How to train between meets


I’ve done a meet yesterday (6/4) and have another one coming up a week from yesterday (6/11; 7 day term)

and I’ll have a third one (6/22) 11 days afterwards.

Then next month, I’ll have one on 7/13 and probably 7/17…

Having about 4-11 days between each, what should I be doing during those times? I would guess not too much of full-blown 60s or flys as those are hard to recover from in such a short period of time, and not too much SEs because I remember CF saying that during competitive period, meets serve as SEs.

So would it be predominantly a lot of starts 10-30s and a little bit of 60s and 120s?

Would it look like last few days of the schedule from 10 day taper? (I did watch the video, but I won’t have 10 days forsome meets)

I’m still a novice, so CNS recovery may not be as much of an issue, but I definitely am very injury prone…and really want to make some improvements, so I want to be careful.

If I have it all wrong, please correct me…

As Charlie said, the only efforts at max effort would be the races. Everything else would be submax. You can still do 60s or 150s, but the 60s might be 90% or less and the 150s might be 80%.

How about total volume? If I’m used to doing about 500-650m a day, 3 times a week, would I be doing more like 3-400m a day? or would volume stay about the same and only reduce speed to submax?

Thank you.

Id reduce the volume, but if your doing 150’s then 500 sub max is not that much, but make sure you not running them to fast. ALso ITs a good time to work on whatever weakness you encounter from the meet.

Hard to get much beneficial development in short periods btw races. Recovery from races to avoid damage is as important.
Hydration - it`s easy to get dry hanging around, warmup/down over say 3 hours.
Nutrition - Goes without saying but I have a tendency to eat junk (some kind of reward I guess) for day after a race.
Contrast showers, massage whatever you are used to.
Sleep, if you have time at least 1 short extra period per day (say 30 mins) lying down as close to sleeping as possible.

At least 1 session of recovery tempo within 24-36 hours of race. Run, bike, pool as you are used to. Keep individual reps short, no more than 100m. Sometimes as low as sets of 50m. Concentrate on good technique. i have had problems wobbling around due to muscular tiredness and am convinced I picked up niggles due to poor mechanics in post race tempo.

I usually do race day / tempo day/ rest day then carry on. So its effectively 2 days recovery. But then I am ancient and need my rest … !!

Yeah, I don’t want to drop volume too much and risk crashing. Hopefully I can regulate the speed and volume properly. I don’t really know what I did wrong during the past meet though :frowning: I don’t really have the skill to have sense of how I did or what I did wrong unless it was REALLY bad and obvious (like stumbling).

It’s true the training between meets isn’t the most ideal time to develop…rather it’s probably the meets that provide such advancements for the following meet, and proper recovery and maintenance is the key for that to happen. I’m doing my best to eat clean, drink water, and taking contrast shower twice a day. I sleep 8+ hours a day unless I get really bad insomnia. Unable to get a massage at this point, but I do some self myofascial release.

I took the day after meet off, and looks like it was a bad call…It’s not difficult to do tempos, but being in Los Angeles, going to parks to run and dealing with weekend crowdedness is a stress, though I might have to just embrace it next time.

I am now scared to train on weekends due to the crowdedness. On my first speed day here, I almost ran over a few people and had to stop abruptly…I am so scared of getting hurt from that.

Surprisingly though, after this meet, I’m having such a minimal soreness. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. I wonder if I’m free of soreness because I ran with efficient and relaxed technique, or because my power output and effort was submaximal (although not intended to be submaximal). I’ve always been super sore after meets, so it’s very unusual for me.

Thank you.

Remember what Ben actually ran in the last week of the 10 day taper:

4X30 + 80(sub-max)

There were a couple of tempo days, but volume gets SHARPLY cut. Likewise, in “Inside the SPP”, the last week was 2X60 twice a week. You might do some starts between races and maybe a couple of submax 60’s or 150s, but that’s it. The races are the only real training volume/intensity level.

