Cardiorespiratory Fitness - Cross-country running
Cross-country running conditions the leg muscles and develops CR endurance. It consists of running a certain distance on a course laid out across fields, over hills, through woods, or on any other irregular terrain. It can be used as both a physical conditioning activity and a competitive event. The object is to cover the distance in the shortest time.
The unit is divided into ability groups using 2-mile-run times. Each group starts its run at the same time. This lets the better-conditioned groups run farther and helps ensure that they receive an adequate training stimulus.
The speed and distance can be increased gradually as the soldiers’ conditioning improves. At first, the distance should be one mile or less, depending on the terrain and fitness level. It should then be gradually increased to four miles. Cross-country runs have several advantages: they provide variety in physical fitness training, and they can accommodate large numbers of soldiers. Interest can be stimulated by competitive runs after soldiers attain a reasonable level of fitness. These runs may also be combined with other activities such as compass work (orienteering).