How to Prepare for College Track and Field Events

December 1, 2011
by Justin

You are back on The Fast Track with the @HempsteadHuddle. The Fast Track is a college level track and field blog for high school athletes. Last week was all about speed training and this week is all about training for college track and field events like the 100-meter dash, the long jump, and the 400-meter hurdles.


College Track and Field Events: The 100-Meter Dash

The 100-meter dash is a race that is over in a blink of an eye. Speed training, which is something I covered in volume one, is imperative. One of the great drills to increase your explosion at the college track and field level is resistance-based, speed-building drills. The parachute resistance sprint is an excellent drill for speed training. Not only does this drill increase quickness and explosion, but this workout improves acceleration and top end speed. These are the major assets needed to thrive in the 100-meter dash. When running with the speed chute, have your workout partner hold the parachute above your head as you enter your ready position. Explode into your start and accelerate until you are running at 75% of your top speed. Be sure to emphasize proper hip movement and drive your knees as high as you can with each step forward. Here is a great video, showing you how college track and field athletes properly train with a speed chute.


College Track and Field Events: The 400-Meter Hurdles

The 400-meter hurdles college track and field event is an extension of the 330-meter event in high school. This event is known as the toughest event in track and field because of all the skills needed to compete, let alone complete the race. The first aspect of running any hurdling event is timing and running consistent steps between each hurdle. The second most important facet to running this extended college track and field event is endurance. Some of the most brutal falls in track and field history have occurred in the 400 hurdles, so having enough stamina to push through the wall is imperative. Most track and field athletes that run the hurdles usually excel in middle distance like the 800 and are very strong 400-meter runners. The 800 is a perfect event to run to increase stamina for the serious 400 hurdlers.


College Track and Field Events: The Long Jump

There are four great drills that are needed to be an exemplary long jumper. The standing long jump is a great warm-up/drill that will get you ready to move into the next progression. The emphasis of this drill is on the proper, accordion style landing. The next drill is the Grouchos, a drill that focuses on improving the penultimate step. Be sure to bend three to four inches at the knee while driving forward, simulating the natural long jump progression. Be sure not to raise your center of mass during this section of the long jump drill. High knees are a discipline to have down, when the long jumper is focusing on improving their launch-point power.


The forward arm movement drill is an important training progression, which emphasizes the proper arm movement needed to increase forward momentum. The run, run jump drill is imperative when keeping the long jumper from scratching during the college track and field event. Here is a great video, breaking down these helpful drills, step by step.

The spring will be here before you know it, so if you want to reap the benefits of hard work, the time is now. Give these drills and techniques a try and you will see results. Until you get your next track and field gold medal, I’ll be here on the Fast Track. This is Yorick Hempstead, signing off.


Yorick Hempstead is an ex-college athlete who is a sports blogger for ScoutMe. He is always talking sports on twitter @HempsteadHuddle.

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