Also, I’m in your general area, I know where all of your listed meets really are, and you’re missing one:

6/18-19 last chance meet, Chula Vista Olympic Training Center (see, look under USATF)

The OTC has a very fast track, but there’s a problem with the wind. Ameer Webb ran 10.11w there last year, Remontay McClain 10.28 (+1.2) this year (because he didn’t get into Pre Classic)

Try on weekends UCLA and Cal State Long Beach. Even if tracks are closed, there are good grass fields to do tempo on. Long Beach always used to be open on weekends, but I haven’t been there since they installed the new Benyon 2000 surface. Facilities in Orange County and San Diego I can guarantee to be open:

UC Irvine (fastest track in the area, commencement on 6/12, thus no parking)
Soka University, Aliso Viejo
Trabucco Hills High School. Mission Viejo
Dana Hills High School (commencement on 6/9, thus no parking)
UC San Diego
Cal State San Marcos

So my between-meets training schedule should look like a shorter form of the 10 day taper schedule? I know 10 day taper is a great schedule to prepare for one big meet, but does it provide enough of a stimulus to maintain peak level of performance for a whole competition phase of 2 months or so?

The Chula Vista meet on my computer appeared as a throws meet for some reason, but I now see the meet you’ve mentioned. Thank you for pointing it out, and thank you for some training venue information.

Speaking of fields, a lot of fields in Los Angeles area are actually synthetic turfs…What do you all think about doing tempo on turfs? Without a doubt, a smooth, even natural grass will be the best, but if that’s not available, would you all say it’s better than uneven grass (with parts of it with no grass and hardened, dry dirt) or track for the purpose of doing tempo?

No question that field turf is the next best choice after smooth/even grass.

Thank you, evenness must be more important than being of natural grass.

There was a thread on this somewhere, and CF himself was talking about that turf may have a tendency to tighten up the calves. I believe it as I have experienced this. Still, I will take field turf over hard and dry and uneven grass any day. You just may need to roll out and stretch the calves a bit more after working on the turf, but it can still get the job done. Though there’s nothing like doing tempo barefoot on nice soft grass.

Interesting, I tend to get calf tightness the most from doing high volume of anything on harder surfaces like the track. I think about 1800-2000m/wk is my upper limit for track. I personally feel very comfortable running on turf, though it may have negative effect on me unknowingly. I always roll and stretch my calves, but probably need more precaution on them as you said.

Wish there were some nice even soft grass here, but they’re rare in Los Angeles. I love the good weather, but lack of rain results in bad grass. Can’t have it all I guess. Wanted to go barefoot, but these turfs get SOOOO hot…still running in Nike frees to mimic barefoot running.

Thank you.

Oh yeah I get calf tightness from tempo on the track too, so I avoid it. I think it’s because that kind of surface is very ballistic and responsive to anything you do on it. So I always shoot for tempo on grass, barefoot ideally. And I would rather run barefoot on turf than run with shoes on a track any day, for tempo. Turf is still better than a stiff surface for me too.

But yeah that turf can get hot lol. If it is, I usually wear my vibrams (those minimalist toes shoes). Also good to wear those on questionable grass fields just in case you step on a rock or something! I’ve heard a lot of people like the Nike Free as well.

Luckily I am in Ohio and there is a ton of grass. Only problem is getting the right weather for it. Too rainy and it’s muddy, too dry and it’s like cement. If you have a stationary bike or access to a pool, that may be a good option for you too.

It’s funny to read this as I just experienced something similar tonight. After doing speed work in spikes on field turf, my right calf cramped on my 5th OHB medball throw. I finished with some general strength work via handstands and cartwheels and felt it cramp up again when getting more aggressive with my approach.

Nonetheless, I’ve always enjoyed doing speedwork on field turf. My body feels less beat-up in the following days. And it’s especially nice given that once winter hits, I’m stuck on a tight 160m indoor track. The more exposure I can get to top speed running in the good months, the better. The slight reduction in intensity due to the surface allows me to get a little more volume in the 95-98% zone.

Your calves and quads have to work harder on a softer surface to maintain leg stiffness during ground contact, so it’s not unusual for cramps or tightness to develop on a soft surface you’re not accustomed to.

I like pool workouts, although I just got here and haven’t found a pool that’s of decent cost. I don’t really like doing bike works because I feel like it makes my legs tight.

Sounds logical, but for me, I tend to get more tightness from running on track because of harder pounding.