Track running athletic sporting events are some of the oldest sports competitions in human history. Generally, athletes will specialize in certain types of track events, aiming to be top of their field. The initial Olympic games were solely “stadium” running events, races from one side of the stadium to the other. This was the foundation for the various modern-day Olympic track races that are prominent today. These styles of races include:
Sprint running involves covering a short distance track in fastest possible time and these athletes usually require much more muscle mass than longer distance runners because of the explosive power required to propel themselves down a track at top speeds. Many biological factors are taken into consideration when determining the potential of sprint runner including breathing, leg length, pelvic width, adrenaline use, height, muscular form, foot speed and anaerobic breathing capacity. The events grouped within sprint events are the 60 meters, 100 meters, 200 meters, and 400 meters events.
Middle distance running is renowned as one of the most difficult styles as it requires a perfect combination of muscle strength to generate maximum speed and endurance to maintain that speed over longer distances than sprint races. The most prevalent middle distances races are the 800 and 1500 meters races, however, the 3000 meters race is also sometimes grouped in with these events. As with other specialized races, these athletes train specifically for the middle distance category, using more of the training techniques adopted by longer distance runners to maximize endurance.
Long distance runners generally have very strong cardiovascular systems and excellent lung capacity. This is necessary to process the correct amount of oxygen to maintain low-intensity physical activity over extended periods of time. Races range from 15 minutes to 2 hours long and can be anywhere between 3000 and 10000 meters in length.