It seems you should be looking for consistency before anything else. The GPP period was a good first step. Of course, there are certain dates, but you can’t push things beyond his current limits. And of course, when there are many things to work on within a limited time frame, some of them will remain ‘unsolved’ until next season. Be patient and first look for a healthy body (I know you do, just saying…). All the best!
So to update the above info about my guy mentioned above…after our failed 200m experiment down south, I have kept him out of 200m races for the time being. His hip flexor strain healed fairly quickly, and we got back to work after about a week of bike workouts, some lifting, and EMS.
I took him through the KitKat transition phase, but he raced a couple of 400’s during that time. The first one was in Windsor, a meet I couldn’t make it to. He went pretty nuts, with reliable splitters getting him at 200m in 21.8, and hitting 300 in 33.8 (a new hand-timed PB) before blowing up in the last 100 and finishing in 48.63- still a 400m PB. He learned the hard way that taking it out at 21.8 when your 200m speed is around 21.5 is NOT wise!
A couple of weeks later, he raced another 400m and came through 200m in a sluggish 23.0, but he finished strong and ran 48.09 for another PB. I’ve tried to keep some work in there, so the week of the first race we did 2x2x200, while the week of the last race we did a single set of 2x200 with the first rep tempo in 23.00, with the backup rep in 22.9 off two minutes rest.
We are just completing our last week of transition right now, and he’s racing on Saturday again. Last Friday, we did 3xEFE 40-20-20, and his technique is much improved. We also did 6x15m starts to get him to extend his lead arm. He comes out like a 5’5 guy fighting for frequency, when all he needs to do is extend and use his 6’5 size and strength. I wanted to do a few 30’s and 60’s, but he was getting tired so we opted for a single standing start 150 instead. It was a nice day with a pleasant tailwind, so I knew he had a good chance at a confidence boosting time. He ran 15.72 from a standing start, his best 150 of the season, and it was a huge psychological boost for him to be back in the 15’s.
Monday he ran with another guy near his level, and they went 350, 200, 150. The 350 was under control in 41 seconds, and the 200 was pretty fast, 21.35 including reaction time off an “on your mark, set, go” command. The final 150 I asked him to run smoothly at 95%, keeping in mind his big SB in the 150 on Friday. I’ve noticed in the past that his previous coach would get him to run fantastic times in the 150 for two or three weeks in a row (off of no base, incidentally), and bam, like clockwork he’s hurt the third week. Once you get a great result, it’s probably wise to let him recover a bit before letting him run fast again.
This week, I’m leaving the 200+200 out during race week, and we substituted bike tempo yesterday instead, and focused on some deep massage to get him loose. The Olympic trials qualifying standard is 48.30, and he has already run under that. If we can get a good result this weekend, then we will probably go to the trials in Calgary at the end of the month.
I am cautiously optimistic. I think he has the potential to run a little bit faster this weekend. Everything has been going well, and he learned not to go out too hard from his first race, and not to go out too easy in his second. Let’s hope the third race will lead to a further improvement in pace judgement, and a slightly faster time (which will improve his seeding at the trials). Clearly going forward, race modelling is going to be a critical focus in all training sessions.
My biggest worry is losing overall fitness. We’ve been racing during transition, and only got through a single 6 week GPP block. After this weekend, if we end up tapering for trials, does anyone have any ideas on how to modify the taper a bit?
I had my athlete run a 300m hill at an incline of 6.67% (I think that is around 11.6 degrees but brain isn’t working) in 49.6 as a time trial
I am figuring that is about a 52-53m 400m time. Would that seem about right?
Edit-had a chance to look at the math, so hoping that is 3.8 degrees. I think my rise is wrong.
I think it would be easier to have them run a 300 time trial on the track to get a more accurate picture of where they’re at for 400. It’s pretty hard to calculate all the variables of different hill slopes, etc. to figure out an approximate 400 time.
