Girls indoor track: Mid-January overload

| 18 Jan 2018 | 02:03

By Patrick Brown
— The Monroe-Woodbury Girls Indoor Track team competed in three meets last week, with mixed results.
Mid-season is a frustrating time for athletes and coaches, alike. The athletes are beginning to see results of hard work, often in erratic improvements. Coaches have to maintain discipline and focus for another six weeks to reap rewards in the final days.
In athletic training the term “periodicity” refers to the idea of breaking a season into blocks of time with specific objectives. The season is divided into major phases with high level objectives for each phase, mini-phases, and micro-phases, each with a distinct purpose and goal.
Three phasesThe first major phase, typically late November and December, is used to develop strength and stamina to survive a big workout in later phases.
January and early February are focused on skills, speed, and “overloading” so the athlete learns - physically and mentally - how to compete under stress.
The final phase in February and early March is the post season and is oriented at sharpening skills, increasing speed, and lots of rest to give bodies time to recover and rebound from the January weariness.
When executed properly the athletes should feel refreshed and “popping out of their skin” during the final meets of the season.
Focus on techniqueDuring weekday afternoons, the high school hallways are filled with flushed, gasping girls - sprinters are pulling teammates holding elastic resistance bands, jumpers are bounding over plyo-boxes, throwers are clanging in the weight room, and walkers are in the basement doing five minute repeats at 200 steps a minute.
Inside the gym, the focus in on technique. Long jumpers, hurdlers, throwers, high jumpers, pole vaulters all decompose their events into individual actions and practice each action hundreds of times.
The past weekThe expectation for most girls this week was to perform at or near their previous best efforts. Some of the girls achieved seasonal or personal best efforts. Some came close to personal records, but went home disappointed and anxious for the next attempt. Others tried hard, but did not meet their goals. All of them will be at practice on Monday morning, working toward being the best they can be.
Patrick Brown is an Assistant Indoor Track Coach at Monroe-Woodbury High School.