Strength Endurance Workouts For XC

I have gotten quite a few questions about racing well in the mud (10-12km) vs. a faster cross country surface. The first thing to understand is that the two most important things to racing well in cross country are the connection to strength endurance and power endurance related to your aerobic support (normally 4mmol threshold) of your base training. Alot will depend on the type of training you have done in the past and what your strengths and weaknesses are. The tougher(hilly, Technical, long grass) the cross course or muddy it is the higher you want your strength endurance to be. Hill work or circuit work are two of the best methods to ensure this is at high level during racing season. Examples of Strength endurance we use are Ramp Hill sprints 8-10 sec. done at max intensity, 200m-600m also done at max or close with full recovery walk between(It is very important that recovery is full to ensure maxiumum strenthing of muscle fibers, atp regeneration and lactate removal, remember when muscle fibers fatigue they trade off and full recruitment of all fibers is imperative)We also do 5-6 x 3min. hills done at 5km type feel to ensure a more endurance strength as do 4km -10km continous intense hill climbs that help the connection between strength endurance and fatigue resistance.
You need both strength endurance and power endurance to be a great cross country runner but the direction and percentage will be on the type of cross you will be running and your natural strengths.
When a course is flat and fast the direction will shift to power endurance or Long intervals or Fast Continous intense runs(tempo) that build a specific endurance related to this. For power endurance we use long intervals like 3km/2km/2km/ 2:00 rec. + 3 x1km 90sec. rec. or 2 x 3km/2km/1km 2:00 rec. 4:00 sets, or long fartlek like 6:00/5:00/2 x 4:00+3 x 3:00+4 x2:00 rec. 2:00, or 3-4 x 3km/1km float 12-16km total, or 5-7 miles fast runs. Of course good aerobic support, mileage, long runs connected to both these methodologies will ensure you are prepared for all types of cross country racing.
I hope this can help. I will expand on this over the next few days but wanted to answer for the athlete asking about cross type workouts.

mud1 Strength Endurance Workouts For XCI have gotten quite a few questions about racing well in the mud (10-12km) vs. a faster cross country surface.

The first thing to understand is that the two most important things to racing well in cross country are the connection to strength endurance and power endurance related to your aerobic support (normally 4mmol threshold) of your base training.


Technical / Hills / Mud

A lot will depend on the type of training you have done in the past and what your strengths and weaknesses are. The tougher (hilly, technical, long grass) the cross course or muddy, the higher you want your strength endurance to be. Hill-work or circuit-work are two of the best methods to ensure this is at high level during racing season.

Examples of strength endurance workouts we use are:

  • ‘Ramp-Hill’ sprints 8-10 sec. done at max intensity, 200m-600m also done at max or close with full recovery walk between. (It is very important that recovery is full to ensure maxiumum strenthing of muscle fibers, atp regeneration and lactate removal, remember when muscle fibers fatigue they trade off and full recruitment of all fibers is imperative)
  • Finall, 5-6 x 3min. hills done at 5km type feel to ensure a more endurance strength as do 4km -10km continous intense hill climbs that help the connection between strength endurance and fatigue resistance.

You need both strength endurance and power endurance to be a great cross country runner but the direction and percentage will be on the type of cross you will be running and your natural strengths.

Flat / Fast

When a course is flat and fast the direction will shift to power endurance or long intervals or fast continous intense runs (tempo) that build a specific endurance related to this.

Three examples:

  • Power Endurance: 3km/2km/2km/ 2:00 rec. + 3 x1km 90sec. rec. or 2 x 3km/2km/1km 2:00 rec. 4:00 sets
  • Long Intervals (e.g., Fartlek): 6:00/5:00/2 x 4:00+3 x 3:00+4 x2:00 rec. 2:00, or 3-4 x 3km/1km float 12-16km total
  • Fast Continuous Runs: 5-7 miles fast runs

Of course good aerobic support, mileage, long runs connected to both these methodologies will ensure you are prepared for all types of cross country racing.

I hope this can help the athletes looking for cross country specific information/workouts.