Have you ever wondered if cross country helps you get ready for track or if track helps you get ready for cross country? Both sports help each other in their own ways. Pre-season practice for cross country goes only 4 days a week with each day being an easy day, moderate day, speed day, and another easy day. As the practices go on, every 2 weeks the miles get bumped up. At the beginning of the pre-season practices you’ll start with going easy 2 miles and you’ll do that for that week and the next, then the third week you’ll be at 3 miles. By the end of the summer practices you’ll have run 7-8 miles with other runners (which makes it easier to go that distance.) When the actual season starts after school you’ll be down to running 5-6 miles.
Speed days in cross country mostly involve hills and sometimes flats. The hills involve the frontage road behind the high school and the cemetery. The flats involve 800 east going to Arby’s, the track, and roads around town. The speed days around town are our “race days”; this is a 3 mile course going up and through the golf course, down to the elementary school, then back over to Wasp Way and to the high school. These speed days are supposed to help with the meets in case there are hills and, of course, flats.
How does this tie in with track? Well after all the long miles in cross country, the longest distance in track we run for practice is 5 miles, while the longest race at a track meet is 2 miles. The easy days in track that are around town: up to 4 miles. The moderate days where we speed up to 60% effort or more: 4 miles or 5 miles. Meaning there is a warmup mile, with the speeding up part for 2 or 3 miles, then 1 cool down mile. The main part of how it ties into cross country is the distances because it gets you ready for running the same amount of miles to a few more miles, so basically it’s like a warmup for the longer miles.
The other thing from cross country that ties into track is the endurance part. If you do sprints in track or do a different sport, the endurance from running long distances will help make it easier to endure the speed. That is of course if you do the pre-season practice to track. For me cross country helps me get ready for indoor track which in turn helps me get ready for the actual track season.