeah, but this season I’m gonna try and change that. Our track coach doesnt start out training until february, when our big meet is at the beginning of May. So I’ll be leading 2 other people and we’re gonna start training in November. We’ll be so far ahead of everyone else when track “officially” starts in February that we figure we can get away with continuing our own training after he sees the results we’re getting. Also, it helps that we’re hurdlers and we can always play the “hurdlers have to train differently than how you do with the sprinters” card.

Perhaps you could ask him what kind of “lifting program” he’s got in mind to help you with your speed work?
In fact, you could ask him about the speed program itself and why he thinks such a long absence from it will benefit you in the long run?
Is it because of convenience? Has he got other XC athletes, too?

Perhaps you could then come back to the forum for a discussion!

Stay away from XC if you can, as suggested in earlier posts. If you must do XC, maybe you can get the coach to modify your workouts, getting in at least one day of speed work rather than grinding out miles. I know a number of XC coaches who use XC as off season conditioning for track athletes but they don’t train them the same as the distance athletes. They might do some of the interval work together but on days where the distance runners run distance, the sprinters and hurdlers are on the track doing speed. Some of these athletes never run in the XC meets.

If you can’t reach some sort of compromise, you might modify your approach to the training where you go out on a multi-mile run but do it in more of an interval style – mixing in short sprints and easy jogs or walking, rather than running hard for several miles. On alternating days, you could run with low intensity, as in tempo runs. Not the best, but it would be better than trying to become a strong distance runner, developing all the wrong systems for sprinting.

In short, avoid XC if you can. If you can’t, try to modify it to off-season sprint-style training. If you can’t do that, try to modify the XC workouts to get as close to sprint-style training as you can. If you can’t do that, take it easy on the XC workouts and supplement with some speed work at least once or twice a week.

Tough situation.

My advice would be to play football or soccer in the fall if those options are open to you. The coniditioning and speed components of those sports are a better form of general prep for sprinting than XC.

I’ll agree with the others that avoiding xc altogether and doing your own GPP for sprints is the best option, but in most cases like this, you can’t. So keep in mind that some of all-time best survived cross country, as did Kerron Clement more recently, as did Quincy Watts. It’s not going to help you, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.

If you watched the world championships on TV, you saw a bunch of Ethiopian distance runners eat everyone else’s lunch in the last lap. What we know of what they’re doing (besides training at 10000’) is workouts of 2000’s @10K race pace, 1000’s @ 3K race pace, faster 400’s uphill…AND…60 meter SPRINTS, in spikes, a couple of times a week. In short, they have a year-round SPEED program, and they do their long distance stuff slow, for recovery (sound familiar?).

You could take a page out of the Ethiopian book, by doing a few 60 meter sprints each week, prefreably before easy runs. These don’t produce lactate–if done with enough recovery–so they don’t affect your ability to run a few miles afterward.

As for weights, all you really need is bench, squat, and a pulling exercise (lat, rows, or something of that kind), sets of 10-15 reps in GPP, 6-10 reps in max strength phase. It can be a lot more sophisticated, but it doesn’t have to be. If your coach knows this little about sprinting, maybe you’re best not getting a weight program from him.

first of all “”"“X MAN!!!”"" dont tell me to ‘get a grip’ i have a grip i understand basic sprint fundamentals i was asking for more knowleadgeable people’s suggestions on the topic, and i decided not to do cross country, i talked to the sprint coach of the track team that just won the HS state championship in oregon and we are working on a program, he has me doing light running workouts 2-3 miles at an easy pace then about 6 50 yd sprints, then for weights im starting out easy with 3 sets of 5-8 reps with 60-70% max on bench, incline bench, squat, ham curl, military press, power and hang clean, lat pulls, deadlifts and then core every day for the first 4 weeks. he told me that unless i need cross country for competitive or motivational reasons, don’t do it.

Think of it this way. Kangaroos are good at jumping because thats all they do. It works the same with sprinting. If you want to be a mile runner go right ahead and do 2-3mile runs. If you want to become a faster athlete you’ve got to do right by your body(the longer you train consistently the faster you’ll become). I think the main thing is to stay healthy and all that excess running on hard surfaces is just going to cause a lot of excess strain on your legs. Stick with CF’s philosophy, after all he did coach the fastest human ever to grace the track so far(regardless of circumstances). Try to coach yourself, there’s plenty of info on this site. Just get a coach to look at your form every once in a while.

wow he coached asafa powell?you learn something new everyday :rolleyes:

A better argument here would be continuous vs. tempo, not between some aerobic running and none of it. Charlie has talked in the past about the advantges of aerobic support (tempo) for even 100 meter runners. Clyde Hart has some aerobic running in his schedules and John Smith also uses it (for 400 runners only). Hart has also used 2 mile time trials in the past.

Also, for 400 particularly, the glycolytic (lactate-producing) system begins to shut down after 40 seconds of maximum effort, and beyond this point, a 400 requires progressively larger aerobic support. For a 44 second 400, the aerobic content is nil, but there is more aerobic content at 50 (and longer). So a “kangaroo” expecting to run 47-52 is going to need a stronger aerobic system than one doing 44-47.

Do any of us following CF NOT do some aerobic running (tempo)?

You can’t seriously believe that Asafa is faster than Ben Johnson was. Asafa went all out the whole way in his WR. Meanwhile Johnson shutdown in the last 20metres of the race. Now who’s faster? :smiley:

Some guys don’t even do tempo, some would rather work on their starts instead on those days and maybe do some sort of circuit training. I’m not a big believer in running slow if your main objective is to run faster. It seems counterproductive. I’d personally rather do explosive pool work and circuits than going for a jog.

if you had a grip then why ask this question in the first place.XC or any long “endurance runs” for a sprinter is totally negative.i don’t care if your coach is CF,long runs especially XC is as we discussed in the past totally a waste of time

he told me that unless i need cross country for competitive or motivational reasons, don’t do it.[/QUOTE]

XC would scare any athlete from track especially a sprinter

seriously man you are awesome i bet i would do the same thing to someone who doesnt have much knowledge about sprinting if they came on my expert forum no question about it i would tell them to get a grip and belittle their questions… you are who this forum was invented for.

thanks everyone else

XC didn’t scare me away from track, it made me appreciate my comparitivly “short” track workouts… Tee-hee. 6x200 is NOTHIN compared to 6x1600m.

P.S. Yehusaa, a bit of literary advice. Use less prounouns. “It” and “thing” are very poor subjects with which to start a paragraph. They leave the reader confused-er than shit. What exactly where you trying to say, anyway?