I was reading through some of the old threads and wanted to know what people thought about testing. I read that Powell’s coach did testing every 4th week. Obviously not 1RM testing but test such as 30m, standing long jump etc. Do some of you incorporate that into your training? What kind of testing do you do. When to do the testing? Any thoughts or comments?

I am been toying with the idea of using a gripper before my high intensity days in order to gauge readiness (i heard about this in one of James Smith’s posts). I have to play with it a bit more, but i think that he is on to something.

Otherwise, i don’t do any specific testing. I mostly my workout numbers to check for progress (sprint times, weight room numbers, plyo numbers). Tests can only confirm the data that is already present in your workouts.

I use a hand dynamometer sometimes. It does provide some measurable feedback on their CNS strength for the session. Of course you can also look at body language and behavior prior to the session but that’s subjective.

If you use a dynamometer too often though and you get a poor score one day it can have some unwanted psychological effects. Same deal as how it was once spoken of using the OmegaWave directly before a meet so the athlete could see their readiness…what happens if it shows they aren’t ready :eek:

That brings up a point. Why would you test before a meet unless you had the option to skip it? If the meet counts and you havn’t peaked properly, it’s too late.

I don’t see the point to test before a meet, or maybe to calm down the nerves of the coach. You should have some clue with the quality of workouts in the last 2 weeks, and tests results in lifts, jumps or throws might be deceiving but and misleading as actually a decrease right before the competitions can happen as event results (specificity) increase.

i believe testing should be an integral part of training. if your benching you attach a tendo unit same with the squat. its not just how much your lifting but how you lift it same goes with sprints times should be kept track of even if they are submaximal. basically the more data you have on yourself the better you can derive the next steps to take in your training. testing can also involve resting heart rate heart rate after a set or sprint, even rectal temp. all this can be used to monitor the human body and its response to stresses, all to make sure that training is taking you in the right direction.

I’m along with the bandwagon on this one. Testing and training should be interwoven the more data you can get on your athlete the better, you should have a pretty decent idea where your athlete stands at any given moment. Testing shouldnt be a special thing if you have all or even most of the stuff james talked about in the last post you should be able to tell if your athletes heading in the right direction.

I’m not a fan of individual testing even if it isnt right before a meet. Say you test every month and thats what your going on. First if thats all your using to monitor your athlete well in a month you could have turned them into shit, you need to know day to day how training is affecting your athlete. Second you got the psychological factor of what if the athlete performs poorly or is just having an off day, they may start thinking that the last month was worthless, they are going down hill, etc which may very well not be the case. You get them worrying about numbers that wont correlate 1 to 1 to a good race instead of on everyday training and overall goals.

In this year before our major championships we used the usual 10 day taper with a recovery week in before the stimulus session before the taper begins. I can see the readyness of the athlete increasing as the 30m times from blocks drop 7-5-3 days out. Also the athletes are noticably fresher you can see they actually look faster. On day 5 we do our last gym session. Every athlete in my squad gets a PB in the bench press (5% increase) and it looks easy. They surprise themselves.

I know they are ready. At the peak of our season they all run seasons bests or PBs. When you follow the taper down you can see what they will do before they do it. It really is quite amazing.

Simply put, the testing is the sub maximal high intensity sessions and since they were overloaded during the rest of the SPP the times they run after the taper HAVE to be quicker than before it, it is physiologically impossible (apart from perhaps if there is a psychological problem thought that should have been taken care of by the tapering and the steady improvement they are seeing) for them not to be in better shape then they were before it.

Hence i think the real value of testing comes in during the SPP where you are overloading the athlete but perhaps don’t know exactly when to back off or need reassurance about your observations.

Agreed. I don’t use any testing means immediately before a major meet. I do think it has value (dynamometer) during the middle of SPP so I can gauge how much juice they have for a particular training session.

I don’t know if I fully understand the CF SPP and taper. I always feel like I and my team don’t have much to taper from. Can you help me understand?

Usually I will do something like:
mon- 400-500m total speed work, light long jump work
tue- weights, maybe 1000-1500m tempo
wed- 1000m tempo or rest(abdominal circuits or something off the legs)
thur- 400m of SEI, weights
fri- rest
sat- compete

I almost feel I produce more fatigue & damage using tempo runs compared to anything else. If I do 1500-2000m of tempo, my calf and achilles area is sore for several days and a speed session the following day will be poor.

