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Choosing a Track and field event

Updated on January 29, 2013

Which event is best for you

I believe there is a track and field or athletics event to suit everybody as long as your are healthy. Different events have different strength, speed, endurance and agility requirements. some people even have the physical make up to perform well in a number of events e.g. Decathlon for men or Heptathlon for women.

Many people quit athletics for the reason being that they are forced or into training for, or competing in the one event. This happens especially in some schools where equipment may be limited therefore only certain disciplines can be done. An individual may become frustrated in doing an event in which they are unable to improve in, or something that is not natural and feels awkward.

The human body is rather versatile and can be moulded to adapt to new movements and environments but the key to success is to build on what you were born with. i.e. an event with suits your natural build.

The Events

100 meters

This is for people which straight speed, power and lower stamina levels. Requirements are for the athlete to be able to accelerate to their maxium speed in the shortest amount of time and hold the peak speed for the longest amount of time.

200 meters

Some people take a lot longer to reach their maximum speed but are able to maintain that peak for a longer period. Such people are more suited for the 200m. Excellent if you can do both 100m and 200m like Usain Bolt.

400m meters

This is basically for athletes with a lot of endurance and a fair amout of stamina but at the same time have good basic sprinting speed. This is the most challenging of the sprints since pacing is essential. 400 meter runners generaly do a lot of speed training alongside 100m and 200m sprinters.

800 / 1,500 meters

These are middle distance events and a good amount of stamina training is required. A lot of races are won over the final lap for middle distance events, so the ability to accelerate and switch up and down pace is essential. Again some speed training to some extent to needed.

3,000 - 10,000 meters

The long distance races generaly don't require much basic speed. It's mainly stamina and endurance .Many races are won by athletics stretching the gaps and running packs over long periods of time. People in trailing groups can easily get burned out trying to accelerate beyond their (comfort zone) trying to catch up leading groups. The average age for a long distance runner tends to be considerable older then for sprinters.

110m Hurdles

Bascially speed is the main key for this event accompanied with a great deal of agility and flexibility which is needed to cross each hurdle. Most hurdlers have good basic speed and will often train along side 100m / 200m sprinters. The althetes height is not actually then important however it will be hard for very short people to clear the 3ft 6in barriers.

400m Hurdles

Very similar to the 400m, and the technical hurdling is not so much of an issue as 110m Hurdles due to the low height. One main thing which seperates this from the flat 400m is the stride pattern between the hurldes, this is crucial in order for a perfect race. The pattern must be constant throughout the race and the athlete must aim to maintain this even when fatigue kicks in. The last 200m meters is impossible for most athletes to maintain the standard 13 stride pattern so a switch over point must be calculated where the athlete will hurldle from alternate legs to continue with a 14 stride pattern.


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    • Hezekiah profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Japan

      Thanks, they also need to be included.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      what bout the long jump or the triple jump??

    • chasemillis profile image


      9 years ago

      cool hub, if you know a lot about hurdles can you check out my hub on it and tell me what you think

      Track - mastering the Hurdles in USATF is easy


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