Question for people who do Track

Steve

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I'm 16 and was on the track team in 8th grade, went to city-meet with a time of 5:30...

I'm looking to join up on the track team this year after basketball season. I was wondering how should I train (running specifically) to get my time down to around 5:00? The past month or so, I have been running across hilly terrain in my neighborhood approx. 2.5 miles non-stop (up two very large hills, too).

I was wondering how often yall suggest I run per week, and if I should run a shorter distance but at fast/intense speed, or should I continue to run distance to build the endurance? Track season starts in... Feburary I think? Somewhere around there.

Also, I am kind of hesistant to run a lot, because I have basketball practice everyday, and I've also been trying to build up muscle and and I want to continue to gain weight and increase endurance a long with it. Is this possible?

I should also mention I'm a junior now, but I don't know what my mile time is.. I suspect around 5:30 still or hopefully faster.

Thanks for any tips or suggestions.
-Steve
 

GreenDay485

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All of the distance runners on my track team this year ran under 5:30, except 1 of the 7th graders. The juniors all ran under 5:00, most ran around 4:32-4:58. The best mile for a freshmen was 4:39 and for a senior, 4:22. I was a sprinter so I never trained with the distance runners. You should continue to run up hills to build up your muscles. Then, when you're ready, go on a track and start training on there. You should work on your endurance at first. That's more important than speed when you're first starting out. Don't run everyday of the week, your body will kinda tell you when you should take a day off. I remember the first day of track last year, the distance runners had to run 7 miles non-stop. I doubt you would have to do that though.
 

Steve

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Originally posted by GreenDay485:
All of the distance runners on my track team this year ran under 5:30, except 1 of the 7th graders. The juniors all ran under 5:00, most ran around 4:32-4:58. The best mile for a freshmen was 4:39 and for a senior, 4:22. I was a sprinter so I never trained with the distance runners. You should continue to run up hills to build up your muscles. Then, when you're ready, go on a track and start training on there. You should work on your endurance at first. That's more important than speed when you're first starting out. Don't run everyday of the week, your body will kinda tell you when you should take a day off. I remember the first day of track last year, the distance runners had to run 7 miles non-stop. I doubt you would have to do that though.
Damn dude, 4:32-4:58... I definitely better start training now. I wasn't sure what a "fast" time for a mile would be at this level.. It's probably the same around here too.

Yeah, I think I'll keep doing my hilly terrain run, then get to the track and start doing 800's fast, then move to the mile. At least I know what time range I have to get to now, thanks.

-Steve
 

J0B00

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Ok, lemme give you some advice. I run cross country and track for the university i attend. Cross country on the college level is a 5 mile race. In track i run everything from the 5000m down to the 1500m.

Right now all of your fellow distance runners are getting their miles in by running cross country. Being a junior in high school, you should never run any more than 8 miles on a long run. You MUST run every day. You can take saturdays off if you like, but try to get at least a long easy run in on sundays. Right now, concentrate on building up a mileage base. Build up to 35-45 miles a week gradually. Don't try and do too much too soon. Running on hills is going to greatly improve your fitness. Where i live (southeastern louisiana) we don't have any hills. During the summers we take short 3-4 day trips to places where they have hills just for the training benefits.

Around late October or early November you might want to run a time trial and see what kind of shape you are in. Go to a track and run a mile just as if you were in a race. This will give you a guideline as to how good a shape you are in. You might also want to go for a timetrial right now and see where you're at.

Right now you need to concentrate on long slow miles. I'd say anywhere between 8 and 7 minutes per mile average. No more 2.5 mile runs unless you aren't in shape to go any farther than that. You need to go longer than that. The longer the run, the slower you can go. Take it easy right now though. You are just building a firm base of solid mileage.

In November you need to start adding some tempo runs and fartleks. A good 4 mile tempo run or a 20-30 minute fartlek will help you a lot when track season comes around. For your tempo runs, start out easy for the first half mile, then drop your pace down to about 80-90% effort. Back it down for the last half mile as a cool down.

My coach loves to give us 1 minute on/1 minute off fartleks. We take an easy 5 minute warmup jog then go directly into the workout. 1 minute at 90% effort then 1 minute at out jog. Alternate maybe 20 times and then take a 5 minute easy cool down jog.

