Running Track – Running Tips For Events From the 400m up to the 10k
Welcome to the Running Track section on tips4running.com. There are links here for how to train and race for events from the 400 meter dash all the way to the 10k. We only focus on the running events here on tips4running.
Here are my top five tips for any track race.
1. No matter what your event is, the first thing you should do is train in the preseason. This will get you prepared to have a successful season running track. If you aren’t running year round, make sure you are participating in some type of athletic activity when you aren’t in the track or cross country season.
2. Get a pair of racing flatsor running spikes. You’ll feel much faster in these than regular trainers. You can compare prices here for men’sor women’s running spikes. Trainers are getting lighter, but there is no substitute for the grip and the feel you get when you are running in track spikes.
3. Set some goals. In order to improve at track, you have to know what you are shooting for. Just simply thinking, I want to do well isn’t really enough. With a goal time in mind, you can judge how you are doing as you run your race. Let’s say you want to run a 6 minute mile. This makes it easier to run the race because you can pace yourself and try to reach the half mile at under 3 minutes. If you are slower or faster than your pace at certain points in the race, you can make adjustments. You can also set goals for placing in a race. At bigger meets, I always wanted to get in the top three for two reasons. One, you get more points for your team. Two, you tend to run faster times when you are running in the lead pack.
4. Some racing tips. In any running event, even the 400 meter dash, it is key that you really make a conscious effort to push the pace after the halfway mark. The reason for this is because as you grow more and more fatigued, your pace slows down. If you think you are running at the same pace, and never make a move to pick it up, you are actually slowing down. Always know this in a race. To run an even pace, you have to feel like you are picking the pace up.
5. Another important racing tip is to be mentally prepared for your race. Now mental preparation isn’t as important as being in shape, but at the higher levels of competition, everyone is in good shape. The great runners separate themselves from the good runners by being mentally tough.
6. My final racing tips is learn how to run relaxed. In any race, when you start to get very tired, but you are still pushing hard, you will tend to tense up. Try to stay relaxed and fluid with your stride. If you tense up your muscles, especially in your chest, shoulders, neck, and face, you are slowing yourself down. Watch a great sprinter. They are pushing extremely hard, but they also are trying to keep their face and body fluid and fast. Find that perfect place where you are pushing to race very fast without straining.
Now for running track training tips. Each race is different, so training for each one should be handled differently. Before you commit to a training program, you really should have an event you want to excel at. I like to group the distances together for training purposes. 400 meter and 800 meter runners should have a similar training program. You need an endurance base for these races, but not too much mileage. Always work on speed and your strength.
If you run the 1500, 1600, mile, 3000, or 3200, you need to do some serious endurance training. Speed will definitely help you win these events, but with no stamina, you’ll never be successful here.
At the collegiate level, there is the 5k and the 10k. Both of these events require a tremendous endurance base. You had better be running a significant number of miles in preparation. If you can’t run a lot of miles, you need to cross train extremely hard. Bike, Swim, or Pool run to get your fitness level up. Two other unique events in college are the 1000 meter run in the indoor track season, and the 3000 meter steeplechase outdoors.
These tips should help you with running track. Enough talk. Get out that door and start running!
– Written by David Tiefenthaler