Powell runs 9.78

No. 2, isn’t that what pretty much everyone’s workouts would look like?

I don’t think the annual plan and detailed workouts would be much different than the great Charlie Francis, remembering he was 10 years ahead of everyone else with Ben.

Where I believe the difference lies is in what they are doing with running mechanics.

Everyone has looked at a slowmo of Bolt and and Powell and came up with their own interperation on what they are doing. I would suggest that watching a magician perform will not give the answer any more than the slowmo will. What you see is not what is being done.

I can remember when Olivia Tauro made big improvements everyone over here were taking videos trying to work out what she was doing different. They are none the wiser and the kid is now gone.

If you looked at individual workouts - I would hope that everyone’s general structure would be similar. However, the week to week progressions, from training phase to training phase, would likely be all over the map from what I have seen and from what I have heard from people who have observed workouts from day to day in various camps.

Then, there is the overall training plan as compared with what was actually implemented on the day. Charlie would create weekly plans, but the majority of workouts would be changed on the day based on what he saw, feedback from the massage therapist, etc. This is what separated Charlie’s work from others - his ability to improvise with the circumstances he was presented with.

This would be a risky assumption. How many of Charlie’s workout plans have you actually reviewed to come to this conclusion? I am not talking about the short-to-long and long-to-short examples he presented (which were never actually used as workout plans - they were theoretical examples that we prepared for seminar presentation and discussion).

From what I have reviewed in person with him, there is a significant difference in how he plans his workouts as compared with almost everyone else. His attention to the details with regard to adjusting various individual elements from week-to-week, phase-to-phase and year-to-year are unlike any other coach I’ve seen. His description of the process Charlie used in “Project World Record” were impressive in terms of the depth of research, integration of training elements and coordination with other service providers. I have numerous training programs he has provided (many of which I sat with him and documented for him, with input on specific elements) and they are all very different (as they were provided for different athletes, with different circumstances - some male, some female, some older, some younger, at different times of year, different stages of development, etc).

Based on the numerous consultations I’ve provided with athletes and coaches over the past few years who have “studied” Charlie’s presentation materials, I have found that many (if not most of them) have incorrectly applied Charlie’s principles, or have simply cut and pasted his training program examples with no regard for their individual circumstances and needs of their athletes. I fear that this is happening more frequently than not. This is particularly the case with his Short-to-Long seminar example. People have told me they wrote up their training program, wanted my input on it, and then proceeded to send me the S-L example Charlie provided. This is not what Charlie had intended.

have incorrectly applied Charlie’s principles, or have simply cut and pasted his training program examples with no regard for their individual circumstances and needs of their athletes.

Absolutely spot on No.2! I’ve seen this too. Copy/paste - too easy, one would think :slight_smile: Not so, and is wrong.

Have to agree. I can only interpret what Charlie actually meant, and apply it to my athletes of basic standard, work full time in manual labour jobs or office jobs, and chronic injuries. Is my interpretations correct, I have no idea. I am reluctant to let my athletes see written programmes, because wrote/said athletes will do what they see and not necessarily what they should at the time.

As for Powell, I hope he can put together a good major championships effort and runs well. Can he lose 25lb (11kg) in 2 months without hindering performance, I hope so.

Well put DMA. What you said is what Charlie would have hoped for coaches following his method.

I have been following Charlie’s work since 1986 - that first seminar I attended at the age of 17 years (still have a few notes from that seminar). I have had the opportunity to coach sprinters for the past 20 years, and had the opportunity to work with Charlie for many years. Am I an expert when it comes to the Charlie Francis Training System? I would say I’m not. And, this is after 25 years of following his material. Have his guidelines, assertions and methods made a significant impression on how I coach on a daily basis? Yes - they are pretty hard wired into my system now. In particular, his words about how to be a good coach: “Do what you need to do to make sure the athletes are always improving. Don’t let people tell you otherwise what your eyes, ears and instincts are telling you.”

Well stated No 2, its a good reminder to everyone to think hard about their own athletes and how they should be applying CF’s principles to help them and not just copy his sample programmes.

Keep up the good work.

