For my winter sport, I have chosen cross country. This is my second season in the sport, and as I am now in year 11, I'll be competing in the opens division whereas last year I competed in the intermediate division. For comparison, the intermediate division runners run a 6km race, and the opens division runners run an 8km race (juniors run a 4km race). As a sport, cross country is very challenging, with runners from my school generally talking it very seriously. Training consists of a more long distance/endurance focused session on Tuesday afternoons, with speed work on Thursdays. These sessions are very rigorous and greatly improve fitness, which is the main reason why I joined the sport.
Since the end of last season, I hadn't run any proper long distance or rigorous course. Going into the season, I knew that my fitness would have greatly decreased, and I was right. It was immediately obvious during my first few training sessions that I was very unfit, and when it came to my first 8km race, I had an incredibly difficult time even finishing the course, needing to walk multiple times during the race, something I've never had to do before. Despite my dismal first race, I feel that my body has started to kick back into gear, with my second race at being an extreme improvement from my first which was me improve 30 odd places and just narrowly lose to the captain of cross country by 5 places. I think that it'll be difficult to improve my fitness, as my co-curricular subjects and school subjects clash with training days, meaning that I often have to skip training on Tuesdays. Despite this, I'm hopeful that I'll be able to continuously improve my fitness over the course of this season.