Summer Training Ideas for Sprints, Hurdles & Jumps

Posted by Marc Mangiacotti

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DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince certainly covered a lot of topics in their song Summertime, but who would have thought they could of actually been talking about track & field and summer training? Below are my favorite lyrics to this song:

“School is out and it’s a sort of a buzz
but back then I didn’t really know what it was
but now I see what have of this
the way that people respond to summer madness”

Each time I sing these lyrics in my head I am compelled to think these guys truly understood the excitement of attending a track camp or clinic in the summer months. 

Track camps and clinics are exciting opportunities for high school athletes. During these sessions athletes get an opportunity to stay active, learn more about their craft and meet other athletes that are equally interested in the sport of track & field. Since most high school athletes choose to take a few months off, it is fantastic to think there are some who want to participate in our sport during the summer months.  That’s pretty cool!

For the past 14 years I have worked summer camps and clinics. In most cases the athletes that attend are highly motivated tracksters. However, some of these motivated athletes show up in shape while others do not.  It is crucial that athletes that attend a track camp or clinic show up with at least a baseline level of good fitness. 

At the 2-day clinic we host in July the hurdles group will cover things like:

1)    Dynamic Warm Up (40-45 minutes)
2)    Sprint Drills – Set A (15-20 minutes)
3)    Hurdle Mobility – Static (15-20 minutes)
4)    Hurdle Drills (15-20 minutes)
5)    Block Set Up (15-20 minutes)
6)    Acceleration Drills (15-20 minutes)
7)    Cut Step Drills (15-20 minutes)
8)    Drill to help athletes run off the hurdle (15-20 minutes)
9)  Hurdling over barriers 1, 2, & 3 (20-30 minutes

We typically cover training concepts like this in the very first session of day 1, which is followed by three more similar sessions throughout the clinic. Therefore, the athletes need to have some sort of fitness training leading up to the clinic or they will fade as the clinic progresses.

If you are a coach that has athletes attending a camp or clinic over the summer make sure they are working out leading up to the event.  If you are a parent of one of these athletes it is important that you do the same.  Athletes that are not fit will fade fast and will not fully benefit from the camp instruction or receive the results they desire. The fit athletes will get far more out of the camp or clinic. 

If your athletes or children are not part of a summer training group it is okay.  Just make sure they are staying active.  Swimming, biking and other fitness related activities are great. Do you need some ideas of things to do with your son or daughter? Okay, here you go.

Click here to read an article I wrote on the “Circle of Truth.”  This is a workout I use to find out the truth about who did and did not do their offseason training.  This workout builds fitness levels and overall strength.

You can also click here to read an article about winter break workouts while athletes are away.  There are some good ideas including running, biking, and alternative workouts to stay in shape. 

One workout I use at the end of a running session during the season is called the “Big 10”.  This circuit involves push-ups and sit-ups. The “Big 10” is:

10 push-ups and sit-ups
9 push-ups and sit-ups
8 push-ups and sit-ups
7 push-ups and sit-ups
6 “
5 “
4 “
3 “

Over the summer I ask the athletes to complete this workout on a grass or turf football field. I also ask them to add in a 70% technical build up in between exercises.  I’ll explain that all of the push-ups are to be done on one goal line and all of the sit-ups on the opposite goal line. Therefore, there is a running/fitness component to this workout.  During this workout the athlete will do 55 push-ups and sit-ups and cover 2,000m of running.  There is no resting! Straight exercising.

You can also do this same thing with your favorite body weight circuit.  I will usually pick 20 exercises such as push-ups, sit-ups, prisoner squats, back hypers, V-sits, Incline push-ups, crunches, rocket jumps, sky divers, calf raises, etc…  I try to hit each area of the body at least once during the circuit.  I will ask athletes to complete 20 of each exercise then do a 100m technical build up at 70-75%.  This is a complete body circuit coupled with running to build up the fitness level of each athlete.

These are a few simple examples that your athletes, son, or daughter can utilize to get ready for any track camp or clinic.  There are tons of workouts that athletes can perform while on summer vacation even if it is at an island resort. 

Please feel free to post your favorite summer oriented workout that you prescribe to your athletes below.  The best way to learn is to steal other people’s ideas.  Let’s try to help each other out.

What is your favorite summer workout that you ask your athletes to complete?

– Marc Mangiacotti

Follow me on Twitter: @MarcMangiacotti

Marc Mangiacotti - Marc Mangiacotti enters his seventh season as an assistant coach with the Crimson for the 2018-19 school year. He oversees the men’s sprinters and hurdles for Harvard University. He is a USA Track & Field Level I and II certified coach in sprints, hurdles, relays, jumps and combined events. Mangiacotti came to Harvard after a two-year tenure at Brown University. During his time in Providence, R.I., he made a big impact on the Bears’ sprinters, coaching five Ivy League champions that combined for nine league titles. He also coached 15 athletes that earned All-Ivy League credentials and saw his group break four school records.

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