All About Track Season – Track and Field Tips for Beginner Athletes

Natalie Cecconi
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Track Season Schedule

Track and field competitions are not seasonal. You never know when your next competitive opportunity will come. This is why it is critical for all track and field athletes to maintain a high level of readiness all year round, not just during track and field season.

Track season gets underway in about March and stretches into mid-June. During this period, the majority of track and field events and meets take place.

Some events may have tournaments scheduled throughout the year and not just during the track season. For example, running meets are held year round and during wrestling season.

The postseason competitions can last from August through November, and include the World Championships and Olympic Games.

In addition to individual performances, women’s and men’s teams also compete during the track season. They have their own tournaments that take place during the indoor and outdoor seasons.

Traditionally, the indoor season takes place from February through May, while the outdoor season runs from June through September.

Track Participation FAQs

Track and field participation FAQs provided by an expert in track and field sport. She is a technical sports writer that focuses on athletic development training of athletes of all ages and skill levels. You can get tips from her regarding track and field.

Track and field is a sport that actually does require a lot of hard work. This is something that a lot of people do not believe since they believe that being a track athlete is about having a particular body type and not getting enough food to be healthy.

This is where the Track and Field FAQs come in handy. Track and field is actually one of the fastest sports when it comes to gaining experience. You can be able to participate in a lot of games since school track team usually has a lot of campus events during the year.

This will be very exciting to anyone who is passionate about running. It will also help individuals learn a lot about track and field.

Here are some of the things you should know about Track and Field FAQs as a beginner.

Q: What is track and field?

A: Track and field is a sport that features a number of different sports that all take place on running tracks. The sports included in this category are usually sprinting, jumping, discuses and different kinds of throws.

Take a look at this website to learn more.

Q: What are the different events in track and field?

What grades can participate in track?

Track can be an exciting sport for kids of all shapes and sizes. It’s a terrific way for young children to start building confidence in sports and to develop a healthy lifestyle.

Track can also be a good choice for kids who are stronger in cardiovascular fitness but lack coordination. Running and jumping into starting blocks or over hurdles takes a lot of practice, especially considering that kids are at a stage in their lives when they are still developing physically and mentally.

There are different levels at which kids can participate in track. If your athlete is new to track, the most common option is to sign up for the beginning track league. In most cases, they will be placed on to a team and run the immediate track meet.

Lower level youth track teams will usually practice between two and three times a week. Once the athlete enters high school, they will have track practice 4 to 5 days a week.

If your athlete struggles with the jumps and their bodyweight, focus on sprinting and distance running.

If coordination is still a challenge, put the emphasis on speed and endurance.

Are there youth clubs for track?

If you are looking for a youth club to join for running, jumping or throwing, then you will find one in your area.

Most towns and cities, no matter how small, have track and field connection.

This is very true if you live near a major university sporting department like English universities that attract many foreign students.

Just check out your local newspapers and surf the web. There is a track and field club for all ages and abilities, from school kids to old retired Olympians.

Once you have joined, the club coach will organize practices and fun competitions for you to participate in.

You will learn how to be a competitor and meet lots of new friends.

Common Events in Track

Because there are so many different track and field events, it’s common to think of track and field activities as a whole. However, there are actually quite a few individual events that each Olympian must go through to win a gold medal! This post will introduce you to the various track and field events you might encounter in a track meet.

Sprinting events are the most popular kind of track and field events, and you will typically see these in the 100-meter, 200-meter, and 400-meter races. Races in this category include:

  • 100-meter dash
  • 200-meter dash
  • 400-meter dash
  • 800-meter dash
  • 1,500-meter dash
  • 5,000-meter run
  • Marathon

Sprinting events are typically won by the runner who is the fastest over a certain distance, but all of these competitions involve facing other runners. In fact, a runner needs to be able to anticipate the actions of their competitors before they enter the final lap in a sprinting event.

Because the sprinting events are so popular and, as we mentioned, involve other competitors, this is when some controversial decisions can happen.


Track is a middle-distance race in which runners compete in a 400-meter oval lane. The track is generally in the shape of a metric or imperial oval of approximately 400 meters. Track is run counterclockwise. The track is usually flat and even.

Once all the athletes are seated in rows, the top or front runners are in the first section, usually the innermost lanes. The next row, usually located just behind them, are the middle runners. Lastly are the lower or outer row.

