What To Do After The Last Cross Country Meet Of The Season

Cross Country Training

Cross Country Training

I have been asked numerous times over the past couple of weeks what to do in regard to training after the cross country season is over. Obviously, you will need some downtime to ensure you physically and mentally recover from the season. However, you need to balance this with not losing the fitness you acquired over the past several months. I used to give our runners two weeks completely off and then would spend the next six weeks ascending to full volume. Over the years, I learned that if we stayed active during the first couple of weeks after the xc season that our runners stayed healthier and maintained greater levels of fitness. It always seemed that our runners would start experiencing pains and/or developing injuries while we were in the middle of complete rest. It just never seemed to work effectively for us. So, I changed the phase name from Rest & Rejuvenation to Active Rest. I would prescribe a small shakeout run the day after the last meet and then have them take 2-3 days off. After that, our runners would run 30-35 every other day to finish out the week – the pace assigned during this period of time was embarrassingly slow. To transition out of light running every other day, we would run two days in a row – then rest one day, run three days – rest one and then start up again. Our first week after our Active Rest phase was typically 50% of their goal volume with two days of easy strides – around 10k pace-ish at the fastest.

Below is our first two weeks after the conclusion of XC


Monday           30 minutes easy

Tuesday          off

Wednesday     30 - 35 minutes easy

Thursday         off

Friday              30 - 35 minutes easy

Saturday          35 minutes easy

Sunday             off


Monday          35 minutes easy

Tuesday         30 minutes easy + 3 x 100m strides

Wednesday    35 minutes easy          

Thursday        off

Friday             35 minutes easy + 4 x 100m strides

Saturday         40 minutes easy

Sunday           35 minutes easy