It's still all about me

I thought it was about time to start a new journal due to the end of season, partly because the other one
was getting a bit long at 66 pages but probably the main thing is what I am about to do is quite different to what I have previously been doing . Not a new beginning as such, more an adaptation…an evolution to hopefully better and brighter things (no need to make Chakra noises or contemplate your navel just yet :stuck_out_tongue: )

To those that read my previous journal, good to have you here as well, to those that didn’t if you are looking for top level performances you will be sadly disappointed. If however you want to read the musings of an obsessive middle aged, below average athlete try and improve while having a few laughs along the way then you’ve come to the right place.

Firstly a bit of data

Age 46 (47 in June)

Height = 5’8”, 1.72m

Weight = 79kg (174 lbs) This is a bit heavy for me as I was about 76.5 (168lbs) for most of the last year and feel better for it. Aim to drop to about 75kg which is 165lbs but increase power/strength.

100m PB is 13.48 from the 2005/06 season.

2008/09 SB = 13.74 (+0.8) which is faster than last season’s best.

200m PB is 26.42 from the 2005/06 season but I am dubious of this as I never run in 26’s or 27’s before or since this one race. So actually consider it 28.15. 2008/09 SB = 28.35 (+0.6) which again was faster than last season’s best.

400m PB is 63.22 from 2007/08 and 2008/09 season SB was 63.44, I ran 10 x 400m races this season and 6 were within 0.5 sec of each other.

Are we seeing a pattern here? :confused: I’ll help, 2005-06 which was my first season ever doing athletics was probably my best. I didn’t know anywhere near as much about sprinting as I do now (maybe that’s part of the problem) in fact here is a vid taken about 6 weeks before my first ever race which isn’t THAT bad and actually not a whole lot different to now.

Ok so what did I do then? Well I had 2 basic speed workouts, I very rarely went over 500m total per workout so did an acceleration / max speed session and a SE workout which was 5 x 100m with 10 mins recovery. I added in a 200m SE rep in the last month or so of the season but even then the workout stayed at the same volume. In fact I had an injury most of the season that meant my Achilles got tired / ached if I went too far so I didn’t run past 200m at speed all season and I think I may not have doing tempo either. I ran 1 x 400m race which was 65.87. So in the past 3 years I have gone backwards over 100m, 200m and dropped my 400m PB by 2.65 sec, but that wasn’t this last season. Now 2.65 sec sounds a lot and in some ways it is BUT when you still can’t break 63 sec, to me that is totally unacceptable. :mad:

Admittedly physically I’m in a lot better shape at about 7kgs (15 lbs) lighter than in that vid and that is extremely important but I want to run faster. I would love to run under 60sec for 400m (that would just make me so happy) but have a damn long way to go to do that. Right about now you may be thinking (among other things) why did you change from the way you were training in 2005/06? :confused: Well I decided that I wasn’t fast enough over the first 30m for 100m and never felt ‘fit’ (being the tubby I was I was probably right) so decided to give 400m a go…that’s worked out a treat hasn’t it? :rolleyes:

With that said I have set the following goals for 2009/10 (Oct-March)
100m < 13.5
200m < 28
400m < 63

I know to many they see those and think how can anyone be that slow? Trust me it takes a special talent. :stuck_out_tongue:

Ok, now that we have that out of the way how am I going to do it? Firstly my overall plan is
1 week recovery

7 weeks GPP - - LOTS of hills

11 weeks SPP 1 - LOTS of sled work

3 weeks simulated comp with a series of TT’s probably over 150 & 200m

1 week recovery

3 week GPP 2 - Some hills

5 week SPP 2 - Some sled work

9 week Comp – focus 100 & 200m, Will probably run about 3 100 & 400’s in late Nov / December

1 week recovery

2 week GPP 3 (on holiday)

2 week SPP 3

8 week Comp – all going to plan 400 focus.


