Track and Field Workouts
Choose Track and Field
In order to let each athlete achieve their personal best, the coach must develop a series of track and field workouts suited to their athlete’s needs. Track and field isn’t always the easiest sport to recruit team members, since it comes at the end of the athletic season when many are already burnt out from participation in football, volleyball, basketball, or soccer.
In addition, while the individualist nature of track is suited for those who prefer a more solitary-based approach to training, that can be a dissuading factor for those who love the thrill of team sports or lack the confidence in their performance as an athlete. Track and field is a very measurable sport, both in terms of times and distance, so always keep excellent records of everyone’s progress on the team, and encourage athletes to note their own times so that they can improve them as their skill develops.
When developing track and field workouts, the coach must be organized around the preseason, competitive season, and championship season. Track and field workouts should increase in difficulty and competitiveness as the championship season nears so that everyone is able to put their best foot forward at these ever-important times.
The warm up and stretching session is an integral part of any track and field workout. Stretch all of the major muscle groups including the hamstring and lower back by grabbing the toes and attempting to straighten the legs, the groin in the butterfly position with the feet touching and attempting to flatten the knees to the ground, and calves by pushing against a wall with one leg extended out back and the other bent.
Next, all athletes should engage in a 10 to 15 minute warm-up where they jog lightly, focusing on getting the muscles warmed up and ready for that day’s practice session. Afterwards, the coach can run some drills including ankle flips, low and high butt kicks, short skips, long skips, and quick steps.
What Condition are you in?
After the drills comes the technique work where the athletes split off into groups and focus on their individual events. The relay runners should work on their mechanics and steps when passing the baton. Hurdlers perform hurdling drills and work on their pacing during the race. Jumpers practice their jumping skills while throwers perform throwing drills to increase arm strength.
Once the drill work has been completed, the group redistributes themselves for the conditioning drills. Conditioning drills are typically performed in four different groups: sprinters, 400 m runners, 800 m runners, and distance runner who often begin their conditioning while everyone else is doing the technique work, due to the longer nature of their conditioning. Each conditioning group should have one assistant coach or student to record the times for everyone in the group.
Finally, it’s time for the cool down period which involves light jogging and stretch to allow the muscles time to readjust following the heavy athletic conditioning. At this point, the coach can assign weight training sessions for the athletes in the events where this is most necessary, specifically the throwing and jumping events.