It’s Not Just Running

Cross Country Runners Speak on their Sport

It%27s+Not+Just+Running

Jillian Parks

Cross country is a popular sport across the nation with over 400,000 boys and girls participating every year. However, a lot more goes into it than just running around in the woods. Feeling it was best for the athletes to explain the behind the scenes, here is a compilation of quotes about the realities of a runner’s day-to-day life. 

BALANCE

Sophomore Sydney Jackson- “The most challenging part about balancing cross country with other parts of my life is the amount of energy YOU expend on a daily basis with running. I am also on the golf team, so it is extremely hard to find the balance everyday between strenuous workouts in the morning and hitting the golf course in the afternoon. If you don’t balance it right, your whole week of workouts will be thrown out of balance. Not to mention school work when I get home.”

Senior Chase Nutt- “The most challenging part of balancing cross country with other things going on in my life is that it takes up a lot of time throughout the week and into the weekend. I often have to spend multiple hours a day training and preparing myself to be the best runner and student I can be.”

Junior Harish Sakthi- “ The most challenging part of balancing cross country with the rest of my life is definitely the time commitment for practice and meets. The time commitment is a lot to balance with many high level classes and work in both my passions, but it is well worth it because we get to improve and PR a lot each meet, and see our hard work pay off. And it is amazing to see everyone’s achievements.”

Junior Ryan Noble- “The most challenging part of balancing xc is you have to plan everything around the practices and school, and try to get enough sleep everyday.”

Senior Robyn Kowalski- “School is hard enough without a sport, but when you add a sport that requires before school, afterschool, and weekend practice, it gets tough.”

PRACTICE

Sakthi- “Earlier during the cross country season we often wake up early and arrive at practice at 5:15 am for running related workouts every day of the school week, and do light workouts and ab workouts later during 7th period. But towards October and November as the temperature we wake up early to arrive at school every Monday and Wednesday by 5:45 am and do abs and weights, and do running workouts everyday of the week at school.”

Jackson- “As a team, we practice 6 days a week in the morning at 5:45 depending on the day. As a varsity team member, we do jogs after school 2 times a week most weeks. Sundays are on-our-own practice, usually recovery jogs. Although I am only running for about an hour and half everyday, my whole life revolves around the next workout. What you eat, how much water you drink, how late you are up, or how much you roll out your legs can all affect the next morning’s run.”

Nutt- “Over these past four years at college park I have practiced almost everyday of the year with the exception of a few mandatory days off. As a team we practice for about  an hour and a half to two hours together and after we leave practice we have to continue to stretch and workout for about 30 minutes to an hour at home to prevent injuries. Even after all of this I still have to make sure I am eating correctly and drinking enough water to ensure I get the proper nutrients and be prepared for the next day’s run.”

Kowalski- “We also have about three after school practices a week too which last around 1 hour depending on the day. My life revolves around cross country because I need sleep to do well, so sometimes I have to sacrifice staying out late with friends so that I can be well rested for practice the next day.” 

WHAT THEY WISH PEOPLE KNEW 

Pickett- “That although the sport is super hard and competitive it is a fun way to make friends and meet people from different social groups.” 

Jackson- “The one thing I wish people knew about cross country is that we do not just run. We do track workouts, long runs, weight lifting, and stretching every week.”

Nutt- “I wish people knew how much effort and time cross country runners put into this sport. We often find ourselves up at 4 o’clock in the morning getting ready to go to practice and then have a full day of school and then run again after school.”

Sakthi- “Something I wish people knew about cross country is about it’s how successful our team is. It is often an undermined and underrated sport despite being one of the hardest. People make fun of running bc they think “it is just running” and they deem ball sports like football better.”