DMA's Coaching Thread

I decided to show my attempt to program for athletes. This journal will particularly focus on one athlete, who trains and works hard but is unlikely to an elite athlete (or even a representative athlete)

Season 2011/12

A bit about the Athlete

I have coached him for about 4 years, initially to improve his speed and technique for soccer but overtime talked him into trying athletics. Floated around various events for another 18 months, and in the last 12 months has considered himself to be a sprinter. Personally, I think he is suited to 800’s.

He is a full time University student, undertaking a second degree. He originally graduated with a Science degree, but has gone back to do engineering as there is no work for science graduates (he majored in aquaculture and marine science)

He works when he gets work, and plays social hockey and soccer (much to my chagrin)

Generally does enough activity outside of training to count that as his tempo work. Actually have to prevent him doing more work and ensuring he rests enough between events/training sessions.

At the start of the year his personal bests for the three sprints where as follows

100m - 12.18
200m - 24.84
400m - 55.56

Aims I thought are attainable

100 - 11.81
200 - 24.09
400 - 53.89

How did I come about these aims? Not without any real reasoning. That thought they seemed reasonable.

Currently he has achieved the following, and we have been in the SPP phase and early Competition phase

100 – 12.19
200 – 24.88
400 – 53.63

Two parts to the season

Pre Christmas – concentrate on 100-200 times, with a few 400’s without peaking. Main event is 200m week before Christmas.

Post Christmas – 400m and relays for club at State Championships

This year we made a decision to do the following

• Sleds work
• Hill work
• Resistance Training after main session (during winter on separate night)

Annual Plan

Broken up into traditional GPP, SPP, CPP, Comp, and Transition

My slant on these phases is as follows

I use the Bompa biomotor triangle which has speed, stamina, and strength

GPP - Everything is general. All elements are there from day 1
That is speed, stamina, and strength is general and not geared to specific event.

SPP – We become more specific in elements.

CPP – a transition between SPP and Competition, so we introduce more competition specific elements.

Comp – athlete is training for competition.

Transition – R&R and mental break

GPP was 8 weeks. It was broken up into 2 x 4 Weeks

  1. The athlete 16 different choices in training, athlete required to achieve 100 points a week. More points on components more relevant to sprinters.
  2. Structured workouts, but general in nature. Sample session is

Sample Week
Day 1 – Speed 6 x 30m sleds at 15% bodyweight, 4 x 60m accelerate for 10 strides and hold, then Weights session. I will post these later
Day 2 – Off
Day 3 – Aerobic component
Day 4 – Weights
Day 5 – Off
Day 6 – Hills – see progression
Hills Progression
Week 1

  1. Short (100m) x 2
  2. Medium (200m) x 2
    Week 2
  3. Medium (200m) x 2
  4. Short (100m) x 1
  5. Medium (200m) x 1
    Week 3
  6. Medium (200m) x 2
  7. Short (100m) x 2
    Week 4
  8. Long (300m) x 1
  9. Short (100m) x 2
    Day 7 - Off

On his off days he tended to ride to University which is about 20 minutes each way, play social sport or do some form of activity. He tends not to do any activity easily.

The next phase was SPP which was planned to be 20 weeks, although he had some injury issues caused by soccer or social events – he lost 8 weeks of full training (about 3 weeks of training)

I will post more later.

SPP was based on two high intensity running days, with 1 high intensity weights day separately. Based on our ability to train and coach this was the best we could do. Athlete was encouraged to do tempo, bike rides, or bush walks on the day after Monday’s high intensity sessions (namely Tuesday) and rest days before high intensity days. Perhaps a mistake on my part (but worked for this athlete)

SPP was initially 16 weeks, but due to injuries it became 20 week. During the SPP the athlete lost around 8 weeks of training in the speed sessions due to 3 injuries. Monday’s key was 50m sprint, this initially started at 8 reps (as 2 sets x 4 reps) and worked down to 4 reps

Monday: Sprints and Weights (around 135 minutes)

The sessions revolved around 50m sprints, with 30m accelerations and in and outs over 50-60m. Total volume of this session was around 570m for the SPP period. Using the 50m as the key session the 16 week period was planned like this

