I was also really surprised by some of the things Anthony McCleary and Desai Williams were saying at the conference.
They stated they had their group doing 2 1/2 mile runs early on, that they run a lot of 600’s early on (I already knew this from following Justyn Warner on Twitter, I remember him talking about sets of 600-400-600). They stated they aren’t “exactly” doing accels at least in the first block, but I asked about the cone and they would accel out to 20m say, and hold through 600m. I found their whole presentation very surprising.
Obviously they have a pretty damn good athlete, but I really wonder if she’s doing 2 1/2 mile runs at this stage in her career when she’s already extremely fit, and if she is, what the point is.
I also got into a pretty detailed discussion with Dr. Tim Taha (one of the presenters from CSCO) out in the hall on Sunday morning. I missed his presentation and had no idea who he was, but I asked why they were so big on the clean and single leg stuff and the whole “functional” approach, and he said “sprinting is a single leg activity” at which point I said “I think it’s more of a whole body activity” and things got more interesting from there.
I asked Dr. Taha why they were “getting away from the traditional Bompa ideal of reps and sets at a percentage of max” (a direct quote from another CSCO lecture) approach to lifting when it’s something that is part of the coaching culture here, and something many coaches know and understand.
I asked why they would move toward the clean and a much less general sounding approach, and he stated, and this is a direct quote, “Research shows that Charlie’s weight program was good for certain parts of the stride, but not all of it.”
Now that strikes me as a bit strange. I don’t know what’s wrong with a stride that runs 9.8x or less, but I want to give him the benefit of the doubt, so I will follow up with him to attain clarification because I’m just an elementary school track coach with an interest in training theory, and he has a PhD.
Now in Dr. Taha’s defence, in the Q&A panel after our hallway discussion, he stated that sprinting was the primary goal, and that’s what you should put most of the energy into, and just talked about keeping things general and not getting nuts with younger athletes, and only getting more specific as you get higher in training age and faster.