ASK AN EXPERT: What are some suggestions for where to practice track events when a track isn’t available?

Kevin Christian Distance, High Jump, Hurdles, Long Jump, Other/Miscellaneous, Pole Vault, Relays, Shot Put, Sprints/Speed, Triple Jump 4 Comments

My team doesn’t have consistent access to a track for the upcoming season. Does anyone have suggestions for an alternate practice location when a track isn’t available? (I’m looking for field events practice area suggestions, too, but running events are a higher priority at this point.) Thank you.


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Comments 4

  1. If you are creative and can embrace what you DO have, I believe off track training can be as productive as track training.

    But this is a very complex issue, mostly based on what events and what time of the season this is occurring, and what facilities ARE available. For example, early season (January-March) our distance runners never stepped on a track except for their indoor races.

    Hurdlers, on the other hand, we’d find some place to practice 2-4 hurdles at about 80-90% distance at least once a week; if not on our very crappy indoor track, then on the basketball court or in our carpeted hallway.

    Sprinters can do short sprints in a hallway, acceleration drills in a 25m straight anywhere, running stairs, plyometrics on a wrestling or gymnastics mat, Olympic weightlifting, etc., etc. where there’s a will there’s a way!

  2. My recommendations are for having practice inside.

    For jumpers and hurdlers I would work on cadence. If I’m running on tile or gym floor I’m not running full speed. For jumping I would work on drive phase and tempo down runway. I believe trying to use measurements from outside to work inside or visa versa is not effective. For hurdlers I’m getting small hurdles and work on 3 step tempo putting hurdles at whatever distance that helps achieve this. (Side note: when we’re outside our hurdles for workouts are never at regulation height or distance).

    For throws (discus), I have them fold a towel length wise in half and work on foot drills throwing into wall. You only want to be about 10 feet from wall. It’s not necessary to be that far from wall. For shot put we use med-ball and throw against wall. Placement of med-ball is very important to avoid injury. Place med-ball in middle of chest and throw with two hands, as if mimicking a chest pass in basketball. For these basic foot (body placement) drills it’s unnecessary to have med-ball on neck.

    These modifications will allow you work on some technical aspects while preventing you to cancel practice due to some bad weather.

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