Diagnose This

Athlete A runs the 100 meters on Saturday, with an incredibly disappointing time: approximately 0.50 off the goal time

Here’s the week:

Monday: off
Tuesday: split 300 (200, 45 seconds rest, 100); 120 meter sprint; 90 meter sprint. PR at 200 in split 300, PR at 120, PR at 90.
Wednesday: tempo, 15x100
Thursday: warmup, starts, 4xflying 20
Friday: off
Saturday: meet

A video analysis of the 100 shows a personal best at 10 meters - and that PR is consistent with the goal time. Athlete A beat half the field (4 people) to 10, before getting destroyed by everyone and finishing last by about 0.30 from next-to-last and 1.0 from first.

Is this just a case of the CNS being fried all week from the good workout on Tuesday? Was that too much work?
And what to make of the great start - dumb luck? Or should I interpret it as meaning the damage from Tuesday was done primarily to the hamstrings, sparing the quads, which are more dominant in the first ten meters?

Really interested in responses.

After tuesdays PR day he shouldve taken it easy the rest of the week WIth tempo. I wouldve dropped the flies all together. THey were too close to the meet, plus after tuesdays workout way too much work.

IF anything tuesday then tempo rest of week and friday a few starts to wake cns back up.

Thanks. This week, then, we may be looking at:

Monday: tempo
Tuesday: 4x30 meter runs; 3x flying 20s; bounds
Wednesday: tempo
Thursday: rest
Friday: warmup, starts
Saturday: meet

I hate to feel like we are wasting our week by only getting 1 high intensity day in, but after the disaster of this weekend I think scaling seriously back may be in order.

Remember less is more. You saw what happens when u get too much in during meet week.
You can ramp it back up during weeks you don’t have a meet.

Why have you been so disappointed with the result? You feel your athlete should have run faster due to overall training in the past how long?

What did the training look like the week before and the week before that? One week of training is only a snippet of info.

If you have a PR in training STOP right then and there. You are done for that day. Did you do that?

Expecting a result on your time is not necessarily realistic. Time must meet chance providing all the other variables are in place.

I am not sure how proficient your athlete is at tempo but might I ask why you did 15 x 100 meters and did you do 15 or One set of 10 and 5 more after a break? If you had a break how long was the break? Do you normally do 2 sets of 10? Or 1 set of 100? How fast were the 100’s? Do you time them? Are you watching each and every run?

Was the training on Thursday easy or fast ? Relaxed or did the athlete push?

A PR in the 10 meter might be your answer right there. If that run has never been done before at 10 meters and your expectation is that the athlete puts the next part together maybe it’s just information for you on what the athlete needs to work on. A PB is a PB and putting it together is what this game is all about.

You might be too hard on yourself. I am not sure.

A great start is great. You need to do it once to repeat it and if it can be done once it can be done again. That’s very good news.

I think there is a lot of good info here. Normal to be pissed off and disappointed. Not normal to be super happy with everything all the time as an athlete or coach. In my opinion anyway.

I’d say the Thursday training was fairly relaxed. In retrospect, fly20s are probably too intensive to put two days before a meet.

The week before was:

Monday: Tempo, 15x100
Tuesday: (speed) 4x30m starts; 3x fly20; 3x60; bounds; weights
Wednesday: break
Thursday: (SE) 150, 120, 80, 60
Friday: Tempo, 15x100
Saturday: (acceleration): 10x10, 10x20, 5x30; weights

The speed day was okay but not great - PR at 20 meters, solid work on the fly20s, but the 60s were subpar
Thursday was tough and probably too much volume. Times were decent, not “good.”
Athlete reported being sore on Saturday and we so we cut out the weights.

The week before that was:

Monday: tempo, 15x100
Tuesday: (speed) 3x Easy-Fast-Easy, 3x Fast-Easy-Fast, 3x fly20; bounds
Wednesday: break
Thursday: (hill runs - thought we could use a break from the track.) 10x10, 10x20, 5x30
Friday: tempo
Saturday: (SE) 250, 150, 120; weights

So I’ve been trying to taper down some. The speed day - Tuesday - was fantastic. Hills were fine. SE day wasn’t anything to write home about

Tempo is 15x100, no breaks, with 1-2 minutes between each. All at 65% to, at most, 75%. I time them.

