Of course you have to practice if you want to be in Cross Country. When you are in middle school, you have practice after school. But once you get into high school, you will have practice in the morning before school and after school in the afternoon. Things we do at practice is stretches, dynamics, sprints, and runs. Practicing helps you build endurance to run longer. All of this training works us up to running the meets.
After you practice and train, you will be ready for the meets. Whatever your school does, you will either have meets after school or on the weekends. Meets are a lot of fun because you get to compete for your school and cheer on your teammates. You will probably be a little nervous for your first meet. But, that's all part of it. At the end of the race you will be given a time of how long you took to run the race. In middle school, the length of the race can be anywhere between a mile to around 2 miles. But once you get to around high school the meets could be anywhere from 3 miles or more. The meets are outside in nature dealing with trails, grass, creeks, and mud puddles. Every meet you are trying to get a "PR" which means personal record. This means improving your time and getting faster and faster each meet.