Merlene Ottey 1989 Season

The following information was taken from an article written by Henk Kraaijenhof in the Dutch coaching magazine Sportgericht, published in 1989 or 1990.
Henk was Merlene’s coach at the time.

I had promised Pierrejean a long time ago to send him this article, but I lost my copy. Fortunately it turned up today while I was browsing through a drawer. I though I might as well translate it for the rest of the board. Here it is:

Merlene Ottey – Analysis 1989 Season

Analysis season 1989

Number of indoor competition days: 12
Number of indoor competitions: 23
60m 11x (8 won), bp 7.10, sub 7.15 5x
200m 8x (8 won), bp 22.35, sub 22.80 4x
400m 4x (4 won), bp 52.21

Number of outdoor competition days: 22
Number of indoor competitions: 31
100m 22x (22 won), bp 10.95, sub 11.10:13x
200m 9x (9 won), bp 22.21, sub 22.40:6x

Total number of days: 233
Total number of competition days: 34
Total number of competitions: 54
Total number of travel days: 51
Total number of rest days: 54
Total number of training days: 95

  • strength training 31
  • start and acceleration 20
  • maximum speed 9
  • supramaximal speed 5
  • speed endurance 66
  • adaptation and regeneration 7

Note the very high number of competitions, which could only be handled by optimum training and adequate regeneration.
Every run longer than 80m is counted as speed endurance training sessions.

Examples of training sessions

Week 6 1989

Monday February 6th
Indoor facility

  • warmup, stretch
  • 5x60 supramax with pulley-system
  • 1x150 from blocks 17.42 [10min recovery], 4x120 from blocks 12.93/12.99/13.11/13.25 [8min recovery] (in different lanes)

Tuesday February 7th
Indoor facility

  • warmup, stretch
  • 4x30m from blocks, electronic timing, -/4.40/4.36/4.37
  • 500/400/300/300m standing start [12-15min recovery] 73.6/57.5/41.1/39.9

Wednesday February 8th
Indoor facility

  • warmup, stretch
  • reaction drills
  • 6x80m acceleration runs
  • strength: 3x8x50kg deep squat, 2x10x20kg snatch from standing position, 3x12x?? toe raises on machine, lot of ab work

Thursday February 9th:

Friday February 10th:
Competition San Sebastian
200m 22.79 (first place)

Saturday February 11th:
Competition Stuttgart
60m 7.26 (2nd place)
200m 22.86 (1st place)

Week 22 Formia, Italy

Tuesday May 30th

  • warmup, stretch
  • elementary running drills
  • 4x80m technique run (1 on grass, 2 on soft track, 1 on hard track)
  • 3x105m on hard track: 35m 100%, 35m 95%, 35m 100%

Wednesday May 31st

  • warmup, stretch
  • jumps on box: 6x 1.00m high
  • skipping with resistance 3x20m
  • 4x30m standing start, 6x30m block starts
  • 2x150m standing start 16.68/16.74 [20min recovery]

Thursday June 1st

  • warmup, stretch
  • Bosco-ergojump test
  • 4x80m: 60m downhill + 20m flat, standing start [8min recovery]
  • 2x120m standing start 13.21/13.32 [15min recovery]
    Afterwards sauna and hydromassage

Friday June 2nd

Saturday June 3rd

  • warmup, stretch
  • 300/250/200/150m standing start 36.50/29.88/23.05/16.99 [20-25min recovery]
  • strength training
    2x10x40kg l+r one-legged squat
    4x15x120kg toe extensions
    3x3x65kg bench press
    3x30 crunches
    2x10 l+r side abs

Sunday June 4th

  • warmup, stretch
  • 3x3x150m standing start [30sec and 9 min recovery] 20.6/24.2/22.4-20.4/21.9/23.8-20.8/22.2/24.6 (on running shoes)

Monday June 5th
Rest (collecting visa in Rome)

Tuesday June 6th

  • warmup, stretch
  • “Speedlabtest” 6x50m block starts, on command [8-10min recovery]
    (Note Martijn: In this test speed, stride length and frequency are measured)

Wednesday June 7th

  • warmup, stretch
  • 150/120/100/80m standing start [10-15min recovery], 16.95/13.45/11.33/8.99

Thursday June 8th
Travel Rome – Madrid

Friday June 9th
Competition Madrid
100m series 11.69 (1st)
100m final 11.49 (1st), wind -3.0m/s

Saturday June 10th

  • warmup, stretch
  • on grass, on shoes, 3x5x100m with 100m jog recovery between reps and 5 min between sets

Sunday June 11th

  • warmup, stretch
  • 2x250m standing start [30min recovery] 28.85/28.84

is spramaximal speed: is that overspeed type stuff like running down hills, please elaborate.

Yes, with a pulley.

Related to this, there is an audio interview with Henk available on the canadian athletics coaching association website.

He’s actually taking questions on their forum right now for the next 5 days… good chance to talk to someone who never really publishes anything


Hi “top cat”, could we be related. best
“kitkat” :eek:

Hi “top cat”, could we be related. best
“kitkat” :eek:
If you cast your mind back you may remember me :stuck_out_tongue: Here’s one for old times sake…

yeah, you’re the cat in the hat. I do recall. :stuck_out_tongue: some cool cats around this forum :smiley: have a good evening, gotstagonow

Interesting that the volume is pretty low and the rest pretty long. The training times are also interesting as they are almost spot on what I have some of my lower level males running.

so we cna also see that she was not so weak…50 kg deep squats were done 2-3 days before racing…light % probaly…also 40 kg x 10 1 leg squat…and 3x3 x 65 benche!! not definitely a strongwoman…but not bad at all!

that was a very interesting article. I’d love to see more things like this.