Advertisement
If you have a new account but are having problems posting or verifying your account, please email us on hello@boards.ie for help. Thanks :)
Hello all! Please ensure that you are posting a new thread or question in the appropriate forum. The Feedback forum is overwhelmed with questions that are having to be moved elsewhere. If you need help to verify your account contact hello@boards.ie

Cross Country Training Thread

Options
  • 15-08-2015 10:29pm
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭


    I know track is only winding down but I have seen a bit of talk around the logs and events page regarding this so I though I would set up a thread for all things XC from races to training.

    With the new changes being made by AAI hopefully it can breath a little bit of new life into XC and get a few more involved.

    I definitely think that there are a number of marathoners who are missing a trick with regards the benefits of the training in terms of not just strength and stamina but also the muscular development that can improve consistency during next marathon cycle.

    Looking at Irish Men and Women marathoners there does seem to be a good overlap between Marathons and XC (On the European Gold medal winning team in 2012, marathoners made up over half the team). There is also a good tradition of overlap in East Africans (Geb, G Mutai etc)

    There many doing it?
    Where are you in training and how are you going to approach it?
    Favourite/most dreaded sessions?
    Target races?


«13456721

Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 558 ✭✭✭clear thinking


    It'd be great to know what the changes were, at least the Dublin novice and teachers appear to have confirmed dates. I've been looking forward to it for a while as 2012 was the last proper attempt I had at the staple races. I'd be sceptical if they have any difference in participation, but from what i've heard it will be good for national level athletes going for worlds and Euros due to better timing of the dates for qualifiers - inter counties I believe?

    Training; I'm going for 2/3 sessions aerobic, 1/3 anaerobic, XC will replace a hill session, usually every second week. Aiming for miles next summer so its not just marathoners who can benefit.

    Favourite / most dreaded sessions? Fartlek @ c. VO2 pace. the best are usually the worst.

    Target races? Teachers, Dub novice, inter, senior & bhaas, plus I'll throw in a few IMRAs albeit that's a different kettle of fish.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,400 ✭✭✭ger664


    I definitely think that there are a number of marathoners who are missing a trick with regards the benefits of the training in terms of not just strength and stamina but also the muscular development that can improve consistency during next marathon cycle.

    I 100% agree with this but the timing is the issue. Most club marathon runners would target Dublin as their race. XC running/races really need to be ran in August for a marathon runner to get any benefit for Dublin or late November when they have recovered somewhat from the race. Locally novices/master county are 3 weeks before Dublin and the Munster masters are on the day before. If you are serious about doing yourself justice in Dublin you will not run those races.

    So either move the calendar to early August or late November.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,394 ✭✭✭✭Timmaay


    or move the DCM lol!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,534 ✭✭✭Ceepo


    ger664 wrote: »
    I 100% agree with this but the timing is the issue. Most club marathon runners would target Dublin as their race. XC running/races really need to be ran in August for a marathon runner to get any benefit for Dublin or late November when they have recovered somewhat from the race. Locally novices/master county are 3 weeks before Dublin and the Munster masters are on the day before. If you are serious about doing yourself justice in Dublin you will not run those races.

    So either move the calendar to early August or late November.

    Is the date for Munster masters XC change as it is normally on been last weekend in November or the 1st week in December.


  • Registered Users Posts: 703 ✭✭✭happygoose


    This is a perennial discussion but there's a limited crossover between the marathon and the Leinster Novice and Masters IMO. Maybe 40/50 people, maybe less than 10 that will feature at the top end. Move it a week either way and you still won't get this cohort.

    The XC season is long enough for marathoners to come in after a break, mid/late November and put in 8-10 specific weeks towards National Masters. It's an exceptional race, incredible depth in the men's races in Tuam last year.

    I don't get why those on the road don't commit more to XC. It's a new fresh challenge, it's tough, but athletes who take in a winter XC season seem to come on a bit more than everyone else over the winter. It's racing, for places, running on a team, being part of a collected effort rather than chasing a PB. You don't have to be running for 1st place, every place counts and it's no less rewarding a race finishing mid pack or towards the back. Mightn't look so good on a blog or in a race report perhaps :)

    There have been minor changes made to the upcoming season by the AAI following a long consultation process with Clubs. Raycun posted these after the last AGM if you have a search. They went about it the right way. They engaged a third party and went to the Clubs / running fraternity with workshops and requests for submissions. These were decided upon by Club delegates at the AGM. I think people have a tendency to have a go too quickly and have a pot at the AAI without understanding how they go about their decisions.

