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Preparation is key for Track and Field athletes

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track pic

Shay Brown competing in the high jump at a Doane meet.

Senior Landon Schmitt explodes out out the blocks.

Meanwhile, junior Hillary Chiasson strides out for the 1500 meter race.

Doane’s track and field athletes prepare for their events in different routines.

“I think it is important for warm-ups to be specific to the individual,” said junior Hillary Chaisson.

Chaisson is an 800 meter and 1500 meter runner and said her typical routine starts off with some light stretches and striding out an hour before an event. She follows this with a moderate jog to get the blood flowing and legs loose.

It’s important to warm up properly for the event, but also to incorporate stretches or other techniques that are helpful depending on the individual, said Chaisson.

Senior Landon Schmitt is a decathlete and must adapt his pre-event routine as he competes through the 10 different events.

“Each event is different from another when it comes to using certain muscle groups,” said Schmitt. “For me, I do our standard track warm-up and then go into event-specific stretches and techniques to prepare myself.”

For the sprint events, Schmitt practices coming off the blocks, he then will practice his runway approach and the phases of the jump for long jump, he said. For shot put, discus and javelin he practices throwing a couple of times to get his arm loose.

“We try to work on similar events (sprints, hurdles, long jump) on the same day,” said Schmitt. “At least one throwing event, and every day we have some kind of running event workout,” said Schmitt.

Schmitt said that the biggest challenge about participating in multiple events is finding the time to properly prepare for all of the events. He said that because of the lack of time, athletes must focus on keeping up their performance in events they do well in; while at the same time improving in other that they struggle in.

“Multis (multiple events)is a frustrating thing at times, you're always going to have ups and downs,” said Schmitt. “It’s important to just have that "on to the next event" kind of mindset.”

Sophomore Logan Hammond said that before events, he does dynamic stretches followed by event-specific drills. Hammond competes in the long jump, 400-meter dash, 400-meter hurdles and the 4x400 meter relay.

He said that the sprinting warm-ups include more explosive drills, while the long jump preparation consists of doing run-throughs and short approach jumps.

Hammond said different warm-ups for the variety of events is important because of the stretches and drills that need to be done to target certain muscle groups.