XC Facts & Injury Prevention

HEAT SAFETY 2017 (1)



Cross Country Information for Parents and Runners

What is cross country?

Cross County is traditionally a 5 kilometer (3.1 mile) for boys and a 2 Mile race for girls, race over grass, gravel, asphalt, and dirt. Some courses might have more asphalt than grass and vice versa. Some races we run might be slightly shorter or longer. Weekend invitational’s consist of fields from 50-300 runners and are generally divided into different races for boys and girls, as well as varsity, junior varsity, and middle school.

Types of Training

-Distance runs
Longer runs of between 3-8 miles depending on age and ability. These runs are generally done at a moderate pace. The purpose of these runs is to allow student-athletes to get in mileage, which will build their aerobic capacity and muscles while recovering from more intense workouts and races.

-Speed workouts
Speed workouts can vary between pace runs (longer sustained
periods of running slower than race pace), fartleks (alternating periods of race pace or below running and distance run pace), and interval workouts (repeated runs for a defined distance and pace with a defined rest time period). Speed workouts are designed to increase student-athletes’ ability to handle the intensity and paces that they will encounter under race conditions.

Drills are done at every practice and before meets. Drills are
designed to improve student-athletes’ running form and efficiency as well as isolate certain muscles for strengthening. Drills include butt-kicks, A-skips, high knees, karacoa, and duck walks.

Strides are done after distance runs. They consist of 100-150
springs at 80-90% effort. Strides are done to help in the
development of fast twitch muscles and speed for the end of races.

-Body weights
Body weights will be done 2-3 times a week. Body weights will consist of pushups, crunches, supermans, squats, and plank exercises. These exercises will help to improve upper body and core strength thereby improving running form.

-Core/AB work
Core is a vital part of all sports and exercises. However, it is often one of the most overlooked forms of exercise. I have come to realize that one way proven to help prevent most injuries is to take CORE work seriously. Sometimes it is the easiest part, but it is the little things that can create the big things. We will do Core work nearly each day after workouts or long runs. The stomach muscles are a group of muscles that can be worked each day, and not result in overuse. By using various exercises it is my goal to make it a point to target them daily

Injuries will happen as a part of training for cross country. The objective
is to identify problems early so that steps can be taken to mitigate their effects and to practice preventive measures.

Types of common injuries:

-Shin splints
An overused muscle condition that is caused by any activity that involves running, jumping, also sometimes even walking.

WAY TO HELP: work on strengthening your CORE (stomach muscles), HIPS (donkey whips/kicks), CALFS (toe raises..exc) & Stretching/rolling your HIPS, CORE, CALFS.

-Plantar fasciitis
A painful inflammatory condition of the foot caused by
excessive wear to the plantar fascia or plantar aponeurosis that supports the arches of the foot or by biomechanical faults that cause abnormal pronation. The pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel, and is often most intense with the first steps of the day.

WAY TO HELP: provided by runners world

1. Stretch the fascia. Prop your toes up against a wall, keeping your arch and heel flat so the toes stretch. Hold for a count of 10. Repeat 10 times three or four times per day.

2. Roll a frozen water bottle under the arch. “Stretch first then roll out the arch for 10 minutes; you don’t want to stretch the tendon when it’s ice cold,” Clemens said.

3. Freeze a golf ball and massage the fascia. Roll the frozen golf ball under the foot, starting from the front and working your way back. Put good pressure on each spot—the medial, center and lateral positions—for 15 seconds before moving to the next area. Then, roll the ball back and forth over the entire foot.

4. Foam roll all muscles on the body above the plantar. “Even tight shoulders can cause the condition, as your arm swing can throw off proper hip alignment and footstrike,” Clemens said.

– Sore muscles
Comes with getting into shape, and we have all been there. Oddly enough, one of the best ways to fix it is to not “take a few days and let it rest”, but to workout the soreness. Other common ways to help with sore muscles is by drinking a ½ cup of pickle juice (random I know) or by taking ice baths after tough workouts. Ice baths will be taken after tough practices at the school. It is done by filling up a large place (bathtub, kid pool, feeding trough, exc. with mostly ice and cold water) you sit in the ice for around 8-12 min.)




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