L-S or S-L for HS season?

I decided to take the coaching job! :smiley:

As I’m sitting down to plan out the workouts, not sure where to go just yet, and looking for help regarding the planning.

Our season officially begins March 10. We get two weeks of “conditioning” which comes out to be 5 days because of school days off etc prior to March 10.

We have 5 weeks from March 10 until the first meet. At this stage, there will be two meets a week for the remainder of the season (Tuesday and Saturday).

After hours of reading on the forum, I had initially decided on doing a S-L, with longer SE runs similar to what PJ seems to be writing about with Olu and Ronald.

For the HS kids, I like longer SE, but shorter accels, for the simple fact many of the kids will run a mix of 100, 200 and 400 in meets throughout the year, as I don’t know who will excel in each event. Also, with the amount of meets, I feel those early SE days should help with the meet volume and intensity…

Weight room will be hard, so I think I will stick to a few lifts, and focus on bench and squats (some of the guys can clean, but most don’t know how yet).

Comments, suggestions are highly welcome

Here is a template of what I had planned

Week of 2/24-3/3: GPP
Monday: Resisted sprints, MedBall, UB Wts
Tuesday: Jumps, tempo, LB wts
Wed: Off (school issues)
Thursday: Same as Tues
Fri: Same as Mond, plus tempo at the end

Week of 3/10 (First week of official practice)
Monday: Resisted, MB Accel, jumps, LB wts
Tues: Tempo, UP Wts
Wed: Resisted, MB Throws, LB Wts
Thursday: Tempo, UB Wts
Fri: Resisted, MB Accel, Jumpsm, LB Wts

Week of 3/17 (Wk 4): Hi Vol: ~1600m
Monday, resisted, Starts (push up & high), LB Wts

Tues: Tempo, UB Wts
Wed: Resisted, Accels, Speed 2x(3xEFE20m), LB wts
Thur: tempo, UB wts
Fri: Resisted, Accels, LB Wts

(Should I add a SE session this week?)

Week of 3/24 (wk 5): HI Vol~2000
Mon: Accels, SE (60m), Squat, bench =Wts at this point
Tuesday: Tempo,
Wed: Accels, speed, Wts
Thurs: Tempo
Fri: Accels, SE (2x300), Wts

Week of 3/31 (Wk 6): HI vol ~2000
Mon: Accel, speed, Wts
Tuesday: tempo
Wed: Off, school day
Thursday: Accel, SE (2x300), wts
Friday: Tempo

Week of 4/7 (wk 7): Chhnge to 2 days Hi, 3 days Lo, HI vol ~1500
Mon: Tempo
Tues Accel, SE (300, 250) Wts
Wed: Tempo
Thurs: Accel, Speed, wts
frid: Tempo

Week of 4/14 (wk 8): HI vol ~1300
Mon Tempo
Tuesday: MEET (treat as a SE day using opens and relays, around 700-900m (100, 200, 400) total work as a guide…too much too soon???)

Thursday: Accel,Speed, Wts
Friday: Tempo

Week of 4/21 (wk 9): HI Vole ~ 1200
Mon: tempo
Tuesday: Meet
Wed: tempo
Thur: Accel, Speed (3x60, 150), wts
Fri: tempo
Saturday: Meet

Week of 4.28 (wk 10): Hi vol ~ 1200
Mon: tempo
Wed: Tempo
Thur: Accel, speed (3x60, 120), wts
Friday: Tempo
Satu: meet

Week of 5/5 (wk 11): HI vol 1200 ~
Mon: Tempo
Tues: meet
Wed: tempo
Thur: accels, Speed (3x60, 120), wts
Fri: tempo
Sat: Meet

Comp Period beings

Week of 5/12 (wk 12):
Mon: Tempo
Tues: Meet
Wed: Tempo
Thurs: Accel, speed (2x60, 80), Bench for Saturday
Fri: Tempo
Sat: Meet (Regionals, top 2 in each event go to state finals in 2 weeks. Thisis a big meet)

Week of 5/19 (wk 13):
Mon: tempo
Tues: League meet
Wed: Tempo, Bench for Fri
Thur: Off
Fri: County meet

Week of 5/26
Mon: Tempo, Last squat day
Tues: Accel, speed (1x60), bench
Wed: Tempo
Thursday: Accel, Speed, (1x60), bench for sat
Friday: Off
Saturday: State finals

Almost forgot my other question…

Based on the schedule, would a L-S be more appropriate. Therapy will be minimal (mostly contrasts). One guy is a high sub 10 caliber sprinter, and was thinking of giving him more treatment.

I’m used to team sports settings. Any help is appreciated.