    Inter Clubs aside (which has been amended) last season was a great season. The AAI took over the Gerry Farnan as MSB were dropping it. It's largely the same race, they tried using its supporting races to open XC up to Joe Runner but it didn't get that much uptake.

    National Novice is a fantastic race. Intermediate used to be weaker but this year seen that change, another great race. The Inter Counties is a serious field. About 120 runners, and you're probably going to have to be in 33 10k shape on the road to get in the top 90. I can't remember exactly what's being done with this race but I'd like to see it combined with the Clubs and having hundreds do it. It's not the GAA, there's no real intercounty thing in Athletics.

    XC brings together the best of runners at county, provincial and national level from middle distance to marathon. It's great to see. It's daunting for nearly all who run, but there's a level for everyone, and with the team element everyone has something to run for.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 2,400 ✭✭✭ger664


    Ceepo wrote: »
    Is the date for Munster masters XC change as it is normally on been last weekend in November or the 1st week in December.

    Your are correct its the Munster Novice & U23 thats on the day before Dublin. I just remembered from last year as I had planned doing both Novice and Master, but when I saw how the dates really clash with the Marathon I didnt bother (easy option ;))


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 785 ✭✭✭Notwork Error


    I'm in for a full season this year for the first time. Going to do all the county and provincial races from novice to senior. Starting specific XC training tomorrow with a view to peak around county senior the first week of November. Would love to be in my best shape for novice and intermediate as that's where I'd be of most value but it's a long season so I think targeting senior is the best option to keep consistent for the rest of the year.

    Haven't done a race in nearly 7 weeks so I'm itching to go for the first race 2 weeks away which is open XC and will hopefully get me back on terms with the challenges of XC, short grass with a few small hills and tight corners so it should be a nice race to break me in to the season. I train all year round with one session on grass which would be longer repeats and another session on the track of shorter faster stuff so I probably won't change much with the surfaces for workouts with the exception of moving the tempo run onto the grass.

    Looking forward to the season now and a change from the norm of marathon training at this time of year which will hopefully set me up better for next year than marathon training has in the past too.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,370 ✭✭✭pconn062


    Although I'm technically a track runner fairy, cross country is definitely my favourite time of year. I love the slog of it all, and especially the team element of it. Not going to race too many this year but will do the three county races (novice, intermediate and senior) and will also run the Interclubs.Training wise I have a very good base built and although I am actually out with a small foot injury at the minute I hope to be able to start back this week. Plan is for lots of LT/slightly fast than LT running combined with hills and turnover work.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭Myles Splitz


    Where are you in training and how are you going to approach it?

    I took stock when I got injured back in July and am attempting to do things right for the Cross Country season

    Got back on my feet quicker than expected at the start of August so decided to fully dedicate August to base building and have been sticking to running by HR for the month. My "sessions" for this phase are just steady runs and progression runs twice a week and will start to bring in strides and hill sprints.

    After this aiming to add a general prep phase again running by the HRM on effort in attempt to not mentally give up chasing splits due to the wide variance in conditions/ terrains over the winter months and plan on 8 weeks of 5 sessions over 2 weeks (short hills, Vo2 max, Tempos, Long Steady runs) and just let the fitness naturally progress.

    After this it's a short competition phase from the start of November including Long hills reps, anaerobic fartlek and long reps.

    Target races?

    Race wise looking at Dublin and Leinster Novice/Intermediates as target races with National Novice, Inter Clubs and Dublin Seniors as bonus races.

    Dreaded sessions

    Long hills (3-4 min climbs) are pretty lung busting but will be good ones to boost the fitness in the later stages of the season before racing


  • Registered Users Posts: 321 ✭✭EMPM


    Slightly off topic, anybody know when the BHAA release their XC calendar. Looking to plan a few races over the winter, thanks.


  • Advertisement
  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭KielyUnusual


    After my first full XC season last year, where I grew more and more enamoured with the event as the season wore on, I'm really looking forward to getting back in to it this year. Its great because, after a summer of everyone training for their specific events, its back together and all working as one towards the same goal.

    To answer Myles's questions:

    There many doing it?

    Not nearly enough.


    Where are you in training and how are you going to approach it?

