Track, Weights and College

Ok so here’s the deal. I was never encouraged to do sports in high school nor allowed to. I still managed to “secretly” join the weightlifting team and learn how to weight lift etc etc. My only experience with an endurance sport is the 4 mo’s I spent on the wrestling team before my mother realized what I was doing.

I am now at college and have decided to try to walk onto the track team. We lift weights (squats, dead lifts, etc) M, W, F at 6am and we run/do circuits M thru F at 3pm. I went and observed a practice yesterday and it is suicide. The only thing I have ever done like it is wrestling but that was 2 years ago. I am still in shape but not that good of shape. But I do have a good ability to push myself when needed.

I was wondering if anyone had any advice? Any ex-or current track athletes want to chime in with some advice? Anyone have any advice period? Ways I could ensure I am working to the best of my ability? Things I should look out for or be aware of? I know there is nothing that will make it easier but I was hoping somebody could give me some pointers.


What event are you planning on running? If it is under 400m, I would suggest checking out charlie francis’ site.

I was actually planning on doing the 400m.

I was a 100/200/400/relays runner in high school, but primarily a 400 guy. Could you be a lil more specific with what you are looking for? I could help you out, just need a lil more info about yourself and what you are asking. (I play football right now, still undecided whether to do track or not in the spring for the JC I attend…)

I was hoping for ideas on how to enhance endurance and strength or any other things that helped you do well in track. I have never done track obviously so I do not know a lot about it. Sorry to come off like an idiot but I do not exactly know what to ask so that was why I was looking for advice here.

If you’re at college, the coach there will most likely want you to follow their program. Your best bet would be to show up to practice and do what everyone else is doing.

The mobility drills may seem a little odd at first, i.e. A’s, B’s, butt kicks, etc… but you’ll get the hang of it.

If you want to compete you’ll have to follow the coach’s program most likely, so give it a shot!

Track is a great way to get in shape. Look at the body of any track athlete.

On a side note… I saw Donovan Bailey at the bar last night! A classy guy.

Good job on deciding to become an athlete. I echo what Bri Hildebrandt wrote.

You should utilize recovery methods and proper nutrition to enhance your performance.

Here are a few pointers that will help your progress: eliminate stress, eat lots of good carbs, do GPP drills, take short naps after each track practice, ext., ext.

Hope that Helps!

I was a thrower at Umass and Syracuse, and both schools were very differen’t as far as the conditioning was concerned. I can’t emphasize how important sleep is when training at this volume. I wouldn’t worry too much about you weight workouts especially as a runner. If you have a qualified strength coach you shouldn’t have to worry too much about over training in the gym. The most important supplementation you could use is anything and everything to aid with recovery, and make sure you are showing up to these practices and workouts with proper pre and post workout nutrition. Looking back I can’t beleive that I worked out for four hours a day / 4 days a week, but your body will adjust. Once you get throught the initial shock you should notice things get easier pretty quickly, if not maybe Track isn’t for you. Good luck, hope this helps ?

First I’d like to say that this is my first T-mag post - I’ve been lurking for a while.

I ran track in college - 200m and 400m primarily, and I was also on the 4x100 relay team. I didn’t start running track until my junior year of high school, because I had always played football only, and I was an ignorant fool.

Anyway, in high school, I hardly ever ran the 400 - mostly 100/200. So I went to college, and after sulking about not playing football anymore, I walked onto the track team. By my sophmore year I was almost exclusively a 400m runner - and had dropped my high school PR down about 4 seconds.

So thats my story - now my advice…

First, I think you should evaluate the level of competition at your school (and D-I,II, or III classification doesn’t really matter. From what I’ve seen, in general, D-I programs tend to have bigger, better teams ‘overall’, but every D-II or D-III team that we competed against at least always had one or two incredible athletes in certain events, if not all events).

Now, if you’re not familiar w/ track and field, times and marks might not mean much to you - but I think you should be able to tell by the way they train. From your post, it sounds like the team has a good preseason base program, and the team is definitely serious (hell, if my team had to get up to lift for 6AM, all of the spoiled recruited kids would no doubt have quit).

I think track can take some getting used to if you haven’t done it before - especially at a competitive level. I had done it for 2 years in high school, but my body took a major beating when I got to college because the competition got better, and the season got longer - way longer. Track and field has the longest season in NCAA sports (assuming INDOOR and OUTDOOR seasons). Not to mention that 400m training is pretty grueling - at least in a good program. And there’s a lot to learn if you’ve never really been a sprinter before - although for many people it comes naturally.

So my advice is to go for it. If you end up not being able to handle the training, so what, at least you gave it a shot. And trust me, if you go further with it, and you get into the actual 400m training, you’ll know for a fact whether or not you really want it. College is fun (damnit I hate being in the working world now), but college can be rough with academics and whatever other extracurriculars, and putting athletics on top is definitely challenging, in my opinion. If you want to be good, you’ve got to make training and nutrition and rest your top priorities. Track athletes don’t get much downtime once the season starts - again, assuming both indoor and outdoor.

I have to say that for me, walking onto the track team at my school was one of the best decisions of my life. I absolutely loved the competition, and got to go to some pretty cool meets. But aside from everything athletic, I met some awesome people, some of whom have become my best friends.

Do it. And remember that if you’re not puking at the end of a 400, you didn’t run hard enough - haha, just kidding.