For GPP & SPP instead of doing the traditional weekly plan and 3+1 or 2+1 I’m going to have a 3 day cycle of High, low, rest then after the 6th of these I’ll take an additional day off so it will be

High, low, rest, High, low, rest, High, low, rest,
High, low, rest, High, low, rest, High, low, rest, rest

This will take about 2 ½ weeks and should provide plenty of rest and ensure I am adequately recovered for each of the speed sessions. I have done a similar thing at times and found it good. It is influenced by CF’s comments about Masters athletes in thread (I learn fast, that was only 4+ years ago :rolleyes: plus the need to be adequately recovered for the speed sessions. There is also the aspect of work which can (and will) interfere and this will allow me the chance to amend things easier.

As for an actual work plan the GPP will be very close to CF’s but with some repeated workouts dropped and low days having a variety of aerobic work (different types of tempo, continuous runs, maybe even some jump rope & calisthenics) so it doesn’t get too long and for the SPP I’ll adapt his 400m S-L plan, you can see questions relating to that at .
So there you have it…right now I’m off to have a glass of water, lemon juice, maple syrup & cayenne pepper as part of my detox :slight_smile:

All the best then! :cool:

John, hope you have a good yr.
I’ll add a few things for you to chew up, and spit out

Working on your Arm mechanics. One way to do this, (looking at your videos and arms) is to place a mini tramp in-front of a mirror, run on the spot for a tempo session. You can watch and correct arm swing, front, side left and right. Then you might see a correlation on leg height (from which you suffer also). Esp if its cold etc outside. Good time line is Gpp training.

Once your used to your new arm mechanics, practice 100-150m straight run Strides. Really focus on opening up your stride length, getting the arms fully opening up, tripling and high knees. A good time line for this would be the transition from Gpp as it morfs into Spp.

From you videos, i believe you’ll benifit greatly from a much more longer stride pattern. Getting them knee’s up, and making sure them Arms will allow the legs to do so with better mechanics. With nobody there to watch your arms, its a little trick worth giving a try.


As usual good valid points and ones I agree with. FYI the last month I have really been focusing on higher hands esp in 100 & 200 and surprise surprise have actually felt my stride open up a bit the result being better times :smiley: Having stubby legs and a long back doesn’t help. :frowning:

Also - your arms open right up on the downward and back swing, thus, your legs follow suit, creating long (time wise) rear side mechanics. As im sure you know.

Have you ever had your Stride count per 100m counted? Would be interesting to see over a period of say 1yr with overall 100m time

that vid is nearly 4 years old so don’t take too much from it but you are right that is an issue I struggle with and having been working on. I’ll take some vids in SPP.

Interestingly I was just at a presentation given by someone who has just spent time with Dan Pfaff who said he works on a narrow angle (close to face) at top and opening on way down, reckons that is more in keeping with leg mechanics and that retaining 90 deg is incorrect.

No never done stride count.

I’m 18 and I have the same times as you!!! Oh man I have to get my game up hahaa…

5’8", 155 are my numbers…Im around 14-16% BF and still cutting down considering I’ve been around 20% my entire life until I decided to start cutting down in December.

My PBs are 13.3 for the 100 and 28.9 from the 200. I joined track last year and those were my numbers from last year…I’m sure those won’t hold up this year :smiley:

Give me an advice of what I can do on pretty much a 3-day a week track schedule sir. I am in season right now. It is outdoor season and it ends May 15.

Hi John,

I just started sprinting in October 2007. I can imagine you must be frustrated by not seeing continuous improvements. Do you run on your own, or do you run with a group?

I can tell you that in my experience, the difference between working out in a group vs. working out solo is profoundly different.

I usually work out with a masters track coach and a group of five or six masters athletes. I found that improvement came much quicker when working with a group. Conversely, when I went away last summer to spend time with my girlfriend in the southern US, I didn’t improve at all. I was running the same times in my SE runs (150m, 180m, 220m) in July that I was running in late August.

I found that training on my own was a fairly miserable experience overall. I was constantly trying to diagnose my own supposed problems, which of course did not allow me to run relaxed. If you are not running with a group, is there any way you could start?

the best advice I could be would be stay healthy and be consistent. On 3 days in season I’d do
1 x accelerations nothing past 50m maybe not even 40, max speed & weights 500m total
1 x tempo 2200m total
1 x SE 100-150m 500m total & weights OR Races.