One thing I noticed was that there’s a lot of tempo in the comp phase and leading up to it. IMHO I’d throw in a couple circuits or MB sessions to break up the tempo every now and then. These kids might not react well to that amount of volume. I personally try and do 0% aerobic work in season and all sessions are sharp at 100%. I would think (as the comp period is only 3weeks) the volume would need to come down, the tempo cut out, and the intensity UP, a few weeks before competitions start.
As far as L-S vs S-L. I suppose it depends on the kids fitness levels, I would imagine fitness would need to be improved which would advocate L-S but its a short period in which to do it and get sharp.

I’m no expert but that’s my opinion from my studies/experiences.

I would go with S-L, minimize tempo volume. At beginning it’s good to have but once you hit comp. phase, minimize it to very low volumed sessions. Volume of speed, also lower. You want high intensity/low volume speed work and sharpen them for the meets.

In response to some of the comments i would say that you shouldnt necessarily cut vol down so quick just because its comp time. You have to judge which meets are the most important(i.e. conference, region, state.) those are the times that high vol drop and intensity raise like 3 weeks prior to the first important one. And be careful not to put speed in to quickly. But you gotta do what you feel is the best for your season. Im sorry didnt realize you only had 3 meets.

I’d be careful in planning too many events. If you have your athletes running something like 1/2/4x1/4x4 or 1/2/4/4x4 you’re going to really beat the hell out of them. Not a big problem if you plan for significant recovery built in after that, but you’re probably going to need more than just 1 “tempo” day after that to recover optimally. A lot of high school athletes get obliterated by their coaches in these meets and they get hurt or have a hard time maintaining form until the end (unless they get an injury which forces a lay off).

Everyone has solutions but know one cared to asked the problem?

What is your goal? (continuous high placement of athletes or team in meets or league, high performance in a few key meets on the team or individual level, best overall performance, high athlete morale, understanding of the sport by athletes, athletes ability to continue on to the next level?)

Next would come the question of how well do you know the athletes you will be coaching?(athletic strengths and weakness, overall makeup of team i.e. size, depth of talent, training age, next would probably be along the lines of reason for competing i.e. social, improvement for another sport, something to do, actual dedication to the sport, and so on)

Then comes into play conference or league strength vs team size and depth vs your goals?

Weather and facilities considerations, along with atmosphere of parents, other coaches on the team, and other coaches in the school for other sports?

Then I would probably go to cost benefit for both you and your athletes. Regardless of whats optimal, your going to get some great athletes that would rather not practice at all, and you will also get terrible athletes who would do anything for you, not all will be able or will be willing to do the same workouts both on the track and otherwise.

Basically you need to increase fitness for them as much as possible and also work on speed and power from day 1 so they will be somewhat ready for the season. Once races start you just need to let the races do their job as the speed end and keep the tempo and upper body weights in there to balance things off.

Great post.

I think important to note is the beginning especially because having a great team does not necessarily equal having the best progress for the athletes individually over the short or long term. Since longer sprints tend to have more importance from a scoring standpoint (more opportunities to put points up) training for those tends to produce better teams, even if the individuals are not as dominant (if you train to run the 2/4, you can run decent 1s and maybe even 8s and then you also have a solid team for the 4x1/4x2/4x4 maybe even 4x8).

There was a team my senior year that had no individual champs and only one or two guys made the final in any individual event, but they won the 4x1, 4x4, and 4x8 (only 6 different guys total for the 3 relays) and ended up maximizing their team’s position overall.

The early meets will be used as a SE day. There are 4 meets in 2 weeks at the end of may (regionals, states, counties and leagues) which are the important once, with regionals and states the most important (14 days apart).

The head coach openly came out and said the focus is on the kids with talent, more so then team goals. So the dual meets don’t really matter in importance for team results, but do for SE work. The meets are scheduled already. I can always keep kids out if they aren’t ready etc. Again, the big part is the last 2-3 weeks.

The groups has a lot of potential but hasn’t been on a structured program at all. I was told by the kids, last year they would do hand-offs and do some type of tempo and go home.

In the north, it can be cold until May at times, and other years it can be warm all season. Hard to predict. In bad weather, we would have to (a) run outside or (b) go inside, but would have to battle for space with baseball and lacrosse and soccer. There might be a hall way available, but then it would be a stone surface.

The majority of the athletes will get very little therapy (hot colds, foam roll) and possibly a few of the better ones will get massage a couple times a week.

With such a short time with relative beginners, I don’t think enough fitness can be developed to hit the L-S properly, but then a S-L seems ideal, but might be too hard on some.

Any other comments? :confused:

S–>L is harder if you don’t have therapy and time since once you get to events like 200 or 400 you need a good amount of special endurance work in some form for success.

Do you have any idea of the events you’re looking at aiming for and what background the kids have?

Are you deep enough for a good relay? If you can really hammer down good exchanges, you can take a pretty good team fairly far in high school.