Five essential and common cross country workouts listed on Stack.com are tempo runs, intervals, fartleks, progressive runs and recovery, or easy, runs. Effective cross country training combines these workouts into a training schedule.
Tempo runs are relatively hard runs, done at a slightly lower speed than a runner's typical race pace, and are meant to increase metabolism and endurance. Progressive runs also build endurance and involve running for a long time and slowly increasing speed after an initial warm-up. Interval runs, on the other hand, train speed and efficiency by alternating structured high-intensity running periods with recovery periods. Fartleks are similar to intervals, but they have less structure and better simulate actual race environments where speed increases may happen at random. Finally, recovery runs allow muscles to rebuild and repair by jogging at a slow and easy pace.