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  #1  
Old 03-16-17, 05:37 AM
cougardad7 cougardad7 is offline
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Sprint Training In The Cold

What are some of your thoughts on training your sprinters in the cold temperatures?
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  #2  
Old 03-16-17, 06:31 AM
xcountry315 xcountry315 is offline
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I think it is really hard. We have not done anything that involves any real sprinting in the cold out of fear of injury. We did circuits on the football field with push-ups, core exercises, slow hurdle drills, med ball exercises, etc. and then went up into the school hallway to work on blocks/starts indoors.

We also filmed each kid sprinting last week on a warmer day, and used part of one day this week to review it with each kid.

We're itching to get to the real training. Come on mother nature!
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  #3  
Old 03-16-17, 08:18 AM
PCTigerTrackCoach PCTigerTrackCoach is offline
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You can't run fast in the cold unless you are trying to risk injury... I don't think a sprinter should ever run "fast" unless it's in the 50's and sunny... Opinions may vary but it is hard to really do a good warmup in 25-40 degree weather. Tempo work is your best bet but that's just my opinion.... XCountry315 is spot on as well... A definite no no though if it's me
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Old 03-16-17, 07:22 PM
ccrunner609 ccrunner609 is offline
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indoor training, weighted sleds, chutes, lots of reactive strength stuff with plyo boxes. Indoor starts, running stairs, cuircut training in the weightroom

distance kids are out pounding it in the cold
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  #5  
Old 03-16-17, 08:14 PM
mathking mathking is offline
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Sprint Training In The Cold

We are much the same. We got back out today and did some tempo stuff (today was interesting because sprints, long sprints and hurdles were all doing intervals in the 200 to 300 range). Inside yesterday (which means a majority of the team had the day off). Definitely no high intensity stuff when it is cold.
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  #6  
Old 03-16-17, 09:36 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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Our schools team just did longer hill intervals today, both thr sprinters and the distance, although the distance did more as expected. We have a lovely little hill circuit on a few streets overlooking one of our portage lakes. Streets are all named after fruit, so we call it the fruit bowl. No practice the two days prior to today-snow day.

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  #7  
Old 03-17-17, 09:48 AM
ccrunner609 ccrunner609 is offline
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snow today........a cross country run for the mid and distance kids. At this point, gonna have to take the A group and push them.

Going to have to get hurdle and jumps practice in regardless
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  #8  
Old 03-17-17, 10:36 PM
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Mr. Slippery Mr. Slippery is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccrunner609 View Post
snow today........a cross country run for the mid and distance kids. At this point, gonna have to take the A group and push them.

Going to have to get hurdle and jumps practice in regardless
Snow hit at just the wrong time in my neck of the woods on Friday, so a 3rd day was lost this week for the sprinters, jumpers, hurdlers, and throwers. My school's building doesn't provide many options for indoor activities either. The other 2 days lost this week were due to 1) a snow day and 2) a practice time wind chill factor that was predicted to be in the single digits. Some distance folks can run in those conditions easily, but most don't have the proper gear for when things go below 20 degrees (ex. non-cotton gloves, a windproof outer layer, or a balaclava, gaiter, or similar item that can protect the face). Veteran runners who do it year-round accumulate that gear over time. Novices and those others who don't run year-round generally won't have those items and may never feel the need to acquire them.

Back in grade school, the wind chill factor had to be above 20 for us to have outdoor recess.
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  #9  
Old 03-18-17, 12:31 AM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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sprinters, especially the multisporters that did not do indoor track may have a slow start to the outdoor season. But the distance kids have been absolutely enjoying this winter I would imagine. They should start strong this outdoor season statewide.

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  #10  
Old 03-18-17, 12:36 AM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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At least our new high school building contains three different stairwells containing 3 flights of steps. So theres possibilities for an indoor training session there. Throwers can bench in our weightroom. Not much we can do for our jumpers and hurdlers, but they generally do running events as well, so theyve got something.

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  #11  
Old 03-18-17, 02:10 AM
said_aouita said_aouita is offline
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Graham High School is so pathetic they don't allow even the distance running kids outdoors if it's below freezing.
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  #12  
Old 03-18-17, 12:45 PM
madman madman is offline
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I imagine that puts quite the damper on indoor track for distance runners...
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Old 03-18-17, 01:42 PM
psycho_dad psycho_dad is offline
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We do not allow boy sprinters to be at practice or meets until mid April. Must be over 60 degrees and sunny or at least over 70 degrees before we allow them anywhere near the team. Just brings down the coaches and other teammates with all the complaining, fake pulled muscles, 45 minutes at the trainers table and hiding and restroom breaks. We cover their events with distance kids at meets until mid April. Just makes all our lives more pleasant. Girls, are another story. They are tolerable.
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  #14  
Old 03-18-17, 03:33 PM
CoventryTrackXCguy CoventryTrackXCguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_dad View Post
We do not allow boy sprinters to be at practice or meets until mid April. Must be over 60 degrees and sunny or at least over 70 degrees before we allow them anywhere near the team. Just brings down the coaches and other teammates with all the complaining, fake pulled muscles, 45 minutes at the trainers table and hiding and restroom breaks. We cover their events with distance kids at meets until mid April. Just makes all our lives more pleasant. Girls, are another story. They are tolerable.
By all means, do whats best for your team. But I expect a good meet out of your bulldogs again on the 11th. Im looking forward to it...dont cheat me out of a great meet (by the way, wasnt Novak, Sanders, Mally, and company there last year?).

