Winter base training is a vital part of the track and field season for high school athletes. Base training helps create a foundation for those long races, run in the spring. Here are some elements to putting together the perfect base training schedule.

Long Runs – Long runs are a staple of any track athlete’s training. Longer distance running helps to build aerobic capacity, which allows athletes to run at their maximum effort for longer amounts of time than they would be able to otherwise. Long runs should happen every 7-10 days and should consist of 20% – 30% of your weekly mileage. Long runs should also be run at an easy effort.

Strength Training – Strength is an important aspect of the success of track and field events, as it can help improve overall performance. Long-distance running can help improve leg strength, but it is also important to lift weights. Most track athletes should be lifting twice a week for 30 minutes at a time during base training with reps of 12 or less and sets of either two or three. If possible, it is a good idea to work with a strength coach or personal trainer to ensure you don’t get injured.

Hills – Hills are like long runs on steroids! Hills help build strength and speed. Long hills should happen once a week during base training with reps between 80 – 150 meters depending on athlete fitness level.

Easy Days – Long runs and hills are usually pretty tough, but easy days help athletes recover from those difficult workouts. Easy running should be done at an effort of 70% or less for 45 – 60 minutes per day depending on the athlete’s fitness level.

A well-executed winter base will help athletes improve their speed and strength. It is important to remember that when putting together a base training plan, it should be done in order of easy effort-building workouts first, followed by pushing yourself harder during more intense running sessions.

Good luck with your training, we look forward to seeing you on the track.