The Relationship of Training Methods Between NCAA Division I Cross-Country Runners with 10,000 Meter Performance
Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Health, Physical Education and Recreation
The scientific relationship between 10,000 meter performance and training methods of distance runners remains incompletely understood. Researchers such as Slovic (1977) and Pollock (1978) have attempted to study the relationship between training practices of distance runners with the use of surveys. However, these studies did not analyze the significance of various types of training regimens available. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the training methods of NCAA Division I runners and 10,000 meter performance. Fourteen Division I qualifying teams of the NCAA Division I national cross-country meet and 16 randomly chosen non-qualifying teams were recruited through the mail and direct contact. The respondents completed a survey which evaluated the training methods of the respective teams during the transition phase, competition phase, and peaking period which encompassed seven months of training.
In the transition phase the non-qualifying teams ran significantly farther (p<0.05) on their long runs than the qualifying teams. The qualifying teams ran more miles during the competition phase than the non-qualifiers (p<0.05).
No significant differences (p>0.05) differences were noted between the qualifying and non-qualifying teams during the peaking period. No significant differences (p>0.05) were noted between the lower seven and top seven qualifying teams during the transition phase. However, during the competition phase the lower seven teams used intervals, fartleks, and repetitions more frequently (p<0.05) than the top seven qualifiers. Fartlek training during the peaking period was used more more often (p<0.05) for the top seven teams than the lower seven qualifying teams.
A Pearson correlation was performed to find correlations between final team time in the 10,000 meter run and various training indices obtained from the survey. Based on the results from this study, it was concluded that tempos, repetitions, intervals, and fartlek training during the transition phase were significantly (p<0.05) and positively related to team 10,000 meter performance. Interval training and fartlek during the competition phase were significantly (p<0.05) and positively related to team 10,000 meter performance. Tempo training during the peaking period was significantly (p<0.05) and negatively related to team 10,000 meter performance.
The training variables were further correlated with team rank at the Division I national crosscountry meet. Assessment of success based on order provided further insight on the training requisites for ultimate performance. Teams that ranked lower at the national cross-country meet practiced twice a day more often, and used fartlek training more frequently during the transition phase. For the competition phase, lower ranked teams used interval training and fartlek more often. Higher ranked teams used interval training more often during the peaking phase.
From this study’s findings several recommendations were made concerning future research. Future studies should attempt to analyze differences that may exist between American and international training methods. A comparison of the training methods of the various collegiate divisions is needed to determine if similar training methods exist. Further research is needed on repetition, tempo, fartlek, and hill training to determine the physiological benefits that may be gained by using these training methods to peak an athlete. Further long term studies of the training of distance runners are needed.
Kurz, Max J., "The Relationship of Training Methods Between NCAA Division I Cross-Country Runners with 10,000 Meter Performance" (1997). Student Work. 3033.
A Thesis Presented to the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1997 Max J. Kurz.