How to Make The Most of Indoor Track Season
How to Enjoy Indoor Track Season
Whether you're out of shape or a year-round athlete, track season is tough--especially indoor track! Most indoor track (& field) seasons take place in the winter, and you could find yourself running over snow, skidding on ice, and shivering violently if you can't always train inside. While you're here because you like to run and/or want to be fit, sometimes practicing and competing in indoor track can be daunting.
Gear up!While athletic equipment and clothing can be expensive, it really is worth the investment to buy a good pair of running shoes and athletic clothes that conserve heat. Invest in hoodies, pants, and tops specially made to keep you warm.
- Thermal wear (even ones that are non-athletic) are also very good at conserving heat.
- Don't forget gloves and hats.
- While most people assume they'll warm up in the cold while running, what often happens is that you may start sweating, and the wetness will become cold because you're running outside. Other parts of your body like your ears or hands may remain cold while every other part is warm, therefore it's best to dress appropriately.
Work up to the season.If you don't play a fall sport or are out of shape, go running a few times before the season starts. It will be a little easier and a lot less daunting to start running for track if you're already used to a bit of exercise.
- Don't run a mile the first day if you haven't ran in months or have never ran a mile at all. Start with short runs and longer jogs. Also alternate between running, jogging, and fast walks.
- Practicing a little before the season can also prevent soreness. If you're not used to running so much, your body will be more sore because it's not used to exercise its muscles so much.
Be open to finding your strengths as you go.You don't have to know what event you want to do the minute you join track. This applies to you even if you've ran track before or are just beginning, but especially for beginners. You may have the idea that you'll be a good sprinter until you realize you just can't move your legs that fast.
Be prepared to work hard!Hard work sounds gross, but get pumped because that's exactly what you'll be doing for the next few months. Track is the most mental sport in the world, which can make it one of the toughest sports, but the mental toughness you'll acquire will last you a long time. In the end, it is worth it.
- Try to like practice because it's the only way you will get better. No special sneakers, music, or coach will automatically make you an amazing runner, only you will. No one likes practice, but you need to not hate it.
- Maintaining a positive attitude and trying to get your friends involved in track will help get through the grind.
Don't be afraid to fail.Some people never join track or simply quit because they feel they're not good enough. Of course running comes more naturally to some than others, but most people are successful because they've trained to be that fast. Sure, you're behind them, but who says you can't catch up? What you're going through now is what they've probably gone through, you just never got to see it.
- Don't compare yourself to others to begin with. Work on bettering yourself first before trying to be better than others.
- Track is a very individual sport. That means two things:
- You can only rely on yourself,
- You don't need to worry about letting anyone down because your performance only affects you So if you do suck, there's no need to have others affect your conscience.
- It may help to ease the pressure to know that in many schools, indoor track is not as serious or competitive as outdoor track in the spring. So if you're a great runner, it'll be a lot easier to wipe out the competition. If you're not-so-good, well, no one really cares.
Eat right.Your diet completely depends on your body type and even what event you're doing. In general though, always drink water (as in 3 to 4 bottles a day)!
- Most people don't eat enough fruits and vegetables, but most people don't play sports. Always aim for a balanced diet.
- You will need to eat more than usual when you play sports. More vitamins (mostly from fruits and vegetables), more protein, and more carbs! If your goal is to lose weight, you still need to eat as many calories as you burn or else you will not perform as well.
Don't neglect other responsibilities.Track is a great way to challenge yourself and give yourself a break from academics, but it's supposed to create balance in your life, not a distraction.
- Never quit!
- If you're susceptible to feeling weak or dizzy, get checked by a doctor and take supplements for whatever vitamin(s) you're missing.
- If you need to make up a quiz or catch up on work after school, it's better to go and miss practice than take a bad grade or a zero. Enough of those and you may become ineligible to play sports. Remember, school first.
- Don't become too competitive. Good sportsmanship is always valued and always shows good character.
- It's not hard to become discouraged in track, so negative thoughts may arise if you have a hard time adjusting to the work. Don't pay much mind to them and counteract them whenever you can.
Video: INDOOR TRACK SEASON: TRAVELING TO THE MICHIGAN INVITATIONAL
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