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Cross country training exercises
If you are an avid runner, you may want to start up a cross country training program at some point. One of the nicest things about cross country training is that in most instances, it will allow you to get out and really experience the beauty of nature. Most marathoners or those doing endurance sports types of activities prefer to take their workouts outdoors because not only does it replicate what they will actually be doing when they race but secondly, it makes for a more interesting and exciting experience than slaving away on some piece of cardio equipment.
When deciding to start a cross country training program, the first thing you need to do is build a good aerobic base. This is not something that you should just jump into on a whim because if you do, you will likely wind up burnt out and injured. Start slowly and work on building your weekly distance by no more than 10% each week. Also note that if you are looking to improve your speed as well, you should only focus on improving distance or speed per week, not both. If you try and go faster and farther at the same time then you are really going to be asking for an injury.
After you've got this aerobic base built up, then you will want to start including more speed and tempo work into your program. These will help you to improve your VO2 max reading as well as your lactate threshold. Doing so will then allow you to work at higher intensity levels for a longer period of time without becoming fatigued. Since the number one obstacle that endurance athletes usually face is fatiguing muscles, you could see how this would be beneficial.
All programs will also usually include one long session, as this is really key to improving performance. You want to make sure you are getting enough rest both before and after this session since it will be quite taxing on the body. Furthermore, ensure that the day or two before you are taking in enough calories and preferably carbohydrates in your diet so you can build up a store of muscle glycogen. When muscle glycogen levels become depleted, particularly at higher paced exercise levels, that is what will cause a termination of physical activity.
Finally, as a last consideration, you really need to be paying attention to recovery on your program. You may want to look into practices such as massage therapy, ice baths or yoga as a way of ensuring your muscles are getting a chance to recuperate after your sessions.
With a proper program, rest and nutrition however, almost anyone can participate in some type of endurance related activity; whether for competitive reasons or just for an enjoyable recreational activity.