"Runners, get set! Bang!" These words start numerous kinds of races. When runners decide on what event to run, they must first contemplate the style of the race. Next, the runners must examine the running method that will suit them best. Even though track and cross country have some basic similarities, runners need to consider that each requires different training styles, running distances, seasons, and racing apparel. .
The first difference between track and cross country pertains to training styles. Because races vary, the runner will train according to the type of race. For instance, a sprinter works on building his or her entire body to react to very fast speeds. Also, a sprinter practices quick starts and speedy finishes. On the other hand, a long distance runner trains his or her body to pace him or herself with controlled speed to complete the lengthy race. The runner must learn how to kick in with energy to pull away from the other runners at the end of the race in order to win. Cross country runners train for months to prepare themselves for the terrains and weather conditions they will encounter while running. Every day these runners work on building their endurance for the lengthy race to be run. .
The distance of the race is another difference between track and cross country. The many running events in track have varied distances. The shortest event is the 100 meter dash, a fourth of the distance around the track. Eight full laps around the track make the longest event, the 3200 meter dash. For women in track, the distance for running the hurdles is 100 meters, and men run 110 meter hurdles. The distances to run in cross country have much longer time-spans than most of the events in track. As in track, women and men run different distances in cross country. However, in cross country, the women run 3 kilometers, and the men run 5 kilometers, which is much longer than track.