Although there are usually people at the track I train myself. There are other Masters athletes but they do XCountry in winter. I probably could join a squad but don’t want to give up doing my own thing. The squad that is generally there when I am is full of national reps who although we get on well I don’t want to intrude on. There are some other athletes around my pace in that squad but often there sessions and mine are VERY different so to work in would IMHO be intrusive, if I was the Coach I would think it a bit rude.

Tues 24 March

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massage - deep :o
foam roller
contrast shower

Day 2 of detox and going ok, no headaches or cravings and have felt fine food wise :cool:

Thanks for the advice John, I really appreciate it.

not a problem, hope it all goes well for you.

Wed 25 March

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self flushing massage
foam roller
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legs sore, tougher day diet wise :o

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massage - deep
foam roller
contrast shower
self flushing massage

was pretty jumpy at times during massage due to residual pain. Detox better today.

Things all up in the air here, my Father in law died about 8.30pm last night so C and her sister went there (2 hours by car). He has been unwell for ages with Prostate Cancer and had bypass about 18 years ago so it has actually surprised us he has lasted this long but still it is never nice and while C has gone into task mode she will certainly struggle for a while.

An absolute shit of an afternoon at work capped things off perfectly.

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Warm up
abs 10 x 30 sec on / 30 off various exercises
medball circles x 10 each way

self flushing massage
foam roller
contrast shower

legs much better.

I got an email from a friend today with some info that may have transformed me from someone who runs sprint distances to someone who at least has sprint mechanics. I read the email a couple of times today and followed the drill and advice and BINGO I actually felt sprint mechanics in place, it was freaky. I only did 3 slow strideouts as hammies still pretty tender from yesterday’s deep massage (2 in 3 days) but it was there for the first time ever:)

Funeral is tomorrow :frowning:

Auto Reg rating

Warm up
abs 10 x 30 sec on / 30 off various exercises

foam roller
contrast shower

I got an email from a friend today with some info that may have transformed me from someone who runs sprint distances to someone who at least has sprint mechanics. I read the email a couple of times today and followed the drill and advice and BINGO I actually felt sprint mechanics in place, it was freaky. I only did 3 slow strideouts as hammies still pretty tender from yesterday’s deep massage (2 in 3 days) but it was there for the first time ever:)

Any chance you could post the email contents?

it basically said stay relaxed and ensure you dorsiflex

Funeral went well, good honest and plenty of laughs. Here is a story from my speech…

As I said earlier John was able to adapt and I’ll never forget one time when he had to that in an instant. Some of you may not know but for a number of years Jean & John had pigs. Well one time I got asked if I would help him kill one for the freezer. Now I’m not the best at killing things but was told by C, It’ll be fine Dad’ll just shoot it and then all you have to do is help him put it in the bath of hot water… go on you’ll be right… so over I went and sure enough John has the rifle ready and the pig is in the middle of the yard, he shoots it between the eyes and all it does is shake its head and let out an almighty squeal …3 bullets later the pig is racing round the yard with John and me after it he’s yelling jump on it and I’ll stick it somehow that’s what we managed to do, laughing and laughing about it afterwards …the moral of the story according to John…never use bullets that useless bastard Paul Brown gives you.

:eek: Poor pig !

Damn!!! Feel sorry for the pig man!!! =O

Btw, how long should I rest between reps?? I don’t like resting 10-15minutes per rep, feels too long.

Also, check out the videos I put up in my page from yesterday’s workout and tell me what I can possibly fix.

that is not all the time but certainly later in SPP or Comp phase. As I said it is individual but full recovery is imperative.

Apart from lengthening the recovery times as the season goes on, as John suggests, you should also consider the duration in terms of keeping your “rhythm” during a session (i.e., you can’t just jump to much longer recovery times, as you are not used to them).

Sorry for posting this on your journal, John!