Please critique my plan

Program April 26-November 7, 2004

My major concern is what I’m doing in the GPP, it just doesn’t feel complete. Coming from a long to short program I’m finding it hard/weird to apply Charlie’s principles during a GPP. Hopefully I’ve made a Charlie approvable GPP.

Earlier this year I had major problems doing SE2, that is why I have that 300’s day in the GPP. Should I not worry about it and drop them, if so what should I replace them for? I was thinking submax speed (3x3 60m. @ 95% or 3x3 120m. @ 95%), any suggestions or thoughts? I’m planning on running 100 and 200, hoping to slightly focus more on the 200, so I want to be sure I’m ready to run quality SE runs during my SPP. I’m also worried with the intensity of the hills workout, too low, too high, too much volume? That is the exact hills program I did last year, which I credit as a main component of the great form I reached September in.

Below is the general outline I’ll follow, considering I have 28 weeks in total, and that I’ll be aiming for the following peaks if possible :

18-19 September Sub-23 National Cup of Clubs (this will be my chance for revenge for not being in Nationals)
30-31 October National Cup of Clubs (here we’ll be aiming for a top 5 finish in both relays)

Other important competitions :
9-10 October “Semana de Rosario” International Tournament
6-7 November “Semana del Mar” International Tournament

The definite peak should be for the last week of October/first week of November. Those two will be the most important meets on a national level and when weather should be the best to accomplish great performances.

GPP 7 weeks (April 26 - June 13)
SPP 7 weeks (June 14 - August 1)
Pre-comp 4 weeks (August 2 - August 29)
Comp phase 10 weeks (August 30 - November 7)

I’ll have two three weeks mesocycles in my GPP with one unloading week. A 3-1-3 max strength phase in the SPP. 1 unloading week then a three week meso in pre comp and then the comp phase for which I’ll decide the exact workouts when I see what type of form I’m in and what stimulus or work to top off form are needed.

Track work
Ext. Tempo 3x a week (given)

Meso 1
CNS Day 1 - Prep for SE2 - 4x300m. week 1, 5x300m. week 2, 6x300m. week 3, 8 mins rest, 41-43 target time (85% intensity)
CNS Day 2 - Hills - 5x220m. 5x120m. 5x60m. 3/6/2/6/2 rest (weeks 2 and 3) CNS Day 3 - acc. dev. - 6x20m. week 1, 8x20m. week 2, 10x20m. week 3

Meso 2
CNS Day 1 - Prep for SE2 - 2x2 300m., 8 mins between reps 12 mins between sets, 39-41 target time (90% intensity)
CNS Day 2 - Hills - 5x100m. 5x220m. 5x120m. 2/6/3/6/2 rest (weeks 4 and 5); 2x(220-140-80-80-140-220m.) (week 6); 4x220m. 4x140m. 6x80m. (week 7)
CNS Day 3 - acc. dev. - 6x20m. 4x30m. week 1, 4x20m. 6x30m. week 2, 9x30m. week 3

Meso 1
CNS Day 1 - SE2 - 2x300m. 2x250m. 2x200m., 10-12-8-12-6 rest, target times 300 = 38-39, 250 = 30-32, 200 = 23-24
CNS Day 2 - hill then max v - 3xflying 20 technique, 3xflying 20 (week 3)
CNS Day 3 - acc. dev./speed - 6x30m.,2x60m. (week 1); 5x30m.,3x60m. (week 2); 4x30m., 4x60m. (week 3)
Tempo Day 3 - Int. tempo on hill for first 2 weeks 3x4x100m. - this rounds off the hill work.

Meso 2
Speed Day 1 - SE2 - week 1 3-4x300m. full rest <38 secs, weeks 2&3 2-3x300m. full rest <37 (full out, hopefully under 36!)
Speed Day 2 - max v - 6x flying 20 or 4xflying 20 and 2x60m or 4xflying 20 2xtechnique 60m. (day 2 reaches maximum of 400m. per session last week of SPP)
Speed Day 3 - acc. dev./speed - 4x30m. 2x flying 20, 3x60m, 1x80m. (day 3 reaches maximum of 400m. per session last week of SPP)

Meso 1
Speed Day 1 - 4x200m. full rest, full out!
Speed Day 2 - SE1 - 4x150m., full rest, full out!
Speed Day 3 - acc dev./max v/speed - 4x30m. 3x60m. 2x80m. and begin blocks work
Volume begins to decrease 50-100m. a week in precomp.


