I am primarily a road runner and with road running comes a lot of repetitive motion on the pavement. I haven’t really experienced any knee problems from running on the concrete and I would like to keep it that way.
Since I love running road races and don’t intend to stop, I am always looking for ways to improve my training and save my legs. Varying my workouts with runs on the track and trails has helped keep my knees injury free.
Running on the track can help elevate your training in many ways. It’s not simply for short distance runners either. The track can benefit any type of runner, from sprinter to ultra marathoner.
4 Ways the Track Can Elevate Your Training
Reduces repetitive use injuries. We all know that doing the same thing day in and day out can lead to injury. This doesn’t just apply to running. We are built to thrive on variety. Running on the track and performing specific workouts focused on speed or form drills can help reduce injuries by mixing up your regular routine.
Increases speed. Most track workouts work on short intervals. A sprinter might perform 100-200 meter sprints, while a marathoner will focus on 800 meter to 1600 meter repeats to work on speed and endurance. Each one is a speed workout, but you can do longer or shorter intervals based on your individual goals.
Builds different muscles. Working on a track allows you to really focus on form and form drills. I, and many others like me, tend to forget to activate my glutes on my regular runs. When I’m at the oval office I can focus on glute firing during sprint drills. I am more focused on the little things when I don’t have to worry about my route or where to turn like I do on runs on the street. Adding in the following drills can help you improve form and strength.
- High knees
- Butt kickers
- Walking on tip-toe for 50-100 meters, firing those glutes
- A-skips & B-skips
Adds variety to your workout. Variety is the spice of life! An interval workout and a change of scenery can be just what your body needs to spice up the day and get you out of a funk. At the track you can do short intervals, long intervals, partial recovery, full recovery, and drills. The options to mix up your workout are endless.