    I'm taking a bit of a break from serious training for a few weeks to recover from the track session but next week or the week after, I'll be getting in to it. Would like to work back up to 50-60 miles a week over the winter with the track session on the Tuesday and hitting the Phoenix Park on the Saturday. Track sessions are generally about 5k of 400s/600s/800s with shorter recovery or active recovery. Phoenix Park session is usually 5-6 by the Munich Mile or 2-3 of a double lap. Looking forward to getting back to that one.

    Favourite/most dreaded sessions?

    Has to be the Munich Mile in the Phoenix Park. You couldn't get a better place for some XC training. Always lots of groups down there too, which adds to the appeal.

    Target races?

    As a club, we'll always target the Dublin and National Novice. Great races and love these. I'll enter most anything, where we're looking to put a team together and hit a few of the BHAA races too. I really feel you can't beat race practice when it comes to XC. The BHAA Garda XC will definitely be a target too and love that course.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭KielyUnusual


    i_love_xc_dog_tshirt.jpg?height=250&width=250&padToSquare=true


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭youngrun


    New national calendar is up here
    http://www.athleticsireland.ie/competition/fixtures/
    Interclubs now switched with Inter counties. and down to 10k , pity no more gruellers over 12k..

    Short course is back 4km in Jan

    Season a bit tighter, finishing with Senior intercounties Feb 14.

    More focus in it hopefully the numbers show up

    No venues yet . the Autumn XC /Gerry F is first big one, surprised there is no venue for this usually in Park?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,704 ✭✭✭✭RayCun


    youngrun wrote: »
    No venues yet . the Autumn XC /Gerry F is first big one, surprised there is no venue for this usually in Park?

    AAI Autumn Open is supposed to be in the park, same day as Dublin juvenile even age championships


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    I’m really looking forward to that 4k Short Course Championship.

    Given the timing, just after Dublin masters with the national inters and masters still to come, as well as younger guys looking at indoors and with the road runners free, it could be the biggest field of the year. I’m sure it will be mayhem whatever the size of the field.

    Just getting back to it after being out May-June-July, (and March) - progressing from runs of 2.5 miles two weeks ago, so still a way to go yet.

    National novice is probably my main goal - top 50 would be great but I really just want to try and get some consistent running in and finish the xc season a little stronger and a little faster for indoor.

    Will see you all out there!

    XC Courses

    I thought the courses for the Leinster Novice/Masters, National Novice and National Intermediate last year were all good / interesting. As was the Novice in 2013.

    Hopefully the trends of decent national courses continues, rather than just running around a field, so looking forward to seeing where they are being held this year.

    Short course was previously held in ALSAA a few times - don’t know if that was a fixed location but it might good for numbers.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭KielyUnusual


    Sacksian wrote: »
    I’m really looking forward to that 4k Short Course Championship.

    Given the timing, just after Dublin masters with the national inters and masters still to come, as well as younger guys looking at indoors and with the road runners free, it could be the biggest field of the year. I’m sure it will be mayhem whatever the size of the field.

    Just getting back to it after being out May-June-July, (and March) - progressing from runs of 2.5 miles two weeks ago, so still a way to go yet.

    National novice is probably my main goal - top 50 would be great but I really just want to try and get some consistent running in and finish the xc season a little stronger and a little faster for indoor.

    Will see you all out there!

    XC Courses

    I thought the courses for the Leinster Novice/Masters, National Novice and National Intermediate last year were all good / interesting. As was the Novice in 2013.

    Hopefully the trends of decent national courses continues, rather than just running around a field, so looking forward to seeing where they are being held this year.

    Short course was previously held in ALSAA a few times - don’t know if that was a fixed location but it might good for numbers.

    Really looking forward to the short course too. Form the few European runners at our club, you would hear a lot about the short courses on the continent and I think its a great way to get the middle distance runners in to the XC. Not many 800m runners are going to give a 12k XC race a shot but a 4k race will be so much more inclusive for everyone.

    Agreed about the course for the National Intermediates last year. Definitely one of my favourite races of the year and hope to see more courses like that this year. The less running around rugby pitches the better :).


  • Registered Users Posts: 293 ✭✭nobody told me


    This is going to be my first cross country season since I was in school and I cannot wait. Embrace the pain.

    Can someone give me some staple workouts?

    I was thinking long tempos, fartlek and hills. My long run is 13 miles at the mo so I think I will need to increase that.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭KielyUnusual


    This is going to be my first cross country season since I was in school and I cannot wait. Embrace the pain.

    Can someone give me some staple workouts?

