400m Prep leading to worlds

I had the honor of working with an athlete in preparation for World Championships about a month and a half out. I’d like the athlete to remain anonymous, but wanted to share how training was setup leading in, because it has turned out remarkably well. The athlete initially came to me after having been overtrained months before and coming off a slight hamstring injury. My job was difficult, to progress slowly back in to training and then to get certain qualities retrained.

1 week post injury we start with tempo and progress slowly day by day. Jog one day, tempo and drills the next. Again another warm up day, then easy striding and acceleration until finally we believe the athlete is recovered for some training. During all this lots of massage, physio and chiro therapy was done.

  • Test Day 1
    2x20m, 2x30m, 2x40m easy
    3x5 medball throws
    3x10 squats

couple days for recovery, it had been a long down time since the last weight session so this one was designed to rebuild some lost strength.

3- Tempo
4- 2x300m 30 min rest
7-2x2x200m with 1min break and 30min break
8- tempo
9-2x30m,2x40m,2x50m 6x5 medball throws, 3x5 squats
10- travel to Korea
11- recover/lost day
12- jog
14-Speed (day 9)
15- Off
16- Lactic (day 4)
18-Lactic (day 7)
20-Speed (day 9)
21- tempo
22- Lactic (day 4)
23- Rest/ Therapy
24-7 day taper to event

During this brief period we saw a 1s improvement in the 300m workout as well as in the 2x2x200m workout. Having been overtained my priority was to restablish speed/power/strength which seemed to have been lost over that period of time, and get some significant exposure to lactic workouts. We are still half way through this program, but things seem to be progressing smoothly, and fingers crossed, no injuries will occur.

I’ve learned during this period that Medball throws can be an amazing tool to restablish speed/power capabilities without placing much eccentric/overall stress on the body. A great tool in this process.

Thanks for the info. Interesting and a few questions.

  1. How did you determine they were overtrained? Omegawave, conversations re volume etc?
  2. Were they aware they were overtrained?
  3. Why those tests for 400m on day 1? Was it to do with the injury?
  4. How did the athlete react mentally given the lower volume? Relieved, concerned, unsure, affirmed by the progress etc?
  5. The day 9 session, was that something they had previously done?
  6. What volume of tempo?

1 sec improvement over 300m is impressive, well done I hope they go well at WC.

  1. The way the old coach had setup the training cycle, there was a recent change to consecutive day high intensity training. The athlete complained and presented symptoms of discoordination but was forced to run through it and performance instantly declined after subsequent training sessions and was not alleviated even after a long recovery period.
  2. Yes the athlete was aware
  3. I didnt mean to say we were testing as in using a timer. I meant testing the legs to see if they were fresh, loose and pain free.
  4. The athlete reacted stressed out given the state of their body and how quickly World Championships were approaching. Very worried, but gained confidence as results in practice progressed
  5. Day 9, as well as the other types of workouts, were types of workouts performed by the previous coach, so the athlete had some familiarity with the entire program, just a change in loading and recovery
  6. Tempo was 8x200m, as this quality is quite advanced in this athlete and the least affected over the long term

1s improvement in the small time frame, but this was only retraining to previous best form. But very close to personal bests mind you.

Thanks for that.

I had assumed the 1sec improvement was a return to previous not new levels of performance. I expect they will be entering WC with a lot more confidence which is always good and cannot be underestimated. Well done.

Out of curiosity, roughly what is the athlete’s PB? I don’t expect an exact answer as that could make identifying possible.

I will echo John’s sentiments, well done, hope he/she does well.

I will fill you guys in on the final outcome after the champs. As well as outline the final taper. There has already been a hitch in the plan (political), but we’re hoping things smooth out.

Final outcome:

Overall was as good that could be expected, if not better. The athlete ran a personal best performance. There was a hitch when a national team coach demanded to take over the training program 2 weeks out! But we worked around it and were able to avoid this national coach completely messing up the preparation.

As the athlete progressed he/she gained confidence as their workout times got better. 1 week out from competition, the athlete set a personal best in the 300m ht in practice. This gave that athlete supreme confidence.

Several bumps along the way came up, but we were in constant communication and were able to plan effectively around them.

Good work PB speaks for itself.

Congratulations to you and your athlete. Thanks for providing that information.

I echo the sentiments above. Good Job.