I think my calculation of the hills it wrong (it has to be at least 10 degrees)
He has done the 300m, altough it was after a 60 and 150 as well.
How did your athlete finish his season?
Thanks for asking. He made the final at our nationals in the 400! Unfortunately, he got a cramp in the final and DNF’d. I don’t want to hijack this thread, so I’ll update with lots of specifics in the Training Journal section this week and explain all the details about nationals, as well as how the summer season went. Basically, off of 12 weeks prep, he ran four consecutive PB’s in the 400 and shaved 1.5 seconds off his 400m PB to make the national finals. He then went out a couple of weeks later and finished fourth in the provincials in the 200 in his first 200m races of the season (PB in the semi, PB in the final). Two weeks later, he ran 21.21 in sub-optimal conditions, 0.41 seconds faster than his previous PB from two seasons ago. Overall, it was an amazingly successful season, and all credit goes to KitKat, Charlie, Angela, Waldemar and ESTI. I can’t tell you how much the information I’ve learned here over the years helped- it was like I was prepared for almost any situation even though it was my first time at a major meet. I think some people will get a real kick out of some of the details, as some of them are surreal! I’ll get cracking.
Not sure if you measure slope, gradient etc., but this link goes to a table that allows you to convert easily from one to another.
Athlete did a session today on hill I mentioned above (that has to be between 10-15 degrees)
2 sets x 300, 200 (that is a 300 then a 200) with jog down recovery. Long recovery sets
I didn’t time the first set, but spent the 10 minutes of the recovery trying not to be sick. Recovery was around 30 minutes
Set 2 was
300 around 50 sec
200 around 45 sec
We finished the session with sub max depletion push ups (sub max was 90% of max on first set, then 50% reduction)
I like using timed runs instead of a distance myself. Not saying any is wrong or not, but I like the idea of a timed effort for the overall race time goal. If you aim to run 50 seconds, do a 50 sec hill run. The idea of a hard 50 sec effort gets instilled early in training plan. My HS girls do 60 seconds, as they run 63-65 range. My boys do 50 as they were 51-52 range. I found nice progress throughout the GPP on hills. We had land marks to gauge progress each session we did it.
Yeah I like the timed runs (and over time), this particular hill is about 350m long but first 25m isn’t great and the last 25m I like to use as walk pass the finish to get the hatred of the coach out of the way
would that concept apply to speed training, where you limit the runs to 7.5 seconds??
Alactic (full recovery- runs under 8 sec duration).
Speed End (8 to 15 sec)
Spec End I (15 to 45 sec)
Spec End II (45 sec up)
You are a good man John.
Thanks, john. That’s handy info. I’m going to use that…
I believe so. The difference is 7.5 seconds timed accurately is different than 45-50 seconds. is 50.1 really different from 49.8 on a hill run? But the variance of 7.5 seconds is quite different which makes a timed run quite hard, unless you have a neat way to accurately time it. Even so, some signal would not be made and received by the runner until near 8 seconds.
If used in a general sense without a great deal of accuracy for distance, then it doesn’t matter much, as long as the effort is prescribed correctly for that time duration.
You could probably alter the distance to fit the time. For instance, an athlete who runs an 8s 60m could run a distance of 55m, while a 7s athlete could run a 66m distance. As long as they run consistently you could get an accurate adjustment to suit that time frame…
This week was a testing week. The athlete did
Monday - Standing 60m, a 150 (which he had to do twice as I stuffed up timing on first one), Hang Clean (3 reps), Push Ups and Chin Ups
Saturday - 300m Hill with backup from a walk down
Monday - slight improvement on all running
Saturday - 3.59 second improvement on first rep, second rep was 10 seconds slower (happy with that though)
Since the last testing weeks (8 weeks ago) the athlete injured his leg playing 2 games of futsal and 1 game of outdoor soccer and spent 3-4 weeks getting back into decent training. The hill session has been the biggest element in training.