6 Reasons You May Actually Like Cross-Country


Megan Rule

Girls Cross Country posing before a meet.

Charlotte LeClue, Staff Writer

If you like the idea of running (i.e. the healthy effects it has on your body), but don’t like actually running, you’re not alone. Running by yourself can be difficult and boring, which makes it undesirable despite the health benefits.

It wasn’t until recently that I found running bearable. In fact, I may even go as far as to say I like it. What caused my change of heart? The answer will be as shocking to you as it was to me: cross-country.

I wanted to get some exercise this fall and my friend suggested cross-country. I figured it was worth a shot because if I didn’t like it (which I assumed I wouldn’t), I could always quit. That being said, let me list reasons why you will like cross-country (even if you don’t like running.)


  1. It’s low pressure. You can quit if it’s not for you, and you get to choose which practices you want to go to. You can show up to all the practices or just one or two a week. Here’s my attempt at being a psychologist: almost every other time I ran, it was because I had to. For example: gym class. With cross-country, it’s my decision (perhaps that in itself can make running more enjoyable).
  2. The SHS cross-country environment. I was pleasantly surprised by the positive, genuine attitude of the team. It wasn’t competitive or judgmental. I, of course, was in the back of the pack, but that didn’t stop people from giving me encouragement and advice. Complete strangers welcomed me onto the team. Not only does the team have a good attitude, but so do the coaches. Coach Kelley (girls coach) and Coach Lacomis (boys coach) recognize your skill level and push you to do your best without you feeling overwhelmed.
  3. You’re not running alone. Running in a group is a hundred times better than running alone. When you’re running in a group you can distract yourself from your body’s discomfort. You can talk to people; hold conversations, and during conversation, those five laps are completed before you know it. Also, the cross-country team has runners with a wide range of skill. No matter how strong a runner you are, you always have someone to run with. This helps with motivation to run by reminding you that, “If that person can keep going then I can keep going.”
  4. Have you ever gone for a run with no planned distance, and basically just ran until you got tired? This kind of run might leave you unsatisfied because you don’t know how far you ran and you are left wondering if you could have gone farther. Cross-country gives you a set course, which allows for a sense of accomplishment after running because you completed your task and worked hard to do so. Also, knowing the distance you ran makes you feel good because you can see your improvement.  One week the mile run was really hard, the next it’s much easier.
  5. Part of the reason running can be un-pleasurable is how you feel after the run. If you feel sore and achy, you’re not going to be in a hurry to feel like that again. However, this aching you feel after running is eased thanks to the many different stretches you do as a team in cross-country. Before and after every practice the whole team does stretches/warm-ups together that loosens up your muscles to ease the post-run aches. Also, if you didn’t know which stretches to do, you now do.
  6. It’s scheduled. Ever decided to go for a run after school, but never got around to it? With cross-country that won’t be a problem. It’s just another part of your schedule, such as eating lunch or any of your extra curricular activities. It’s at a set time everyday, which makes it routine and easier to commit to.


All in all, cross-country comes with many benefits, but most importantly, it’s good for you. It will make you healthier and feel better in general. So, if I have convinced you running skeptics to join cross-country, then all you have to do is show up at the SHS track at 2:30 p.m. and run! It’s never to late too join.