How much training during a competition block?

This is a sample week of the volume and intensity of work I did for 8 weeks (racing only once/week) with a 10.35 sprinter. This is the first time I have tried reducing the intensity of work during a competition block, and this kind of format with times improving/reducing (generally) from week to week.

Charlie, others, what do you think?? Is this the way to go? It seemed to work!


a.m 2x5x100m at 60% with 45s/2 mins rec.

Rest day

p.m (all at 95% max speed)

  1. Starts to 30m x 4
  2. 80m, 150m with 10-15 mins rec. Sometimes just a 120m as we got closer to peak…

a.m Weights (strength maintenance)

  • 3 sets of 2-3 at 75-85% of 1RM
    Split Cleans
    Single Leg Squats
    Seated Row…

and swim for 15 mins

Rest day and ART Massage

Warm up


Sat: Race
Sun: Rest or tempo - I perfer rest
Mon: Tempo
Tue: speed 4x30, 4x60, weights clean, bs, bp (1-3 setsx2repsx70-75% for lower body and 70-90% upper), and therapy…
Wed: Tempo
Thur: Rest
Fri: starts and throws
Sat: race

In my experience, its always better to rest the day after running. When I have trained the next day, I have felt tired and groggy the whole of the next week (admittedly, this may not be related, but Im assuming it is)

In addition, I sometimes feel very sluggish not having trained for 2 days pre-comp. I usually train on the Thursday, but you have a warm up on Friday, so that probably achieves the same thing.

That block included quite a few trips to Aus and back didn’t it? During which he was consistently setting PB’s.

Wouldn’t they need to be factored in as well?

Yep it did.

What I am most intrigued by is only running at 100% once per week, in competition, for 8 weeks and you you get better, not worse. This has changed my thinking from the past when I would have had athletes going 100% during the week at some stage…and I guess they didn’t keep running faster/pbs…

Did you only amend things for him or for all your squad?

If the whole squad were there similar responses?

Maybe the fact he was consistently performing at what was a substantially new level was the main factor. CF has often said PB’s require increased recovery time (up to 12 days at the highest level).

I’ve sent you an email.

This depends on the level of athlete. For people over 10.5 or 11.0, ability to push CNS level is less and the corresponding recovery period is less.

But what you see once you get much below 10.5 (or just to get there) is that what you used to do doesn’t work so well any more, and you need to arrange for more recovery. Your conditioning is such that you can handle a much larger volume of submax than people sprinting slower, but once near top shape you really can’t push the envelope more than once a week if you want to keep improving. Everything else is submax.

I have found that less is more. Every year I do less with seemingly better results. Last year I spoke to one coach who told me how little his elite guys do even 8 weeks before NCAAs. My guy was battling injury and we were forced to do similar to what you and he did and I was shocked it ended in a big PB. This seems to be more common than you would think…makes sense when you think of all the guys who do great shortly after an injury where they are forced to rest.

That being said, it always fascinates me that some people do well off training like this and some will do 5x that volume with good results.

What event was this athlete in particular training for? If it was the 55 or one of the jumps then I can see why it makes sense what you are saying but if we are talking about the 400, 200 or maybe even a shorter race running rounds or competing multiple days in a row I feel this athlete would run into trouble.

100/jumper. I agree this would be different if they had to run mad rounds. However I think this training would work for a 100/jumper one off as long as they don’t become like MLFat. Goes along the lines of the Jonathan Edwards do-nothing training.

Gofast, how is your season progressing?I’m using a similar approach for a 10"45 guy.

My 10.45s, now 10.35s, guy has been building up for a summer competing in the northern hemisphere. He is heading to Belgium in 10 days time and we start competition but it he will keep training hard and not following our pattern of last summer (as you are following) as we need to get more training into him before he competes at World Unis in early July.

How are you going?

Improved from last year, but not lucky enough with the weather…world unis are an option for us also.