rapid decrease of performance

Hey everyone!
I was training by CF principles for 9 months and everything went great; my times on every distance from 30-400m has drastically improved. In fall 2010 I started my first GPP (with CF principles) for the indoor season that started yesterday. I finished GPP fast and fit and started the SPP S-L. in comparison with me before GPP I became a great starter and was feeling really fast. If I produced a good start I could hold on to “faster” sprinters that I never believed I could hold on to…

After the GPP I successfully finished 3 weeks of SPP but was then forced to change my training system and started training by the quite different training system (the only similarity I found is HIGH and LOW days). The overall speed volume has drastically decreased (from around 360m per session to the maxximum of 200m per session) the weightlifting sytem was completely different and much more advanced jumps were involved.

As I said before I started my indoor season yesterday. Based on the timing from the beggining of the SPP ( first 3 weeks) I was hoping to run somewhere around 7,30-7,50s (60m). However, I ran 7,77 and was completely disappointed… I got my race recorded and based on the video my running tehnique looks quite ok. There was no tightening and besides the awful start I don’t see anything that would be really wrong.

How is this possible, I mean what could have happened to my speed in the last 4 weeks when I was forced to change my training system?

you were forced to change your training system…

Much can happen in 4 weeks to hurt your speed development. Maybe you can post a video so others here may look at your technique.

We would have to have more of the details of your training programs to do an appropriate post-mortem, but as was indicated by the previous post, lots can happen to undo good training. I’ve seen seasons ruined by one week of inappropriate training.

This is why Charlie was always careful to make very smooth training transitions when he acquired athletes from different coaches. He kept much of the same work in the program devised by the previous coach and slowly transitioned into his approach. He knew that the body is very sensitive to drastic changes in arrangements of stimuli.

Thanks a lot for quick responses. Some details about the training system.

The plan is based on highly advanced jumps (depth jumps, hurdle jumps) and on max strength improvment but I can’t give you exact example as I have only last week’s plan as coach usually don’t give me printed version that I could keep. The first sign of performance decreasment was (when I changed the training system) that my “long jump from stationary position” went from 2,99m to around 2,75m. The next thing was that my start became awful…

The last week’s training plan is posted bellow:

the training included max weights tests (squat and snatch) and some runs at 85-90% intensity
As a “student” of CF’s I skipped the training and did tempo+core on my own…


  • 2x6 depth jumps
  • 2x4x6 hurdle jumps
  • 4x60m/100% (last 30m segment electronic timing)


  • long warmup
  • hurdle walk-overs
  • push-ups
  • abs
  • deadlift 2x4x90%

Skipped that session and did tempo on my own as otherwise I would be very stiff on the next day


  • 2x6 depth jumps
  • 2x20m from blocks
  • 2x60m from blocks


  • activation (did the CF version on my own)


  • first race of the indoor season:
    60m -7,77s (a complete dissapointment)

The third week of SPP and the last week of training on my own was as following;

Mon, Fri:
2x20m from blocks
2x3x60m (20m+maintain)

(Weights: deadlift or squat 1x8,1x6,1x8, Military press or bent-over-row: 3x8, reverse hyper 3x12)

2x20m from blocks
1x60m (25+maintain)

(Weights: clean 1x8,1x6,1x8, Bench press: 3x8, reverse hyper 3x12)

I did the tempo workouts and core conditioning on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Ohhh, Thanks again NumberTwo and speedster12!
I will post the video of my run as soon as I get it from my coach.

And another question:
Should I finish the indoor season by the current training system or should I change back to CF that worked wonderful for me?

Why did you change in the first place?

So if I look at the plan you gave for last week you actually did the following leading into the race?



  • 2x6 depth jumps
  • 2x4x6 hurdle jumps
  • 4x60m/100% (last 30m segment electronic timing)



  • 2x6 depth jumps
  • 2x20m from blocks
  • 2x60m from blocks


  • activation (did the CF version on my own)

Looks like you went from doing no jumps to doing some high intensity jumps (depth jumps and hurdle jumps). Doing this type of work (with no previous progression) the week of a meet could overstimulate your CNS and dull your performance on the Saturday. To put this in perspective, you are also layering this new work (jumps) on top of 100% full race efforts within 5 days of your competition (i.e. 4 x 60m at 100% on Tuesday is a tough workout the week of a competition. Maybe 95% efforts would be more appropriate - but still with full recoveries which may be as long as 10-12 minutes).