Somebody should put together a quote book of numbertwo’s and charlie’s best quotes.

Well if we consider the reality of the situation which is that it’s a copy and paste industry and most of what is copied and pasted is of lower quality than bargain toilet paper…obviously not ENOUGH coaches have copied and pasted Charlie’s work into the training of their own athletes because based upon the incompetence that runs rampant throughout the industry even an inappropriate copy and paste would be a monumental improvement over what most athletes are getting (regardless of sport)

True enough!

I’m hoping that I can create a video (from all the seminars we did) with Charlie’s best stories and best lines. Some of his best stories would require me to “bleep” out names, but I’m sure you could figure out who he is talking about.

Guys remember, very few people get the opportunity to mentor under great coaches so they need somewhere logical to start from hence some of the cut and paste. I consider myself an above average critical thinker, however I have never had the luxury of being around any great coach for more than a couple hours and that has only been in the last year. So…where would I start, where would I find even a basic template? Think about it. Personally I seek out the experts when I get curious about something and I begin to somewhat (gasp) copy them and at the same time refine it to my situation. I see nothing wrong with that. It is the smart thing to do. Why reinvent the wheel. It is better than starting completely from scratch. It is what John Smith did and I am sure Charlie and probably Dan Pfaff did. So if someone takes the short to long template and hopefully is smart enough to tailor volumes to themselves or other athletes what’s the problem? Any of the coaches I would listen to, i.e. Charlie, Pfaff, Smith, Tellez all said they have a daily template and adjust it as they see how the athlete responds that day.

And I have to ask, if that template looks drastically different from Charlie’s “real world” workouts why even publish it…sounds misleading. That is not how Charlie came across when discussing those templates on here. Every time he talked about specific training on those templates it sounded like he would actually use them in the real world.

Cant wait for that.

Well I think the templates can be used in real world situations but the situation has to present itself. Charlie couldnt go around sayin just use this template and you will have success.

lr400 - this response is not directed at your post, but just a general observation on the state of coaching and teaching these days… (I can empathize with the main thrust of your argument, however…)

If you examine the chronology in which the various diagrams were created for Charlie’s presentation, the initial diagrams were all conceptual in nature, with no specifics provide on detailed workouts. Even Ben’s plan was presented in a general sense. Only later - after many requests for a more specific weekly plan - did we create an example of a progression from S-L and L-S. It was never meant to be a template - but more of an illustration of the progression of training elements. There was no hypothetical athlete used in the creation of that diagram (i.e. Athlete A with x amount of years of training behind them, with a personal best of 10.27 seconds, and a history of hamstring pulls, and a part-time job). You can use those diagrams to get a sense of why volume is rising in one element and why it is falling in another element, how to integrate new training types without creating soreness, and add intensity to runs throughout a plan. Again, I would not copy that diagram verbatim and use it on an athlete. It was published for discussion purposes.

“So if someone takes the short to long template and hopefully is smart enough to tailor volumes to themselves or other athletes what’s the problem?”

Unfortunately, it appears that people are not smart enough to tailor their workouts to the specific needs of the athlete – herein lies the problem. Nobody here is telling you not to take other coaches’ information and make informed decisions on how their structure can apply to you. But copying workouts rep for rep is not an acceptable practice, and I think it is our responsbility to ensure that new coaches do not think it is an acceptable practice (nor does it qualify as acceptable professional development).

You mention that few people get the opportunity to mentor under great coaches. I would argue that it is each young coach’s responsibility to seek out a proper mentor and learn from them (if not a number of mentors). Surfing the internet for information is not an acceptable means of developing coaching knowledge or ability. How do you think coaches learned in the days before the internet? The information was passed on from coach to coach in person. It is so easy to gain information, but so rare for individuals to gain wisdom these days. I challenge young coaches to go out and travel the US and Canada (or any other continent for that matter), scraping every dime you have to find the best information. Because you know what, there are lots of great coaches and mentors out there that don’t have web sites, DVD’s or books. It is your job as a coach to seek those individuals and pick their brain and observe them in action.

