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Top Tips for Track Running!
Top Tips for Track Running!

A dedicated article to help you with Track Training!

Sam avatar
Written by Sam
Updated over a week ago

❓Top-tips for Track Running

Fancy yourself as a bit of a ‘speedster’? Time to switch up your summer season and add some track racing in. Here are our top tips ☀️

Athletics Track Construction | Sports Surfaces

🏃 Why you should give TRACK A Crack!

Track is a great way for you to get some variety into your training, no matter what distance you do. By doing shorter and faster races/workouts, you will increase your anaerobic capacity and turnover, which will be a massive benefit to you long-term when training for your half-marathon or marathon. Just think, the faster you can run one mile, the easier your half-marathon / marathon mile pace will feel.

📚 Track FAQs

What event should I do?

On track, you have the option to do multiple ‘distance’ events. Typically, you will find 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m or 10,000m. Each event is equally difficult in its own unique way, and it all depends on your strengths. If you have pure speed, try out the 800m or 1500m. Alternatively, if you believe you are more of a speed-endurance type of runner, 3000m + may be the event for you.

What training should I do?

There are various training styles that you need to work on for track:

  • Speed/Lactate tolerance workouts – they increase your tolerance to lactic acid and improve your top-end speed. These sessions are meant to hurt!

Example: 8 x 200m with 2 minutes recovery on track, road or on a gradient. You could see this kind of training in one of your Runna Interval or Hill workouts.

  • VO2 workouts – they improve your maximum uptake of oxygen, typically around your 3K race pace.

Example: 12 x 400m with the same recovery as the repetition. You could see this kind of training in one of your Runna Interval workouts.

  • Threshold/tempo – workouts that can be sustained for longer periods of time before your body starts to break down from lactic acid buildup. These are kept at a sub-maximal effort.

Example: 6 x 5 minutes with a 60-second slow walk or jog recovery. You could see this kind of training in one of your Runna Tempo workouts.

  • Strength – Working on targeted muscle groups specific to running. This creates an even balance within muscles with good neurological coordination.

Examples: Squats, Deadlifts, Nordic curls, Calf raises, Sit-ups, and push-ups. This can be done with weights or as a faster HIIT (high-intensity interval training) session. This training can be added to your Runna plan by going to the 'Train' tab > 'Manage Plan' > 'Add Additional Workouts'.

👟 What footwear do you need?

For the track, you would race in a “racing spike”. This is an incredibly lightweight shoe with short pins on the sole for additional traction. If you are going to be training on a track as well as racing, you can still use your road shoes as running in spikes TOO often can be overly strenuous on your legs. It is always a good idea to mix up training footwear and have a shoe rotation! The most popular track spikes used at the moment include the Nike Dragonfly, Adidas Avanti TYO, and New Balance LD-X (only the pros will have a race official measuring their shoe's stack height with a tape measure😅).

🎽 How do you find track races?

Track races occur all around the world and will usually take place within the summer (the months can vary depending on where you are in the world) e.g. the British track season is usually between April and August. Track meets usually vary in ability level and you will often find that they have entry standards depending on your PBs. The great thing about track races is that they are seeded, meaning you will always race against people who are your ability – so you will always have company!

😩 “Running laps is boring”…How do you cope mentally with the laps in a race?

A track is a 400m oval meaning the laps can be difficult to get used to, especially if you are running in one of the longer events. It would definitely be best to train on a track if you are thinking of racing on it. Practising the ability to run laps and get a feel for the rhythm will benefit you when it comes to race day! Your mental approach to a track race can vary depending on the event. In a middle-distance race (800m/1500m), you have to be responsive due to the quick nature. In events 3000m and above, it is useful to try and switch off mentally and find a smooth rhythm for the first half of the race. Once you get to the business end of the race, you can switch back on and start attacking the final stages of the race!

🔃To get the most out of your Runna workouts on the track, you can turn on the 'Intervals/Tempo on Track' feature which you can find in the 'Workout Settings'.

As GPS may not be very accurate when training on the track, this setting will allow you to start each of your reps manually (either on your phone or watch) instead of it being automatically controlled for you. Also, this will prevent the workout from being able to lap if you are not yet on the line ready to start your rep. This feature will allow you to complete your track workout as efficiently as possible!

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