    I was thinking long tempos, fartlek and hills. My long run is 13 miles at the mo so I think I will need to increase that.

    I would say in general try to run on grass as much as possible. Just helps to get used to it. Running on the grass is very different to running on the roads.

    We would generally stick to one interval session consisting of repeats of 4-800 metres with short recovery (30-45s) or active jog recovery.

    The main session is then the Saturday session. This is where we'll hit the hills the majority of the time or might go for longer tempo runs on the grass the odd time (usually 3 X 2.5k). For the hill session we have a 1 mile loop in the park with a couple of short sharp hills and one long steep hill with a long flat stretch to finish. Perfect XC training. Repeat this 6 times with 75s in between and you'll be in fine cross country shape.

    13 miles sounds about right for the long run. I wouldn't go too much longer anyway. The longest XC race is generally 10k, so a very long run is far from essential. Just be fresh for the specific XC session and that's the main thing.

    Might put in an extra tempo session the odd time but would take this easy enough and might do it at marathon pace or even a little slower.

    Oh yea, and get in plenty of race practice. If you're doing it right, you'll want to quit not too far in to your first race. It doesn't get easier but you do get more used to it :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭IvoryTower


    whats the difference between novice, intermediate and senior?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭KielyUnusual


    IvoryTower wrote: »
    whats the difference between novice, intermediate and senior?

    In short

    novice = 6k
    intermediate = 8k
    senior = 10k

    Not much difference in standard between the novice and the intermediate. Senior can be a pretty high standard. Winning individual medal or team gold at novice can mean that you can't compete in it next year's novice. You can only compete at inter and senior. Do the same at inter level and you're up with the big boys in the senior as your only option.

    National novice is the best race in the country.


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭Myles Splitz


    In short

    novice = 6k
    intermediate = 8k
    senior = 10k

    Not much difference in standard between the novice and the intermediate. Senior can be a pretty high standard. Winning individual medal or team gold at novice can mean that you can't compete in it next year's novice. You can only compete at inter and senior. Do the same at inter level and you're up with the big boys in the senior as your only option.

    National novice is the best race in the country.

    That is the simple breakdown, there can a bit of complications regarding eligibility depending on where you medal

    Medalling at county level excludes you only from county Novice (can still compete at provincial and National)
    Medalling at provincial level excludes you from County and provincial (Dublin is considered a province so negates this)
    Medalling at Nationals excludes you from all three going forward.

    You are no longer eligible unless you get regarded which has to be approved by county board (usually only given to team medalists or lads who have not run Novice in over 10 years)

    In terms of Dublin level I would say that Novice tends to have a few more faster juniors coming through who transition well to the shorter distance so tends to be a little more competitive than Intermediate but as was said not by too much.

    In terms of location usually Dublin tends to be as follows

    Novice - Phoenix Park
    Intermediate - Tymon Park
    Seniors - St Annes Park


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,370 ✭✭✭pconn062


    Really starting to get stuck into the XC specific stuff now, have done two decent workouts on grass in the last week. It's very different running fast on grass than on the road or track, requires me to use more concentration in terms of footfall. Few road races coming up to get the racing legs in gear, how is everyone else getting on?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,477 ✭✭✭youngrun


    pconn062 wrote: »
    Really starting to get stuck into the XC specific stuff now, have done two decent workouts on grass in the last week. It's very different running fast on grass than on the road or track, requires me to use more concentration in terms of footfall. Few road races coming up to get the racing legs in gear, how is everyone else getting on?

    Likewise out of a poor summer training due to other events going on+ work hectic ,now have a couple of good weeks done , two sessions last week on grass/trails both v tough . 15 min tempo chasing a faster lad which felt like carrying bricks in my legs and a set of 4 min reps end of week again hard work ..feel a bit fitter ... another tempo today and I face the same punishment!


    Wonder when national venues will become clearer..


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 785 ✭✭✭Notwork Error


    First XC race done at the weekend. In a lot better shape than I thought. First championship race in 3 and a half weeks which is county novice so I'm pretty confident I can be in a place to make a difference there. Looked up the schedule of County and Munster there, it's going to be a busy few weeks of racing from mid-October to mid November with 5 races in 6 weeks. Going to talk it over with coach but I might drop one of the Munster races to get a break. Would like to get a road race in before the season comes in full swing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 511 ✭✭✭EauRouge79


    Ye have inspired me sufficiently to buy a pair of XC spikes at lunchtime! I have them on under the desk now.
    Have done 2 races previous year, Cork Novice and Munsters Masters. Nearly killed me but I resolved to do a cross country season this winter in place of DCM. Ill surely be the better for it come the new year!?

