Cherrybrook Athletics                                                                                                                                              


Cross Country                                                                                                                                                                       Home

Cherrybrook has a specific approach to Cross-Country, with specific training that will suit a greater variety of athletes, and other athletes who would like to do some Cross-Training.


Specific Cross-Country Training:

Cross-country races will not be run at the same speed as track races. The runner who is lacking in pace may be able to compensate by their style and run closer to their maximum than the track runner who cannot adjust to the special needs of cross-country. Cross-country running requires a different stride length, a different leg action and a different foot plant from road and track running. These skills cannot be picked up instantly; they will only become instinctive if the runner adopts specific cross-country training.

  •  To be able to run at these West Metropolitan Road and  Cross Country races on a Saturday afternoon you have to be registered at an Athletics Club for the Winter season which starts at the end of March every year
  •  Contact our Senior Club registrar Alexandra Pearce 9875 2793 and she will help you with the registration  
  •  If you are a registered athlete from a Little Athletics Club or a Senior Club from Sept 2007 you are eligible to run at these West Metropolitan races until they finish at the end of Sept 2008
  •  This Cross Country Competition is separate from the Little Athletics Competition 
  •  The West Metropolitan Booklet for the Road and Cross Country Winter Season 2008 will only be available at the end of March 2008 at the first competition and as soon as we have received it from the organisers we will put it on this website as well.
  •  The main objective of the West Metropolitan Cross Country races is to encourage track competitors to use these events as conditioning and cross training for the Summer Season.
  •  If good fellowship, friendship and conditioning can be formed by this regular competition, then the desired achievement will be fulfilled by Cherrybrook Athletics Club during Winter time.

Pros and Cons of Cross-Country Running:

The benefits of cross-country are both mental and physical. The runner who is experienced in cross-country is more robust, more versatile and less likely to be thrown by a sudden change in the weather. The physical benefits derive from the greater demands on the musculature already mentioned above. Greater strength around the hips gives greater leg speed. Perhaps more importantly, training and competing for months in the cross-country season provides tough physical training, working over a wide range of speeds, without the damaging effects of the cumulative jarring which results from track.

The phases of training, which will merge into one another, are endurance work, hills, repetitions, tempo runs, strength work and race specific training which is very beneficial for Cross-Training in other sports as well.  Steady runs are an important part of the training, because they continue to develop aerobic fitness while allowing recovery from the more intense sessions. The pace here should be just below your anaerobic threshold.

Race Preparation:

If your season is centered around one or two major events, it is important to taper off the intensity of the training before the event and to focus on the event by doing race specific training.

·        This means finding out as much as you can about the nature of the course

·        How big the hills are

·        Whether there are any difficult sections

·        What kind of shoes to wear etc.

Your training in the last two weeks should be aimed at producing good quality running on the hard days, with plenty of recovery in between. Have two hard sessions in the penultimate week, and only one in the last week done on the Tuesday or Wednesday. In these sessions you are trying to get as close as possible to the feeling of the race:

·        Practicing fast starts

·        Mid-race surges

·        Bursts over the hills, whatever may be needed


Tactical Approach:

Tactically, front runners stand much more chance of success in cross-country, because the breaks in continuity allow more chance of getting away. You, therefore, have to be committed to a fast pace in the early stages. The 'interference effect' is considerable when the number of competitors is large so if three runners are going for a gap, which will only take two, one of them has to slip back. This means that one person just behind will be pushed back a meter, and this effect goes on down the field, so that 100m can be lost in a kilometre.

Success in cross-country demands a courageous approach, which is why it is recommend as a way of developing distance running talent. If you are interested in this Cross-Training approach and require more details, please call Valmé Kruger on 0402126060 or 9980 9994, or email

Training Times and Competitions:


·        Beginners/Younger Athletes (Juniors):        4:00 – 5:00pm

·        Advanced/Older Athletes (Seniors):            5:00 – 6:30pm


·        Advanced/Older Athletes (Seniors) :            5:00 – 6:00pm


·        Beginners/Younger Athletes (Juniors):         4:00 – 5:00pm

·        Advanced/Older Athletes (Seniors):             5:00 – 6:30pm

Competitions will be on Saturdays:

There will be 2km – 8km races at different times to accommodate everyone. All athletes will be tested before the time to see which session is more beneficial for them and where they will fit in.

Valmé Kruger

Coaching Director