David W. Guss

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology & Public Health Education


The purpose of this study was to determine current practices and training methods in cross country programs in selected Canadian colleges and universities. Questionnaires were sent out to forty-six colleges and universities, and 38, or 82.6 percent, were returned. Twelve, or 31.5 percent, of the schools indicated that they had no cross country program.

The questionnaire was used to provide general information, reveal policies and practices, determine how athletes were trained and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the cross country programs in these selected Canadian colleges and universities.

An analysis of the results of the survey indicated that:

1. Canadian college and university cross country programs were not adequate because of the lack of a year-round track program, competition and interest on the part of the athletes.

2. The best methods of creating interest in cross country were through use of bulletin board material, newspaper publicity and travel involved in competition.

3. The important conditioning phases of running were endurance, interval training and hill training. Most coaches based their training programs on fartlek, interval, pace and hill training.

4. There appeared to be little agreement among the coaches regarding the strongest and weakest features of the cross country and training programs.

5. Similar policies and practices regarding organization of meets and training procedures were evident in a majority of the responses.

6. The information accumulated could well serve as a guide or reference to those cross country coaches who desire to improve and re-evaluate their own cross country programs.

7. Finally, coaches and administrators should continue to be instrumental in the development of cross country programs by increasing the budget, providing better facilities and creating more athletic interest in Canadian colleges and universities.