  1. 3 x 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  2. 3 x 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  3. 3 x 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  4. 3 x 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  5. 2 x 4 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  6. 2 x 4 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  7. 1 x 4, 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  8. Testing 60, 150, 300m
  9. 1 x 4, 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  10. 2 x 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  11. 2 x 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  12. 6 x 50m; 5 min rest
  13. 6 x 50m; 5 min rest
  14. 5 x 50m; 5 min rest
  15. 5 x 50m; 5 min rest
  16. 4 x 50m; 5 min rest

Week 5 the athlete hurt his knee mucking around with mates, that limited his training for 3 weeks. The training was limited to lower intensity training after an initial 3 days of rest

Week 8 was a test session.

From week 5 to 7 the athlete had issues with injury, as he hurt his knee making around with mates.

The athlete was able train in week 8: was test week where the athlete runs 60, 150, 300m, the athlete played soccer after our hard hill session and injured his hip…

Week 9 was a rehab week

We made some modifications in training by extending the SPP to 20 weeks and the training from Week 10 became this (the 50m element)

  1. 2 x 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets (Easy)
  2. 1 x 50m – modified volume
  3. 2 x 50m – modified volume
  4. 2 x 2 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  5. 2 x 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  6. 2 x 4 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  7. Testing 60, 150, 300m
  8. 2 x 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  9. 2 x 3 x 50m; walk back/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  10. 4 x 50m; 5 min rest
  11. 3 x 50m; 5 min rest

At the end of week 18, the athlete injured his lower back after being tackled at half time heroes. This week was AFL grand final week. This pretty much stopped speed, and weights session for the next three weeks.

The other main training session was a Hills session. The hill is around 300m in length, and was set up like this.

  1. 2 x 20m, 2 min; 2 x 60, walk back; 3 x (200, 100), jog back/reps, 5 min rest/sets
  2. 2 x 20m, 2 min; 2 x 60, walk back; 2 x (200, 100, 100), jog back/reps, 5 min rest/sets; 1 x 200
  3. 2 x 20m, 2 min; 2 x 60, walk back; 2 x (200, 100), jog back/reps, 5 min rest/sets; 1 x 200, 100, jog back rest
  4. 4 x 200, 100m, 200m jog rest/reps, 5 min rest/sets
  5. 2 x 60m; 2 (2 x 200 + 2 x 100), jog back rest/reps, 5 minutes rest/sets
  6. 2 x 60m; 4 x 200; 4 x 100m, jog back rest/reps, 5 minutes rest/sets
  7. 1 x 300m, full recovery; 6 x 100m, walk back rest
  8. 3 x 200m, 3 (200, 100m); walk back rest/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets (Injured didn’t train)
  9. 3 (200, 200, 100m); walk back rest/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  10. 3 (200, 200, 100m); jog back rest/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  11. 3 (100, 200, 100m); walk back rest/reps, 8-10 min rest/sets
  12. 2 x 2 x 200m, jog back rest/reps, 10+ minutes rest/sets
  13. 2 (300, 100m), jog back rest/reps, 10+ minutes rest/sets
  14. 2 (300, 200m), jog back rest/reps, 10+ minutes rest/sets
  15. 300m Hill Test
  16. 2 x 2 x 300m, jog back rest/reps, Full recovery rest/sets
  17. 2 x 2 x 300m, jog back rest/reps, Full recovery rest/sets

Week 19 we moved to the track

  1. 2 x 2 x 200m at 27.5 sec; walk 200m rest/reps, 5 min rest/sets
  2. 2 x 2 x 200m at 27.5 sec; jog 200m rest/reps, 5 min rest/sets

The next phase Competition Preparation Phase is 4 weeks

He run 12.35 in a 100m in week 19, 2 days after the 2 x 2 x 200m

I haven’t touched on resistance training. From GPP to week 18 we did weights after track session on Monday and as a separate session on Thursday.

Basically we did a 4 week block of teaching the athlete the warm up and some technical elements of some of the lifts.

The session was basically progressive overload with reps between 4 and 6. Sessions took around 40 minutes after warm up.