Major lifts (front and deep squats, cleans, snatch, push press, bench press)
2 weeks 8x3 1 min rest (70%)
unloading 6x3
3 weeks 6x3 1 min rest (75%)
unloading 4x3
Max strength
3 weeks 3x3 (80%, 85%, 90%)
unloading 2x3 (90%)
3 weeks 3x3 (95%, 100%, 105%)
4 weeks 2x3 3xweek
Maintenance 2x3 2xweek

Minor lifts (lat pulldowns, arm curls, shoulder press - may include others, ie T-bar row, triceps extensions, inclined bench press)
2 weeks 6x5 1 min rest (70%)
unloading 5x5
3 weeks 5x5 1 min rest (75%)
unloading 4x5
Max strength
3 weeks 3x5 (80%, 85%, 90%)
unloading 2x5 (90%)
3 weeks 3x5 (95%, 100%, 105%)
These are replaced by general work here
These are replaced by general work here

General work
Pullups, dips
Gradually increasing as is possible, currently doing 3x8
To max of 5x12 (for maintenance period)
Back extensions
Gradually increasing as is possible, currently doing 3x10
To max of 3x30
Gradually increasing as is possible, currently up to 5x50
To max of 1000 per day

Jumps :
Emphasis on Up during GPP (acc dev)
Starting with just 12 FC per session and build up to 24 FC per session
Emphasis on Down during SPP (top speed dev)
Starting with 16 FC per session and build up to 30 FC per session (higher volume then in up dominant sessions because CNS stress is less for down)
As needed as stimulus during comp & pre-comp

Looks pretty good to me :slight_smile: what are your current PBs and what is your training age? the SE2 workout with 6x300 is pretty burly :slight_smile:

good luck,

So, the 300’s during the GPP don’t look that weird? Would doing split runs instead be more CFTSesque?

Heh, yeah I expect that 6x300m. to be death :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: , I just have to be very careful with the pace, I think at 42-43 I can do them, but if one goes under 41 or something like that … I’ll be in deep trouble. After these workouts I know I’ll be ready for those 2x2x300 in 39-41 and on schedule for the progress I’m expecting with this program.

No more takers? :frowning:

OK, I’ll bite. No critique, just some questions and remarks. It’s more thinking out loud.

  1. Why 7 weeks GPP? I’m not saying 7 weeks is wrong, just asking for the rationale. E.g. your relative fitness level could be poor. Or the weather might not permit much more. Etc.

  2. Why 7 weeks SPP?

  3. Until the competition phase you have almost no quality work (quality = 90% or more of max. velocity). If I read your schedule correctly, until the last week of SPP most of your work will be at 100m/13sec or slower. The 20m and 30m accelerationary runs do not help in this respect. An athlete will not attain top speed in the 20m or 30m at any point.

  4. This means that by the time pre-comp rolls around, you will have spent 3 and a half months running most (not all, but most) of your workouts at an average pace of 100m/13 sec or slower. You then have 4 weeks to ramp up your speed to your goal opening pace (11.3 or so, I assume).

  5. Now I’m not saying that’s impossible. Particularly for athletes with a lot of natural speed. But for an athlete without a lot of natural speed this program would most likely lead to an opener in 11.9 or thereabouts.

  6. This is not a short to long program. This is a long to short variant. I am a big fan of long to short for beginning and intermediate athletes, because too many beginners use short-to-long as an excuse to lift weights, run 3x30m once a week and sit on their lazy butts the rest of the time.

  7. However the downside of long to short is that quantity is too often overstressed. Quality is too often undervalued.

  8. My honest opinion of your program is that it might make you a better 400m runner, but you probably won’t get your PR from 11.4 to 10.8 on it.

Thanks Snelkracht, your comments are much appreciated. The 7 weeks is mostly a time filler. I hadn’t really thought about that. My overall fitness isn’t bad, but my specific fitness is. I think that’s a great point. The logical conclusion of this is that I should shift 3 or 4 weeks (a meso) to my SPP or precomp. What happened is that I just penned down 7 weeks GPP without really thinking about the implications.

My first draft had included a submax speed day from the GPP (95% intensity) and the hill day was originally a tempo day, does that setup sound better?

As you also correctly say, I’m aware this isn’t a pure short to long. I don’t think I’m ready for a pure short to long, I need to work on some base aspects, that’s why I have a high lactic to alactic % of work. All the while I want to keep a focus on quality above quantity despite having some long to short style work.

Thanks again for the comments! :slight_smile:

I can’t answer that question directly, Aln, and give a meaningful answer. This is not disparagingly intended; the distance is too great. However I can briefly outline some guiding principles which might give you some insight into how to continue your preparation.

  1. As a 100m/200m sprinter, the only reason you train is to be able to run the 100m or 200m, once on race day, as fast as possible.

