By Samanta Garcia and Alison Akermon
With track season looming around the corner, preparations have to be made. As athletes approach any new season, there training and conditioning are involved.
“Winter training improves our endurance and overall gets us in shape,” said junior Taylor Uhl.
Freshman Corinne Cox elaborates on the positives of conditioning.
“I do winter conditioning because it prepares me for the track season. The track practices will be more of a challenge when track officially starts, so the conditioning will help me survive. However, winter conditioning is difficult. I think the main thing that motivates me to come back each week is my noticeable improvement as a runner,” said Cox.
Winter weather is very indecisive, and it can have many effects on athletes and their schedules.
“The weather affects our training to a certain extent. We try to run outside as much as possible, but when the weather is unsafe it is best that we run inside,” said freshman Zoe Fifer.
Indoor training has its own set of difficulties, along with its benefits.
“I also feel claustrophobic when we run on the indoor track because the air doesn’t circulate very well. I feel like I can never take a deep breath. For these reasons, I prefer to run outside, but the weather determines that of course.The indoor track is great to have in those situations, but it is a concrete track. It is very painful to run on a concrete surface, as it can cause shin splints,” said Fifer.
Even with its complications, training does have its benefits on the outcome of the track season.
“I prefer spring training but I think winter training is crucial to become a successful team. During the winter our workouts focus on endurance and stamina, which are very important,” said Uhl.
Fifer said that besides working on stamina, she also works on upper body strength, which she said has been a weakness of hers.
“The conditioning is a like a pre-season for track, so when we actually start track season everyone will be conditioned. Throughout winter conditioning I have really felt in shape for the first time,” said Fifer.
For multisport athletes, scheduling can be problematic in the winter months.
“For me, it’s that all my sports overlap each other, so I never get much of a break throughout the year. As soon as soccer is over in October, there is not much time until winter conditioning starts. And when it starts, there is not long until winter soccer starts,” said Fifer. “In previous years when I had not done winter conditioning, I hadn’t had this problem. I think this is a problem for many athletes who play two or more sports. But of course, every athlete who does this is used to two practices, or possibly even more, a night, like I am. Sometimes it can take away from schoolwork, which is when athletes have to occasionally skip a practice or so for homework and studies.”
Overall, conditioning has helped athletes, and made them feel more confident for a successful season.
“I think it’s really helped me build myself back up, mentally and physically, as I’ve already started to notice improvements,” said sophomore Brandon Baugh. “It’s been awhile since I’ve run every day consistently, so it’s good to have a month or two to get myself ready for the upcoming season.”