Optimist's Journal

hey charlie and the boys. i am going to post my training diary here… probably weekly. i would appreciate your advice… a few things to bear in mind.

My back is shot and i cannot do squats, cleans, leg presses or any leg weights in general due to completely &^*%ed back. I have seen everyone about this so don’t worry about weights. I have tried everything and have resigned myself to righting this off. I am trying to supplement with plyos, hills and an ems system i just ordered for $400 US. (better be good)

I would love to hear your thoughts about if its possible to run fast without weights.

Monday 5th May
5:00pm (this session straight from Charlies speed book)
2 x 50m strides
8 x30m 3 point starts (~97%)
4 x 60m standing starts (~97%) 6.35 timed from 1st foot strike (I add .70 to this… comments?)
4 x 10 bounds for distance (haven’t measured yet… usually above 30m)

Tuesday 6th May
7:00am Pool session 2 sets of 8 x 30secs on 1 minute (basically mimic charlies tempo track sessions and double the volume in the pool)
6:00pm Chest weights (100kg max bench STRICT – no bounce - pb 107.5kg)
Lunges with 10kg dumbells each arm (this is as muc as my back tolerates… but at least it keeps my tone)
7:00pm Pilates session (abs + stretch + core)

Wednesday 7th May
Speed Endurance session
2 sets 4 x 90m (Timed from 1st Foot strike 9.8 (so roughly 11.5 100m pace- hammy was limiting speed)
2 x 100m hills at 90%

Thursday 8th May
7:00am Pool session Deep water running 8 x 30 seconds (HR - 150bpm)
4 x Alternate Leg cycling (5 strides left, 5 strides right, 10 running strides, 5 left, 5 right, 10 running strides)
5:00pm - Weights - Back + Lunges again
8:00pm Massage

Friday 9th May
4 x 30m
2 x 60m (6.30 - from 1st foot strike)
2 x 120m (12.6 - from 1st foot strike)

Saturday 10th May Am - Chest again and some lunges
Saturday Pm - Tempo on a grass track
100 + 100 + 100
100 + 200 + 100 + 100
100 + 200 + 100 + 100
100 + 100 + 100
(1s in 15sec, 2s in 30sec)

Sunday 11 May 10am Pilates

What do you think?

Here’s my pb’s and a bit of history
10.61 (1993)
10.46w (1994)
9.4w 100yards (1993)
10.1w (1997)
10.72 (-1.1) (2001)

Have had problem with left plantaris trendon for 18 months. It’s slowly coming good, but seeing an orthopod in June to maybe get it removed.
Very injury prone, but try everything I can to prevent but just have a &^%$ed body.
Want to get down to 10.30 Next April.
I am aiming for 6.70 FAT 60m and I guess a training time of 5.9(60m) 9.7(100m) 1st Foot strike would get me close to there.

I’ll try and keep this updated weekly… as far the yearly program I am really struggling to workout what I shoudl be doing when…


Training journal seems to be agood start.
How long have you been doing this sort of stuff for?
Your pool seesions are your recovery right!
Also when was your last set of races and what and how did you go?
When are you planning to race next - after all you cant get to your 10.3 goals without some serious racing or timetrials
Waht happened to you between 1995 and 2000 there dosesnt seem to be any of your good times in this period- did you just start running again.:afro:

Correct me if I’m wrong -
but Friday as well as wednesday both seem to be speed endurance orientated .
Wouldn’t it be better to have one of these sessions aimed at pure speed over a 20m distance (flying 20’s ) ?

Any reason for weights on the same day as your tempo workouts??

The CNS appears to be getting hit hard, daily.

How long have you been doing this sort of stuff for?

The last 18 months has been a slow build up after I strained my plantaris tendon (Dec 02). I tried everything to get back from this but couldn’t (massage, physio, negative, calf raises). Finally its started to come good after I received ??? in August. This initially set me back and I seriously could not stumble a 100m in less than 20 seconds. Over a few months it eventually started coming good except that the swelling around the plantaris insertion would not reside for about 3 days after a session. All I was doing was 60m repeats with a standing start. I am at the stage where I can now do speed sessions and back up 2 days later. A few people I have seen have recommended getting the plantaris removed but since I couldn’t get in to see the orthopod until 2nd June, I decided I might as well test it out hard before I see him.

I’ll give you a timeline of what I have done to put you more in the picture and yes pool sessions are my recovery as in the past I have struggled to run (at any intensity) for 6 days a week. Hopefully next microcycle I will increase to 2 tempo sessions each week (so either Tues or Thurs out of the pool andon the track).

