I run Division III cross country and I love it! I encourage high school runners to continue running in college. It is a commitment, but it can lead to creating many great friends and lifelong memories.
Here are 8 reasons why you should run in college:
- Arrive on campus early
Usually college cross country starts official practices sometime in mid-August. This is great for freshmen because you get to move in early and avoid the craziness of move in day. Getting to campus early also allows you to walk around campus and find all of your classes—this helps ease a lot of stress on the first day of classes. You get accustomed to the campus and college life before classes start.
- It is a great way to make new friends
By joining cross country, you can make new friends before the semester even starts.
- Learn new running techniques
Through running cross country, I learned a new dynamic warm up routine that I really enjoy. I also learned different types of speed workouts like lactate threshold runs—which I had previously never ran before.
- Visit new places
I had many meets in towns that I have never been before. I even had a few cross country meets in a state that I have never traveled to before. I really enjoyed seeing new places. My team even had a few overnight meets which were a lot of fun!
- Run longer distances
Collegiate runners typically run 6Ks for meets. High school typically runs 5Ks and I enjoyed the increase in distance. My weekly mileage also increased from high school to college and I loved the longer runs.
6. Encourages you to be healthy
Running in college encourages you to take part in regular exercise which helps to keep you healthy.
7. Be part of a team
I loved being part of the cross country and track teams at my high school. By joining cross country in college you still get the family feel of being on a small running team.
8. Can continue racing!
Running in college allows you to continue running and getting PRs (personal records) without having to pay an entry fee like you would for a road race.