Experiment in progress.

I have decided to start this thread so I could get a feedback and thoughts about where we can improve.
Due to limited time we have to maximise what we have and what we can do.
This thread is going to be based on two athletes who joined last season. Both are under 18, with a few years of training. One come with time 12.3 other 11.8, last season it was their first season with systematic training.
SPP I was based on L to S and SPP II on approach from both ends of the spectrum.
Their strength training sessions were based around explosive medicine balls.
Their improvements were low 11.9 and sub 11.2 respectively.
New season is upon us and we are in the third week of our GPP.
I have decided to use bit steeper hills through out of our GPP and beginning of SPP I but only for short accelerations of up to 20m, trying to get them to a better position, of course there are other runs which are done on lesser gradient of the hill up to 40m. In another words just modified Charlie’s GPP.
Our warm-up is based yet on another modifications of Seagrave warm-up.

Warm- Up:

  1. Jog 7/10min. With 20m Low Skip FW (Arm Circles FW), Low Skip BW (Arm Circles BW), Sidestep, Karioka,

  2. Core Stability, Hold For 30sec. Plank Position: Prone, Right, Left, Supine, Mobility Movements/ Rotations 5x Each Direction: Head Circle, Trunk Circle, Hip Circle,

  3. 30m Low Skip (Alternate Arm Windmill FW), 10x Lunge FW, 30m Low BW Skip (Alternate Arm Windmill BW), 10x Lunge BW,

  4. Lying Down 2x10 Leg Raise Series: Supine, Outside, Inside, Prone, Tin Soldier

  5. 30m Low Skip (Alternate Arm Windmill FW), 30m Low BW Skip (Alternate Arm Windmill BW), 10x Alternate Thrusts, 5x Turn and Squat, 10x Russian Hamstrings,

  6. 2x 50m Technical Build Ups @ 65% Effort+ Low Skip & Scoop Back,

  7. Double Leg Trust & Frog Trust x 10,

  8. Mobility Movements/ Rotations x 10: Fire Hydrant, Kneeling Knee Circle FW, Kneeling Knee Circle BW, Kneeling Scorpion, Flexibility,

  9. 2x 10 Dynamic Movement: Iron Cross, Scorpion, Groiners, Prone Internal Hip Rotator,

  10. 2x 50m Technical Build Ups @ 80% Effort Walking Back,

  11. Dynamic/ Ballistic Stretching 2x 10 Leg Swmg Series: Trail Leg FW & BW, Frontal to Back, Side Leg Swing, Hurdle Seat Change, Roll Back Into Inverted Hurdle Seat.

  12. Elastic Band Gluteus Activation 2x10

Series of drills, walk, high knee walk, straight leg drill, running A’s, running C’s, Mod. A’s, Dribble Bleeds, drills are done from 10 to 30m.
We started with two tempo days Monday and Friday/Saturday, first day 900m second 1200m followed by abs workout 200 in total and mobility work.

Following week.
10x10, 10x20, 8x20, on the 8th rep people didn’t look particularly good so had to stop and move to next element.
Reactive jumps 4x10
Pushups 50 in total, core 300 in total,

Wednesday and Friday like Monday however we were able to finish workouts (10x10, 2x10x20)

Shorter warm up
Warm- Up:
1, Jog 10min
2. 2x 20m Side Step, Karioka, Low Skip FW & BW, Long Lateral Lounges+ Low Skip+ Scoop Back

  1. 2x 10 Trunk Circle, Hip Circle, Speed Skater, Trail Leg Windmill FW & BW, Iron Cross, Scorpion, Groiners, Frog Thrusts, Cossack Extensions, Long Lunges BW, Roll Back Into Inverted Hurdle Seat, Hurdle Seat Change,

4, 2x20m Side Step, Karioka, Low Skip FW & BW,

  1. 10x Trunk Circle, Hip Circle, Speed Skater, Trail Leg Windmill FW & BW, Iron Cross, Scorpion, Groiners, Frog Thrusts, Cossack Extensions, Long Lunges BW, Roll Back Into Inverted Hurdle Seat, Hurdle Seat Change.
    Drills as on other days.
    Tempo 4x 1,1,1,1
    More Mobility and flexibility 10min.
    Hurdles walkovers, 160/180h in total.
    Waterloo and Pillar circuits 10 reps.
    Abs Trey Hardee and Pedestal.
    Even More Mobility and flexibility.