  2. Once you have chosen your (realistic!) target time everything you do, from weights, to 6x300 reps, to acceleration runs, is done with the aim of achieving this target time at the required time. If your training program bears only a random resemblance to your desired outcome, the results will be random.

  3. At any given time during your training you should have a good idea of how close you are to your intended goal. Without this you cannot correct or adjust your training accordingly.

  4. The short-to-long method is geared to developing acceleration and speed first, and speed endurance later.

  5. The long-to-short method is based on the idea that training at a given intensity for a particular number of reps, will enable the athlete to later run at a higher intensity for a smaller number of reps. When you think about it, this is the guiding philosophy behind traditional weightlifting routines.

  6. GPP and SPP have one function only: to ensure that the athlete has the required fitness level to train specifically for his event. It does not make you faster, it gets you in shape to train to run faster.

  7. How long GPP and SPP should last depend on the specific needs of the athlete. Some elite athletes get away with 3 to 4 weeks of GPP a year (often more for recuperative reasons after a long outdoor season than for conditioning reasons). Some beginnners need IMO at least a year of GPP to get them to the point where they can run productive workouts without collapsing in exhaustion or ripping tendons every other week.

  8. The question is therefore, what workouts are you going to do to improve your speed from 11.4 to 10.8, and in what shape do you need to be in order to embark on these workouts?

  9. The answer to the previous question will determine the length and the nature of your GPP and SPP cycles.

  10. Here’s an excessively simplified (and unrealistic) long-to-short example, planning backwards from your goal. For illustrative purposes only. Your goal is running 200m in 22.0 sec. To run 1x200 in 22.0 you figure you should first be able to run 2x200 in 22.5 sec. To run 2x200 in 22.5 you figure you should be able to run 3x200 in 23.0 sec. And so on up to 8x200 in 28 sec. From 8x200 in 28 to 1x200 in 22.0 in 10 easy weeks. But, you figure, there’s no way you could run 8x200 in 28 sec right now without collapsing. Your first task, therefore, is to whip yourself into enough shape to run 8x200 at 28 sec pace. That’s the entire goal of your conditioning. Your GPP cycle serves no other purpose.

So, to summarize: what are your goals for this year? What’s your target peak time? What milestones must you achieve before you can run your peak time? How do you plan to achieve each milestone? How fit are you now? How fit do you need to be to embark on your training plan?

I think that you should spend 90% of your time figuring how to get from 11.5 to 10.8, and 10% of the time figuring how to condition yourself to do that. Really, GPP (and SPP to a lesser extent) is not a big deal; there are a thousand ways to whip yourself into shape and all of them work more or less. Improving your 100m time from 11.5 to 10.8 is a bigger deal: it ain’t that easy, and it’s what you really want to focus on.

In your target 200m times what amount rest are you looking at between reps for the progression? This is VERY interesting!!


That’s a progression for illustrative purposes only. For a 400m athlete, for instance, the goal of such a series would be to get down to running 3x200’s at race pace with, say, 2 minutes rest.

What I’m trying to illustrate is that you
(i) choose an approach - long-to-short or short-to-long
(ii) having chosen your approach, set your milestones.

Setting milestones for long-to-short is relatively straightforward, being based on the principle of decreasing volume and increasing intensity.

Setting milestones for short-to-long requires some calculation in order to figure out what times of intermediate distances should be.

hypothetically say my current best indoor 200m time is 25.0 seconds. What should I be able to run 4 x 200 with X minutes rest to bust out a low 23 second run?

What sort of progression should I be looking at in training if my workout consists of 4 x 200 with a 25 second indoor PB?

thanks man,

Don’t know if it helps, it’s German, but numbers are numbers :wink:
That guy seems to use the typical long-to-short GDR methods, they developed in the 80s and I think the 200 and 400m sprinters from Poland use nowadays…

according to that you would run (example with only 200m units) from GPP to COMP with 23 secs target for 200m something like:
2x5x200 (I5-I4, 3 Minutes, 6Minutes) 200 in 30-40s
2x3x200 (I3, 8Minutes, 12Minutes) 200 in 26.5-29s
3x200 (I2, 15Minutes) 200 in 24-26.5s
2x200 (I1 20Minutes) 200 in 23-24s
100-150-200 (I1 12-20Minutes) 200 in 23-24s

I think the idea is the progress gradually within the given intensity ranges, too

But I think there is no guarantee that if you are capable of 4x200, 10 Minutes rest, all in 24.5, you can run 23.0, because it’s highly individual.
To clarify what I mean with an example: I know long/middle distance runners doing 15x200 (1-2 minutes rest) in 35seconds each (something I definately can’t), but they still can’t sprint ONE 200m faster than I do…so if you want to know how fast you can sprint the 200 you’ll actually have to do it :wink: