Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 Track and Field Season Q & A

Here is your chance to ask any questions you like pertaining to the upcoming track and field season.  I will answer them as promptly as possible and if I don't know the answer, there are plenty of other visitors to this site who will be able to chime in as well.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some very talented runners have excellent regular seasons where they throw down some impressive PRs, but then when the post-season comes along they begin to fizzle. What's the best way to prevent this from happening?

Albert Caruana said...

Excellent first question.

Before the season begins, the coach and the athlete(s) need to identify the most important races. The season training and race schedule should all be aimed at running your best at the end of the season (if these are the races you choose). I believe you only have so many all out effort races in any given season so have a plan and reason for every race. If your best race distance is the 1600m., you need to run that distance as well as the 400m., 800m. and 3200m. Don't just run your race distance at every meet. According to the book "Run With the Best", you need 4 800m. races, 3 1600m. races and 2-3 3200m. races to reach peak form. When you figure out your race schedule, keep the above in mind.

So have a plan, remember the ultimate goal and trust your training.

Anonymous said...

Should I do interval or speed workouts during the off season?

Albert Caruana said...

I think the off season is the time to work on improving your weaknesses and maintaining your strengths. It's also the time to build your base for the season.

What type of interval or speed work are you talking about?

Anonymous said...

What is the obsession with bun huggers?

Albert Caruana said...

You asked!

Anonymous said...

After looking at this past cross country season, what times do you think will get you to the State meet in each of the 3 distance events?

Albert Caruana said...

What section?

Anonymous said...

NCS

Anonymous said...

For speed workouts and intervals, I say i wouldn't do it in the offseason. If you do them during offseason, you will likely will get into peak form too early.

I would say do distance runs, tempo runs, hill repeats during the off season. When track practice starts, then you can do intervals. This will help you peak in the right time.

Anonymous said...

Intervals don't make you peak. Hill repeats are hidden intervals. Speed year round is actually a good thing. The key is a good periodized program incorporating all energy systems. Sprinters do speed year round. 800 runners do speed year round. Milers do speed year round. Check out Brenda Matinez' twitter to see her training. She's not holding back and races all spring, and through the summer in September. Don't be afraid of working hard kids.

GHPADD said...

For distance runners and coaches that use a periodization type of workout plan I offer up for you to at least review Coach Clyde Hart's 400m training program (year-round). Clyde's plan calls for continual speed and improvement with rest weeks...or step-backs... that provides monthly improvements in times without the traditionally understood "peaking". It would be extremely interesting to see if the framework for the workouts (versus the actual distances and speeds) could transfer over to middle-distance running. If so, I believe that we would see a staggering increase in the number of youth athletes moving into elite racing times on a continual basis. Anybody out there implemented such an annual workout plan following Hart's outline yet? (non 400m-800m) if so, any results to share?

Anonymous said...

Last 4-5 years we have had some superstar hurdlers/sprinters from EOYDC i.e. Sasha Wallace, Trinity Wilson, Ashton purvis, and Richardson. Is the cupboard bare now for them?

Anonymous said...

im not saying they do make u peak. what im saying is he needs a base first before he can do anything he wants

Albert Caruana said...

If you look back at the last three NCS MOC meets, here are the 3rd place finishers for the three distance events.

Boys 800m.
2013 1:54.86
2012 1:54.86
2011 1:54.48

Boys 1600m.
2013 4:15.38
2012 4:13.84
2011 4:15.79

Boys 3200m.
2013 9:17.26
2012 9:22.59
2011 9:19.89

Girls 800m.
2013 2:13.39
2012 2:13.92
2011 2:14.71

Girls 1600m.
2013 5:04.04
2012 5:02.01
2011 5:00.61

Girls 3200m.
2013 10:48.69
2012 10:40.21
2011 10:56.94

I think that will give you a ball park figure on what it will take to qualify this year. Keep in mind that in some years, the challenge could be much greater and you may need to beat the at-large times to qualify to the state meet. That may be the case in the boys 3200m. this year.

Albert Caruana said...

The names you mentioned are special talents and while there may not be someone of their ability this year, there is no reason whey there won't be in the future.

Anonymous said...

Actually forgot Curtis Taylor is now a coach at University of Quacks! Hmmm??..Sasha Wallace there. Suspicious..

Albert Caruana said...

We are talking college now and they are allowed to recruit.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:44 PM with respect to the advice given using Brenda "Matinez" as an example, National level runners like Brenda Martinez should not be used as an example of how a high school athlete should train.

Anonymous said...

@2:44 with respect people don't challenge themselves like the did in the 60's & 70's. I'm not saying train like a world championship medalist but I am saying don't be afraid of hard work. Many kids today are weak and soft coddled and living in a false reality. Not any different than the 70's with one exception. Mileage and working hard. You're never going to be great without working hard. And thanks for pointing out a typo...you mad bro?

Albert Caruana said...

Great questions so far. Keep them coming.

Anonymous said...

I'm a 800 runner coming back from a month of rest from an injury. However, I also want to run the mile this year to improve my stamina. BUT I don't want to burn out too early before CCS. Do you suggest doing the los gatos all comers in Feb?
Thanks

Anonymous said...

doing the last one is fine

Coach SC said...

