Last week, a blizzard dropped 24 inches of snow on us.
On the way to practice this morning, I drove through whiteout conditions and it was so cold out, it hurt.
And we’re supposed to get another foot of snow on Monday.
Whether you’re stuck inside all winter with your sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers, and throwers or forced outside into dangerous conditions with your middle distance and distance runners, you probably have two fears/concerns:
1. Planning effective training that appropriately challenges the correct energy system/s based on your theme for the day/week/month, etc.
2. Avoiding overuse injuries like shin splints and other lower leg injuries.
The #1 goal of training is injury prevention. The #2 goal of training is improved performance.
I’ve been fortunate to only have 2 athletes in my sprints/hurdles/jumps group miss any significant time with lower leg injuries over the past four years. And one was a lazy freshman.
To help you plan quality training this winter, as well as avoid injuries, I’ve pulled together 10 of our best posts on these topics.
MIDDLE DISTANCE & DISTANCE TRAINING
1. Cold Weather Considerations for the Runner gives general guidelines for training in cold weather, particularly in terms of how to dress in order to stay warm, but not overheat.
2. Middle Distance Winter Training details training design and progressions for training middle distance runners during the winter, including an 8 week sample program taken from Scott Christensen’s actual macrocycle.
Hurdle Acceleration & Program Design
3. Winter Training & Athlete Wellness talks about why distance are runners are prone to sickness during winter and gives recommendations for keeping athletes healthy in order to avoid missing training time.
4. Planned Balance (Multilateral Training) for Cross Country Runners explains why distance coaches and athletes would benefit from developing better overall athletes through adding speed, strength, coordination, and mobility training to their annual plans instead of doubling down on more aerobic work.
SPRINTS, HURDLES, JUMPS, AND THROWS TRAINING
1. Training in the Hallways: Bad Weather Options for the Track and Field Coach gives specific hallway/inside options for every type of training, as well as for each of the speed/power event groups.
2. Cold Weather Training Options gives some specific ways to modify training when you have no choice but to train outside in the cold, yet still achieve your training goals.
3. Winter Workouts for Hurdles shares over 40 workouts for your sprint hurdlers, as well as 300 and 400 hurdlers.
4. Winter Break Workouts shares ideas and examples of workouts athletes can do on their own, whether during winter break, a day off from school or if you only have access to your athletes a few days per week.
INJURY PREVENTION AND REHABILITATION
1. 3 Ways to Avoid Shin Splints explains the three primary reasons athletes get shin splints and other lower leg injuries, as well as how to avoid them and resolve them once they happen.
2. A Guide to Handling Hamstring Injuries for the Coach explains myths behind, causes of, and solutions to hamstring injuries.
Take the time to read these articles and you'll add dozens of ideas, workouts, cues, drills, and exercises you can use to help maximize the impact of your workouts during the winter, as well as avoid and resolve sickness and common injuries.