Disappointment was that the athlete, based on training times (video analysis of splits) was on track to run very well and then ran very not-well. But it’s nice to have a learning experience - if this was a case of too much work, then we know in the future what counts as “too much work.”

That Sat workout one week before the meet was a killer as well: 25 all out accelerations and 450m of acceleration work is a major CNS stimulus/drainer.

Very true.

Well how can any of us speculate on volume or intensity without knowing the times and only you as the coach can know the times relative to the other times you clock right?

It’s about what you see and what you have been watching and times from your account are some evidence for us but we are still not present to actually see.

Why would you pick 15 x 100 meters instead of 8 x 100 meters, small break less than 5 minutes and then do 7 x 100 meters? I bet the quality could improve on the tempo and therefore the end result is better fitness. I don’t think there is a down side to breaking it up and working towards a higher overall volume of 2 sets of 10 x 100 meters unless it’s a longer sprinter in the 400 in which case you would do higher tempo volume.

Are you sure you are not doing any medium work? What have been the breaks in-between the sets of SE? And are those breaks justifiable for the speed that’s happening.

These are the questions you need to keep in mind I think.

I will say to each of you that the variability of the actual plan and the plan that I performed in training was LARGE.

I see people have a set schedule or plan they want to achieve. And come hell or high water they want to do it because. BECAUSE WHY?

Most of the time I see total shit quality everywhere in training in the gym and at the track. I am not saying this to sound like I know it all. I don’t know it all. Not even close But I know a great deal and I know enough to see that training seems to be one big negotiation based on more is Always better and judgement is the single biggest skill to develop but few have this skill.

I think if I could teach any of you anything that would be it. To teach you judgement. I can’t tell you how many times we stopped the sessions because something was so good. I might not have won an Olympic final but I do have the satisfaction of huge progress over time from where I started. The game of performance is fun. Off the track I still enjoy this adventure. As a coach you need to be curious and open minded and less unhappy with performance and continue to let your frustrations drive different.

Sounds like lots is going well right now for you Stylee but it will happen the way you wish it to over time. Don’t disregard the progress and enjoy more of it as you go. I am not saying you don’t enjoy it but I feel your pain and understand you wish for more on your athletes behalf.

I agree. I have a hard time making judgement on whether or not I’m ready to stick to whatever plan I came in with. Yes, there are days I feel tired and sloppy, or have poor times starting, out. However, on some of days I start out feeling sloppy, I end up doing average or better than usual after I warm up. I would call that more of “slow start” days rather than “not ready for high intensity” days. I sometimes have the opposite as well happen to me. I would start out feeling a lot of energy, but then after I’m warmed up, I do below average.

Clearly, I am very bad at making judgement on how I feel that day until after I’m fully warmed up and done 2-3 full effort sprints. I guess, as you stated, few have this skill. I wonder if these things are innate or can be learned over time with prolonged experience.

Thanks for the encouragement, Angela. I am feeling much more confident. Minor speed bump, primarily because of overwork and poor conditions. We’re ready to bounce back.

My question is on the days you feel tired and sloppy will you say the you did everything you were capable to prepare to feel your very best? What you eat, when you eat, how much and when you sleep and if you are practicing routine and daily regeneration? All of those things might be in place and you still might feel like shit but at least you tried. If you did not try your best then you have no person to blame but yourself.

The game of performance is constant and unrelenting. It’s hard work on and off the track. It’s more hard work off the track because it’s not as fun, no one is watching and it’s not for anything gain except just YOU.

It’s not usually a coincidence that some do well and some don’t on the track. And it requires a team of people who know and time and success in little bits along the way over years.

Its important to be in or around those who have done something for you to know what it looks like. What does a training plan that is organized look like day in and day out around the clock?