I am in contact with several caucasian 10.2x-10.3x runners and they all talk about doing a bunch of speed endurance in the form of split runs so they do feel they have something to taper from…their SE sessions might be 250,200,200,160 w/ 5min breaks.

So basically I don’t understand how to do enough speed work so that I feel I have accumulated fatigue that can result in a taper effect. Should I up the volume of my speed days even if the times tail off after about 500m of work?

Any advice is appreciated. thanks

Just got the above in a PM. Thought it was better to post it here on the forum but preserve anonomity so that others can comment.

Basically, it sounds like this person’s perception of what fatigue feels like is related to “tiredness”. For me the fatigue i see as a coach is lack of “snappyness”, like longer foot contacts etc. Also the fatigue built up over 12 or more weeks of training is also a factor. It isn’t so much that each session is fatiguing but that the cumulative fatigue is the problem.

As for calf and achilies problems, well this could be caused by many different things. One is that you cannot evert your foot so you always come down on the front of your foot leading on the soleus and hence a feeling like achilies tendonitis. If this is what is happening then the higher volume can cause these problems. As an athlete i had a similar issue with tempo except i used to get medial shin splints - I found running tempo in cross country spikes helped solve this problem for me.

In terms of volume of the runs perhap a solution is to start off slower and build up. 2000m of tempo is actually quite a lot if you arn’t used to it. It is worth starting with about 1000m and building up over perhaps 3 months.

Rectal testing?? Don’t worry! If you screw up at the meet, the promoter will give you a rectal exam with his foot!

To comment on TC’s post, or rather the PM he received, I don’t see the tempo here as the biggest problem.
Perhaps you could maintain such volumes of speed for a while while competing, but there is a point it gets too much.
Also, SE1 (if we all mean the same thing here) two days out of a race? Why? I mean you’d acknowledge that these factors could limit your performance, but still do it as part of some kind of a plan.
Although tempo and all low intensity training should equally be taken into consideration, I don’t think that the fatigue factor lies on this here. A cumulative effect, as TC mentioned, could be more of a hindrance, I guess. And in that respect you may have to taper from more here…

lol rectal temp being more accurate than any other temp test can give a very precies indication of how training is effecting the athlete based off of changes in temp.

How does that relate specifically to sprints/power events and perhaps most importantly have you found it… practical? :eek:

How much snappyness do you want to lose? Should you just plow through the workouts and accept poor results (due to fatigue) in the early/middle part of the season?

Regarding the tempo…Charlie’s 02ForumReview charts showed something like 3 to 4 days of tempo at 2000-3000m per session. I know this is for a ‘high level’ athlete but how do you know how much tempo you need?

Its not so much what they loose. I don’t generally see the loss because the times are getting better throughout the SPP. However, when you taper you see the gain… you see the shorter contacts and the more powerful acceleration etc.

As for volume of tempo well the first criteria is what does your current level of conditioning allow you to easily do. If you are not well conditioned for tempo running then you can always bump up medball work or add in push ups and pull ups to make it more difficult. My tempo volumes (and all my volumes for that matter) are lower than charlie’s because my athletes arn’t at the levels of his group. You can still get a good results off of 1000-1800m of tempo to begin with.

So would you go so far as to say that to do tempo work, you don’t have to run much or at all in the tempo session(just do bodyweight circuits or other alternative work)?

i believe in monitoring the effect of traiing each session, even intersession. so acute changes in the bodies temp are a very good indicator to how those stressors are effecting the system. acute changes show if training tonage should be increased or decreased in subsequent training sessions or even in the given session. now is it practical? lol yea just stick the thermamater up you butt simpl as that. people will say eww that gross or i dont want to stick anything up my butt but would you rather be a squemish pansy or improve your training sessions.

Could do but if this is the case then you need to ask why you can’t handle 1800m of tempo because in the end that “problem” will catch up with you. Plus if you are going to split up your training hi low you need to get the volume somewhere but i’m not sure about that because i have no practical knowledge of this with sprinters. In high jump however we have used a high low programme with no tempo (med ball instead) and it still seems to work.

I’m all for non-invasive testing butt do we have any evidence that this really works?