Track & Field Training/Coaching

Bro Mo

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
I'm starting to think about outdoor track season coming up and thinking about how I intend to train my kids this year. I have two daughters running this season:
  1. Daughter 1 (14)
    • 800 (primary)
    • 400 (secondary)
    • High Jump (field)
  2. Daughter 2 (9)
    • 400 (primary)
    • 200 (secondary)
    • Long Jump (field)
I was able to work with them a little in the past with my own training but for the most part their coach would have all the non-hurdling runners basically do some variation of this session:
  1. Warm-Up Jog
  2. Stretching
  3. ABC Drills
  4. 30-60m Accelerations (full recovery)
  5. 4-7x 200m repeats (full recovery)
  6. Jump reps
This is/was kind of an easy strength approach, I think it works fine but might leave too much on the table for their development.

We moved this year and I will be their only coach. I am considering what their training should look like because I have a little more specificity with only two similar athletes than an entire team of runners ranging from 100-1600m events. Because my two athletes are much more similar and we don't have an entire team to consider, I can tailor their training a bit. Even though they are young, I would like to periodize their training a little more. Some things I'm considering so far:
  1. Doing jump drills before the running. I don't want them training a power skill fatigued. Also doing more drills and less full reps.
  2. Shifting the 200 to a more bi-polar session(s) of speed endurance 50-150s and tempo endurance 300-600
  3. Speed work doing up ladders (50-100-150) and full recovery
  4. Tempo work with down ladders (400-300-200) and partial recovery
  5. Dedicating days of the week to one method rather than a little of everything every day
I don't know if I need to worry about shifting their training through the season with anything more than adding a little volume. Some coaches (Hart, Bowerman, Mills) periodize the season/year more than other coaches (Bush, Wright). Both seemed to be plenty successful and youth athletes probably don't need the added complexity.

What are some of your thoughts and experiences with track & field training?
 

Denny Phillips

Triple-Digit Post Count
You're on the right track with your 1-5 bullet points. You are also correct that kids their age do not need the added complexity. Make training productive and not necessarily hard. I would watch the amount of jump training, especially with the nine-year old. I believe steadfastly in building a base of conditioning with some volume work in the off-season, easy distance and GPP work. Science has yet to determine a formula for that base IMO. You know them better than anyone and track training will always be at least as much art as it is science so you need to know how much water and how much fertilizer each girl needs. To me, the kids need to embrace the process.

I will look over my notes and logs from over the years and try to share more specific thoughts if you desire. You do not need my approval, but based on your OP I think you are on to something.
 

kurt perham

Double-Digit Post Count
I see a few things here and i have young athletes/runners in my house 14yo and 2 x 11yo.
-where are they physically? Puberty for the 14yo?
-are they playing OTHER sports??
-the need for training complexity. How many years of "training" do they have? We all know that when that number is in just MONTHS then complexity needed is VERY low.

With my kids who run track...but also play hockey, soccer and lax: our summer is built on some simple strength work (push-pull-core anti). and then 1-2 days of more aerobic work (ez jogs with dad or mom) and 2 days on a track. 1 day being absolute acceleration (nothing more than 30m) and then 1 day of longer reps of 60-120m at a "best average" effort. as someone who has come from endurance sports for 32 years my fear or burnout is VERY high so I try to keep it as low key and fun as I can.

good luck to both of them this season.
 
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