What was the injury?

Based on your brief description I'd say No. Start with 2-3 weeks of running and strides. Work on some strength conditioning and focus on training injury free. Right now I would say running every day is more important than racing.

Remember track goes through the middle of May and into June for some. I feel there is no need to race in January as it is really hard to stay focused with such intensity for 6 months but also to remain injury free through it.

That said, one race here and another later won't kill you and could keep your training focused. Don't race every week though. Maybe one in late January and maybe the 1500 in the last one in February. There really is no right or wrong answer.

Most importantly though talk to your coach and make a plan. You sound motivated and coaches love athletes like you.

Anonymous said...

What kind of workouts should an 800 runner do in the pre-season?

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much to Coach SC. This really helped and I appreciate your time :)

Anonymous said...

Depends. Are you a freshman, sophomore...etc.? Did you run xc? What is your base? What are your times? What have you been doing?

You see, for the most part, it would be dangerous to answer a question like that and say, oh, you should do such and such.

Quite frankly, you should have a coach who has you doing off season workouts, and he/she hopefully has a plan for you to follow.

I would not answer this question with workout examples because of all the unknowns, I believe it would be negligent to do so, I would not want to undermine your coach, and I would hate to see a set of workouts posted that leads to injury.

Anonymous said...

Well, that's heplful
I guess we don't even need this thread

Anonymous said...

To 7:09PM,
I don't think that you understood what 4:44PM was saying.
He is reluctant to give advise without a little background. That seems totally reasonable.
I don't think any competent coach would blindly suggest a workout for an 800M runner without knowing that runner's history.
Male, female, years running, mileage, previous workouts, results, etc. One size doesn't fit all.

Anonymous said...

Im planning to run the SF marathon this summer, my first one. Im a senior this year and Im planning to do track. The marathon is in late July so should i add or incorporate diffrent types of workouts during the track season? Is there any other tips or things I should no about?

Albert Caruana said...

In regards to the marathon question, I would bring this up with your coach. Taking on a hilly marathon following track season will be a difficult task. He or she should be your best resource at this point.

Anonymous said...

“Anonymous said...
“Well, that's heplful
“I guess we don't even need this thread
“7:09 PM”

7:09 PM, I will assume you are one and the same as 10:59 and asked, “What kind of workouts should an 800 runner do in the pre-season??
8:06’s response was correct. The answer provided to the original question was actually helpful in the sense it did not throw out a cookie-cutter program, but in your original question, you ask, “What kind of workouts…” and of course, the details of age, gender, experience, what you are currently doing, etc., are missing.

However, to answer the question of what kind, I would say the kind of workouts you should be doing are those prescribed to you during the off season by your coach, assuming you have a coach and assuming you are a high school athlete.

Second, at this point, January 7th, you are not far off from starting your season, so you would not want to be doing anything too onerous.

Third, in case your coach did not prescribe an off season plan, then the kind of workouts you would be doing would be primarily aerobically-based workouts since you want to build an aerobic base. Other kinds of workouts that would be added to it would be pace intervals, tempo runs, and some threshold runs.

Anonymous said...

What's the most stupid workout your coach has ever had you do? Or the stupidest thing a coach has said to you.

Albert Caruana said...

I won't call this stupid but I remember winning my first track race as a junior in high school. As I crossed the finish line (an actual finish line back then), I raised my hands up high along with the V sign. My coach chewed me out for the excessive celebration. In all honesty, I wasn't trying to show anybody up but was just really excited about winning my first race ever.

Peter Brewer said...

Well, as a coach I have done many stupid things, but I have also asked (well, told) my athletes to do things they thought were stupid. Among them are: 1) training in heat (temperatures well above 90 degrees Fahrenheit) 2) tripling and sometimes quadrupling in dual meets 3) doing two-a-days 5 days a week, even days of dual meets 4) run the 1st and last legs of the same 4 x 800.

Anonymous said...

"Don't you ever spit again. What if everybody in the world spit at the same time."

I thought, well, there would be little spits all over but so what? I was in the 7th grade.

Albert Caruana said...

Please refer to page 24 of the following link if want an explanation of what is allowed during the off season.

http://cifccs.org/cbp/2013%20Combined%20Constitution-bylaws-policies.pdf

If you have an issue with a specific school, please feel free to contact your section office. This site is not the place to bring up alleged violations anonymously.

GHPADD said...

I had several 10-year old male youth athletes running (not racing...running) a 1/2 marathon at a 7:50 pace about 10 years ago. The number of high school distance coaches and parents (not of the runners) that told me I was pushing these kids too hard, and towards injury, was AMAZING. No one knew their workouts, experience, or that 10-year old's around the world run this distance at this age...and much much faster. I guess 3 one-hour soccer games every other Saturday is OK but running for 1/2 that long is too hard!!

Anonymous said...

More like 5 games every weekend. The uneducated are numerous. They will push their kid beyond stress in other things but are afraid of running. Not sure why...

Popular Posts