The 4 week competition preparation phase the training was

Monday – speed and weights

Tuesday – Tempo/bike ride

Wednesday – off

Thursday – Specific Endurance and weights

Friday – off

Saturday – Special endurance

Sunday – Off

The Training planned for this 4 weeks block was as follows;

Week 1
Monday – 4 x 30m Starts, 4 x 60 in, out and ins, 4 x 50, all with at least 1 min per 10m rest, then Weights
Tuesday – Tempo – Big Circuit (athlete didn’t do as he had heavy exam/study load)
Thursday – 1 x 3, 2 x 200m, walk recovery
Saturday – 200 and 200, full recovery (Done in a local competition in an individual and relay)

Week 2
Monday – 4 x 30m Starts, 2 x 60 in, out and Ins, 4 x 50, all with at least 1 min per 10m rest, then Weights
Tuesday – Off Exams
Thursday – Competition Warm Up
Saturday - Exams

Week 3
Monday – 6 x 60m Strides
Thursday – 2 x 3 x 200m, walk recovery/reps, 5-8 min rest/sets
Saturday – Competition 100 in 12.19, 400 in 54.44, and a 4 x 100m leg (all with full recovery)

Week 4
Monday – 8 x 30m Starts, 6 x 50m, all with at least 1 min per 10m rest, then Weights
Tuesday – Tempo around 2000m
Thursday – 2 x 3 x 200m 200 jog/reps, 5-8 minutes rest/sets then weights
Saturday – Special Endurance through Competition
100m in 12.39 and 200m in 24.93, full rest between rests

The athlete managed the majority of the speed sessions, missed one due to fatigue. Although none of the sessions were particularly good. The Thursday specific endurance sessions were reduced and target times not met. This block was in the middle of University exams and the athlete is a high achieving student through hard work (had an internal average in all subjects if greater than 95%)

Overall pretty happy with this block. Next block is the 5 week competition block with the last two competitions being our goal for the first half of the season.

This 5 week competition cycle, took us up to Christmas. It allowed me to test out the peaking cycle. More on that later.

The first three weeks were in essence continuing on from the previous cycle

Week 1
Monday – 4 x 30 blocks, 4 x 60 in, out, and ins, 4 x 50m; recovery was 1 minute per 10m then weights
Wednesday – 5 x 200m, walk 200m recovery; then weights
Saturday – Competition 200 + 100m
Didn’t compete that weekend as athlete was sick – Post exam illness

Week 2
Monday – 4 x 30 blocks, 4 x 60 in, out, and ins, 4 x 50m; recovery was 1 minute per 10m then weights
Wednesday –
Thursday - 5 x 200m, jog 200m recovery; then weights
Saturday – 1 x 300m Hill
Athlete did Saturday on Wednesday (reduced the quality of Thursday’s session) as he was going to a music festival interstate

Week 3
Monday – 4 x 30m (Lying), 4 x 50m, with 5 minutes recovery, 2 x 50m (walk back rest), then weights
Thursday – Block work about 10, 2 x 200m, 200m jog recovery then weights
Saturday – Competition 400 in 53.63, and 200 in 24.88. There was 90 minutes between races
He run the 400 the best he has ever run it, it was also a personal best.

Week 4 and 5
Start of the peaking cycle. The only instructions I gave my athlete was you do the training as a describe and no other activities.
Monday – 6 x 30m Starts, 4 x 50 In, out, and ins, 1 x 80, 60; 1 min per 10m rest then weights
Tuesday – 4 x 5 x 100m @ 70%
Wednesday – off
Thursday – 4 x 30 Blocks, 1 x 90m @95%, Full recovery then weights
Friday – Off
Saturday – 100m in 12.23 and 400m 54.37, 40 minutes between races and a relay

I wasn’t at this meet as I had previous engagement, but by accounts he run the first 250m too hard (he went out with a sub 50 runner. He also jogged a 1500m between 400 and relay.

