does S-L from vancouver series fits with vertical integration graph?

I just made my winter GPP and SPP plans, both for S-L training approach. After a lot of reading and thinking I got confused and I don’t think I understand the whole thing. Perhaps I missed sth out.

According to the vertical integration graph the first training cycle (SPP) lasts for 12 weeks. It starts with accumulation period where the volume of speed work is quite low and rises later when entering the first maxximum weights phase. It keeps rising and peaks at the end of the first max weights phase. After that the first major drop occurs after the second week of the second max weights phase. It rises a bit for the supercompensation purpos again in the maintenance phase and then drops again entering the comp period.

Based on the S-L graph from Vancouver series the volume of speed work for the first five weeks of the twelve-week long SPP is keept high and then starts to drop and continues dropping until the end of SPP.

Would appreciate a lot if sb could explain this to me. Thanks in advance!

I don’t think they are for the same programme. But the ideas are there. Remember you have to make a programme that will work for you using the basic concepts Charlie left us. That short to long programme is for a highly conditioned athlete with several years training short to long behind them. You would probably have to reduce the volume quite a bit if it is your first time out doing it and also adjust other aspects like where you are going to put the weights etc.

First of all thanks a lot for your answer Topcat!
I was waiting for the whole day checking the website every 15 minutes to get an answer :stuck_out_tongue:

Hope you (or anyone else) won’t mind answering a few more questions:

  • How do you mean, they are not the same programme? I always though the vertical integration model graphs being a constant in the CF methods under which the training plan (volumes, intensity, weights…) is constructed.
    I even applied my summer training plan only to the graphs (reduced volumes of course, kept the ratios) in the vertical integ. model. In the end it wasn’t exactly S-L or L-S.

  • I am training for two years now. Running 400, need to improve my speed. My Special end is good. Would it be alright to stick to the Vancouver series S-L template and cut the volumes based on my abilities?

  • In that case: is it ok to just cut the volumes and keep the ratios? Will the supercompensation be there like using the vertical integ. model?

  • how about the phases (accumulation, max weights, maintenance…) Does the 12-week mesocycle arrangement stay the same?

I mean the principles are the same but i think the vertical integration graph is reconstructed from the CFTS which was written 10 years before the S-L Van graphics so they do not necessarily relate to the same programme. Just because it shows something happening in week 10 on the vertical integration does not mean it relates to what is happening on week 10 of the Van graphics. However as the intensity of the runs in the Van graphics goes up you can infer that the volume of jumps must be going down and you probably aren’t doing max strength etc…

You could try cutting volumes but keeping ratios and see how it goes but ultimatly you have to fit it to your situation. If you need to do more speed work or tempo etc then the ratios would change. The thing about these graphs is that they help to illustrate principles NOT provide a programme to follow. That’s why Charlie never put out SPP2 because people just kept copying the SPP1 and saying “it doesn’t work”. Of course it doesn’t work in a lot of cases because it’s written for a fictitious athlete to illustrate key principles. However, the underpinning principles do work once you identify what you need to do to improve. It’s like supplementation. You feel tired all the time so you take creatine but it doesn’t help. So you come to the conclusion that creatine doesn’t work but in reality you are anaemic and in fact what you really needed was iron!

Good written, good example! To sum it up, you gave me the answer of the highest quality :wink:
Thanks a lot! Really appreciate it!

Well said!

Good post and while he didn’t put out SPP2 he did provide an excellent idea of structuring it in the SPP download

Much of the work we put into the illustrations/graphs on planning were based on Charlie’s actual 1987 preparation for Ben (i.e. vertical integration graphic). The graphics produced more recently (i.e. S-L and L-S) were more conceptual in nature to illustrate a hypothetical training plan and progression.

First of all, I hope I’m not threadjacking.

I am also trying to plan a Short to Long program and I am a masters guy who only does two speed days. I’m going to be as specific as possible here!

I run the 60m and 200m indoors, so I’m wondering how do I fit in what I need from the third speed day (runs with restricted recovery)?

Let’s take a specific example from the Vancouver Short to Long graph.

In week 1, it suggests 3x4x60 for Monday and Friday speed days. I’ll probably do 3x(4x50m) on the Monday, for example.

On my second speed day in week 1, it calls for 2x3x(20 E/ 20F/ 20E), which I would probably cut to 1x 3 to 4 (20E/ 20F/ 20E).

Instead of squeezing in 3x(4x50m) on the second speed day in week 1 after the EFE work, could I just do something like 3x200m or 2x300m with limited recovery? Would that be tolerable?

Or, should I consider moving the incomplete rest work to Sunday early on and doing it as hills?

I’m assuming I’ll need something bordering on SE runs towards late GPP / early SPP on my second speed day.

I’m 36, tall and slim (possible low work tolerance?), PB 7.98/12.49/25.04 for the 60m/100m/200m.

