I got talking to Linford Christie and about some of his training methods and picked up some things y’all might like to discuss:
We didn’t get into much detail but his program is generally based on a lot of conditioning (i see him and his athletes doing a lot of plyos and circuits) and around short recovery runs. I’m a 400m runner and he told me he had his 400m athletes typically do sessions like 4x400m off 6min rec. or 10x200m off 30s recovery, and went on to say he never gives any of his athletes more then 15mins recovery (8 during winter) even between max effort runs.
With his 100/200 guys the sessions may be short though: 2x200m in around 20.2s with 15mins rec. was an example he gave me. But then he also has these athletes running 300’s in 36s range.
For speed endurance he also uses back-to-backs, which he described as something like an 11s sprint, turn around, 10s sprint back, or sprints off walk back recoveries.
I don’t know how these sessions are laid out or periodised.
Regarding weights they are always done immediately before speed work. He places a lot of importance on the weights session. I told him the reason i do weights after speed work was because sprint work was the priority and that way i can adjust the weights session depending on how stressful the sprint work because weights are less important. He, to the contrary, places more emphasis on the weights. His whole philosophy on speed development seems to be to get faster, get stronger. He told me they do weights 1st, then come out and do block work and the preceding weights session teaches them to sprint. I asked him how he managed the sprint to avoid injury and this is where i learned the most interesting things about his training.
- They never go out past 30m in training!! :eek:
- The furthest the will run at max speed would be 60m split into 20m zones, hard-easy-hard or easy-hard-easy.
So his system is reliant on racing yourself into shape. I put it to him that he trains his athletes to get fit and races his athlete to get them into shape and he agreed with that statement. He told me he is happy for an athlete to open with 10.20 and race themselves down to 10.00. The development, he says, comes from the strength they have built up over winter being converted to speed as they race them selves into shape with the above parameters for the speed sessions being applied.
Also, going back to the use of “intensive tempo”(?) in the program, he quotes Clyde Hart as this work being all about putting “money in the bank!” Off season training is all about putting money in the bank before they withdraw it all during the outdoor season when the sessions are mostly speed work, hence the high amounts of circuits and short recovery work during winter. He likes to call it strength endurance.
That is about all we discussed as he was leaving and i was heading into the gym.