I would like to hear how you guys would plan for this situation.
I spent time today looking at all the indoor and outdoor meets in my area. I came up with a ton of indoor opportunities 8-10 meets but only about 5-7 outdoor meets. The main issue is the weather and short prep time. Here in North Carolina the weather starts to get cold around Nov till about early April. No major opportunities to do quality work from Nov - April and only about 4 weeks between indoor and outdoor season.
Here’s a rough outline to what I was thinking. Final block for indoor prep which will be November would include some longer runs (Mon/Fri accel, Wed: 4x150). Indoor comp would include (Mon: accel, Tue: Gs circuits, Wed: 3x150, Th: rest, Fri: throws/starts). The short outdoor prep which would be in March (M/F accel, Wed SE, Sat: int tempo or whatever you wanna call it). Not many 60’s in this prep because of the weather, I should be able to maintain my speed over this short outdoor period and focus on accel, SE, fitness. Yes, I understand there’s 4 higher intensity days but the volume is on the low end.
Tue: Bike tempo and circuits OR REST
Wed: 2x20+ 80-100-120-150 rest 12-20mins
Sat: 2x20 200-180-150
My reasons for the above outdoor prep not including 60’s with avg weather the 60’s won’t be fast enough and most likely not safe either. Why not - focus on things that can be done safely and with higher quality (starts, se, fitness).
Another option could be to add another month of longer runs to my indoor prep. Instead of having one month of longer runs in subpar weather I would have 2 months (1 month good weather - 1 month shitty weather). Then try to maintain those qualities over indoor comp before starting outdoor prep.
I would not hesitate adding more time to my indoor training unless you have some critical reason you HAD to be outside. People under estimate what cold does to muscles and while there are a multitude of things you can do ( bump up good fats in your shakes, wear extra layers of high tech gear to keep muscles warm, increase hot and colds to acclimatize body to cold ) nothing beats the relaxation of not having to tighten up and fight to stay warm. Just my opinion based on training with Charlie for a few decades. HE was the one left picking up the pieces of preventable injuries don’t forget.
Gonna try and meet up with Trevor Graham to see what changes he made to his group when training in north carolina cold weather. Since I have 8 months to train for my first indoor meet, I made some minor changes.
Weeks 1-12: GPP - general fitness and acceleration development Runs 0-50m
Weeks 13-20: SPP - Focus on max velocity Runs 0-50 and efe/fef/flys
Weeks 21-28: SPP - Focus on max velocity and speed endurance Runs 0-200m (similar to outdoor prep)
Weeks 29-32: Pre comp - cold weather - the runs will be short sprints 0-30 and submax 150s (try to maintain most of my SE qualities)
Man, we have different definitions of cold. I’d love to be in North Carolina. I’m in Wisconsin, and it requires you to be cool with cool weather. I’ll do speed work outside down to the high 30s and tempo down to about 30 degrees. That’s just kind of what you get here. And a lot of our meets are in similar weather. Unfortunately, 3 weeks of meets were cancelled this year due to snow in April. But when looking back at my last 10 years of racing, a majority of those meets were under 60 degrees. My 100m PR came on a night where the temperature was 43 at race time; my 200m PR was right around 50 degrees.
Like Angela said, contrast therapy is great to get your mind right when it’s cold. I often joke that I prefer the cold days because all of the other sprinters are complaining. When constantly training in cool weather, I have no issue with a cold meet. That brisk air actually wakes me up. On the other hand, mid-70s and higher makes me feel lethargic. Good thing I don’t live down south.
1: Up north you have access to indoor tracks - around October I would have moved my training indoors till around April. Here in NC I’m outdoors in cold weather from Nov - April - that’s a long time to go without high quality speed work. Weekly races will be important!!
2: It’s one thing to train in cold weather at around 12-4pm it’s totally different to be outside alone in darkness (6-7pm) - the track has no lights etc. It was a little easier when I was training with my wife - we would be out in the cold together but those days are over with since we have our little guy.
I should be ok if I can stay healthy and hit some good quality speed work over the first 7 months. The final month before I start racing I’ll use that block as a recovery block and focus on staying sharp (2 accel days M/F, Wed submax SE 1-4x120-150). Indoor comp will be similar (Mon starts/SE 1-2x120-150, Wed accel). The longer sprint work I’m doing towards the end of indoor prep and throughout indoor comp will help me transition into outdoor season much faster with the shorter outdoor prep and weather.
This outdoor season didn’t really exist for me. My second kid was born beginning of April. Around that, I had two weeks of hardly any training. Then, a bunch of meets were canceled because of the weather here. I only raced a couple times with a best of 11.21. There’s a last chance meet this Thursday, but I decided to call it a season a week or so ago.
I’ve been injury-free for over a year, so I’m looking forward to getting some good training in this summer. I may hop in a summer meet here or there. Those aren’t that competitive, though. The best competition around here takes place during the collegiate season. After experiencing the effect of weather this season, I’ll really be focused on the indoor season in 2019 (racing as many weekends as possible).
I haven’t mapped out the plan just yet. The guiding principles will be the same (based on Charlie’s vertical integration). I believe I need more volume, though. Not a crazy change, but my speed meters per week has been lower. That was largely driven by injury, but it’s left me in an undertrained state, which is just having me maintain.
I’ll probably progress through speed intensities over time. Capping intensity at 20-30m allows for a good amount of practice. I may have been jumping too soon to the all-out stuff recently. You can only handle so many all-out 60s on a day. And after doing those in the fall, where are you going to go in the next couple months leading into indoor? I was hitting really nice times in October this year, and then started to slow down right before meets hit in January.
So, I’m thinking I’ll be patient through the EFE, FEF, 20+maintain, 30+maintain, etc. stuff this year. I’ll also make sure I have differentiation between my speed days (I need to stick with Special Endurance work). Finally, I’ll focus more on elastic plyos (hurdle hops) than pushing ones. My top speed is what has fallen off the most. Without that, every distance suffers.
I am referring to split rep SE and/or longer SE runs (e.g., all-out 300). I believe it was in Speed Trap where Charlie credited longer special endurance runs (among other things) for the success of his program.
I probably “went to the well” too frequently in recent years. If you have 2-3 speed days per week, they shouldn’t all be maxV days (or at that level of intensity). You can’t maintain 2-3 top end days per week over a 3-4 week block of training.
With a 2-day per week structure, one may be 300-400m in volume, where the intensity is all-out (i.e., 60m intensity). The other should then be of a lower intensity, allowing for a greater volume. This can be accomplished via a few longer runs or more 60m reps that get capped at 30m of intensity.