The closer you get to the begining of track season, you might want to do some harder fartleks. My favorite is a kind of ladder fratlek. Take a 5 minute easy jog. Run 1:30 hard, 1:30 easy, 1:00 hard, 1:00 easy, 45 sec hard, 45 sec easy, 30 sec hard, 30 sec easy. Once you hit that last 30 seconds of easy jogging, jump back to the 1:30 hard and go back down the ladder. Afterwards take a 5 minute easy cooldown.

A week before track season starts, do another timetrial and make the decision. remember, you have been training to get in shape for the BEGINING of track season. If you are already close to 5:00 for the mile (which you might be). you should be in great shape for track season. Around here, 4:30's are great for the mile (In high school of course). Rememeber, its not always about winning. If you can run a 5:00 mile, you are faster than most of the people on this planet. Concentrate on your own improvement. When you set a new personal record, it proves to youself that you have been working hard and it paid off. Trust in your training.

I'd really like to know what kind of time you would post in the shape you are in right now. Maybe you could take a trip to the track and run a timetrial and post your results?

I've got tons of workouts I could give you if you wanted any help. I'd like to know what kind of shape you are in though.

You might even be better running a different event like the 800m or even the 400m.

Lemme know whats up...

Good luck!


"When you win, nothing hurts." -- Joe Namath

[This message has been edited by J0B00 (edited 08-26-2002).]
 

Steve

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Solid advice bro. Just read it.

I've been working on 800m runs twice at a time in the mornings and runny hilly terrain approx. 2.5 miles on weekends. I've been quite busy though w/ school just starting and with basketball season on the way.

I f*cking hurt my left inner thigh either from squatting or powerclean reps for bball. I think it should be better, then I'm going to time myself tomorrow morning on the mile hopefully. This will just be to see where I'm at. I checked texastrack.com and my district 4A... a good time to finish first at meets is probably 4:30-4:45 as well.
I need to get down there. Will let you know how I run tomorrow if I do.

If I keep at it, I definitely should be able to get down there by the time track season rolls around I think in Feburary/March?

I have a few other questions, but I gotta go do some dam homework. Catch ya later.

Peace
Steve
 
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wheelin&dealin

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Did you know that doing sprints can improve your long distance running? They can, and they will improve your ability to sprint at the end of the race.
 

Steve

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Yeah, I have to do sprints for basketball anyways. Then I through in long distance running. Well today wasn't good lol, I'm disappointed, but then again, I haven't been training, just started. My mile time has dropped from 5:22 to 5:50min, hitting the 800m at 2:37mins. I'm pretty pissed. I'm going to work hard, get this sh*t down. Will come back w/ progresses.

Oh and JOBOO, I'm gaining muscle weight from weight lifting cause I'm really lean, I was wondering if this is really going to hurt my time, or can I compensate for the additional mass through running/building endurance. What's your experience?

Steve
 

J0B00

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Upper body strength will always help you with your running. When we lift weights, we uaually go for low weight, high reps on upper body stuff like bench press, and all the arm and sholder lifts u can think of. Take it easy though. Low weight, high reps. This builds more of an endurance strength that will allow you to swing your arms during your race more efficiently. When you get tired your running form naturally breaks down and becomes inefficient. When you strengthen your upper body, you are better able to keep the correct posture and arm movement.

As far as weight is concerned, I don't think it really matters as long as you aren't too heavy for your frame. Lots of muscle mass can cause problems. The more muscle you have, the more energy you are going to use working those muscles in a race for the simple reason that there is lots of muscle there. Take a look at pictures of most of the really good runners out there. Alan Webb for example. He is built pretty good upper body wise, but his legs are lean and slim. You want to look "fit". I don't think I've ever seen a huge football player run a 4:30 mile. You play basketball though, so I'm guessing you have a kinda lean/fit, tall build -- like most basketball players.

Like I said, You need to start increasing your mileage. 2.5 miles in the morning is just too short when it comes to your goal time. You want to run so many miles that by the time Track Season comes around 1 mile will seem like nothing compared to the 40 miles you have been running a week. Most people I know, including myself, run a 1-2 mile warmup BEFORE we even race 1500m. and afterwards we run another 1-2 mile cooldown.

Keep me posted on what kind of workouts you are doing and how you are progressing.

wheelin&dealin: Yes, it is true, sprints can improve your speed at the end of a race. But right now Steve needs to be focusing on building up a base and not so much on speed. He can however do 8-10 100m strides at the end of his runs. By strides, I don't mean sprints. I'm talking about maybe 75-80% effort here. Concentrate on your running form. They will reduce soreness the next day, help you run more efficient, and can help you with your finishing speed at the end of a race.