During track season, dozens of races are held. Each one has its own lane and starting position based on the speed times of the athletes. Competitors are given up to two minutes to warm up before the beginning of each race.


Relays and Jumps: Run Like a True Track & Field Athlete

If you are new to the world of track and field and want to make your first steps on the track, here are a few suggestions for you:

Learn the offical lingo:

Learn the nomenclature of the different track and field events to enjoy your Olympic experience to the fullest.

Watch the track and field event at Rio 2016:

Keep an eye out for Olympic track games like the 100 m, the 200 m, the 400 m, the 4 x 100 m relay, the long jump, the triple jump and the high jump.

Watching these top track and field athletes can give you some excellent insight into certain techniques and a yardstick to compare your skills with.

Rule No. 1: The starting blocks:

The starting blocks help to achieve maximum acceleration and speed. So, here is a quick guide to make sure you use the blocks correctly.

Your knees should be at a 90-degree angle.

Keep your feet on the ground on the starting line.

Align your toes and knees with the blocks and lock your hands on your thighs.

Stay relaxed until the gun goes off to signal the start of the race.

Rule No. 2: The 100 m dash:


Relays are always exciting to watch, and with track & field having a long history in the Olympics, relays are a big deal. From the 100meter to the 4×100 and the 4x400m, relays come in many forms, but there are a few basic characteristics that must be addressed if you want to master them.


When learning how to jump and throw in track and field, coaches will give you the proper form, but it’s still important to practice the movements to build and maintain muscle memory. Begin with your arms outstretched in front of you. Then, in a split second, rotate your arms so they’re at your sides with your elbows bent. This action allows your arms to generate some power and momentum.

When learning to jump and throw, one of the first things you need to do is master the proper steps for each event.

There are a number of variations in the steps used for each event, but the technique is the same for most.

Foot position, knee position and hip position all create the proper angle for a more efficient jump or throw.

Beginners often think they need to jump as high as possible when learning to jump and throw in track and field.

But the angle that you’re shaping when you position your knees and hips is what creates the upward trajectory of a jump.

With a little practice, you’ll be able to jump a little higher than you expect.


Throwing track and field events frequently involve circling the track or approaching the runway perpendicularly in several short sprints. You will never be running directly down the middle of the runway.

Throwing events generally have a starting angle, somewhere between 30 and 45 degrees from the high jump pit.

The thrower will accelerate to a top running speed from the starting position, then plant his left foot, push off with the front leg, and then throw using all available momentum.

It is important not to accelerate too quickly at the beginning. Start slowly and gradually pick up the pace as time passes. This is especially important when it comes to sprinting.


Positioning and line training are also essential skills that every successful thrower needs to have. Professional throwers practice these skills regularly. They know exactly where the throwing line is and how to properly position themselves for the throw. Practice helps them develop a sixth sense about the necessary direction, distance and angle to properly throw the shot, discus, or javelin.

Most of the time, throwing events are designed to test the ability of athletes to be explosive off of the starting block, maintain a solid footing while sprinting, and then, focus enough to board the shot or discus at the last second.

If your goal is to become a top thrower at any track and field event, make sure you practice these skills before competing.

Season-Specific Track Events

When you first enter track and field, you may be overwhelmed with all the events. Of course it is a very cathartic sport, and athletes love to share what their event is and what hurdles they have to deal with.

The key is to start with the basics and proceed from there. Let’s start with the sprints and hurdles and then progress to the field events.

The sprints generally start with the 50 meters and then progress to longer distances such as the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters.

The hurdles are the next events that you may run in a track meet. These are quite different from hurdling in the Olympics. In track and field, it is more of an explosive event and you can jump over lower heights.

Sprints end with the 4×100 relay where two athletes run the preliminary leg (100 meters) and hand off to two teammates who run a longer, final leg.

Field events include the shot put, hammer throw, discus throw, high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, and javelin throw.

When you’re starting out, I would suggest that you focus on the events that are most familiar and comfortable for you.

For example, as a beginner, you may not be very experienced at the high jump. I would probably stick to the sprints and hurdles.

Event FAQs

The final questions to answer are about the events and their frequency. Following are the most common track and field events, their primary uses, and typical training needs.

When you’re training, ask yourself the following questions to see if you’re ready for your next track event.

