“Workout of the Week”
This week’s blog is focused on a typical practice day for the Exeter High School. We decided to select a workout day and have an athlete from each of the different disciplines report out on what they thought of the workout and what their goals were. We currently have 98 kids on the roster (54 girls and 44 boys).
We warm up together as a team and then split into the different groups (throwers, distance, and sprinters). Jumpers are grouped into either the throwers group or the sprinting group. The workout last Wednesday for the sprinters is a workout that has been part of my season training plans for at least the past 10 years. I picked this workout up from Clyde Hart, the Baylor University Middle Distance coach. Most of coaches know Clyde as being Michael Johnson’s college coach. The workout is designed to teach younger track athletes to run efficiently with lactic acid, and is ideal for quarter milers. They start out by running 300 meters at a percentage of their 400 meter race pace. With such a large team I typically have kids group up and run this workout together. After they complete the 300 meters in a certain time, they have a one minute rest before running a hard 100 meters. The purpose of the hard 100 meters is not to strain, blow out a hamstring, or get hurt. Its to run fast efficiently while focusing on form with a fatigued body. Once they complete the 300-100 combo, they get a 3 minute recovery before repeating the process. Some runners make 3 sets (1200m of hard running) and other runners are able to complete 5 sets (2000 meters of hard running).
The younger kids typically have a more difficult time with pace and learning how to run for a specific time or with a specific effort. For this reason, I had my younger kids and pure jumpers run a set of repeat 200 meters on 2 minutes rest between sets of the Clyde Hart workout. My upperclassmen and jumpers lead the first few to set the correct pace. These two workouts took place at the same time so I typically have another coach with me working a second stopwatch. We will continue to train through the first couple of meets, running with tired legs, but looking to peak at the end of the championship season. Coach Scaz has the distance runners out on the roads. Violet will speak more about this. Coach Richardson had the throwers and jumpers in the weight room. Nolin will talk more about that.
After a great first week of practice easing back into things, our second week has been spent keeping the ball rolling to get ready to race soon. Our first meet was on the 15th at UNH. This week since the roads, fields, and track are still dry we were all able to train outside. This means we could all split up into our event groups to do some workouts which is why the theme for the blog this week is “Workout of the Week” (keep reading below for more information on this later). Our entire team warms up together at the beginning of practice regardless of the weather, doing a loop around school and then we come back inside to do drills, stretch, and have our meeting.
On Tuesday night, we had our Team Night at Runner’s Alley. It was great to see everyone getting fit for new trainers and flats and checking out all of the great gear they have to offer (and 20% off for team nights too!). On Thursday, we started our fundraiser selling coupons for local restaurants. Overall, it was a busy week for the Blue Hawks!
–Coach Nate Leveille
Nolin Cross: Throws
Being in the weight room helps me and my teammates in many ways. For myself, by increasing my weight, I can use the improvements in that for an increase in my abilities, which can help my distance. As a team however, we are split up by how much we can lift so that we can all work together and get our lifts done faster. On Tuesdays our main lifts consist of hang cleans which helps our speed and agility in many ways. We complete 3 sets of challenging lifts and then finish our lift with core. Having a strong core and being a thrower helps a lot with stability and keeping balanced at the end of your throw staying stable after your throw is finished. The weight room in general helps all of us a lot because we can improve our lifting techniques and with that we can improve technique for specifically in our throws.
Violet Sullivan: Distance
Distance has been building up mileage and starting some workouts. We had our first tempo run of the season on Thursday which we do in a neighborhood nearby EHS. For sprinters/throwers/jumpers, this means slightly slower (by 20-30 seconds) than 5k race pace for a few miles. This week since it was the first tempo of the season we had between 2 and 3 miles for both the girls and boys distance teams. My group of girls warmed up for a mile together easy and went straight into the workout. We spread out running our own paces, but were able to work together. Since it’s a cul-de-sac we cheered and encouraged each other when we looped back. At the end, we regrouped and ran easy back to school for the rest of our mileage.
My favorite part about doing workouts here is that there’s little traffic, it’s relatively flat for track, and it’s great to get to watch everyone pushing themselves when we loop back down the road. I love getting to see how everyone works hard together and watching times go down from cross country and throughout the rest of the season. This workout in particular was great to get back into some speedwork without a lot of pressure. It felt great to open up again and run fast after break, so we were all pretty happy with how it went. Another highlight of the week for us was when Coach Scaz brought in some Hawaiian leis and sunglasses from a work party and we wore them for our Wednesday run. We will definitely be saving these for a day below 0 degrees to wear again :). Middle Distance has been mostly training with the sprinters, but adding in some longer runs too. On Tuesday they ran longer for some endurance work while the sprinters worked specifically on speed. It’ll be especially exciting next week to see some of our XC runners shine at Mid-D events at the meet.
Our sprinters, jumpers, and throwers have been working in and outside with strength work, speed workouts (Dante will describe later), and practicing form. We haven’t started going to practice at UNH yet, but when we do the field events will get more event-specific training time.
Question of the Week
What is your favorite aspect of indoor track (specifically on our team)?
Maeve Donovan (sophomore, distance): “My favorite aspect of indoor track is working collectively as a team to reach our individual goals in workouts and races. It’s the team environment when racing at UNH, and at other meets, that makes this season so special.”
Camilla McAleer (sophomore, sprinting): “I would have to say my favorite aspect of the indoor and outdoor track teams is that they’re like family. We work hard and have fun, creating a friendly atmosphere where everyone feels welcome.”
Kelsey Peirce (senior, jumps): “My favorite part of indoor track is competing, especially at the first meet. It is then you can see the results of the team’s hard work put in during preseason.”
Dante Radigonda: Sprinter
For the sprinters, the workout of the week was split 400’s. The upperclassmen did the split 400’s workout while the freshmen and sophomores took action in a hard set of repeat 200’s. The conditions were cold, they were brutal, but everyone out there was running at exactly the pace they were set to and giving it all they had. We all were looking out for each other and we all made sure we finished the workout as a team. While it may not seem like a lot, doing those split 400’s 4 times over consecutively with a 3 minute rest in between each one, can really test the boundaries for some. Despite the hardship and the fact we couldn’t feel our fingertips, ever sprinter both boy and girl pushed it to their limit, and I was proud to witness such a display of perseverance and strength from everyone out there. With the third week coming up, we will begin our final preparations for the first meet to come. We’re going to run hard and fast, and we’re going to come out strong, every one of us.
Question of the Week:
How did you feel about the split 400 workout this previous Wednesday?
Reed Langevin (Senior, sprinting): “It was nice to finally have the first real track workout of the season, although it hurt a lot the morning after.”
Payton O’Donnell (Sophomore, sprinting): “It was a tough workout to start the season, but the team persevered and pushed through it because we all know we have to come out strong this Saturday.”
Brady Green (Junior, sprinting): “It was an intense workout but nothing we couldn’t handle. We’ll run through anything to be prepared and ready for our first meet.”