When Steve starts track practice in the spring, he will be doing plenty of sprints. Everything from 200m repeats to 800m repeats. Better to wait until then to do that stuff so that he doesn't cause his training to peak early. In track, the whole program is designed for you to be at your fastest for the weeks of regionals and state competition. Same thing in College. They want us to peak at Conference and NCAA's (if you qualify that is). Cross country is just a small step. Its meant to build up your stength and endurance base for track season so that you can run good for track.

Ok, I'm rambling here. Lemme know how its goes Steve


-Andy
 

Steve

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Thanks Andy,
Right now my workout regimine I made, is as follows:

Before school in morning-
Mon. - jog 2 miles on track
Tues. - 800m fast run
Wed. - 1 mile run to see my time
Thurs. - 800m fast run
Fri. - 1 mile run

Sat. - Rest legs, light basketball
Sun. - Jogging with hills, sometimes I'll repeat a hill (big ass one) Approx. 3 miles.

OK, that's just my running so far as of last week, and I'm trying it this week too, unless you have other recommendations. Like you said though, I don't think I'm getting enough miles in.

Besides that 'running workout', I have basketball 5 days a week, 1 hour a day, going to be 2 hours a day once after school practice starts. I think basketball is kind of like my 'speed workout', lots of sprints.

I'm hitting weights Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday. Maybe curls or something light on the other days. Mainly upper body, with squats on Wednesdays. I've gained 5 pounds of muscle in the last 39 days.

I'm lean at 5'7" + 110-115 lbs (it shifts). I think it's cause I have smaller bones cause I do have good muscle. Bench 135lbs, Incline 110lbs, Squat 205lbs (can prob do more), and Powerclean 120lbs (I'm weak at this).

Also I have a basketball pre-season tournament this week, so I'm going to listen to my legs and not overdo it too much (probably going to need to ice), but I shouldn't be a pvssy since I'm not running as much as I should to get my time down. I noticed last weak my legs weren't even that sore, they were only sore after the Sunday I ran hills, and I ran Monday, then the soreness was gone Tues.
I think I can do it though, I have about 6 months, and I'm starting to work at it. Do you think it's possible (if I want to be first place at most meets I need about a 4:35mins)? 8th grade year I came in with a 6:20 mile in January and I finished at the city meet in May with 5:30 mile. I also seem to always run faster at meets (more pressure from opponents I guess?).

Anyways, once I know (after this week) I'm going to be starting point guard for the team, I'll change my workout, and how many miles should I throw in? I need to try to get my mileage in on Mondays, weekends, and maybe Friday nights/after school, cause we normally have a ball game Tues-Fri. I'll have to adjust accordingly.

Thanks for your knowledgeable input, I plan to be ready by the time track season comes around.

Steve
 

Steve

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Actually, tomorrow (Monday), I think I'm going to time my 1 mile run again after doing hills/light jog tonight. I have a mad bball scrimmage tomorrow I need to do well in.

Will let you know my time.

-Steve

[This message has been edited by Steve (edited 09-08-2002).]
 

J0B00

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Here's what I would do as far as workouts for this week. Remember, right now you are just trying to build a mileage base.

Monday: AM 4 miles
Tuesday: AM 6 miles
Wednesday: AM 4 miles
Thursday: AM 6 miles
Friday: AM 2-3 miles
Saturday: 4 miles
Sunday: 6-8 miles

I added in the short run on friday because I figured you probably had B-Ball games on Fridays. My point is, with a 5:50 mile time, you are doing ok right now and don't need to be doing anything else other than milege until November. Do that workout for 2 weeks and then add a mile onto each day's workout and do it for another 2 weeks.
 

Steve

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Yeah you're right, I do need the mileage endurance, I need to break it up. I think I'm too focused on speed/time right now cause I think I'm going to run out of time before track season...

I just need to take 1 month at a time.
Will start putting in the miles as you said!
When should I measure my mile time speeds to see if I have progressed? Can I substitue that in on Fridays instead? Then maybe run 2 miles after I time my full speed 1 mile run.