There was a great audio interview floating around the internet with Al Vermeil. He was asked what new strength coaches could do to learn more about their profession. Al came straight out and said, “You need to go to the great coaches out there and learn from them first-hand. It’s going to cost you money, but it will be well worth it.” There is way too much complacency out there in the coaching profession and strength and conditioning profession. People are considered “experts” based on what they say in a forum post or an internet blog.

I truly apologize for the rant, but I’m sick and tired of the number of “experts” we have out there who haven’t done piss all to expand their knowledge and coaching wisdom. When I was looking to promote my last conference, I searched a whole bunch of web sites for contact information for potential attendees. I was shocked at how many people claimed to be speed experts, strength experts or rehab experts with as little as 1-3 years out of university. And, guess what, most of these people did not attend my conference - a conference where we had speakers with minimum 25-30 years individual experience in their profession.

I asked legendary strength coach, Al Miller, if he gets calls from young strength coaches in the NFL about how they could learn from his experience and wisdom. He said that he gets no calls from current NFL strength coaches. (He helps out at a local high school in Louisiana). Very few people seek out Coach Al Vermeil for advice. He’s retired, has a good amount of time on his hands, has an infinite amount of knowledge and would be welcome to share his ideas with young strength coaches. I would think his phone should be ringing off the hook. It isn’t.

KitKat on the forum here at CF.com is a fantastic coach with lots of wisdom and past success. I would hope that anyone who is on this forum and lives in Australia would PM KitKat and go and visit and learn from him. He is a tremendous resource.

When I went to see Charlie speak in 2001 in Santa Clarita, California, I spent $650 on the seminar, $500 on the flight, $300 on the hotel and another $150 on food. I didn’t have a full time job at the time. But I’ll tell you something, every penny of it was worth it and I would have paid twice the amount if I had to do it again. I arrived early to the seminar to talk with Charlie, I spoke with him during the breaks, I spoke with him after the seminar, then made sure that when everyone went to dinner in the evening, I was sitting at the same table as Charlie. I would say that it took me 5-7 years to fully realize much of the information presented to me that weekend. Not because I’m not an intelligent person. But it takes years and years of working with athletes before you can get a full understanding of the concepts Charlie presents. You need to “walk in the man’s shoes” to an extent.

Long story short – It takes lots of time, plenty of effort, lots of money and incredible passion to learn how to be a good coach. And, it is an ongoing, never-ending process. At the age of 65, Coach Al Vermeil calls me once per week and has a list of questions he wants to go over. It is not unusual for me to be on the phone with him for 90 minutes. Sometimes, it is a 3 minute call. But I still get the calls. And I still make the calls to him.

I think the most important questions to ask with regards to Charlie’s training methods don’t begin with “what,” but rather with “why.”

I am certain that Charlie would agree 100% Actuary!

I had a great coach back in 1990. He was the eventual coach for Robert Zmelik - who won the 1992 Decathlon in Barcelona. His name is Eduard and he was brought up in the Czechoslovakian sport school system. When we were training at the track one day, he observed another coach showing an athlete a drill or exercise that was completely useless and risky. Eduard got very angry and sat us down (like we were school children). His English at the time sucked. Eduard told us, “If ever coach is telling you something, do not be afraid to ask - For What?” Eduard didn’t know how to use the word “Why”. But from that day on, I could see and hear him saying adamantly “FOR WHAT?” I tell that story to my athletes all the time and encourage them to ask me questions.



Better quality vid of the race. Great slo mo view of him stepping out.

It’s interesting. From the video, it appears that much of Powell’s advantage on the field was gained from 0 to 50m. The high camera angle from the finish line gives the impression that he moves on the group from 50-80, but the profile robot-cam shows that his advantage on the group was gained from 30-50m. Powell does not improve his lead on the 2nd place competitor (Frater) from 60-100m, and it even appears that he loses a bit of ground at the end. Lemaitre also closes a bit.

It begs the question - are his current max-velocity and speed endurance mechanics actually paying off? Frater doesn’t have as much front-side mechanics as Powell, but actually stays with him. What if a healthy Bolt or Gay was in that race?

Would be nice to have some accurate 10m splits from that race to confirm some of these ideas.