Sunday – Off

I found out he went for a 14 mile walk in loose sand with his girlfriend as he felt pretty good. He was feeling like a caged lion…

Monday – 2 x 30m and 2 x 50m all at 95%, 5-10 min rest then weights
Thursday – Competition Warm Up
Saturday 1pm 100 in 12.31 and 4pm 200 in 24.70

He run the 100 poorly, but made up for it in the 200m

Notes on weights from Week 2 with followed Pioneer’s Schedule posted on the site and used 4 exercises which reduced down to 2 exercises of 1 set.

Thoughts on first half of year (actually around ¾ of the training year)

My thoughts as a coach are I made mistakes, and perhaps should have made a more structured training. However this will overtrain and do more than prescribed, so I take the approach that if I don’t give him anything what he does will cover it.

I think the structure worked, with the athlete losing around 8 weeks of speed – I think he would have hit the 100 and 200 times I set initially (or even better)

He missed a lot of weights after hurting his back, it was probably another month after he was back running that we managed to a full running and weights session.

After Christmas there is 11 weeks to the State Championships and realistically his aim will be achieve personal bests in the events he competes in. The championships are held over a two and a half day period, so to do the 100, 200, 400, 4 x 100, and 4 x 400 is probably too much, so we will decide what events he does closer to the date.

We are going to add an extra speed session by the club relay practice session on a Sunday

The following is the plan for the 11 weeks

Monday – Special endurance and weights
Tuesday – 2200 – 2800 extensive tempo @ 65-7-%
Wednesday – Off
Thursday – Speed and weights
Friday – 2200-2800 extensive tempo for first 4 weeks then off
Saturday – Off or competition
Sunday – Relay Practice – will use that as an additional speed session

I will post Weeks 1 to 8 later, as I can’t post it as a table, so have to find another way to embedded or enter.

Weeks 9 to 11 have yet to be completed, but the structure will be similar to the last 3 weeks of the competition cycle previously described.

Weeks 1 to 8 planned training

wk1-8 Comp2.jpg

I hope this works

What times does he do for 30/50?

Don’t really time them but the last time 60 I have recorded he run the first 30 in 3.85 and the 60 in 7.47. Hand Time from first foot contact

Hi, can you enhance the .jpg picture of your training plan? Cant read it :slight_smile:

Short answer is No, but I will try something else over the weekend

All right!

Hermok, I apologise for not getting back sooner - family and friends are in the midst of a big bushfire (30-40% of a couple of towns wiped out)

I haven’t been able to get something better up, so below is a typed version of week 1 to 4

The program for each week is between commas. So the Monday session below is week 1 is 2x2x200m, week 2 is 2 x 300+150 etc…

Monday; 2 x 2 x 200m, 2 x 300+150, 2 x (3 x 50 + 1 x 300M), 2 x (1 x 300 + 3 x 50)
Tuesday; Big Circuit, Big Circuit, Big circuit + 3 x 100, 3 x 100 + big circuit + 3 x 100
Wedensday; Off
Thursday; 3 x 30m Sleds + 2 x 30m + 2 x 3 x 60m + 2 x 40m starts, Repeat, 2 x 30m Sleds + 2 x 30m + 2 x 2 x 60m + 3 x 40m starts, 4 x 30m with 20m run + 2 x 2 x 60m + 4 x 40m starts
Friday; Repeat tuesday
Saturday; Off (or do Friday if not done on Friday)
Sunday; Relay Practice

Week 5 to 8 (same formatting as post above)

Monday; 1 x 350 Full + 250+150 (30 sec rest), 1 x 350 full rest + 1 x 60, 50, 40 (walk back), 2 x 2 x 200 (2 min rest rest + full recovery), 2 x (300 +150) (2 min rest/reps + full recovery)
Tuesday; 3 x 100 + big circuit + 3 x 100, 3 x 100 + big circuit + 3 x 100, 3 x 100 + big circuit + 3 x 100, 3 x 100 + big circuit + 3 x 100
Wednesday; Off
Thursday; 3 x 80 In & Outs (8 mins)+4 x 60 (6 mins)+1 x 90 Block, 3 x 30m (3 mins)+4 x 60m (6 mins)+1 x 80m (8 mins), 2 x 90m In & Outs (10 mins)+3 x 60 (6 mins)+1 x 80 (8 mins)+5 x 30m Blocks (3 min),2 x 4 x 30m Walk back/reps+ 8 min/sets, 1 x 90m In & Outs (9 mins)+2 x 60 (6 mins)+1 x 80
Friday; Repeat tuesday on Week 5 and 7
Saturday; Off but competition on Weeks 6 and 8 (will choose the race during the week)
Sunday; Relay Practice

Just been browsing trough your thread. I have some questions.

