Cross country helps runners no end; improves strength, balance, and stamina.
It's great to add into your training plan...
But before you hit the trials, keep these three things in mind:
1 - Pace
Adjust your expectations. You running pace be slower but you will fatigue a lot quicker. Focus on finding your new running rhythm on the trails.
Try walking the uphills and run the flats and downhills. This will allow you to run stronger and adapt to the new demands of running trails.
2 - Run minutes, rather than miles
Because your pace will be slower, its a good idea to run by minutes rather than miles.
Just like interval workouts improve your speed on the roads, running on singletracks, over roots, rocks and other obstacles will help build your overall running skills, power and agility.
3 - Be mindful
Create a line of focus five to 5 meters ahead of you on the trail and look where you want to run.
Looking forward rather than down and to stay balanced over your shoulders. Plus, use your arms for balance and stability by keeping them out to your sides as you navigate downhills and more technical terrain. Use shorter, quicker steps for stability and efficiency, making sure your feet are landing under your body rather than out in front of you.
Happy Cross Country running everyone :D