10x10, 2x10x20m hills
Hurdles hops 6x6 @91/68
squats 6x6,
shoulder press, lats, hyper-extension 4x10
Core 200 in total.
Stretching prescribed based on the needs of the athletes.

4x40 hills
Guys are sore so no hurdles hops
Reduced Squats to 2x6
Bench press, shoulder press, bench row, 4x10, Russian twists with plate 4x20,

Bit sore
It was planned 10x10, 10x20, 10x30 actual workout was 10x10, 8x20, 7x30
Hurdles hops 6x6 @91/68
Squats 4x6, lats, shoulder press hyper-extension 4x10, core circuit 250 in total.

Still soar.
Warm up like before.
Tempo 4x1,1,1,1.
Mobility and flexibility.
Core 300 in total.
Mobility and flexibility.

We are moving into week with 5 training sessions.
Hurdles hops 6x6 @91/68
Squat 6x6
Lats+hyper-extension+shoulder press+abs with plate circuit 4x10

Bike workout.
12min lv 3/4 easy rhythmical cycling.
Stretching routine.
Bike spins 6x(30" fast lv 9/10+ 4’30"relax lv 3)
Individual stretching and mobility.
Core workout.
More Stretching and mobility.

Recovery protocols.
Roller, contrast shower, ice, massage 2x/ month, ems.

In general guys are pretty weak with reactive strength below desired level.
So for the next 12 weeks those two areas should be improved.

Wermouth, without knowing the details of the plan they were exposed to during their first season with you, you might consider their improvements of .4 and .6, respectively, to be quite reasonable.

For perspective, here is Ben Johnson’s chronology


As we know, general strength/fitness goes a long way at the beginning stages so keep your options open with respect to L-S, aggregate, and S-L and I suggest that you be cautious with respect to having them sprint on hills with a steeper slope, relative to their initial exposure, as their physical condition may not yet be sufficient to negotiate the steeper slope with optimal mechanics. Granted, this is all dependent on the grade of the slope you had them on last season.

The warm ups alone are comprehensive so, again, not knowing the full scope of what the athletes were exposed to last season we can’t know how significant an overall load increase you have planned for this season.

Is the nature of the load you have for them this year, included the few weeks of GPP they’ve already done, significantly increased from what you had them do last season?

I think that 1800m of hill sprints per week plus plyometrics is a lot, especially for young athletes with only one year of training behind them. I would have used about half the volume.

Compare to last year increase in volume is about 10% the main change is weights instead of med balls and hurdles hops instead of skipping.
Both have been training 2/3x/ week for past 5/6years.
Last four years.
16- 12.3/11.8
15- 12.4/12.5
14- 12.3/12.7
Grade of the hill is 15/20% just like last year. Other one is about 30%.
As far as I am concern they have been already exposed to some bigger volumes in the past.

I have new guys in the group and they are doing about 900m per week. No elastic strength yet. Medball workout, moderate volume with emphasize on the core. Running is about correct mechanics development.

Do you happen to have splits in 10m increments to coincide with that 4 year span?

The load volume increase you referenced is surely reasonable.

As for the grades of the hills, those are quite steep for direct speed development purposes: http://fcdn.mtbr.com/attachments/downhill-freeride/732486d1350940168-what-considered-steep-argument-fellow-rider-767px-grades_degrees_svg.png

Probably more of a strength stimulus than a direct speed stimulus for those athletes.

If you are keen on the steep (30%) hill and they look good on it you might consider moving to lesser grade hills over the remainder of the GPP in order to allow for intensification and more direct speed stimulus.

Athletes I have mentioned above are training with our group for past 14months, therefore the 10m increment couldn’t be really relevant.
Having rough idea about their past work, the volume was actually decreased.
My understanding of training process is that the increments of the volume can be slowed down or even postponed when other elements of the training have been added to the program.
When program is stable then you can make a further improvements/ changes towards advancing your program.

Guys are looking good on the steeper hill,
The volume is going to be reduced to 6x20 on the steeper hill.

I have reduced the volume by nearly 50% comparing to previous years where volume of work was somewhere between 900 and 1300m a session. Which is quite shocking.

What sort of trend have you been seeing over the past 14 months in terms their splits?

