The 2012 Second European Sprints and Hurdles Conference

… was held this week-end in Warwick.

Speakers included Tom Tellez, Loren Seagrave, Michael Afilaka, Wigert Thunnissen, James Hillier and myself.

About 250 persons from 16 countries attended and the organisation by UKA was great.

Tom Tellez went through the technique of starting-blocks, acceleration, top speed, hurdling, plus private sessions on the lobby on shot put, discus & javelin throw. At 79 and in top shape he did all the exercises hismelf displaying an extraordinary enthousiasm. When i left the restaurant on Saturday night, he was coaching a half-dozen of students in showing them how to sprint, and in the morning before the breakfast he was already there for a sprint demonstration for other students!

Loren Seagrave’s presentations were about planning strategy, starting blocks, hurdles with videos, graphs and tables.

Michael Afilaka analysed the development of raising star Adam Gemili, sharing sample programs and exercises on video.

Wigert Thunnissen explained how Dutch 4x1 became one of the most efficient relay team of the World in planning strategy to make the best out of a below standard pool of sprinters.

I didn’t attended to James Hillier’s presentation as he was speaking at the same time as me, but i think he spoke about hurdles. Mine was about a history of sprint training, showing timelines of the major phases in the past two centuries using documentation (included a graph made by Charlie about overspeed) to illustrate those trends.

The last day i shared a round table with friends Kevin Tyler and Tony Hadley for debate on 400m with the crowd.

Overall a great week-end and people went away with too much information of course, but hopefully they will transform it into useful tools for their own practice, and this brainstorming is necessary to make us better coaches.

was a very good weekend, and excellent stuff from yourself as always :slight_smile:

I was going to come and approach you, but was unable to get the time :frowning:

Thanks for sharing PJ! Always good to hear from you.

I am curious how Gemili’s programming looks, and if it has the long term in sight (versus going after it now)?

Any comments about Charlie’s concepts from anyone in attendance?

Thanks for the update, PJ and well done on your presentation! I am sure it was well worth it! Any additional information you can share will sure be well received by this forum!

All the stuff will be up on ucoach at some point, will link it up when available guys

Not sure if you guys have seen this

I would be interested in some of the info that might have come out in the 400 roundtable debate.

Thanks for sharing this PJ.

Yes, from Michael’s presentation there is definitively a long term in sight. I guess this kid is in good hands as long as they keep the workload progressive. He shoudl definitively run sub10 ,ext season.
No talk about Charlie but my presentation, based on statistical analysis for 100+ training plans, showed that decade after decade there is a trend toward more tempo than continuous run, speed endurance performed later in the season and accel/speed workouts earlier in the season. Overall volume decreases (especially 80-89% intensity) but intensity tends to increase. This is what Charlie has advocates on this forum for years and i was surprised that my satistical research would show the same thing (well, not that much surprised actually).

I would be interested too! I’d be especially interested in whether anyone had the guts to ask Seagrave what he did with with (or perhaps more accurately, to) Lashawn Merritt last season.

He got the top 400m man in the world handed to him when Dwayne Miller took a college job, and instead of being a factor in the final in London, Merritt was sent packing in the rounds due to a hamstring issue. I wonder if Seagrave just switched him from Miller’s program (lots of long runs early in the season) straight into his own. Whatever he did, he didn’t make himself look too smart.

I still don’t understand why the change in the first place. Was this more a move by Miller?

Actually the roundable on 400m was with Tony Hadley, Kevin Tyler and me. The 100m roundtable was in an other room with Tom Tellez, Loren Seagrave and ?
During the 400m roundtable, we debated about the timing of speed training (early? late), the specificity of 400m indoor tactics and preparation, training tips to deal with the paradox of running relax while under heavy fatigue, how to go through rounds during a championship, etc.
Over the week-end, LS didn’t went through specific examples of athletes he coaches or coached, except Andre Cason talking about how he had to teach him how to sprint after Cason injured his Achilles at '92 Olympic Trials.

Did you come to any conclusions on the timing of speed training (early? late) ?

Well depend on each coach’s approach and the athlete you deal with and the climate conditions.
But if one wants to run indoors, for sure you’ve got to start speed earlier, for that speed is a paramount factor for 400m success in competition, and even more indoors where you have to go through the first half of the race faster than outdoors.

Indoors you need to get to the break first or a close 2nd staying on the outside shoulder of the leader. Watch an indoor 400 and look at all the crap that happens to the runners trailing the leader. Guys getting tripped, stride alterations, pushing,and shoving. etc…

so AFilaka and Brauman use these small hurdles to regulate a stride length, while carraz seems to use a half sphere type pylon/marker, and dennis mitchell i guess uses a trapezoid shape foam/leather pads. (the daniel gordon documentary with the stride drill at 23:00 mark)

No afilaka uses to teach gemili to get is foot up!

It’s a fast run but not flat out in order to just teach him to get off the floor and step over

It’s a good drill, use it myself

I see so it facilitates the mind to step-over/get the foot up as well, while striking under body instead of over striding to maintain the stride length spacing

While these coaches use a run-in to these small hurdles, would anyone use sticks or shims(the kind clyde hart uses) at an increasing spacing for the first 10 meters…to ingrain an accel stride pattern from a stationary position, that will encourage low heel recovery/positive shin angles

I recall Curtis Frye using sticks to accomplish a uniform acceleration pattern. More of an adjusted incremental approach (depending on speed quality) as opposed to the common ladder format by Seagrave and others. Worked for me with certain athletes.

I believe Dwayne Miller took an assistant coach position at Norfolk State University and thus presumably couldn’t devote the time to Merritt. I don’t think Merritt went out of his way to change coaches, and he had no reason to. He always appeared to be healthy and had the two big titles in his pocket.