When training for an event, focus on the following tips:

Learn how to sprint effectively and safely.

Improve your long distance endurance.

If you have to train for a 400m sprint, your strong suit of endurance may not be as critical as being able to sprint quickly from start to finish.

Some events require a mixture of speed, endurance, timing, and stamina.

For example, the Triple Jump requires an athlete to possess both a lot of speed and endurance.

Just because your strong suit of endurance isn’t needed, doesn’t mean it’s not important to your track workouts.

Stamina plays a crucial role in helping you maintain a rhythm or pace. You might also need good willpower to push through a tough workout or stay motivated during a track meet.

Lastly, you need to be aware of any condition that may put you at a higher risk for injury. Never push past your limits and always listen to your body.

Can athletes compete in more than one event?

Mary Decker, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Carl Lewis, Michael Johnson, Hicham El Guerrouj.

These athletes were or are all multi-talented athletes who competed in, or in many cases, excelled in more than one sport. And it’s never too early or too late to start honing those skills.

If you’ve been focusing on sprinting in your track and field training, you might want to sneak in a few hurdles or long distance training at your local track and give it a go.

With a little bit of training, you might be surprised at how much expertise you can gain that can help you perform better in another event.

There are almost endless ways you can cross train an event. One particular training method is to do workouts that work your fast twitch muscles.

Starting Out

If you are new to track and field sports, you’ll probably begin training in the track and field events you’re naturally good at I.E you have a good vertical jump, fast foot speed or run long distances.

However, as you improve the more advanced athletes start to look for extra training methods to help them improve and perfect their capabilities.

What’s the difference between track and cross-country?

The two most popular track-and-field events are sprints and distance runs. There are many distance running events, including the 1500 meters, the 5,000 meters, the 3,000 meters, and the 10,000 meters. Track running events include the 60 meters, also known as the 100 yard dash, the 200 meters, the 800 meters, and the 1,500 meters. Some of these events are held both indoors and outdoors.

The most popular track-and-field events fall into three categories: sprints, middle distance, and long distance. This article will focus on the sprint races, which are also known as track events. The short-distance races, including the 60, 100, and 200-meter sprints, make up the sprints.


Sprints are for runners who are small and fast.

A sprint is a short race that lasts anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds. These races, which are track and field’s shortest races, are among the most exciting and demand the most athleticism. A 200-meter sprinter, for example, will have somewhere around 6 to 10 seconds to complete his or her race.

To win a sprint event, you must be a great finisher.

How do new athletes figure out what events to do?

When considering track and field for the first time, your first hurdle is getting started. After all, track and field is a diverse sport that includes a wide variety of different events. Just taking a look at the entries in the index of a typical meet program can be enough to put some athletes off completely.

Fortunately, there are a number of steps you can take to get started, and to figure out where your athletic strengths and interests lie.

Linear jump training is the type of endurance training that takes years to develop, and decades to perfect. Although it may seem like a natural talent, in reality, its development is a grueling process of trial and error. With the help of the right coach, and the right equipment, proper training can help make you a better athlete, as well as help you get better stops in football .

There’s one other aspect of basic track training that’s overlooked a lot of the time. Most track and field events work on your power output, or the speed with which you deliver force to the ground. You don’t have to “lift weights” to gain power, however. In fact, relatively light weight training can help you develop power like a bodybuilder. The key to training for power as a track and field athlete is in the training itself.

What are the most difficult events?

Because track and field events require such a wide range of skills, they can be a little more challenging to learn. You can even find some people who say that they have a tough time with an event that they feel very familiar with.

The most difficult events because of the number of skills you have to master include:

  • 100 meters
  • Long jump
  • High jump
  • 110 hurdles
  • Shot put
  • Long and triple jump
  • 60 meters

Although all track and field events are challenging in their own way, you can find the following tips helpful for learning any event, in particular:

{1}. Pick an event that fits your body – If you are tall, you are not limited to just long jump or high jump. You could also try the long jump if you have enough muscle strength and long legs to jump far enough. Conversely, you may also consider moving up in distance, i.e. 60 meters instead of 100 meters, if you have shorter legs.
{2}. Some events are harder for beginners – Back then, I remember feeling like long jump was the hardest sport to learn. Apart from the skills, it was the mental strength I had to develop.