1991 (19yrs) 11.01
1992 (20ys) 10.76
1993 (21) 10.61, (10.56w, 9.4yw) 21.59
1994 (22) 10.4, 10.69, 10.46w, 21.69
1995 (23) 10.91 (stress fractures in fibula and tibia)
1996 (24) 11.01 (conjoint tendon repair, broken foot Dec 96/Jan97)
1997 (25) 10.4, 10.1w (July 97), 9.6y (herniated disc doing incline leg press… this is what stopped me from doing decent leg weights ever again)
1998 (26) injured with hamstring and calf problems coming from my back which was so tight I couldnot jog a lap without itgoing into spasm
1999 (27) injured as above.
Since no-one could really help with hammy and calf problems I took it upon myself to work out what was going on (stretched hip flexors 3 times a day and my back/hammy/calf problems started going away). Couldn’t run real fast due to hammy andcalf straining so did a lot of long slowstuff and ran 49.86 over 400 (not fast I know but I don’t tolerate lacate very well)
2000 (28) 10.69 (no leg weights)
2001 (29) 10.72 (-1.1) (no leg weights) (hamstring strain after crossing line in this race which took me out of rest of season) Felt like I was heading for a 10.55 - 10.60 going on training and past form.
2002 (30) plantaris tendon injury
2003 (31) coming good…
I intend to race this winter (hopefully over 200 and 400) and start racing in October/November and then again for Australian Champs in April. (I would appreciate your suggestions though)
Most people say (and I am sure someofmy friends think) Why are you bothering trying to run fast still. You’re 31 yrs old (I turned 31 today by the way… happy birthday to me!!), but I have never stopped thinking that I can run fast. I have had lots of problemsand injuries but not once even when I was hurt real bad did I ever not think I would get back. People like Troy Douglas, Merlene, Floyd Heard all confirm to me that you can still run fast from 35 - 40 so 31 is still young. My whole life revolves around track. It is tough at times when you feel like you’re on your own in trying to achieve your goals.

I am not one of those people who just get keen every couple of years and try to relive old times. I am very serious about this and confident that my best times are ahead of me. Which is why I need your help… becauseit is going to be tough to run 10.30 - 10.40 without leg weights…

Anyway in answering more questions

but Friday as well as wednesday both seem to be speed endurance orientated .

gloop… i am trying to have monday and friday speed/acceleration oriented and wednesday speed endurance so i would love advice here… with the 120’s i was actually trying to achieve a more special endurance session at the end of a speed session(i know 120 is a little short for this but my plantaris/achilles copes even less well (??) on bends … what do you think?
what would be a better session on friday if i focuson the flying 20’s

Any reason for weights on the same day as your tempo workouts??

willie … i don’t do much weights which taxes my CNS. they are just 20kg dumbell lunges… I could take them out but since I don’t do any legs I thought its better than nothing… what do you think?

by the way i did the CFS(charlie francis special) tempo session yesterday (sat) 100 +100 + 100 … 100 + 200 etc etc and I felt great. I know you’re not supposed to follow training programs by the letter, but I love this session and for the first time in my life I am going to put my faith in something and just go with it… so if you are listening charlie you are my god for the next few years. whatever you say on this forum (and in your book) i am going to take as gospel (ok maybe not the 300kg squats that ben did)…

thanks for listening…

by the way the ??? was for lithotrypsy
(couldn’t think of the name). it basically a very painful ultrasound treatment that can assist tendon healing (especially tendons that a close to becoming necrotic)…

oh and I currently weigh 71kg… fairlylean (I think my left hammy is shredded!!! first time ever) and 176cm…


Aussie Nats are in Sydney from 26th to 29th Feb 04. 31 is not old for track, so hang in there. Seems as though you are gradually overcoming your injuries, but build up slowly.


Thanks for the dates Lenny.
This week things started off well but twinged my hammy on wedensday night. it was a bit colder than usual and prob didnt warm up properly. on a brighter note my EMS arrived from the states. I have been using the TENS setting to rehab my hammy… and I will start the maximal stuff next week…

I have a couple of suggestions.

First congrats on trying to keep fast at your age!
I am almost 30 and am trying to get back to where I was 6 years ago (10.83W, 10.86 legal -1.8 wind) Hope is to compete in the M30-34 Masters class in Canada and be competitive.

I’ll share with you some of my experiences.

I can’t keep the volume as high as I used too. You may want to consider reducing the volume of your workouts and actually reduce the distance as well. (60 meter to 80 meter TOPS should be your longest distance until your speed/spec End workout.)

  1. I can’t recover fast enough if I split weights and speed days into seperate days.
    I need to do my speedwork and then head immediately to the gym for weights. I think you are frying your CNS performing weights the day you do tempo. Tempo should only be for recovery (both muscular recovery and CNS recovery)

I can’t maintain the frequency I used to be able to in my training.

I am experimenting with two approaches. Here is my current schedule:
Day off
Day off
Day off

I am thinking about the following routine:
Day off
Weights2 (Mostly OLY stuff and snatch deads)
Speed2/weights3 (Special Endurance work primarily then weights)
Day off

I am still not sure which will work better but I feel I am close to nailing a good program for me.

Are you able to perform any sort of plyos or are you too beat up from injuries? What is the prognosis on your back?

are you receiving massage or seeing a phycisal therapist

Best of luck!