cross country running

hello Does cross country running make you a slower runner? I have been running for a year and do most of my running cross country. However, my times have got worse when doing a half marathon road race. Should i be doing more road running and use cross country as strengh sessions Cheers


  • It does exercise different muscle groups if you do most of your cross-country running up and down hills (your quads play a much bigger part getting you up those hills than when running on the flat, for example). However I can't see any reason why, if you were running reasonably flat XC courses, it wouldn't be possible to do comparably well on the road. Maybe it's just a matter of getting more used to the tarmac?
  • Thanks Psi I will do the next 3 weeks training on tarmac and see how i do in the fenland 10 mile road race at the end of the month. Cheers kev
  • Once the wet weather arrives and softens the rock hard mud round here, i do my winter training mostly off road on the fields and old railway track. I find that a spring half marathon seems really easy and my PBs tend to be just after the cross country season, so as far as i can see, the cross country really does strengthen the muscles and make you quicker on the road. If you do all your trainingXC, then it is probably worth doing more of it on the road just so that you get used to the feel of the tarmac.
    Good luck for the Fen10 - several of our runners are doing it.
  • I do most of my running off road too and I find that I am slower on a road race and think that its because I go slower off road because its harder work and you have to watch your feet more etc. Saying that, I have more endurance than my running club girl friends and I seem to get injured less too. The coach at my club suggested that I run one session on the road every week if I wanted to race on the road, to help leg speed. Good luck in your race.
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