How old is your guy?
And why isnt he beating the 12 in the 100?
Its hard to believe a guy cant manage to run sub 12. I have only met long distance runners who couldnt do that.

As for the plan.
Why no weights?
also the volume seems a bit high(thursdays)

HI Pindaman

Thanks for the questions

The athlete is 23.

He should be running sub 12, I think losing 8 weeks of speed work has been the issue as well as technical issues with acceleration out of blocks. Other issues is he just isn’t strong enough for 100m. I think ultimately he will move to 800’s (his younger sister has been selected for an Australian junior team for 800 & 1500m). I also believe he does to much work outside of training, his family are old school do more work to get better.

To provide and indication of the 100m pace in the state, the fastest runner here is 10.95, and to make the final of the state championships you will probably run mid 11’s. This is the level I am working with.

There are weights, they are done after Monday and Thursday sessions, I just haven’t put them down here yet.

In essence the weights are set up like this

Deadlift or cleans + box jump
Squat or hip extension movement + push movement + ab
hip extension or knee movement + pull movement + ab

We tend to total around 16 sets, reps on initial exercise tend to be no more than 8 (4-6 normal), and second exercise reps depend on what it is, and the ab movements tend to be timed

The Thursday session is around 570-590m, not sure if that is high all not. But he seems to manage, but I do drop reps and sets if the athlete is fatigued. What volume of speed would you recommend?


I just noticed the volume and i dont know the history of th athlete. 600m of speed got me injured in no time. You’re plan looks a bit like KK’s blue print of 2days-rest-3days-rest training plan.
As a 400h I have experimented with the KK plan allot the last 5 years and it really works.
For me the key was to go for quality work in speed. Don’t be afraid to do too little speed work. sessions of 300m can work wonders.
your session:
3 x 80 In & Outs (8 mins)+4 x 60 (6 mins)+1 x 90 Block + weight
Looks real hard to do it at 100% quality. The in-out when executed well can make you really tired.
When the in/out is the main part of the session i might change it to : 3x80 i/o 8’ -10-15’ - 2x60 6’ (360m) - he might be more fresh for the weight.
What kind of wheather is it over there…I cant do too much speed over here as it is near freezing temps.

THe rest seems good. I really hate 300+ distance so i almost never do them except when i feel really strong. SO never in gpp/spp. But your guy might not have the psycological disadvantage :slight_smile:

Also i have some good experience using bw circuits (mentioned somewhere in the allan wells training topic) to replace ruinning circuits to save the legs as I have chronical calf problems.

Thanks Pindaman

Will keep an eye on volume, I think you are right about the volume, although he did manage the load of during winter. My one query about the winter load, was his injures caused by his stupidity or by tiredness from my part and him doing things he would normally do.

Currently we are in the middle of summer - last week it was 42 degree celsius with 12% humidity (and 40km/h winds) (37 celsius = 100 F), we average around 22 degree in summer and 22% humidity normally.

It is definitely KK inspired

How you coping with the fires?

Today is the first clear day in the capital, and thankfully it is only 19 degrees today, but we are expecting winds and 30 degrees in coming days.

A few people I know have lost everything, including a least one coach (Ray Quarrell), a few family members and friends had issues with their farms - but all got through okay.

The hard part in the Hobart, where I am, is that we had fires to the North, South, East and West within 100km, so we got the smoke pretty bad. The main fires are yet to be under control but have slowed.

All we need is a lot of rain - had none or no worthwhile amount for probably a month or more.

The weather patterns Tasmania had last week, is similar to what New South Wales and Victoria are having at the moment. I know Western Australia and South Australia have had a week or more of temperatures above 40 degrees C (that is around 105 F)

I noticed something in our national paper today about the fires in Oz.
What a devastation for your beautiful country and the people living there.
It must be a horrifying experience to go through something like this.