Cross Country Running
September 19, 2016 12:29 PM   Subscribe

My daughter (sophomore US) is in the throws of her first year in girls cross country. I was wondering if anyone could point me in the right direction in terms of good books or web resources on the subject. The internet is vast and there are too many books to peruse to know if they are any good. Anecdotal experience from the hive is always a bonus.

It is her first year and she is showing some promise. One of the issues is that she is on a team that is rather large. Obviously coaches are focused on varsity and more experienced runners so race/pacing strategy seems to be lacking in her group. The other issue is that she is a vegetarian and I am concerned about lack of protein and other nutritional aspects of running. She is very bright and I think she would benefit from some supplemental resources on the sport. As a family, we are total newbies to running as my daughters went the swimming/gymnastics route. Me and spouse are the hiking/biking variety. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
posted by repoman to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Runner's World has a good beginner running guide. That's probably your best place to start.
posted by kevinbelt at 1:40 PM on September 19, 2016

The other issue is that she is a vegetarian and I am concerned about lack of protein and other nutritional aspects of running.

Being vegetarian, as long as she's getting enough high-quality foods, won't be detrimental to either her health *or* her running. (I was a nationally competitive distance runner for a number of years while having been a vegetarian since my late teens). What I would be careful of is that she isn't using a vegetarian diet as an excuse to restrict food in order to try to drop weight in a (dangerous) attempt to improve performance and become one of the top runners. Unfortunately peer pressure (even if it's not explicit) on high school running teams to diet or get as lean as possible is a "thing" and it should be nipped in the bud for any young athletes , both male and female, who want to have a long and healthy career in the sport after high school.

Running is a great sport in general though, and my advice to her would be that even if she's not in the "top" group that gets attention, she'll continue to improve by hanging off the backs of the runners one rung ahead of her in workouts and races. It's always best to be one of the slower runners in a group than one of the very fastest because the faster runners end up pulling the slower runners closer to their higher level over a season of workouts.

As for resources, she might find things like FloTrack's athlete profiles and training videos interesting since they cover a lot of young adults and college teams.
posted by stagewhisper at 3:28 PM on September 19, 2016 [3 favorites]

My absolute favorite all-around book on runing is The Complete Book of Running for Women. It addresses EVERYTHING, from running while on your period to nutrition to breathing basics to cross training to the difference bwtween aerobic and anerobic pacing to race training plus anything else you can image. The author is the former editor of Runner's World.
posted by Brittanie at 4:59 AM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

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