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On the Run with Sam: XC is the Best Season!

On the Run with Sam

Samantha Simmons

For all you cross-country athletes, by the time you read this, most of your summer miles will be logged. The hours out in the summer sun will all be worth it when you finally get to the true start of XC season. 

Whether you ran with teammates or on your own all summer, make sure to celebrate all the work you put in yourself. It is not easy to get out the door and be disciplined enough to carry yourself through the fall season months in advance.

Though I never was a collegiate athlete, here are my thoughts and ideas based on the time I did spend as a high school cross country runner. 

In my opinion, cross country is the best season for high school and college runners. It shows a runner’s true grit. You might be a sprinter or soccer player looking to keep in shape or someone who truly loves to run distance. That’s the cool thing about XC, we’re all out there for different reasons, but can work together with our teammates to achieve a shared goal.

Cross country is more of a team sport than track and field. You’re all out there running the same distance, the same, sometimes gut wrenching, course with the goal in mind to get your team to the top. You could be the first or seventh girl on the team, but each place is just as important as the one before it. 

For those just starting XC, keep with it. It might not get much easier, but you will surely come to enjoy the long miles with your teammates and the camaraderie that comes along with it. I went to a small high school and many of my friends I kept after high school were those I ran with. Not all of us run anymore, but the bond we formed during this time is long lived. 

Seniors, remember to have fun out there. While it may be important for you to perform well, and it always feels better to be performing well, sometimes it’s okay if things don’t always go as you planned. Use these times as opportunities to reflect and grow. You may have college plans set in stone and ready to go, or you may not. That is okay. Much will inevitably change over the next few months as you are transitioning from one part of your life to the next. Try and make sure that sport is one of those things that stays positive and can even provide an outlet for you.

For seniors who may not be running in college or going further with your education, that’s okay. Running is a sport you can pursue on your own. You don’t always need a team to do it. If it is something you genuinely enjoy, keep doing it for you!

Maybe you didn't do the summer training as you would have liked. That’s okay, we’ve all been there. Recognize that you cannot change what hasn’t been done and keep moving forward. Don’t dwell on the missed miles and don’t try to make it up once your season has started. Trying to pile on “catch-up” miles is a perfect recipe for injury. 

Remember, do your strides, practice the hills, and be sure to keep stretching! Have a great season.

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