A Running Start Into The Season

Track and Field is starting and the meets are coming up fast. Looking at a meet, there are athletes left and right and there is action everywhere. It could be runners racing on the track or warming up, it could also be an athlete doing a long jump, and much more. The Ann Richards track team’s first official meet is February 22nd. Their district meet is on April 1st and 2nd. The athletes have practice every morning at 7 and they either run or participate in a field event. 

 There are many different events the athletes can choose from. One area of track is long-distance running. Long-distance running is just like it sounds, running for an extended amount of time! In track, the farthest race is 2 miles and the shortest race in the category of long distance is 800 meters. The workouts and races are different because you can’t just sprint the whole time, you have to pace yourself and decide how fast to go at certain points of time. 

 “I really like the community of long-distance running and all of our teammates and it’s just such a fun environment and community,” Alice Gray (10) said. “But I also love that running gives you an outlet to kind of get your stress out and push yourself day to day and even though I’m often very tired afterwards it makes me more energized and focused for the day ahead.”  

Running is not as much as  physical competition, but a lot of it is mental. Many runners struggle with anxiety, moments right before a race and sometimes days before it. The hard part is pushing through during the race, or any run but the more you do it, the more a base is built that is needed in order to compete efficiently.

“I also think that distance running is often more of a challenge for your mind too because it’s so painful to be running for such a long period of time so you have to really fight yourself to win. Before a race, I’m typically very stressed and nervous. I try to have mantras that I will say to myself that will encourage myself because if I don’t I will get scared and end up not doing well and not achieving my goal so I will try to tell myself that I’m going to great,” Gray (10) said. “One very helpful trick you can use to help your mental thoughts while running and especially during a race is something called mantras. Mantras are words you tell yourself that helps keep you motivated. One example of a mantra people use is ‘the faster I run the faster I’m done.’”

Long distance running is not the only event to choose from, there are many more! Another big section of events in track is sprinting. Sprinting can vary in different distances like a 100-meter sprint. It is different from long distance running because it focuses more on technical strengths like form. They have to run fast pretty much the whole race.

“Although we run at the same place as sprinters, their races and workouts are completely different from ours,” Gray (10) said. “For example we might be doing 800-meter repeats and they are doing 80-meter repeats because they have to focus on more technical things like form that’s used in order to run their race closer to like ten seconds while the distance people are running it in more like thirteen minutes.” 

Track and Field is a sport that’s more than just swinging arms and running legs. The field events are different from running but are just as important. Field events require a lot of concentration and focus on form. 

 “My field event was discus. We usually start practice by doing a workout, we do arm workouts to keep in shape, and then we go outside and throw for at least a half hour.” Isabella Salas (10) said. “During a competition I try not to release it too early.”  

Track is filled with all different types of skills and talents, there are so many events to choose from. All types of people can participate and it is a blast! In conclusion, track and field is a multifaceted sport that is filled with exercise, energy, and fun!