How to Train for Track & Field Events

Track and field is a sport that consists of several events, emphasizing different elements of fitness. Athletes will usually specialize in one or two events, as training and preparation can differ quite a lot between events. A typical track and field meet includes various sprint races and long distance running, hurdle races, jumping events that include the long jump, high jump and pole vault, and throwing events that include shot put and javelin. Training will consist of techniques specific to each event, as well as several common to all.

  1. Stretch well before and after every workout, regardless of the event you are in. Stretch quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, as well as shoulders, back and chest.

  2. Perform plyometrics, or jump training to create explosiveness in your legs. Start in a squat or lunge position, then jump as high as possible for a predetermined number of repetitions. Plyometrics are effective for sprints, as well as jumping events and throwing events to use the legs to catapult yourself into the throw.

  3. Perform kettlebell swings to strengthen the muscles for shot put and javelin. A kettlebell is a round ball weight with a handle. Hold the kettlebell handle with both hands between your feet, your back and knees bent. Explode up with your legs and swing the kettlebell up in front of your body to about chest level. Let the kettlebell fall back down to between your feet and repeat.

  4. Swing the kettlebell up to your chest level, then press it up over your head with one arm in a “clean and jerk” move to strengthen throwing muscles.

  5. Lift weights to strengthen muscles for specific events. Do barbell squats to build powerful legs for sprinting and jumping events. Do shoulder presses and lat pulldowns to create strong shoulders and back muscles for throwing events.

  6. Run or skip in circles that are any diameter in length, two to three times in a row to practice for jumping events.

  7. Lie on your back and place your palms on the ground on either side of your head, with fingers pointing toward your shoulders. Place your feet on the ground and lift yourself up, arching your back in the process. This helps when clearing the bar in a high jump or pole vault.

  8. Perform leg raises, situps, crunches and bridging exercises to build a strong core for all events.

About the Author

Joshua McCarron has been writing both online and offline since 1995. He has been employed as a copywriter since 2005 and in that position has written numerous blogs, online articles, websites, sales letters and news releases. McCarron graduated from York University in Toronto with a bachelor's degree in English.