Some athletes are responders, others not it seems...

So, I’ve been thinking, and I don’t know if this is the right place for it, but some athletes respond to training. Give them a year or two and you see big pbs, others change very little. I’m interested in us discussing why this may be?

Is it hormonal, psychological, fibre type related? what? We all like to think our athletes will get better with training and most do but some seem not to! They just stay the same, how is that possible! I mean I have this kid and she has done long to short with little improvement so then we tried short to long and she hasn’t improved much at all. She is 5’10" but is a little too gentle. She has gone from never dead lifting to now 130kg at 66kg b/w. Power cleans about 65kg, so solid numbers without anything amazing. Anyway, the point is she hasnt improved anything on the track, as is the case with others, yet other athletes improve and keep on improving. Why is this?? Am interested to see what others think…

How many years has she been training?
What kind of volume does she do in the week?
Does she compete regularly? I find that competitions are the best way for me to improve. For me there is a huge correlation with frequency of competing and improvement.

Also does she do sprints on her own or with a group?

what do you mean by this? :confused:

Is this their first year doing S-L?
Do you think maybe the improvements may come over the course of the season? I take it you are comparing training times this year V last?

She is gentle as in not intense. She gets her training done but not with the maximal intensity that I would hope, especially in her speed sessions, and we all know that 100% intensity is v important in speed sessions.

She is in year 3 with me, has trained with someone else in the past and that was just play stuff so she should be improving.

She isnt the only one either. These kinds of athletes all train 5-6 days/week, not competing right now, and just seem to try as hard as they can but they dont improve, or if they do, its by just a tiny margin.

Maybe I’m out on my own here… :slight_smile:

Describe your long to short or short to long training. There are so many possibilities as to why a person does not improve it can be very frustrating.

What is her event?

I think the number one reason is proper training. You see some people do huge volumes of the wrong type of work and don’t progress and wonder why. And then there are those who do very little of the right stuff and improve. Its also a matter of finding what the right training is for that individual.

Her training has followed Charlie’s models pretty much to the letter so I think we can safely assume she is doing good stuff.

Her event is the LJ, and so she only has to run 35 metres. I went with the “tall lanky people tend to respond to long to short” advice but then this southern winter we went with short to long. Neither have prompted much change at all.

I am tempted to go back to long to short but dont really feel that comfortable about her doing longer stuff when her lj event/run up is such a short thing…

I wonder how appropriate a long to short program is for a jumper. Like you said, they run up 35m at a time.

I’ve got a jumper friend who trains for track in the winter and jumps in the summer. His 200-400m runs progress quite nicely but when he jumps he lacks total technical practice and doesnt jump far at all. During the summer, he hits up only 2 practices a week but its jumps only. He progresses quite nicely and he is surprised at how little he does and is able to progress as he does.

How much jumping do you guys do? Approaches and jumps.

Yep, this winter we have dumped most of the jumping to try and get her faster (but still done plenty of plyo work), just doing occasional run up stuff to make sure the rhythm is good.

She is jumping now, and time trialing, but there isnt any improvement in speed and its pretty damn frustrating…

What sort of time trials are you doing? What volumes were you using at what distances for training?

Time trials were at 40m, 80m, 100m, 120m, 150m.

The short to long volume has been via Charlie’s plan so take a look at that.

So you took a short to long program that Charlie has laid out for a very advanced sprinter and apply it to a developing girl?

To give you an example, I go up to 1400m of speed and it is very difficult for me, and thats after having built up from lower volumes over a few years. I couldn’t imagine giving a girl upwards of 2100m of speed in a single week and expect them not to be completely over trained. You’ve got to be careful when applying other people’s programs and using their volumes exactly as listed.

syrus, I’m not that naive, I used Charlie’s model as a framework as to how to graduate the distances over time viz short to long. She didnt do 2100m of speed per week only about 1500m. Also, she is 20 years old, has been doing the sport since she was 13, but hasnt followed a formal training program as intensely as mine but has been training 4 days per week before we started.

Anyway, we are missing the point talking about her, she is not the problem. There are other athletes who I work with, a variety of ages and experiences you just show very little sign of improvement no matter what we try with them.

ok well you told me to look at that plan for volumes so why would I think that the volumes were any lower?

In any case I see your point.

As for why certain athletes progress and some others don’t, I’ve noticed that throughout my own training group. I believe it might be genetic in origin.

I think some people are built for speed, some people function for speed and when someone has both, then you’ve got the real talent. Not sure if that makes much sense to anyone.

Going from doing minimal training to lots of training in a short-time span frequently ends of in failure for even talented athletes. Even if it is well intentioned, some athletes just are not able to recover well from the work. I think Syrus has some good points here.

I have a girl like that. Good technician but slow as dirt and speed improvements are hard to come by. The word gentle comes to mind in our case too. Some people just aren’t wired for explosive events. They may good levers and tendons but poor neural drive. Genetics are a b**ch. If you figure out the answer let me know. Most of my girls improve by feet. This girl improves by…uh…nothing.

spend a bit more time with movements at speed, do the set reps as per Charlies programming, 300m or 170 movements. do as a drill for 170 movements/distance/time. why not isolate, one joint/two joints etc