T Nation

Thinking of Starting Track & Field



I've been going to the gym for years & play basketball socially once a week, and I'm thinking of trying some track & field stuff to give my training more purpose, and just to try something new.

Only thing is, I'm a bit hesitant starting it at 26 years of age. I tried to get into ice hockey when I was 18, and I was the only one at training over 15 (they all kicked my arse too :wink: So I'm concerned not just that I'll suck, but that there won't be any beginners my age, sucking with me... so to speak.

Any thoughts from T&F athletes?


yeah you might suck, but that is not the point really is it? Do you want to do it? will? you enjoy it anyway??

Its not about sucking compared to others, its about comparison with yourself... say you take up sprinting... at the start you do 14 second 100 m, 33 second 200m or something... then by the time of 28 you do 12.?? 100m and 20 something 200m, then isn't the 28 year old version of you much better than the 26 year old version??

Never mind what others are doing!


as long as your meeting new pple, learning new things, and HAVING FUN.. thats all that matters, you will progress as you try just like in anything


Hey Eric, cheers for the reply. If I could do it with a coach 1 on 1, i'd do it in a heart beat. For better or worse I don't really have any inclination to hang out with a bunch of high school students in group sessions...

Thats the other problem. I don't really know what to expect. I'll just stop being a geek and call some1 local & ask, hehe =)



I am a 31 year old mother and I go to the track regularly. I also do some heavy sprint training. Of course this is what I was best at all my life. I have been a sprinter and still can do some very fast times in my 100, 200, etc. Even my training partner is like holy shit hmmm maybe you can still compete. LMAO hmmm again ROFL. Though I do love training this way. It really is an awesome workout.

It's never too late to start running and doing this type of workout. I mean you might not be the next Michael Johnson but the workout is fulfilling. And you can really tell how your weight training improves your over all performance. At least I do with improved times by adding mass and strength to Quads and Hammies. Also in my stride length.

The thing is educate yourself on the training. Don't just go out there and start ripping around. You will of course have to work up to it. I only do full out exertion speed work once a week. Other times I work with 3/4 speed 1/2 speed and controlled speed within distances.

I also like doing what is called Fartlek running. Yea say that name without laughing. I know I can't LMAO. Google the name of it and it will explain it. You can google sprint work workouts to get some good ideas for a training regime. Good luck and enjoy it. Oh yes get some really good running shoes! It is very important. Or you will be hurting. :wink:

Good Luck!


Tx. T what times are you still running just curious... Anyway Vesson I'd try it, to me Track is alot of fun, there are alot of events and I'm sure you could find something that you're good at. Don't get discourage if you want to die after you sprint your first 400, you'll get better at it. It's never too late to try something new. Try elitetrack.com if you want any more information.


Sprinters -

How is sprinting as a sport for somewhat older guys, to make this into a general question?

I'm still young and into oly stuff, and I plan to stay uninjured, but if my plans go awry, I like sprinting almost as much as oly lifting.

General questions:

  • How suitable is sprinting as a sport for the over-30 crowd? / The over-40 crowd?

  • [Related] What are the principle causees of injury in sprinting? On-track injuries? Weight-room injuries? Hamstring pulls?

  • To what extent are these injuries simple wear and tear that is hard to avoid, and to what extent are they primarily caused by poor training? [Example: I understand that the main cause of hamstring pulls or tears is poor ham:quad strength ratio, something which is totally preventable]


Track and field covers a lot of different areas. If you're talking about throwing, you might want to consider the Highland Games route. The nice thing about Highland Games is that people come into the sport from a huge variety of different backgrounds, skill levels, and ages.

There are 45-year-old first-timers, and college-age kids who compete in the A divisions, and everything in between. The experienced guys are always willing to help out the newbies, and you probably won't be the only beginner in any given competition.

Personally, I started Highland Games competition six months ago. I'm 28 years old with no previous t&f experience. My throws were pretty awful in my first competition and mediocre in my second, but in my third comp I placed third overall in the C division, and took first place in several events in my division. It's all about learning new skills, growing as an athlete, meeting people, and having fun.

Now, if you're talking about running, I don't have a clue.