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Fall Running Reflections

personal-coaching-vancouver-2It’s been about 14wks since I’d committed to getting as fit as possible for the 2011 Canadian Cross Country Running Championships Nov 26 here in my own back yard, Jericho Beach Park. I’ll be gunning to race the Masters category which is the 40+ age group.

Cross country running events have been going on since the late 1800′s and there’s been an international/world championships event since 1903. Wikipedia describes cross country running (XC) as a fall sport in which people run a race ranging from 4-12km on open-air looped courses over natural terrain under any weather conditions.

My earliest recollections of XC was when I was a pimply faced teenager with an obsession with middle distance track racing. I remember my old coach Dennis Fairall stating emphatically that XC racing was a necessary part of my development as a runner. I bitched & moaned about this concept simply because XC races were between 6-8km and the track was a pure adrenalin with races going no further than 1500m. This was difficult for me to grasp and as a result, i always had my ass handed to me by  the guys who perhaps trained a bit better, but more importantly, had a better attitude. Well, my next track season was a HUGE success netting PR’s after PR’s. I had an inner strength and physical endurance that wasn’t there prior to XC!

Many of you reading this may think that XC isn’t just for the average runner…wrong. Anyone can run on grass, trails, hills, sand, whatever this great earth can provide. In fact, don’t many of us train ‘off-road’? As a coach, I’m always preaching the benefits of off-road running: reduces impact on your body; a refreshing change to the urban environment; teaches you to relax more when in the trails; encourages you to constantly change, shorten and lighten your stride length; develops better stability & coordination…I could go on. So why not take it one step further and jump in a XC race? Maybe not this Sat’s big event but you might want to come out and watch some of Canada’s finest harriers? One thing’s for certain: I still may have my ass handed to me, but I’ll have fun doing it!

November 21, 2011 | Blog, Running | 0

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