We get the views of runface team member and former Great Britain endurance squad member Rob Foster on the benefits of cross country running in the winter. Rob has a PB on the track of 3:51 for 1500m and a road 5k best of 14:29, he has also been Midland Junior 3000m champion and a multiple county champion at cross country.
'It might be cold, it might be wet, it will certainly be muddy and quite possibly hilly but cross country running can be fun and it can be a great way to build strength and endurance in the winter months. The uneven ground gives your leg muscles a real workout aiding strength, and the varying pace and terrain can really help improve the cardiovascular capacity of runners.
But what I love most about cross country is the mental benefits from running free in
beautiful countryside and parks with no pressure of times over measured distances. Cross country also brings a camaraderie and sense of team work for all involved. Sometimes when conditions are really poor the sense of just finishing a course can be a huge achievement and give a senses of pride for all involved.
Cross country can certainly make you mentally stronger and can definitely help in making you much faster in the summer thanks to all of the benefits listed above. So if you've not already given it a go then get involved. What's not to love in wading through knee deep mud in the pouring rain, wearing nothing but a thin vest and a pair of very short shorts?? Even better arrange a post race beer or two with your team mates to reminisce about how tough the course was and how you are never doing one again (until next week!)
And remember, it could be worse. Check out what people doing the Midlands champs have to deal with below
Our Cross Country themed 'Mud Sweat and Beers' Cotton t-shirts (Perfect for warming up before and after) can be purchased from our shop for £12