Is your child planning to come out for the Comets this season? Great! You might be wondering what you should be doing now to help prepare your child for track and field season. The answer is very little. No off-season conditioning or prior experience is required. Our track club seeks to offer ALL kids an opportunity to experience track and field.
Our season starts in mid-April and the first few weeks of practice will mostly be easy running/drills so we can build each athlete’s athletic base before progressing to speed workouts later in the season. This approach reduces the likelihood of injury and helps build each athlete’s confidence.
As for gear…track and field is one of the few sports that doesn’t require spending large sums of money at a sporting goods store in advance of the season. No equipment purchases are necessary as our club provides all the needed equipment (shot puts, hurdles, javelins, starting blocks, etc). The only thing we ask is that each child has a good pair of running shoes if participating in a running event. There are several local running stores in the area that can help fit your child if you need assistance in selecting a pair of running shoes.
The Comets season has come to an end for the summer, but many of our athletes will be joining the Brocaw Blazers for the fall cross country season.
Here’s what some of our team has to say about why they love cross country in the fall.
“I love Brocaw because I get the chance to hang out with my friends and coaches while doing a workout. Also, we get to a fun trip together each year to the National Cross Country meet. Cross country makes me a better runner because we do core and balances every practice to help us get stronger.” ~Haley, Age 13
“I love Brocaw because I love running! The team gives me an opportunity to do what I love with a fun group of kids that also love to run. It makes me a better runner because I’m able to train alongside some of the best runners in the country, on a team that is consistently among the best in the nation.” ~Eloise, Age 10
“Being a part of the Brocaw Blazers has been a great experience. Coach Ramsey is an awesome coach who really cares about all of his runners. I have not only made progress as a runner, but made a bunch of friends!” ~Jack, Age 14
It’s not just the athletes that like cross country. The Comets coaches support the Brocaw Blazers in a variety of ways and encourage runners to consider cross country as a good fall activity.
“Running cross country in the fall is a great way to develop a foundation of strength and endurance. Besides just being a fun experience, the fitness that is gained and the the skills that are developed during the cross country season can definitely help an athlete to approach their spring/summer track season with greater confidence and enthusiasm.” ~Chris Boos, Head Coach
“Running cross country is a great experience for any track and field athlete. It is going to push you in ways track hasn’t and make you an all around tougher runner. The aerobic boost you will get from cross country will definitely help you into track in the spring! Especially 400m and 800m specialist. In cross country, your teammates quickly become family as you all train and focus on the same race and goal. I highly encourage all athletes to at least try cross country for one season.” ~Ethan Ferrell, Assistant Coach – Sprints
This area cross country club attracts about 200 athletes metro wide and practices in three convenient locations. Practices begin August 29. Visit the Brocaw Blazers website for more information.
Do you do the long-jump and run the 4x400m? Buckle up. Even if your events are somewhere in-between those, on competition day, you are in for a LONG day at the track! What should you eat to stay ready all day? It’s all about preparation and knowing your body. Take a look at the tips below for how to stay fueled to run your best at a track meet.
Make sure to fuel the day before your meet! Stick to foods you are familiar with and think lots of healthy carbs, lean proteins and not a lot of fats. Stick with normal portion sizes. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water with and between each meal throughout the day.
Day of the meet, eat a well balanced breakfast that your body is familiar with, is easy to digest and has whole foods. Include carbs, some lean proteins and healthy fats. Avoid overly sugary/simple carbs, your body will burn through those too quickly.
Ideas: -Toast, English muffin or bagel with peanut butter, glass of low fat milk, a banana and water -Eggs, toast and peanut butter, glass of low fat milk, berries and water -Low fat yogurt, not very sugary granola that has some nuts, banana, glass of juice and water
Pack snacks! Everyone’s body is different, but be sure you are eating with plenty of time before your race for your body to digest, especially if you are running longer races. You should be eating something small every 2-3 hours at the meet, and within 60 minutes post race. Keep the snacks simple to digest and portions small.
Ideas: -Banana (the runner’s favorite fruit! Packed with potassium which will help ward off cramps.) -Bagel (yummy carbs!)-Gatorade (restores electrolytes you burned off while running) -Peanut butter & crackers (protein, good fats, and carbs!) -Berries, apples, oranges
Pack water! It is essential that you stay hydrated at your track meet. Your body loses a significant amount of water being in the hot sun all day. Your performance can suffer even with small levels of dehydration. Don’t gorge all at once though, drink a small but steady amount of water throughout the day.
Post meet. After pushing yourself, your body is like a sponge ready to absorb nutrients to help repair, rebuild and refuel your muscles. Focus on refueling with carbohydrates and lean proteins with a small amount of healthy fats.
Being injured doesn’t mean you have to sit on the sidelines completely. The road to recovery can be a long and bumpy ride, but there are a few things you can do to stay race ready while you rest. Coach Torres offers his tips for managing injuries during the running season.
Rest to Recover At the top of the list is rest. You must take time out from running to recovery. Rest the muscle or injured area as much as possible.
Ice Therapy It is an age old idea that stands the test of time. Ice the area 2 to 3 times a day for 15 to 20 minutes.
This simple answer is yes, running is a year-round sport. Heat can cause complications like dehydration, muscle cramps, and exhaustion. The good news is, there are simple and easy ways to stay active when it’s hot outside. Coach Boos offers his top three tips for athletes.
Stay Hydrated This does not mean drink water right when it is time to run. Drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Remember, the three most important times to drink water are first thing in the morning, one hour before your run, and right before bed. How much water should you drink? That’s a complicated question, but here is what WebMD recommends.
Dress for Success Wear light-toned, breathable clothing when exercising in the heat.
Assess Yourself Listen to your body. Check for your signs and symptoms of heat-related illness. If you start to experience any dizziness, nausea, chills, or stop sweating, cease exercising and let your coach or running partner know immediately. They can help you get the care you need.
Pro Tip from a Running Mom: To cool down quickly, place cold compress or ice on your pressure points – wrists, inside of the elbow, back of the knee, and neck.