As for the complaining etc, I see that as hardly an issue with a team that is very motivated. Our Coach Savage is a great motivator, at least for the boys. and teams with motivation simply do not have those issues. I remember in our first dual meet of the 2015 season, it was Coventry vs Hoban. Took place at Elms. Was 35 degrees, windy, some freezing rain, Elms facility was very exposed to the elements. By all accounts, a very miserable day. Many of Coventrys best sprinters went down with a slight pulled muscle that day, had to be pulled from their remaining events, weakening our position against the Knights. Plus Elms facility had no high jump pit. A major blow to Coventry. Many comets had to step up that day (including a 4 by 400 where all its runners were second string who had litterally been given 5 minutes warning to get ready, they thought they were done for the night, two of those guys had never ran track, much less a 400 before, and they got the job done). Coventry was able to eek out a 60 to 59 victory that day. Pure guts shown on a miserable night like that. But the bus ride home, the kids were anything but demoralized. They were happy, joking, loud, obnoxious, jubilant, triumphant, and proud. And hungry for more. Any coach who can get a team to be like that after standing in the cold/elements for many hours, is a rarity indeed. An ability to motivate is an incredibly valuable skill.

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Last edited by CoventryTrackXCguy; 03-18-17 at 06:38 PM..
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  #15  
Old 03-19-17, 02:53 PM
ccrunner609 ccrunner609 is offline
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We ended up with a good Friday workout and the JH got some good girls work in. Pole vault cover has not been taken off yet.
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Old 06-19-17, 01:26 PM
coachwhitman coachwhitman is offline
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Cool RE: Sprint training in the cold

Just came across this thread on a hot and humid summer day. The thoughts here are very interesting. PsychoDad's thoughts echoed mine back when I was a distance coach. But, then I took my talents to the sprints/jumps/hurdles portion of our great sport and brought my middle distance mentality to our sprint crew. We began sprinting on Day 1. At one school I used to coach at, there were gasps and protests...from the boys coach (I was the girls coach at that school) who gave the usual protests about injury risk due to not being "in shape" yet. I politely asked her what she proposed to do to get the kids in shape. She thought that jogging and static stretching would constitute the bulk of getting ready. I listened politely before I stated that my girls would do our thing and her boys should do their thing. Perhaps this is coincidental, but in that season, my girls broke several school records (mostly in sprints and sprint relays) and her boys were much less successful. Maybe that was just a fluke. OK, fast forward to next HS job and again, we sprinted from Day 1. And again, several school sprint records were demolished and All Ohio awards were attained. Present day school sprints continue to sprint from Day 1. Full disclosure: if it's below 20* (pre-wind chill), we are blessed to have rollout runways (25m each x 3) we go inside and sprint. We bundle up in layers: tights, raingear, hats, gloves/mittens. Having said all that, we don't spike up right away until I am assured that we've done enough feet and lower leg strengthening that will enable my kids to effect proper mechanics in spikes to avoid injury.

Many people have told me that they think kids who sprint too early are at great risk of injury. What I've come to learn is that kids who "condition" with a bunch of slow work and then decide at some point to sprint are doing their kids a disservice. You can't stimulate fast twitch muscle fibers with jogging (the all or nothing neuromuscular principle) so why waste time doing something that does not properly prepare them for what's coming.

The other aspect to proper training is the warm up. Are you jogging and then static stretching? If so, that's a recipe for disaster. Starting with lower intensity is ok, but then a good warm up would progress in intensity while including dynamic, movement based flexibility, which prepares the muscles and joints for ballistic movement.

Kids will do what you allow or don't allow them to do. At the first few meets I see kids trying to warm up with blankets on. My kids know better, even though some freshmen tried to push that envelope this year. Weak mindedness produces weak performances. Think about the end of the fall sports season. Football, soccer and field hockey are often played and practiced in pretty cold weather-particularly in NE Ohio. Those kids get after it and so can our kids in the spring.

That's just my middle distance runner way of thinking.
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Old 06-19-17, 03:17 PM
mathking mathking is offline
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coachwhitman, I agree about the starting sprinting early. Increasing top end speed is the thing that takes the longest to do, so you need to start it early. We have had significantly more success since we started doing this (basically this decade) than in the past. We do the full speed work starting as soon as indoor season starts. The old "don't sprint until you are in shape" system still seems to have its adherents though. I know people who still tell us that we are "doing it wrong."

As you say, warming up is crucial. As is proper attire. One of the constant battles we have is getting kids to wear appropriate clothing in practice. We have pretty regimented warm up routines for each event group. We try really hard to use the same warm up routine for practice and meets. So that it gets drilled into their heads. The distance kids are really good about doing the same thing at meets. The sprinters are a bit less dedicated as a group, although we certainly have sprinters who are zealous in getting a proper warm up. (Cooling down afterward, not so much.)

When it is cold (once it drops below freezing for us) we don't do any full speed (central nervous system) type training outside. We will still do longer stuff at lower intensity. After a proper warm up and with the kids wearing appropriate gear. Those workouts aren't pushing muscles to the their maximum and there is less recovery time in which to cool down. We will go inside when we need to, although the size of our team means that inside sprinting is generally restricted to the varsity or close to varsity sprinters.
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