Thanks for the plan.
-Steve
 

J0B00

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I'd wait a month and just do the distance before you run a time trial again. Don't focus on your mile time as much and focus more on getting in shape. If you run too many time trials and don't see an improvement like you want, you might get discouraged and lose confidence. Your goal after 1 month should be to run between 5:30 and 5:00. As a friend has always told me, "Take baby steps". If you set realistic goals, its more likely that you will meet them. And when you meet goals, you build confidence. A confident runner is a successful runner.
 

Lilredplaya

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Thankyou, im glad i found this threat. Im in the almost same situation your in Steve, Im wanting to start track in feb/march and wanted a good workout to start building a good base like J0B00 said. J0B00 can you give me a good upper/lower body workout to help improve my mile time, and just overall cardiovascular endurance. Im 6'1'' 145 lbs. and am a freshmen in highschool. any input would be appreciated.
 

Steve

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Have you done the mile event before? Do you know that's your best event? If not, with your height, I think you would be good in the 400m, or 800m. I have a friend with almost the exact same build and he does both of those events. As far as workout.. as a freshman I think you should just go with the plan he gave me or maybe the one I gave myself last week if you scroll up. Good luck.

Steve
 

J0B00

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I don't really think height has anything to do with it. We have a Kenyan that is about 5'11 and his event is everything from the 800m to the 10,000m. We also have an 800m runner who runs 1:47 and he's only 5'6".

As for upper body workouts, I'd do bench press, hammer curls, and "flys" as we call them. Don't do too much weight on anything. Pick something you can get about 10-12 reps out of and use that as your starting point. Add a little weight each set and do 3-4 sets dropping 2 reps off each time. Also, after your runs, do some crunches and pushups.

I recommend lifting weights or doing pushups and crunches after your runs because they are more effective that way. You have already been running for about 45 minutes and your arms are tired from all the swinging. Your abs are fatigued from the twisting of your torso and the excessive breathing. Since your muscles are already tired, stressing them with weights and crunches will help to build that extra endurance.

Right now we have a little circuit that we do after each run. It mostly consists of abdominal exercises. It is as follows:

50 normal crunches
25 right side crunches (lay on your side and do these)
25 left side crunches
50 pushups
25 "back hypers" (a.k.a "supermans")

We do that routine after every run. Sometimes we run twice a day so we'll do it twice a day. When it starts getting easy to do that stuff, just add more reps on.No weight though...We're building endurance, not strength.

As for lower body and cardiovascular workout, I'd say just build up a good distance base. If you haven't been running regularly already, I'd say start out easy. If you do too much too soon, you can get shin splints which will bother you the whole rest of the season, and you also increase your risk of other injuries.

For someone who is just starting out, I'd try doing 2-3 miles at a comfortable pace 6 days a week with a 4-6 mile run on the 7th day. You want to try and get a good long run in at least once a week. Do that for a couple weeks and start on the distance workout I posted earlier. Remember, you are just building a base for your speed workouts one track season starts. Everyone else is doing cross country right now. You're going to be a little behind those guys once track season starts, no matter what you do (unless of course they sit on their asses during the holidays and get fat...hehe). All you need to worry about is getting in shape cardiovasular wise right now. Once track season starts, then you can start working on that lactate threshold (maximum output before your body says "woah there!" and makes ur muscles start to burn like fire).

[This message has been edited by J0B00 (edited 09-08-2002).]
 

Steve

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Sup Joobo, I'm down to 5:40 min now... slow, but I guess I'm making progress!

I injured my foot the weekend before last in a basketball tourny, so I was out the last 5 days, couldn't run. I ran an easy mile this morning. Still though, I really need to up my mileage. The most I'm running is 2 miles on track, not including bball prac. I'm also hitting heavy weights trying to gain more muscle, just gained 4 lbs.

But I'm managing to bring my time down, bout 27 seconds, started with 6:07 - 1600m.
Starting tomorrow I'm going to really try to get more miles in per day. When should In how many weeks should I try to meet around the 5:00 min mark? Track season starts in Feb. I think... can you lay some goals down for me?

Thanks
-Steve
 

J0B00

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Well, November is the end of Cross Country season. You should try to be down to about 5:10-5:00 by then. You are right when you say you need to increase your mileage. Increasing your mileage will definately help to bring your fitness level up quicker. 2 miles on the track for your runs is only going to help to a certain degree, then you're just peak at certain level and stay there. Kinda like lifting weights. You can lift the same amount every time you lift and it will just get easier every time you do it. Then you won't be doing anything but getting your muscles toned up.

Hope that helps!
 
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