    Now to find a field with a hill in Co Cork :-)
    Does anyone have any suggestion of regular training venues for Cross Country in Cork? is there a place in Riverstick near Kinsale that is available to us?

    The club is always anxious for us to represent when the races come around but no advice or training given...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    I've had a decent couple of weeks. Even if I'm struggling a bit with pace, it's just good to be back running consistently and being able to tackle the Munichs without worrying about the calf or achilles. Haven't quite worked up to a session of Munich miles yet though!

    I've noticed that missing the track season has meant that my legs just aren't used to turning over quickly yet, so I'm a bit leaden and the Dublin novice is going to be a lot less fun than I hoped! Had thought about getting a race in before then but I might just try and get in some decent sessions instead.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭Myles Splitz


    Sacksian wrote: »
    I've had a decent couple of weeks. Even if I'm struggling a bit with pace, it's just good to be back running consistently and being able to tackle the Munichs without worrying about the calf or achilles. Haven't quite worked up to a session of Munich miles yet though!

    I've noticed that missing the track season has meant that my legs just aren't used to turning over quickly yet, so I'm a bit leaden and the Dublin novice is going to be a lot less fun than I hoped! Had thought about getting a race in before then but I might just try and get in some decent sessions instead.

    When building back did you do any sort of progression style runs, strides or hill reps?

    I though building back up I would be the same but seem to have hit the ground running so to speak this week when I reintroduced sessions.

    Using short hills for turnover myself once every two weeks on top of strides and hill reps.

    3 sessions down this week and seem to have gone well for me, next week will be the litmus test as first sessions on grass. in two minds about my long tempo. probably gonna do it on an undulating loop on grass but little worried the fluctuating pace levels might hinder the aim of the session more than the specificity of the grass (I think realistically its probably just my ego talk and not wanted to see slower paces at harder effort on the grass :P)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,895 ✭✭✭Sacksian


    When building back did you do any sort of progression style runs, strides or hill reps?

    I though building back up I would be the same but seem to have hit the ground running so to speak this week when I reintroduced sessions.

    Using short hills for turnover myself once every two weeks on top of strides and hill reps.

    No, I haven't done any strides - and I really should although it's been comforting to find that I've been able to run downhills pretty smoothly in any sessions! I think it's a bit of fatigue from getting back into consistent running, and 90% on grass too, which means it's taking me a while longer to warm up to the session pace. I've done a couple of shorter sessions where I've been able to finish very strongly, even if I'm a lot slower for the first few reps.
    3 sessions down this week and seem to have gone well for me, next week will be the litmus test as first sessions on grass. in two minds about my long tempo. probably gonna do it on an undulating loop on grass but little worried the fluctuating pace levels might hinder the aim of the session more than the specificity of the grass (I think realistically its probably just my ego talk and not wanted to see slower paces at harder effort on the grass :P)

    I think that's a real benefit of doing all your running on grass - all you're focusing on is effort (and when you get on to the road, you're able to run much quicker for the same effort). Equally, every xc course is different, so all you can do is calibrate effort for the conditions rather than sticking to a predetermined pace. That matters less if your tempo is being done on a course for one of your xc race targets, but either way parking the ego is always good for training!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭Myles Splitz


    Sacksian wrote: »
    I think that's a real benefit of doing all your running on grass - all you're focusing on is effort (and when you get on to the road, you're able to run much quicker for the same effort). Equally, every xc course is different, so all you can do is calibrate effort for the conditions rather than sticking to a predetermined pace. That matters less if your tempo is being done on a course for one of your xc race targets, but either way parking the ego is always good for training!

    This was the exact intention at start of the season and just stick to HR however battery died in HRM and between getting a replacement and getting an screwdriver to actually change it I haven't used the HRM the last two weeks when I probably should have been. Easy run paces have been fine and turned pace off the main screen just running at effort but just couldn't let go for sessions. Looking to change that however this week


  • Advertisement
  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,306 ✭✭✭Myles Splitz


    Anyone have any feedback on the Brooks Mac or Saucony Kilkenny XC spikes?

    Have been wearing the Puma Ngong XC spike the last few years and while they are a great spike for heavy duty XC conditions I am looking for something for the drier day.


Advertisement