Stephen Francis in Sydney

which is somewhat odd given the amount of detail he provided in Sydney.

any thoughts on this? :confused:

Not sure what detail as I’m certainly left with more questions than answers, based on contradictions, prev videos, race patterns etc.

we had a long thread on this topic after the Olympics- can’t remember the title but someone will. Something like “What we can learn from the Jamaicans”
I think training on grass in spikes and flats can be very helpful but there was a lot of bitching too. Someone see if they can find it please.

yeah recall that the question I have is over the benefit of doing it somewhere like here or the UK where during GPP / ealry SPP the grass is really heavy and boggy.

Charlie is completely correct in what he’s suggesting here. He’s not really at liberty to fully disclose what he knows about the rivalry between coach Franno and Mills, so you’ll all just have to read between the lines on that. In Sydney’s Q&A Franno opened his discussion with a disclaimer that he would not speak about Mills’ group or Bolt, implying that he personally had issues (not with Bolt).
I know one coach who wrote to Franno asking to work with him in Kingston and received an invitation to come to Jamaica but on the strict proviso that he (the visiting coach) did not go across the road to Mills’ camp because too much information about Franno’s methods had already been leaked there.

The other thing Charlie is saying here is also spot-on: with no moderator at the Sydney session, some time was wasted by at least one well-known idiot former 400m runner I am informed (same guy who attended Charlie’s seminar in Sydney a couple of years ago and asked much the same dumb questions). So with the Q&A format being basically a free-for-all, that was great because everyone got in for their chop. But there tended to be a forensic line on the numbers of reps, sets, recovery times as if you could take a cookie-cutter approach (which in fairness is pretty much what Franno does at times with his 80 athletes divided into four tiers).

But the vital line on program structure was almost isolated to the micro-cycle of one week in the general prep phase and nobody really got into questioning Franno about where does this go to next…other than to say they do three weeks of training followed by a week of rest and test. Not much about the rhythms of his work throughout the year. So in some ways there are more questions to be asked but I gather Franno was totally candid and refreshing. I’ve heard from one sports scientist who attended, Dr Coutts, who marks PhD applications from all over the world, and he said he really enjoyed the Franno session because so much of it was “about the art of coaching” - stuff like his observations over the years, for instance about the high correlation of the relationship between athletes who could do a high number of “burpees” with 400m sprinting success. BUt apparently nobody asked him how many burpees equalled 44 or 50-flat:)

I wonder what a high number is?
Is that a burpee with a push up?
I did some the other day with 10kg dumbells… Inbetween tempo reps, now that was hard.

burpees are hard, esp for the lay person who has a hard time even knocking out 10 in a row.

Q and As are often limited by the Qs!!
No matter what your intent, things can be left hanging when the Qs move on to the next item. Franno had so much to offer and it’s always the follow up that fleshes out the topic.
Asking Franno to define his program in broad strokes may lead to false conclusions. I am of the opinion, based on what I have been able to understand from a discussion Franno had with a top coach, that the hill accels and grass work are vital to his success and they must be viewed in context with volumes and speeds and must not be directly transferred to another setting- as if it makes no difference if his sprints are on grass in Jamaica or on a track in Scotland.

Sorry, some of this I follow and other parts I don’t :o
the hill accels and grass work are vital to his success

they must be viewed in context with volumes and speeds

and must not be directly transferred to another setting

you mean geographic? :confused:

- as if it makes no difference if his sprints are on grass in Jamaica or on a track in Scotland.

Sorry can’t follow this.

Do you mean in Scotland he would still do the same thing but use a track instead of grass?


in Scotland he would still do the same thing using grass despite the grass straucture being very different to Jamaica

something else again?

I mean that training has to suit the circumstances you live in- you asked about it earlier related to grass- which might well translate BUT if you move the same work over to the track because you feel the grass is too soft, or it’s poor quality or not available at all- it might not work the same way.

thanks that is what I thought you meant but wanted to check.

