Indoor track conditions athletes for spring season

Jessie Bright, Writer

When people think of winter sports, snow and cold-oriented activities such as hockey, ski or snowboarding may come to mind. However, there is one sport that many don’t consider when pondering winter activities: indoor track.

Outdoor track takes place in the spring, with school teams competing until May or June. Despite that, students who choose track as their primary sport begin the season much earlier.

Indoor track takes place in the winter months, where runners begin to train for their spring seasons.

“Indoor is especially tough because the coaches are trying to get us in shape for spring,” said junior Ethan Pyeatt, who runs with Prime Time Performance Track Club in Dearborn Heights. “There’s lots of endurance, speed work and on top of all that, weightlifting. It’s three months of straight conditioning.”

Track runners can join a club team, where they run with athletes from other schools and districts, or a school-sanctioned team, which differs slightly from club.

“The school team is more casual,” junior Vien Sturm said. “Travel teams usually compete more. On the school team, you have the opportunity to compete in track meets over the weekends, but it’s not required.”

While at a first glance, indoor and outdoor track don’t seem to be much different, runners have a different opinion.

“The track is shorter [for indoor]—it’s not the full 400 meters,” Pyeatt said. “It’s why indoor has slower times: because the turns are sharper and there’s more laps to run. The biggest difference to me is that you aren’t looking for immediate outcomes, you’re working toward future outcomes.”

Indoor presents a different set of challenges for track athletes to hone their skills. Despite the extra challenge, those involved feel that the extra months of training provide more pros than cons.

“Indoor is a low stress, laid back way to get in shape and be better prepared for outdoor track or other spring sports,”  Fenton running coach Jesse Anderson said. “Kids will meet key members of the team and get great interaction with coaches one-on-one.”

Anderson, a former Fenton student athlete who has coached cross country and track for four years, invites students with any questions about either sport to contact him at jesse@redfoxoutfitters with their concerns. All students are welcome to participate in the school indoor track team, whose season runs from the beginning of December until the State Meet in February.