If you are doing 3 x 200 with limited recovery, that’s not really speed work - is it? So why would that type of work be inserted on a “speed day”? That would be considered intensive tempo work. It raises some concerns particularly if you are replacing 50-60m sprints with runs that are not remotely similar in purpose.

If you truly are doing a short-to-long program, then do a s-to-l program. If you are deciding to do a “mixed” program, you will have to rearrange the program to fit your arrangement. Taking Charlie’s s-to-l program and “dropping in” different types of runs is not a good idea. I have used runs out to 200-300m, but with full recovery and treated as true Special Endurance runs. But in that arrangement, we were doing two pure speed days (i.e. 30-60m) and one SE day (200-300m).

It really comes down to what you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to build your ability to attain, improve and maintain your maximum velocity capabilities? Or, are you more concerned with building general endurance qualities and lactic tolerance?

Hi Number Two,

Thanks for responding! I’m not sure. I just wasn’t sure if you could replace 3x(4x50) with 3x200 without changing the purpose too much. Apparently not!

I’m still trying to wrap my head around this stuff. I thought that 3x(4x50) was considered SE of some sort in a Short to Long program, and that it would occur early on in a season (mid-GPP forward).

I’m just not sure what someone who only has two speed days should do. The first speed day seems pretty clear with 3x(4x50).

What should I do on the second? Would the starts, EFE’s, AND 3x(4x50) be tolerable for a masters guy? It sounds like a lot of stress.

That is the essence of my question. I just wanted to know if replacing the short runs with longer runs would make it more tolerable without changing the purpose.

What would you suggest for the two speed day type guy?

Should I just perhaps shutup and split the work over 3 speed days until the limited recovery short runs are completed?

Modify the work to allow for more recovery between longer sprints (i.e. 200’s and 300’s). A typical progression could be:

1 - 350 + 350 - r = 15 min
2 - 350 + 300 - r = 18 min
3 - 300 + 300 - r = 20 min
4 - 300 + 250 - r = 23 min
5 - 250 + 250 - r = 25 min
6 - 250 + 200 - r = 25 min
7 - 200 + 200 - r = 30 min
8 - 200 + 200 - r = 30 min

On the first speed day (assuming the above is Speed Day 2), your work could be 60 - 150 work (spread over the same period going from short to longer). As in Charlie’s example, you could keep it over 60m sprints for the first 3-4 weeks, then extend it out from there.

He could also take Charlie Special End 1 work from the L2S graphs which starts at 2x300 resting 6-7mins and progress from that point.

2x20+1x30+2x300 6m (20)
2x20+2x30+2x300 9m (20)
2x20+2x30+300-250 11min (30)
3x30+60+2x250 14m (30)

Thank you for this! When I did a phone consult with Charlie about 18 months ago, he stressed that I should do a lot of general fitness work. I didn’t get it at the time. I really am starting to understand now.

Given an 8-10 week GPP, and a 6-8 week SPP, and 8 week competition phase, I will write up 3 sample weeks (perhaps weeks 8, 12, and 16) and see what you think of the plan.

I’m not sure how to fit in the EFE’s in a two speed day format, but I’ll try!

Thanks again,


Instead of trying to fit all the different training components you see in Charlie’s example plans, perhaps you should focus on those you need to support your own needs as an athlete. Keep it simple and to the point to start with and see how it goes.

Think about all the differences here. Assuming a high level athlete who can accelerate say 40m before hitting top speed.

3x4x50m = 480m Acceleration, 120m upright. Highest top speed = 11m/s

3x200m = 120m acceleration, 480m upright.
Highest top speed = 10.5m/s (because you are accelerating on a bend)

That’s a totally different training impact just from the types of muscle groups you are using let alone from a metabolic or neural perspective or even then from a technical perspective (200m practices running on a bend and under fatigue at the end, 50m practices acceleration and reaching top speed).

Hence CF’s suggestion of doing fitness work… i presume. Great point Nik.

This is true, but EFE / FEF is pretty important for patterning proper technique at maximum speed, is it not? I don’t have to do a ton of it, but I suspect it should be present, yes?

Can anyone give me some examples of what would qualify as a general fitness workout?

I’ve always worked Short to Long in the past, but as a taller masters guy who probably has a more limited ability to take CNS stress than most, I am interested in trying a mixed program.

The other problem was that I didn’t plan ahead properly last year! So having these discussions prior to the start of the season rather than in the middle of it is terrific.

Thank you! I never would have thought of that if you hadn’t pointed it out. That is totally different all right! :o

Thanks for your comments, keep them coming!


…see above

General fitness can be tempo and/or bodyweight exercises, press ups sit ups etc etc, med ball throws at low intensity (see gpp dvd for some but not all examples) weights - squats, bench etc etc. The first 2 can be performed during or after tempo or after a track session if you don’t want to lift heavy.