After a few years, I have had the exact opposite experience with the 400-meter hurdles. I could jump pretty far but when it came to the hurdles, I felt very limited in my strength and speed.

Equipment and Gear

To become the best athlete that you can be, it’s important to have the proper gear and equipment.

During track and field, almost every piece of equipment is specialized to help you improve your performance.

To transition from recreational athlete into a competitive athlete, you need to make some choices. For the iconic athletes of today and yesterday, these choices are obvious.

However, for the beginner, with no professional track and field training in your background, it can be a bit more difficult.

We have created this guide to help you understand the difference between different competitive track and field events. This will help you understand the type of shoes, spikes or other equipment you need for your event.

Depending on what type of event you will compete in, the type of equipment you need varies.

Note that you don’t necessarily have to try all events to decide which ones you want to focus on. It is possible to excel in one event, but only take part in a few others just for fun.

The following are a few featured track and field events, to get you started:

Sprint distances:

  • 100m dash
  • 200m dash
  • 400m dash
  • 800m dash
  • 1500m run
  • 5000m run
  • 10000m run
  • 110m hurdles
  • 400m hurdles

Shoe Specific FAQs

What is the difference between traditional spikes and sprint spikes or bending flats?

Traditional track shoes use screws and small prongs on the sole of the shoe to help dig into the track. As the name suggests, sprint spikes and bending flats have the spikes spaced closer together and use rubber to gain traction. Traditional track shoes are a bit longer and have a longer spike length for larger body types. Sprint spikes and bending flats are shorter and have a shorter spike length for typical body types.

Does it matter which type of spike I use?

Whether you use traditional or sprint spikes, it’s really just a personal preference. Both types work if you know how to use them. Many athletes use both types based on cost, availability and personal preference. The spikes you choose might come down to that.

How do I clean my spikes?

When spikes get wet, the rubber and spikes will stay dirty rather than drying. When you’re finished running, remove the spikes and allow them to air dry completely. You can use a hose to completely remove all the excess water (razor blades don’t work since they’ll cut the spikes). You can also use a dry towel and push the spikes in to remove water, or you can dry off the spikes with your own breath, but be careful not to blow on the rubber.


A typical track practice is very intense and focused. The intensity can be daunting for a beginner because it’s not something you would normally do on a daily basis. But the concentration and focus that is needed on the track make it a great place to improve your mental aspects of training.

Practices are pretty much the same every day. The emphasis in the beginning is to work on technique of the fundamental events.

Down the line, in high school and college, there are many specialized workouts that are done.

These include relays, hurdles, sprints, jumps, throws and distance training.

Technique is still the main focus on most workouts, but there are a lot of focus put on the mental focus.

These workouts are designed to push the athlete to their breaking point and expose the weak points.

Most athletes don’t excel in all aspects of track.

So for someone to be great against the clock in the mile, they may not be as good in the sprints or the relays.


Although many consider track and field to be a single sport, it’s actually made up of a few different disciplines. Track and field competitions are broken down into three main disciplines – sprints, middle distance races and longer-distance races.

Each have their own events and even their own competitions.

Track meets are the competitions that track and field takes place in. A track meet may include all events or just a select few like the 400 meter race.

In addition to their own competitions, track meets typically include a field event competition. Field events include events like shot put and high jump – events that aren’t strictly on the track.

When you enter a track meet, you must know if you are entering as an individual or as part of a team.

The team is determined by school, club or family. You also need to decide if you are entering as an open or restricted athlete.

An open athlete is an athlete who has not yet attained their age group’s gender qualifying marks. A restricted athlete is one who has met those qualifying marks.

At meets, all athletes enter the same races and must follow the same rules. In direct competition, the athlete with the best time or score advances.

Concluding Thoughts

Track and field is one of the most versatile team sports practiced in the high school level. Video: Track and Field Events Video

It’s easy to practice at home, in your own safe environment, without the fear of being hit by a ball. Besides, it tones up the leg muscles.

If you want to try it out yourself, you need a proper track and field equipment. The shoes alone are as expensive as a pair of sneakers and more often than not, they are worn out pretty soon.

So it’s better to invest in good quality, durable running shoes if you plan to join track and field.

And if you can, join a local track club where they can teach you the basics and mold you into a reasonably good runner.


There will always be another year and another chance to try for.

Here’s wishing you a happy, exciting, and better track season.

And Remember

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