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Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of Running Injuries in the Middle Distance Athlete

Running injuries of the leg and lower back are the most common types of acute or chronic ailments found in distance runners.  Aches and pains are common in runners training in excess of 15 miles per week, but these transition to injuries when the ailment is severe enough to reduce the number of miles run over the course of at least one week and/or cause the runner to take medication or see a health care professional. Most running injuries are musculo-skeletal overuse syndromes related to cumulative stress and strain of the legs.  All of the common injuries have noticeable symptoms, related causes, and training characteristics as to what to try/avoid and how to treat the injury from a training perspective.  An observant coach will take…

Planning the General Preparation Period for Middle Distance Training

The first training segment of time is called the general preparation period, or just general prep for short.  This stage sets the tone for the season.  The middle distance training macrocyle is ideally set up to be between fifteen and twenty weeks in length.  The greater the amount of overall time available, then the longer the first training stage can be.  There are two middle distance general prep models found in this country.  One is the collegiate model which is characterized by a long fall training period of both general endurance and general strength building activities which leads into an indoor competitive season in the winter.  The collegiate coach can personally direct the middle distance runners through general prep in an unhurried, non-specific training scheme…

The Four Stages of Team Development

The start of a cross country (or track and field) season brings plenty of excitement for both athletes and coaches.  The anticipation of all of the adventures that are about to occur is what makes activities such as this so much fun.  Even teams that practice all summer seem to shift their level of anticipation as the official date of the cross country season approaches. Successful cross country running needs both individualized training plans for the athletes and an overall organizational plan for the team.  Both plans need to be structured with as much quantitative, measurable focus as possible.  The plan for the team should revolve around where the squad is today and where it should be at the end of the season if the…

12 Days of CTF Holiday Sale

Our ’12 Days of CTF Holiday Sale’ will begin on Monday, December 12 and will run through Friday, December 23. Here’s how it works: From MONDAY 12/12- FRIDAY 12/23, every Complete Track and Field program is on sale for 20% off when you use coupon code: 12DAYSCTF. HOWEVER: Each day of the 12-day sale we will be featuring a specific program where you can save 30% on this season’s popular programs BUT ONLY ON THAT DAY. This time of the year can get hectic, so I recommend bookmarking this page and scheduling a reminder in your phone so you don’t forget to come to the site to grab these holiday offers. In the meantime, you can plan ahead by visiting our full list of Complete…

Black Friday/ Cyber Monday Sale- Massive Savings

Our Black Friday/ Cyber Monday Sale will begin on Friday, November 25 and will run through Monday, November 28. Here’s how it works: From FRIDAY 11/25 – MONDAY  11/28, every Complete Track and Field program is on sale for 25% off when you use coupon code: CTFSAVINGS.  HOWEVER: Each day of the sale we will be highlighting a specific event group/category where you can get up to 50% off our most popular individual programs and program bundles ON THAT DAY ONLY. For example, all Sprints programs will be 25% off all week. But, on 11/25, all Sprints programs will be 40-50% off for that day only. On 11/26, sale prices go back to 25%. If you’re in the market for programs addressing 55m- 600m, be sure to get…

Epidemiology of Running Injuries

Running injuries can be defined in numerous ways and their treatment suffers from the lack of a consistent set of defining parameters.  The scientific literature variously defines a running injury to have occurred when it is severe enough to reduce the volume of miles run and cause the runner to take a medication or see a health care professional.  Others define a running injury as an incidence that hampers training for at least one week.  When the literature is examined to determine the incidence of running injuries (in studies of 500 or more participants) the yearly incidence rate ranges from 37% to 56%.  Despite the relatively high incidence rate of running injuries per runner per year, this incidence rate is still 2 to 6 times…

4 Goals of Coaching the 400/800 Meter Athlete

There is an interesting set of athletes that tend to excel at the 400-meter AND 800-meter events. These 400/800 athletes are not pure sprinters, nor are they pure distance runners. These athletes have a unique combination of skills that will challenge any coach to create a successful training program. Here are four goals I believe will help in that endeavor.   Goal #1: Be Bilingual Understand Sprint Training, Understand Endurance Training Understanding the different qualities and vocabulary associated with both sprint and endurance concepts is particularly crucial in early-season general preparation training for 400/800 -meter athletes. Early in a yearly training cycle these qualities are often trained “separately.” This means that certain days are devoted to sprint training concepts and certain days are devoted to…

Tearing Down the Mile Race

The 1500 meter race is considered one of the most exciting cornerstone events in any major track and field meet by athletes, coaches, and spectators alike.  The race is characterized by a breath-taking early pace, plenty of competitive surging, a wicked critical zone, and a need to maintain bio-mechanical efficiency over every meter of the distance.  Physiologists consider the 1500 meters a combined zone event and their findings suggest coaches train their athletes in a manner that maximizes concurrent development of both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.  Over the years scientists have tried to approximate the combination of energy delivery from both metabolic systems for racing the 1500 meters and have settled on an energy contribution (for most fit people at exhaustive race pace)…

Periodizing Special Endurance 2 Sessions: Middle Distance

Periodizing Special Endurance 2 Sessions: Middle Distance Multilateral training done in planned balance is the general theme of modern middle distance training.  Much has been learned over the past couple of decades about the value of concurrently training all five of the primary physical components to achieve a better runner.  Sport scientists working with sizeable experimental samples of distance runners and sprinters have done a remarkable job of testing the hypotheses associated with the primary physical component characteristics relating to human running performance.  Training theorists applying accepted scientific principles have given middle distance coaches an outstanding roadmap for setting up training plans specifically emphasizing speed and strength.  In addition to recent gains pure scientific knowledge, speed-related terminology has been standardized so that coaches can communicate…

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