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Middle School Cross Country is a great opportunity for student-athletes of all ability- and experience-levels to learn the basics of cross country training and racing. Our goal is to encourage all middle schoolers to learn the lifelong benefits of running, and to be disciplined and consistent in their training. They will also have opportunities to race in cross country meets that the high schoolers attend, but in races that are shorter in distance against other middle schoolers.


Middle schoolers are viewed as members of the Southwest Cross Country team; however, practices are designed to meet the needs of the middle school student-athlete and will generally be separate from the high school practice. Our hope is to develop future high school athletes!


General format of middle school practice once school starts.

M - Easy distance run and general strength activities

T - Quality workout (intervals and/or hills)

W - Easy distance run and general strength activities

Th - Quality workout (intervals and/or hills)

F - Pre-meet or easy distance run

S - Long run


A typical quality workout

4:30-4:40: Check-in meeting: goal setting/discussion of training/explanation of workout, etc.

4:40-4:55: Dynamic warm-up and strides, emphasizing proper running form

4:55-5:15: 6x400 meter intervals in groups at prescribed pace with 90 seconds recovery

5:15-5:20: Easy jog cool-down

5:20-5:30: Core strength activities


A typical recovery (easy distance) day

4:30-5:00: Run to the Lake Harriet Bandshell and back (or 15 minutes out)

5:00-5:20: Active stretching and body weight exercises (i.e. lunges, squats)

5:20-5:30: Game or fun activity