Cross-country running is easy for beginners to start with. You will just need to buy a pair of women’s cross trainers. You can buy these from any sports store and the staff there should be able to advise you on the ideal pair for you. You are now ready to begin cross-country running! This is a far more interesting way to keep fit than running along streets or on the treadmill at a gym. You get to experience nature and this will prove a good distraction when you become tired.
Warm up exercises are a good idea before you begin. Lightly jog for about ten minutes until you are warm and have begun to sweat. Then, stretch your muscles, as you will find that after warming up, your muscles will be more flexible and will be less likely to get injured. Stretch your leg muscles well, as they will need to be strong and supple to carry you round your course. Don’t forget to stretch your arms too, as this will help to relax them so you don’t tense them up so much as you run. Stretch out your shoulders too, so that they too won’t hold onto tension as you run.
Start slowly at first and find your pace. Don’t worry if this doesn’t come at once, give yourself time and don’t start to speed up just because you think you have the energy to. You will need that energy for later, if you are flagging. Take small strides and relax your arms as you run. Only go faster when you feel confident that you can keep it up and you have got into your rhythm.
Cooling down is another important element to your run. When you finish your run, continue to jog slowly for about 5 minutes, then walk for another few minutes. This will allow your muscles and heartbeat to regulate themselves. Whatever you do don’t just stop running and get into your car to go home, you need to keep the blood circulating around your body and slow down gradually. Now is a good time to stretch. You can use your car if you’ve driven to stretch out your legs on, removing the lactic acid from their muscles. You will be less sore in the morning or later on that same day if you stretch properly. Take a hot shower when you get home as this will also help to prevent any soreness.
When you exercise again, differ your cross training workout slightly. Run faster for a few minutes then recover, or run a longer distance at a slower pace. If you change your runs regularly your body won’t get used to the same workout and it will make your body work harder. You will therefore perform better in races, as your body will never know what’s coming and will work harder for you. Remember also to rest in between running or racing. Running every other day is a good way to go about this.