Track Workout – and what do I do at track anyways?

Happy Friday!

I am off today for a ‘me day’ and going to the Nordik spa for the day for a little body treatment action and *maybe* to the baths (they are outdoors and it is bloody cold out today). Robots season starts tomorrow, so any ‘me time’ is severely limited until March – and the one scheduled time that I do have to myself is spent coaching 20+ athletes in the sport of track and field (love it though!).

Last night I had track practice and got to the track nice and early for my own workout. I got there just after 4pm to see a sign on the door saying ‘track closed today’ which caused me a bit of stress since we were expecting some kiddies to arrive at 5pm – but the place was still open. I asked the office assistant what the deal was at the track was supposed to open at 5pm. Another coach arrived and we just walked in anyways. A few minutes later a few other track coaches/athletes showed up. It was nice to have the track pretty much just to myself. Although even in outdoor season 4pm is the best time to workout as there are very few people there (usually just us coaches!).

Track Workout #2

Warm-up – 3 laps

2x400m – done at 1:40 and 1:45

2x800m – run at 4:40ish pace – not sure of times because my garmin was giving me issues

1x400m – 1:40

Cool down of a lap + stretches

Unlike my previous track workout – this one went rather well. Other than the second 800m, where I felt slightly sick, the rest were pretty easy peasy. I know several people do not like track workouts, but I rather enjoy them. I guess it is the years of sprints practice that makes me like track workouts 🙂

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So – what do I spend 2+ hours at track practice doing exactly?

Like any sport practice – our track practices are broken up into several sections. We do not just ‘run laps’. Our practices are also not just made up on the spot. Our track team follows a plan that is carefully created, that is developed months (if not a year or so) in advance. Planning a training schedule is a bit complicated (at least I think so). I do not make the training plans for the coaching that I do with the competitive club as I am not at that level of experience yet (I believe I want to work with the group for an entire year first), but I do create a plan for my coaching with the high school team.

Once we create a long-term plan – we then create practice schedules. My group meets three times a week and each workout has a different focus for the running portion – just like how we run long runs, steady runs and tempo/fartlek runs in distance running. Just like distance running we work on conditioning, then competition training, lead up to a scheduled peak and then taper. Another factor that my group has is that we also work a bit on jumps as well, which usually happens on Saturdays.

What our workouts look like:

1) Warm-up laps – These laps are run going the opposite way around the track. We also sometimes add 50/50’s to the mix which is 50m accel followed by 50m walk/jog

2) Dynamic stretching and arm/leg drills – in the beginning of the cycle we would also add drills that focus on how to run. There is a dynamic drill named ‘Jane Fonda’ and that just cracks me up.

3) Technical workout – this could be anything from starts, relays, hurdle work, jumps or working on running skills. This part of the workout can take awhile if I have a large number of people! I give many corrections/advice during this time. It can be very busy and a little stressful.

4) Running workout – I generally have the tempo workout on Thursdays – and the workload/intensity varies. When I give out a workout it will sound something like this: “I want you to run 3x300m at 70-75% with two minutes rest in between. Then you take a 5 minute break. After you are to run 6x120m at 85% with three minutes rest”. The percentages vary depending on the athletes. We look at past racing results and we do have some charts that help us figure out what 75% effort would be. The athletes are asked to bring watches to gauge their time. Sometimes we also have a group that includes hurdles as part of their work-out.

5) Circuits. I love circuit time. Just like how we vary the running workouts, we also vary the technical workouts. We may choose to focus on arms, legs or core. Sometimes a mix of all three. I also like to add in a plank or two for good measure. They don’t like that so much 😀

6) Cool-down and stretch. We have them do some hurdle mobility drills and then a couple of laps+ stretches.

All of that can take 2+ hours. Last night was the first time in a very long time that we made it through everything in less than two hours. But, we only had 9 athletes show up and an easy technical workout. Well easy on time – working on hurdles or starts can take up a huge amount of time. It also helps that I did not have to explain the workout 20x either.

photo(sometimes I do sit while coaching….)

That is basically how a track practice is run with my group at track. Time always goes by so quickly. But I guess that is what happens when one is having fun!

Have a great weekend!

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6 Comments

  1. Nikki

    I’m just starting to go to the track for speed workouts (I’m just a marathoner/ultra runner though, just trying to get a bit faster) so I enjoy seeing new track workouts and what the fast runners do. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      No problem 🙂

      Reply
  2. Daisy

    I do track training for triathlon and I loathe it! We tend to do a couple of laps for a warm up then 4×800’s, 2×400, 2 x200 then building sprints so 50m, 100m, 200m so finish. I always feel terrible afterwards… I wish we did some circuits training like you mentioned, it sounds like fun!

    Reply
    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      Circuits are fun! The running portion of our workouts is only one part – sometimes the run workout isn’t even that long!

      Reply
  3. Stephanie@nowirun.com

    I am seriously considering adding the Run Flagstaff workouts to my week at LEAST twice a month ~ it’s a difficult commitment to make b/c of soccer.

    My coaches (like y’all) were very good at planning workouts that were meaningful. I never felt like I was sitting around at a track practice (or a basketball practice, volleyball practice, etc.). We had good coaching.

    Reply
    1. Rebecca (Post author)

      If you can make the time – do it! There are tons of long-distance runners that come out to the track. During the summer this one group has to be at least 20 members large.

      Reply

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