Feed back is helpful and minor speed bumps happen all the time. Its not realistic that things go perfect all the time. What is realistic is you keep trying and you don’t give up and you learn from what you feel might be the issue or problem.

I am usually consistent when it comes to regeneration. I usually eat the same food on all high intensity days before training, and my eating schedule is consistent from one week to another, both menu and time wise. I take contrast baths twice a day and 1 epsom salt bath a week (only once because it makes me feel too flat afterwards). I foam roll and uses gua sha tool (poor mans version of graston) and lacrosse, soft balls for self myofascial release every day. All of these things I’ve learned through watching videos and reading posts here, as many, including you, have thankfully shared your wisdom. I can’t afford perfect world regeneration, but whenever possible, I’m always doing what I can to the best of my abilities.

I feel like those practices I’ve learned are helping me, because ever since I started doing those, my muscle soreness decreased drastically, and when I do get sore muscles, I recover probably like three times faster.

The only thing that I tend to not be able to control well is my sleep, as I tend to get insomnia easily. I am, however, pretty consistent when it comes to time I go to bed and get out of bed, just can’t control how much of that time is a quality sleep. If I’ve had bad insomnia the night before, I usually don’t expect to do well the next day.

Since I am mostly consistent with all other regeneration methods, the only thing that gives me a hint on how I’ll do on a given day is that poor sleep will equal poor performance. Other than that, I can’t find any correlation.

I don’t have anyone around me that I know that practice any of these; however, I still take advises from wise people (including you) seriously and follow them as much as possible. It’s more demanding, in a way, than actual training itself, but I know that more training isn’t necessarily better, so this is probably the only thing that I can put forth more effort into.

I think I’m managing my muscles well for someone that doesn’t have my own therapist, but I’m just very poor at judging whether or not my nervous system is ready to go on a given day, until after the main workout.

Thank you.

At a total loss of understanding. This weekend, the athlete ran

7.32 to 60 meters (PR).
but finished with an 11.83

That is such a monumental breakdown that I can’t explain what’s going on. Even with bad speed maintenance, that should be in the 11.6s.
I’m very confident in the split too.

Conditioning is okay, though not great. We do speed endurance work. Just not sure what’s going on.

did you tape the race

shoulda coulda woulda… welcome to track.

Stylee, relax.

Time needs to meet chance. Time and chance have not yet met right?

Things are not happening on your time line.

What are you gonna do?

The 100 meter race is a very very different race than the 60 meters.

I ran the 100 meter hurdle race minus the splits for touch downs faster than I ever ran the 100 meters. Sucks to be me.

One explanation was my leg differential and I tended to run with too much tension for straight sprinting unless it was 60 meters or less. Once I got outside and ran longer I just didn’t have it ever. That additional 40 meters is a big deal.

I totally forgot that I was doing 500 meter reps in the fall. And I also forgot about the 300’s barf. Hated 300’s. I got better and improved over time with some of this. But as I have mentioned before all my longer stuff in fall and spring and then the SE throughout was not great. My speed was very good and constantly improved but it’s tough putting it all together.

Don’t give up.

It’ not good enough to have the conditioning okay. Why not? That’s something everyone can go get. No talent there just hard work right?

What is your quality like? I see so much poor quality training so often I just don’t get it. Not saying that is you but do you have someone helping you or looking over your shoulder that might be able to give insight?

Yes. Lane 7, gray top and red shorts

The running mechanics get visibly shaky at 35, IMO. By 70, it’s clearly falling apart.

60 split is on his 33.75th step - funny way of doing it, but that’s the consistent place in every practice where we take exact splits. It’s between 7.32 and 7.36. By my tables, that should generally yield an 11.40 to 11.60.

Best estimate for last 10 meters: 1.18 seconds. Last year, he was finishing the last ten in about 1.10 - but only getting to 60 at about 7.45.

So he’s gained tremendously in the first 60 and lost tremendously in the last 40. Any way that’s connected - CNS unable to sustain the increased firing?