Prepping for the HS Track Season — Part 1

Last year I did several articles about the high school seasons…Cross Country (summer and fall) and Track (winter and spring) and this year I want to expand upon that, especially as we are entering the winter training season for Track!!!

Now, I know most of you have already begun your preparations for a great track season, but I still believe that you can integrate some of this into your prep!!!

This is all planned with the intent that you have full usage of your athletes during January and February, leading into the start of the racing season!!! Adjustments can be made if they are not with you during this time, but the most effective training will come from consistent, daily work with you and their teammates.

So, the hope is that they’ve at least spent December running easy and building their mileage. If you’ve already started doing some workouts, such as tempo runs, fartlek, etc. that’s okay…it just means that they are ready to start training!!! (See at the bottom of this post what I would recommend for December 2019 training for track!!!)

My goal for January and February is to build the foundation upon which you are going to set your entire 2019 Track and Field Season!!! I don’t necessarily mean the BASE…hopefully you’ve already started that in December, but this is a continuation of the base and the STUFF that you want to do before you actually get into what most would consider real track training!

Personally, I’m not going to worry about any races in February. They aren’t important, especially in Texas. So, if you have a meet scheduled for the end of February…TRAIN THROUGH IT. No one cares what happens in February!!!

December 2019 bonus material…what I would do in December 2019 to prep for the upcoming Track season!!!

  1. Build your mileage. Your athletes should rest from the time their 2019 XC season ends until December 1st…but once December 1st hits, you should start building the mileage. Start low and build each week.
    The goal should be to get to 80-90% peak volume by the time you hit January. Once you are into January you want to be running at 90-100% of peak volume and you want to try to hold that through February, taking every 4th week as a down week if needed.
  2. Keep most of your running easy, but introduce strides and light fartlek into the mix. I like for my athletes to run strides at least two times per week in the ‘easy’ running phase. Typically running strides on Monday and Friday, with a light fartlek on Wednesday.Scheduling something like this will keep the athletes interested in getting out and training and will keep the monotony of just easy mileage at bay. I would follow this progression over the month of December on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday:Monday: 
    Wk #1 — 4 x easy strides
    Wk #2 — 6 x strides — 2 x easy, 2 x medium, 2 x fast
    Wk #3 — 6 x strides — 2 x easy, 2 x medium, 2 x fast
    Wk #4 — 8 x strides — 2 x easy, 4 x medium, 2 x fast

    Wk #1 — 8 x 30 seconds at XC effort w/ 90 seconds jogging
    Wk #2 — 10 x 30 seconds at XC effort w/ 90 seconds jogging
    Wk #3 — 8 x 45 seconds at XC effort w/ 75 seconds jogging
    Wk #4 — 10 x 45 seconds at XC effort w/ 75 seconds jogging
    ***Don’t go too fast on these. Just fun surging.

    Wk #1 — 6 x easy strides
    Wk #2 — 6 x easy strides
    Wk #3 — 8 x easy strides
    Wk #4 — 10 x easy strides

  3. Build your long run. Every week you should try to add 1-2 miles or 5-10 minutes of easy running to your Saturday long run. Keep this run easy and relaxed, but build the time that you are spending on your feet.

If you do these things and get into a consistent routine during December, you should set yourself up for a good January and February!!! Remember, you are training, to train, so that you can train to train, so that you can race fast!!!

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