The training distances are not the sole parameter to judge a training plan. First thing you should see is the effect of this plan, e.g. race distribution of the early races. It has been discussed many times in the forum including breakdowns i provided in 2005 for Asafa.

Asafa opened with a 10.08 (+3.4w) on 9 April, then ran in Kingston on 7 May 9.84 w+1.8
His breakdowns were
30m 3.84
60m 6.41
80m 8.10
100m 9.84

For his season best and then WR in Athens on 14 June 9.77 (+1.6w)
30m 3.83 (-0.01)
60m 6.39 (-0.02)
80m 8.07 (-0.03)
100m 9.77 (-0.07)

Based on this, it is pretty obvious that Asafa accel was already in place in early May, and the further development were on top speed and its maintenance. This contradict the reports saying that they start sprinting in spring, blablabla…

By the way, Bolt had obviously his accel in place in New York in May last year…

I care about what people say but what we can really trust is what they really do.

PJ, It’s great information which validates everything you say. However, in Franno’s defence, I think him saying they don’t do “speedwork” until later is not a lie, for sure, but a confusion in terminology or semantics. I think he calls terms “speedwork” as top-velocity runs. Anything before that is “starts” or “acceleration” training which never goes beyond 30m under his own terminology.

I was not implying that Franno was hidden the truth or lying about his trainings. I have never witnessed them by the way, except during the competition period on the circuit. Just that reports can be misleading. And it is hard to get the whole picture of a program because you can never be there at each workout. I mean where i’m coaching, i’ve heard weird reports on my training program, saying that they are very short and we are lazy. That’s because i might go to hills, then do some throws in the indoor hall, then move in an other place for weights, then migrate to the physio room. So I’ve been on 4 different places in one day, and 4 observers could report conflicted informations. We make a great effort to lconfuse the spies :smiley:

I’m sure everyone understands you are not criticising Franno and he has said to me (last year) that he especially likes what you write on this forum. So do all of us.

But as I noted earlier, the information which emerged from Franno’s Q&A session last year and again this year which has been reported on this forum must in some ways suffer from not having a moderator to guide the questioning so that we cover in more detail the line of each particular thread of the discussion.

So what emerges from the unmoderated free-for-all is like “fast food” instead of a Sunday roast dinner. We got snippets of information as each person asked about their own field of interest/expertise (many simply looking for some kind of royal endorsement of their own coaching practices).

It’s not a criticism of Franno either that he just let the topics swirl around. And he did give good details of his 7-day week microcycle. But it surely would have been more instructive if this line of questioning on the structure and phases of his program over 12 months had been sustained, rather than constantly diverted.

Gofast, you attended the seminar - which, by the way, had 55 coaches registered on the welcome book (I’m told by one of the organisers). What do you think could have been done to improve it? And, by the way, congrats on your young 100m guy’s run in Melbourne. He took some big Aussie scalps :slight_smile:

Given that KK reported that SF moves to Mondo (at least partially) in March, would it not be reasonable to expect accel performances 2 months later? Also one cannot ignore the hill sprints mentioned by Charlie and also the significant amount of sled work in KK’s original post.

If you factor all of this together, there appears to be a very significant amount of accel work over a period of months, maybe even more than Charlie has in his plans.

At least that’s the way I see it.

If you look at my plan (S-to-L SPP), you will see a large number of accels from 10 out to and including 60m- at least 60 per week to an all time high of 108 (BJ 1985). If you consider the hill work by SF the numbers are pretty similar.

So you’re equating Asafa’s accel numbers with Ben’s…and SF says it’s L-S. Uh Huh. :slight_smile:

But that’s really what I was getting at.

I agree. But it’s just terminology. It was confusing. Hence the suggested “Concurrent” definition to which he reportedly happily agreed.

He dones a heavy amount of short hills, short accels, short plyos. But there is a good load of it and then he also does alternate days on which there is some overdistance work for his sprinters - so perhaps the overdistance long runs (maybe plus the moderate volume of shorter stuff) is what SF thinks is best termed Long…