Transitioning from Fall Sports to Track

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As we finally get to take some time off during the holidays, this is the time when I find myself thinking about how to start transitioning our athletes from XC to the Track. While I only coach distance athletes, I would think that a lot of these concepts would also apply to sprinters transitioning from fall sports.

The first thing I try to keep in mind that not all of our XC kids are going to be 3200m runners in track. The same can be said for sprinters and the 100m. Because of this, I start by thinking about what they have been doing a lot of in the fall and what they may be lacking for track. For our XC athletes this is speed, and for our sprinters it's endurance.

With my XC athletes, I like to start fast stuff right away in winter conditioning. One of the reasons I start with speed so early is because we can use the length of the offseason to help avoid injury. While that may seem strange, my thought is that most injuries come from doing too much too soon so if I can use the long off-season to introduce speed gradually we can avoid many of the normal running related injuries. How this looks (week by week)

2x70m @ FAST FEEL

3x70m @ FAST FEEL

4x70m @ FAST FEEL


First 20m of the 70m is a buildup. Since we haven't done much pure speed work, I want to be careful that my athletes don't pull something trying to run all out from standing start. I then want them to run the next 50m fast. One thing you will notice is that I assign pace by "feel" instead of actual splits. I do this because I want the focus to be on running mechanics instead of worrying about hitting a pace, who knows what the weather will be (this is Missouri after all!) and because it's the off-season and I feel like assigning pace makes it more like practice instead of conditioning. After a workout like this, if my athletes need to run more to hit their weekly goal, they will run a few extra miles afterward like an extended cool-down. If not, then we will go into the weight room and lift.

What to hear more? This blog is part of a presentation I am giving at the Dutchman Clinic hosted by Owensville HS and Coach Candrl. It is on 1/21 and FREE for all coaches to attend. Space is limited so make sure you reserve a spot by emailing Coach Candrl at

Current Dutchman Clinic Schedule                   

SATURDAY  JANUARY 21, 2016 @ Owensville High School

8:30-9:15am           Team Management- Sean O'Connor Lafayette

9:30-10:20am         400-800- Ryan Banta, Parkway Central                    
                                  LJ/TJ - TBD
10:30-11:20am         PV- Billy Martin  Park Hill Central
                                   DISCUS- Tom Beckmeyer Lafayette

11:30-12:20pm          Blocks/Relays- Matt Candrl, Owensville           
                                     Shot Put- Tom Beckmeyer Lafayette

12:30-1:20pm            Lunch- Panda Cafe Address: 501 Hwy 28, Owensville, MO 65066  $6-8
                                    Phone: (573) 437-4500      
1:30-2:20pm            100mH/110mHurdles- TBD
                                   XC/Distance-  Sean O'Connor Lafayette

2:30-3:20pm            High Jump- TBA                        
                                  Sprinters Compendium-  Ryan Banta, Parkway Central               
3:30-4:20pm           300m Hurdles- TBD
                                 Javelin- Matt Candrl, Owensville

          Cost of Clinic:  Free by Invitation (Invite your fellow coaches.)
Coaching Giveaway-   You bring 1 coaching book/video trade in for 1.
Bring 2 get 2.