Q: Six Tips to Have Your Best XC Season Ever?

Hey Lauren!

I hope everything is going well for you:) I had a decent track season. 800-2:18; 1600-5:15; 3200-11:30. So not great but I had some setbacks coming in…I struggled w/ low iron and mono for waaay longer than I thought it would!

But I’m heading right into XC season and for once I’m just healthy! No mono, low iron, or stress fractures. I want to have the best XC season of my life! It’s my senior year so maybe I could get some college coaches to notice me.

I just watched a girl dominate my state meet in the 3200 who looked about 5’5 and like 80 lbs, but you believe as long as your eating healthy you shouldn’t have to worry about weight?? I just want to do everything for this amazing XC season. Do you have any advice on how to make it great? I have never really ran much more than 20-30 miles a week. Any advice would be awesome…I’m sooo ready for this season!

F.R.

 

A:

Hey F.R.

That’s great news that your mono is cleared up and your iron is up. Those two things alone will make a really big difference. Add in your determination and some good decisions and you’re in for a great one. And by the way, those are good track times! Give yourself some credit girl!

From what little I know about you, these are the six things I recommend you do to have the best cross country season of your life:

  1. Run consistently 25-35 miles a week, with a rest day every week. This number is different for everyone based on what they’ve done in the past, but you can increase a little bit every year through high school and college.
  2. SLEEP enough. This is the hardest thing to do in high school, but at least 5 days a week, you need to get good sleep or the training is pointless, your iron will go back down, and blahbadee-blah-blah bad news. Easier said than done I know, but make it happen.
  3. DON’T TAKE SHORTCUTS. It will be tempting all year to get distracted by too-skinny girls having short term success. If you want to run in college like you say you do, you’ll want to have success that you can build on every year. Build your own confidence by not looking around at others too much and working with the body you have. It is hard work to do that, but in my opinion, THAT is the only success worth having.
  4. Aim for a B+/A- diet (you don’t need an A+). A+ diets are not sustainable and they take so much focus that you can’t focus on your training and your happiness.
  5. Brainwash yourself to be a bad-ass. “I LOVE to compete. I LOVE how I can tolerate pain. I am strong and tough and freaking awesome.” Every quality you need this season is inside you. You just have to bring it out with practice. Every morning, on your warmups, every night, say those things to yourself. Seriously. Pro athletes do it. It works.
  6. Get the Believe I Am Training Diary and use it every day. It will help with goals, racing, training, and confidence. My friend Ro and I created it to be the ideal training tool for female runners who want to get the most out of themselves. We even have an enormous 40% off team discount for teams that order 10 or more ($15 each and a free motivational team poster).

Go get your best XC season ever girl, and let me know how it goes!
Lauren