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FROM THE ARCHIVES From the March 1, 1957 issue of The First Aider

March 13, 2018

Excerpts from “Cross Country”

By Bill Easton

Cross Country and Track Coach, University of Kansas

Editor’s Note: Here are some excerpts from Bill’s eleven-page article on Cross Country. This article is distributed by him to all prospective track athletes. It contains some prime material – suggestions that will fit into any athletic program in any sport.

“For the first two or three weeks of your work, job – over distance in gym shoes or rubber soled warmups, with a change in pace, and walking. CAUTION – DO NO SPRINT WORK WHATSOEVER. Early sprinting is the reason for so many shin splints.

Daily supervised workouts, if only for a short period, means a constant physical build up toward a better performance. In overdistance running a boy learns relaxation, stride, pace, proper breathing and the finesse that makes for a good track man. Speedwork adds the “finishing” touch.

“Eating between meals is one of America’s worst habits. A good athlete, in training, will limit himself to eating only at meal time. If hungry at bedtime, eat fresh fruit – grapes, oranges, apples, dates.

“Fatigue is of two kinds, mental and physical. Never fall into a set stride and stay there. This is a rut and leads to monotony with mental fatigue. Get out by sprinting out.

“Increase in the length of stride near the finish line is generally a sign of fatigue. It starts with long steps and becomes a lumbering, awkward gait.

Never fall on the ground at the finish of a race. It indicates either a showoff or a boy who is not taking care of himself, hence, is not in condition.

“Training is a matter of self-discipline. The boy who really wants to be a fine cross country and track man must train for himself. It takes a man to be a good athlete.

A Training Hint

…for the student trainer

Occasionally, you will find an athlete with feet that seem to be habitually cold and clammy. They have a slimy film that feels like cold sweat. They feel greasy to the touch.

It would be proper for you to assume that the athlete is troubled with improper circulation through the low-back and hips.

We would immediately suggest daily stretching exercises for this low-back area. We would also use massage and the Cramergesic Pack.