As for the taxonomy of the training load, and in reference to Charlie’s cup analogy, think of making a protein shake- you’ve historically used protein powder, berries, and a certain volume of water and the end result fills your shaker cup to the top. In this way, when a new ingredient that requires volume (a new physical training load component) is added it requires that the volume water, berries, or protein powder be reduced.

The caveat, however, is that depending upon where the athlete is in their training career they may very well be dealing with a larger and larger shaker cup each year for a period of years. In this way, you don’t have to be as concerned with reducing one ingredient to make room for a new one or more volume of a pre-existing one because the overall trend of training load volume does not decrease linearly over time. The load volume must be conservative for the beginner, it then advances over time until the point in which it must then begin to diminish in order to allow for further intensification.

Sure, agree with the analogy. However at this particular stage where two HI elements have been added to the program.I think for me it’s important to be cautious, they must be monitored closely, both athletes and new elements.

When you talking about splits, what are you referring to?

Indeed proceeding with caution is always wise.

As for the splits, I was referring to 10m splits for any of their 100m races or 100m time trials under your coaching for the past 14 months. In this way, you are able to precisely track the transfer of training in such a way that is more descriptive then their times to the finish line alone.

With the knowledge of incremental splits you are able to see what’s happening during each phase of the race and adjust preparation accordingly.

For example, when we look at the data you presented:
“Last four years.
16- 12.3/11.8
15- 12.4/12.5
14- 12.3/12.7”

Let’s consider the athlete in the left column who went 12.3, 12.4, 12.3, 11.9

Having the knowledge of splits over 10m increments may have shown a conflicting proportionality trend in which, for example, early splits advanced (acceleration improved), however, later splits (max V, speed endurance) did not (even though for younger athletes it’s usually the other way around). In this way, while the total times, alone, for the first three years present stagnation- there may very well have been linear improvements in one area of their race from year to year; however, training may also have posed a detriment to other areas of their race. As a result, again this is all hypothetical regarding your athletes, having the knowledge what is happening every 10meter segment is very useful.

Unfortunately I don’t have the whole 100m splits neither videos from competition where quality is good enough to measure 10m splits.
What’s interesting that they were almost on the opposite ends of the spectrum. One extremely fast and explosive out of blocks, burning way too much energy other not as explosive, looking like was building up momentum for much longer.

From what I know they had some injuries, muscular and skeletal.
Anyway, I am excited.

Today session went pretty smoothly
Reduced volume a bit for today’s session, guys looked little bit flat before drills,
When we started to run, actually they moved better than I thought, decided not to increase the volume of the session.
Got to the hurdle hops and they looked best this season so far. I guess the reduction in number of runs transfered to greater post workout energy levels. (6x6h)
Squats 4x6
Circuit of hyper-extension, lats, Russian twists of 4x10 went smoothly, surprisingly enough there was good energy level by the end of the session.
So there you go. Though it is going to be OK session with even option of doing bike workout and it turned out to be one of the better sessions of this GPP so far. Puzzled.

Regarding the splits, I’m referring to an analysis of every 10m segment over the course of their 100m performances. This is done very frequently for most IAAF major competitions (world championships) and Olympics such as this one: http://speedendurance.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/berlin2009beijing2008usainbolt10msplits.jpg

Unfortunately I don’t have a that kind of data

Easy session today.
Hurdles walkovers 180 in total.
Pedestal, TH, Waterloo x10
More Stretching and mobility.

I have called this thread Experiment in progress for reason, I’ll try to do intensive tempo (which I have never done it before) as of the next week for about three weeks and observe how guys are going to respond.
I was thinking about 3x3x150 or 3x2x200, didn’t make the decision yet.

Keep in mind the placement of intensive tempo is critical with respect to the outcome of its inclusion in the load.

Are you still having the athletes perform shorter hill distances on Monday and Friday and longer hill distances on Wednesday?

Well, there are few options, one of them is to reduce volume on Friday and do intensive tempo on Saturday. Other option is to dedicate/ sacrifice key HI session, possibly Wednesday.

Re short hills, we are still doing it. Number of reps got lower 2x5x20,

The reason as to why I am planning to include intensive tempo is that I would like to have a one day a week in SPP where we are doing split runs over 60s but also longer runs in the same training unit. Just like John did with his 3x3x60+2x200. However I am leaning towards 2x3x60+2x150.
Therefore I would like guys I coach to be prepared for this particular workout.