Log in

17 August 2008 @ 11:48 am
Question type: Sports

How I've researched it: I've used Wikipedia, Ask.com, and Google and even the Forks High School official site.

My query: This is more like a few queries, actually.
What occurs during a practice in track and field? What does some one in track do to prepare for a track meet?
Also, what kind of races occur in track? Do they race against only one school, or is it more like a tournament?
Sorry about all the questions; these were just some things I couldn't find much -if any- information on.
Current Mood: geekygeeky
Michellestimulatedlogic on August 17th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC)
I live in California and I was in track 2 years ago so I kind of have a pretty good understanding of how practices work.

For practices we would do two warm up laps around the track, then we would proceed to stretching in a big circle. After stretching we would do what we call 'strides' across the field and those are basically just sprints back and forth and we do about 10 of those. Then we break off into our events to practice.

Before track meets we would do the same thing, but for the warm up laps, we would have to run together in a line to look more organized. Then we do more stretching and we do shorter strides. Finally we just wait for our events to come up. Usually 15 minutes before the race, you would start stretching with the people in your event from your school to get warmed up and sometimes you would take a jog around the inside of the track, but not on the track.

Races in track are broken down to boys and girls. So there would be a 100m for girls and then a 100m for guys. Sometimes races are also broken down to heats when there aren't enough lanes on the track for everybody in that event. How we did it, the first heat was the fastest people in that event. You can look at wikipedia for a list of track events. Note: I'm not sure how it is in other states, but hurdles for girls are only 100m and 300m; guys are 110m and 300m.

For weekday meets, you usually only go against one school. Sometimes you would have a tri-meet, but it's very rare (we only have one every season), adn that's when there's 3 schools competing. There are tournament-like meets and we refer to them as invitationals and they're usually held on Saturdays. Coaches usually only take the best in each event and they try to take as many as possible; not everybody gets to go.

I hope that helped. I'm willing to clear some more things up if I can.
Michellestimulatedlogic on August 17th, 2008 11:06 pm (UTC)
I just thought of a few more things that we did.

I ran the 100m and 300m hurdles, so I had to start off in blocks and we would spend so much time practicing getting out of those blocks to start gaining momentum because it was so important to have a fast start! So we often spend about half an hour doing that on certain days. On dirt tracks, you would hammer in the blocks yourself, but on rubber tracks, they have grips on the blocks so it won't move on rubber tracks. You can opt to not use blocks to start, but we HAD to use blocks because it helps us start off faster.

SHOES! We use track spikes and they're basically just lightweight shoes with about 6 spikes on your toes (you're supposed to run on your toes for sprints). The shoes they have for distance have a heavier padding whereas shoes for sprints are more arched for arch support and usually don't have that much padding. There are so many shoes for different events, I think the best way to get a better understanding is to look on nike.com or something to help you with that. The actual spikes on the shoes are VERY important too and there are rules as to what size spikes you're supposed to use. I ran on dirt tracks most of the season so I used longer spikes to get a grip onto the floor. But when I ran on rubber tracks, I had to change my spikes to be less than .5" (or something like that) or else you were disqualified since you would be damaging the track. We all developed a habit of tightening our spikes before and after every event because they would start to come loose and then they would fall so just HAD to tighten them every now and then. The spikes need to be replaced pretty often depending on how often they are used. I don't use my spikes for warm up laps (it suggested that you wear regular running shoes for warm ups and stretches) so I just had to replace them after 2-3 weeks. But some people go through spikes like crazy and they need to be replaced more often. And again, you can always opt to not use spikes, but it's suggest that you do because it improves your time quite a bit.

Our practices lasted from 2-4 and sometimes even later if we wanted more practice. Meets start around 3 and end at 6 usually depending on how big the other school is. Invitationals are in the morning a majority of the time and consists of about 10 different schools.

Long distance (800m+) practices separately from the field and sprint events. Work outs are different too. Long distance does sprints around the track and then people with 300m and 400m events do some shorter, then people that do 100 and 200m events do the shortest amount.
lurker2209: bloody handslurker2209 on August 18th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
Just a few things not covered above. Like most sports, practices are tougher for the first few weeks of the season to get people into condition, then somewhat less exhausting and more skills-focused after that, when you started preparing for meets.

Track races on the Oregon coast where I went to school were run rain or shine, often rain, given the season. Same would be true for Forks and the schools they schools they compete with.

The 2008 Track schedule for Forks HS is here. (Bottom of 1st page, scroll past boys soccer.)


It looks like most of the meets feature at least three schools, if not more. This is probably due to the fact that all of these schools are classified 1A by the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. In every US state I know of, schools only compete against other schools of about the same size. 1A is the third smallest division in Washington, for High Schools with 188-467 students. So there aren't going to be as many athletes on the track team as would be on a bigger school, and more schools are invited to each meet to fill up the races.

Also, all those dates for 2008 are Thursdays, except for one of the invitationals and the League and District meets.

According to the handbook online, Forks HS gets out at 3:15. Practice would probably start around 3:30 and end around 5:30. In the first part of the season, it would still be getting quite dark by the time practice gets out.