Terrain advice

I'd like to enter a race (probably a 5K) over the Christmas/NY holiday to keep active and keep motivated. Thing is, looking at a lot of the race listings around then, a lot of them seem to be fells or cross country. As I'm still very much a beginner, would this type of race be totally unsuitable? (My current runs usually involve a mixture of road and meadow.) Also, what different types of kit might be needed?


  • I have never entered a cross-country race myself but I have been thinking about doing so.
    Most runners I have spoken to recomend getting shoes designed for cross-country running as they have more grip, these shoes aren't really suitable for road running as they don't have much cushioning.

    Before entering a race why not speak to the race organiser to get an idea about the terrain and whether the race would be suitable for beginners.

    Good luck and lets know how you get on.
  • If the weather has been very dry (look in the garden/road verges to see how dry the soil is) you can do a cross country in road shoes - but generally it is better to use either studs or spikes or, if it's on trails, you could try trail shoes which are OK as long as it's not too slippery.
    If you've run on a meadow - i'm picturing long grass in clumps and cowpats here - then add a few hills and perhaps a muddy stream and that's about cross country. Some of them are worse/better than others depending on your viewpoint. It's probably better to try a shorter distance one to start off with. Are there any public footpaths in your area that go through woods and across fields? The less frequented the better to try them out. A good ploughed field after a rainy day will let you know if you want to do cross country.
  • In addition to DS' comments please be aware that running with muddy footwear will also increase the weight that you're lugging around. XCs are normally good events (though more effort is required to complete XC than the road equivalent), and I can't see why any XC should not be suitable for beginners provided you are realistic with your ambitions.

    All the best.
  • Enter one. Don't worry. Use your normal shoes which will get v heavy in mud.

    Expect to get very wet and muddy. Enjoy doing so - go steady and have fun.
  • Is the Stockport 10 a cross country event???
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