TRACK AND FIELD CLUB
DISTANCE UNIVERSITY TRAINING THEORIES
I am a big believer in developing a base for all types of athletes. As a soccer player in high school, I also ran cross country simultaneously. I built up a strong mileage base in the summer. I would work up to approximately two times the distance of a cross country race (3.1 miles) and incorporate hill work into my workouts. Once school started and both sports kicked into gear, I focused on soccer, and only ran in the cross country meets.
First, I rarely got tired on the soccer field. I played center midfielder, a position that runs more than any other one. Second, my summer running allowed me to be one of the top runners on a very good cross country team. I believe this was all based on building up the mileage in the summer time.
Now that I've bragged about myself, I'll get to the point. early in the season, when the meets are less important, we will work on building the mileage base that I mentioned above. We will focus less on speedwork and more on longer runs. As the season goes on, we will incorporate more speedwork into the workouts.
I will watch each athlete closely and break down their running form in order to make improvements. each one of us has a natural gait. I don't want to take that away from a runner. I want to make changes that will make them more efficient, while keeping a runner comfortable with his/her individual style.
Ultimately our goal at Distance University is for the athletes to have fun and compete in a positive environment. I have made running a big part of my life. I would love to see more young people get involved in a sport they can be a part of for their whole lives.
4 PACES OF RUNNING
As a distance runner, I believe there are 4 basic paces of running.
Jogging - used in warm-ups and cool downs.
Running - used in long runs and the early stages of longer races.
Striding - used in the 400 and 800 for the early parts of the races, and toward the end of longer races.
Sprinting - used at the end of races, preferably in the last 200 meters.
This theory will be heavily incorporated in teaching the athletes the strategies of how to race on the track.
We will spend 15-20 minutes at the beginning of practice stretching. I like to hold each stretch for at least 20 seconds. I understand there are different theories on this, but doing things this way has always worked for me and limited strained and pulled muscles. We will do some different dynamic warm up exercise prior to the main body of that day's workout.
In our first season, we managed to have enough 11-12 girls to put together a relay team that made it to Nationals. The girls bonded and became close friends through the process. We hope to be able to have many relay teams in the future. Track is primarily an individual sport, but it can be a lot of fun when working as a team.
Relay teams will be chosen by picking the four best times of the current season in whatever event the relay is in. For our team, that means the four best 400 and 800 runners will make the team. Occasionally there will be circumstances when the alternate (5th best time) will run. Those will be determined on a case by case basis.
The most important aspect of our team is that we have fun! Running is a challenging sport. It takes lots of concentration and focus. Sometimes the kids just need a break. We make sure that we incorporate fun activities such as relay races or tag to keep them interested while still getting a good workout.