If you are doing 100% efforts and intense jumps throughout the week, one can only expect you to be flat for the weekend. If you are prioritizing training during this early competition phase (training through your meets), then you should expect the competition results to be lackluster. If you want competition results, you have to draw down the volume and intensity (maybe 90-95% on your runs) the week of competition. The competition itself will be the stimulus for training.

On another note, I’m not a big fan of deadlifts in the competition period either (too slow, heavy central and peripheral fatigue - posterior chain - with little benefit).

This point I couldnt agree with more. The deadlift is so taxing IMO on CNS and from a structural standpoint the hamstrings can easily get overworked trying to combine deadlifts and accels and speed work out to 60 like it seems makes up much of your current training

I must ask, whats with the depth jumps on tuesday and thursday especially during the week of a meet? Oh I totally agree with number 2 and speedster12.

I’ve experienced a similar decrease in performance from my october testing to my late nov/early dec testing.

A large volume of plyo work integrated with speed work seemed to have been the culprit along with ineffective recovery periods due to the build up of fatigue from said plyos and speed work.

Similar to your situation, my speed decreased substantially (+0.13s flying 25m on a consistent basis). My strength went down as well, things stopped progressing and started regressing all of a sudden.

I suspected it was over stimulation which lead to inhibition of the CNS. I took a full 9 days off, and re-adjusted my microcycle to avoid this. Things are starting to build back up. Inhibition is gone, but detraining occured as well. So I’m still in the process of getting back to it. Its coming back bit by bit with each training session as long as i monitor stimulation and recovery.

That’s very accurate, valuable and useful advice KK400.
I hope you appreciate it!

People scoff at the bench press, but for advanced athletes Charlie was able to use this rudimentary exercise to help balance off the need for CNS stimulation (to maintain general strength) while preserving the legs for the task at hand (running fast). Again, another one of his great innovations to the training world.

Thanks everyone for your help. I really appreciate it!
You’ve helped me so much as I have no one here who would belive into any other system that my coach’s and everyone is just saying that I obviously reached my “limit” which would be really dissapointing for me. Since I’m 19 years old and training only for 9 months with appropriate system I think that I can still progress.

What should I do now? Finish the SPP and the indoor season and then start training by CF principles again?

Thanks again for your help and I’ll post a video of my run as soon as I get it.

I had no choice. I changed my training group and club because of moving into a bigger city and the club appointed me a coach who is very respected in our country (he was a coach of Matic Osovnikar, white sprinter who ran 10,13 in Osaka 2007). I just couldn’t turn him down and I hoped that his training system would work well for me.

if the overtraining was of the CNS, not just volume on the legs, then bp isnt really an option either, is it? bc itd still be hitting the cns

Yes it affects it, but not overloading it.

It IMO has < 1/2 the demand of the DL

(Also Number Two is not saying to use the BP on top of, but instead of the DL)

Charlie’s Phase 1 is the highest volume of his program and he wrote many times that the volume goes down as you progress from acceleration toward SE. See the Vancouver or Edmonton pdfs and the volume numbers (over 2000m of speed/wk in the early parts of Phase 1). Remember that CF had Ben doing 200s (some claim that Ben cut these to 150, but the point is the same) and CF wrote that his people ran 100’s fast in Phase II right out of the gate.

The catch is that while you’ve been running your CNS into the ground, you’ve also been getting in hardly any volume. I imagine that you are limited by the need to maintain good political relations with your coach, but I think you need to build up some volume to taper off of-- if not 3X4X60, then at least some decent tempo volume.

As Charlie said, look at your key races in the season and work backward. Think about what you want to do in Phase II (and phase III if you have one) and what you need to do NOW to transition.

Thank you, I’ll try to do that.

I agree with all the answers given, we had been doing vertical box jumps up onto a pole vault bed, peaked at 3x4 then brought in box drops from low height 24" fast contact with floor and on to another box similiar height - 2x5. We omitted them 2 weeks before competing on Sunday 9th. We also dropped from 2x4x60m to 2x2x60m wb + 12mins (this was our speed endurance unit) then to 2x60m @ 95% 12mins. Speed was reduced in volume also and kept to 20 30 40 x 2. Weights in the last 10 days was Bench only. Dropped from 7.24 Mid December to 7.18.

Talk to your coach, set some goals for you, and a programme thats right for you not others. Good luck.

Hey Phil G! I just realised I never thanked you for all your help at the beggining of my SPP that went really well until I changed the training system. I’m actually quite mad at myself to let this happen as before that I was improving so fast. Well thanks again for all your help and I hope you’ll be around when I start structuring my outdoor season plan :wink:

Your welcome, no problem, we are all using this forum to help eachother, I know I have had a lot of assistance. :slight_smile: