How to Prepare for Cross Country Running at College

Hundreds of millions of people love running as a form of exercise, which could be why cross-country running is one of the most popular college sports. Every year thousands of US and international students participate in cross country events at college, and these events are exhilarating, challenging, and exciting.

Are you hoping to become a cross country runner at college? If so, here six tips to help you prepare.

Apply for a scholarship in cross country

As a keen athlete and cross country runner, you should apply for scholarships that will enable you to not only regularly train and take part in races but also pay your way through college. Take a look at the cross country scholarship from, and start preparing for it right now to increase your chances of achieving their highly sought after scholarships. 

Prepare early 

Find out if the course is indoors or outdoors, and if it is outdoors, check the weather. If it is raining bring spare footwear and clothing, so your joints don’t get cold (this is very important, as cold joints will slow you down and increase the chance of injury), and if it is very hot don’t forget to pack a hat.

Look at The College’s Cross-Country Events Online

It can be beneficial to look at the College’s cross-country events before you start. This is because most events will take place on the same tracks, so looking will give you the chance to familiarize yourself with the route. Once you have got this information, you can make an informed decision about the best shoes to wear. You can also assess any challenging sections so you can decide how you want to run; maybe you want to start slow and then speed up, or maybe you’d prefer to remain consistent for the whole course.

Choose the Right Shoes

It is essential to pick the right shoes before running a course. Many people prefer to wear spiked shoes as they provide grip on difficult terrain, but other people prefer non-slip shoes. We suggest going to a running store and trying on a selection of shoes, rather than ordering online, as this means you’ll be able to find the perfect fit for your feet. There are many options for you to choose from; you just need to find a high quality running store.

Alter Your Training for The Course

Are you planning on doing a particularly challenging course? If so, it could be useful to adjust your training to suit the course. Long-distance running can be very physically demanding, especially if your course has a terrain that you’re not used to, so altering your training will make you feel more prepared (and it will also reduce the chance of injury). There are also lots of ways to alter your training; if the course has lots of hills you can train on a hilly terrain, and if the course is outdoors, you can avoid training inside.

Focus On Overall Effort, Rather Than Pace

If you are new to cross country running, you may be tempted to focus on speed, but in reality, consistent effort is often more critical.  So don’t compare yourself to other runners when you first start; just keep your head down, focus on yourself, and try to maintain a fairly consistent speed for the majority of the course.

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