T Nation

Strength Standards for Women's Collegiate XC?


Anyone have any experience working with a women’s xc or t&f at the collegiate level? I’m trying to help a young woman get prepared for her freshman year and am trying to set up some goals to center her training around in the weight room
Anyone have any numbers, even anecdotally, that I can start from?


While it is admirable that the young lady is willing to put in some work in the weight room, if she is competing in college cross-country (I assume she is a long distance runner in T&F as well?) then I doubt that her lifting numbers will matter at all. I ran long-distance races for awhile in my 20’s and trained with some high-level (borderline-qualifying-for-the-Olympic-Trials) local runners, both male and female, most of whom ran in college. None of them had any particular level of strength; in fact, most of them barely bothered with strength training of any kind; they put any extra energy they had into more running.

If she is actually a sprinter or jumper, my answer would be different. If she’s a pure distance runner, then I wouldn’t fret about any particular standards to hit. Chances are that if she puts in ANY work in the weight room, she will be ahead of her peers arriving at college. Merely teaching her good technique on the key lifts will be a great service.


Thank you. I’ve been struggling to find any concrete information, even anecdotally. So I really appreciate the input.

Most people I’ve talked to have mentioned that S&C for XC is primarily for injury prevention, so I’m going to shift my programming focus in that regard.

And I believe she’s running pretty much everything in her last year of T&F in hs. She’s won a few 100m, a 4x100, and she runs the 400, the 800, and the mile.


A wise move.

I would try to find out if she has any idea what her college coach thinks for her. It would be pretty rare for an athlete to run XC in the fall and then 100 meters in the spring, so I assumed she was a long-distance-all-the-way runner, but even if she’s running the 400 or 800 in college, then she’s a little more of a power athlete, and some honest-to-goodness explosive lifting could help.


Google Dan Johns Q&A forum and ask him his specific athletic standards -has coached multiple State champs across track and field

Some general standards for girls here…