A Masters sprinter recently asked me a question about tempo placement.
He told me that he is currently only able to train speed every 5th day and is using a program of:
Day 1 AM speed
PM lower body weights
Day 2 off
Day 3 AM long tempo (6x200m)
PM upper body weights
Day 4 PM short tempo (8x100m)
He currently schedules an off day right after his high intensity day because he thinks that he needs a day off from the hard pounding that occurs on his speed track day. However, he would like to know if there is an ideal window of time to get the benefits of tempo after his high intensity day? Is he missing that window by having a complete day off after his high intensity day? Would he likely recover faster if he does his long tempo on day 2 and schedules an off day on day 3?
Tell him to do the speed day followed by the tempo day then take off after. I find that helps me regenerate better than by taking a day right after speed and letting doms kick in. Plus he should really get more speed work in.
Alternatively, I think you could also switch day 2 and 4. I guess it depends on the individual, and how one responds to a tempo day before speed or an off day before speed, and the same thing considered for the day after.
For me, I actually like what he’s doing, because I find I feel better when I have some short tempo before a speed day. If I’m going MWF HI, then I’d rather have Saturday for rest and Sunday I’d rather do some tempo before getting back into it on Monday. If I’m going on a 2-day HI, say Monday and Thursday, I’d rather have the off day on Tues, normal volume tempo on Wednesday. Then between Thursday and Monday, I’d include tempo on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with my largest tempo day on Saturday most likely.
Depending on just how taxing the high day is, some people are also going to better off with bike or pool tempo at least occasionally. For some just having a day removed from any impact, though still doing low intensity work, can do wonders for many athletes.
Master I coach loves training.
We are doing 3 HI days, one tempo, one bike workout both with a lots of mobility, flexibility, med ball and hurdles walkovers, I have reduced his SE runs to two/ three, he was well upset lol.
Yes, and I’m glad you brought up mobility. That’s something I’ve really increased with most of my athletes this year and I feel it’s make a massive difference not only in ROM they could achieve at max. vel. but also just that the athletes generally stay healthier. I love hurdle mobility too but have come to realize, at least in my situation, that like any single tool it has it’s limitations so adding in additional hip and lower back mobility in the warm-ups, sometimes as a separate circuit within the training and including a few exercises as part of the cool-down has been of great assistance.
I agree that, any single tool has its limitations- well said,
there are many great elements which can be used for development of the athletes, many tools which worked for many coaches. I have been experimenting with elastic bands/ loops of different sizes and tensions with good results, talking here about facilitating range of mobility around hip joint.
Generaly speaking, what we are talking here about, in my opinion those elements are essentials of training process which sometimes being neglected.
Absolutely. I previously thought the two hurdle mobility circuits I was programming along with 2-3 mobility exercises in the warm-up then consistent cool-down +3-4 static stretches was enough. Now I feel strongly that it was not adequate at least not for all of the athletes. I had about 3-4 who experienced chronic tightness one with a slight ham strain back in mid Feb. and the other with a slight psoas issue. After inserting additional mobility work into the program all of the issues went away. Doing one circuit months ago it was clear that a few of them could not exhibit the same ROM that they could previously-they had in fact lost some ROM. It has the additional beneficial affect of making the athletes much more self-aware to the point where they won’t attempt a build-up and certainly not a sprint until the can achieve what they know to be optimal ROMs for them as individuals. Just as Charlie used to say how some stretches are used as checks to see that you can hit the ROM you need to and if not come back to it at a later time in the WU, the mobility work can be used in just the same way. I have not used any of the banded mobility work yet but have just been reading of it the last few months.
I agree that they are sometimes neglected and I did the neglecting! the addition of doing this work was probably my biggest take away lesson from this past indoor and outdoor season. I do like a little bit of the activation work mixed in so the soft tissue will heat up and even fatigue slightly to the point it begins to release and when you can definitely hit a ROM that you could not have done without the activation contractions.
“As the strength of the muscles and tendons are increased, it is inevitable that flexibility will decrease, even in the best designed programs. The biggest non-genetic factor affecting flexibility, however, is neglect…It tends to be one of the most ignored tasks in athletics… Nothing can limit the ability of an athlete to perform the proper motions more dramatically than a lack of flexibility.”- Ralph Mann, The Mechanics of Sprinting and Hurdling