Thinking about training physiologically

This is nothing new, just putting together different ideas I’ve had from sprinting and weight lifting. Charlie has already made these divisions, but I thought it might justify why 300’s might help the 100 runner, or a different way to view the inclusion of weights.

The beginner can develop all of these at once, but once one becomes more advanced, we need to specialise whilst maintaining the others. Instead of maximum speed, speed endurance, acceleration etc, how about dividing it further into development of

  1. neural processes (includes technique etc since if these are optimised, a more efficient CNS will produce more efficient movements). To train this we need to make sure not only that the ATP/CP system is fully restored between reps, but also that the rep itself does not extend beyond it which means 3-4seconds (explains the use of Charlie’s max speed work). Also, since research has shown in weight lifting that the CNS regresses after 6 weeks of above 95% lifting, a “max neural” cycle should be followed by a less intense cycle. Since we are dealing with sprinting, training a.) acceleration, and b.) max speed are different neural processes. Perhaps using a Westside style conjugated training method, we could alternate max speed neural, with max acceleration neural.

  2. metabolic processes - development of the ATP/CP and glycolytic system. Obviously we want to develop the ATP/CP envelope as much as possible.
    a.) We want to maximise ATP/CP use in the training session as much as possible, so reps should be around 6-10seconds, just shy of full recovery. So here we separate neural speed work, from metabolic speed work.

b.) We also want to make the glycolytic system pretty efficient. Obviously not as much as a 400m runner since we have limited training time, and we will lose time spend on neural or ATP/CP. However, we must remember that although the runner doesn’t feel lactic acid in the 100m, it is always actually being produced and cleared. Maybe this is why 300’s might help in the last 2 seconds - just a little rise in the pH of the muscle will cause a little loss in speed. Of course, one needs to balance the development of this because it comes at the expense of other elements.

3.) sarcomere elements of the muscle. The neural system, sends a signal to the muscle, which fires the actin and myosin after having energy supplied to it. So the neural system determines the maximum amount of muscle recruited in ground contact, if we filter through metabolic considerations, we take a further fraction of this depending on ATP/CP/Glycolytic efficiency at different points in the race. Now the force of the muscle contraction will depend on how developed the sarcomere of the muscle is. So to develop this we should use around 6-8 reps, with a decent amount of eccentric (since research has shown that eccentrics are what mainly cause sarcomere hypetrophy). This is why weights is necessary, because sprinting doesn’t allow enough TUT to ellicit significant sarcomere hypertrophy.

So far probably nothing new. However, considering the CNS regresses after 6 weeks of very high intensity, wouldn’t it be more effective use of time to do an alternating style of periodisation. I think it’s also been shown that doing high intensity anaerobic training for 2 weeks followed by a 10 week taper increases anaerobic metabolic efficency more than straight training for 4 weeks. (Again reason for charlies 3 hard-1 low system).

Phase 1 - Neural Max Speed (Train max speed, allows metabolic system to recover) (98-100%)(CNS demand: high)

Phase 2 - Metabolic ATP/CP Speed (Train metabolic glycolysis, allow CNS to recovery) (95-98%)(CNS demand: medium)

Phase 3 - Neural Max Acceleration Training (98-100%) (Train CNS in accelration, allows ATP/CP to recover). Can be replaced by running up slight hill on acclerations, or add upto 5% bodyweight.

Phase 4 - Glycolytic System (90-95%) (Maybe 300’s fit into this? Because if you stretch the glycolytic system then you could develop glycolytic “reserve” for a lower distance because you have more enzymes etc) (Allow CNS to recover, develop glycolytic enzymes).

Throughout all these phases do weights that emphasize sarcomere hypertrophy.

Afterall, CNS and metabolic abilities are extremely event specific, why not save them for sprinting and avoid the really low rep work? Alternatively, since the advanced sprinter needs more varied stimulus to respond, cleans or snatches might be introduced to help develop acceleration (since the acceleration phase is more like a squat or clean due to higher contact ground time, but less like the max speed action).

Do you think this alternating style of periodising would be superior or not? Or do you think the qualities in the last phase would be lost, or would the “recovery” time outweigh the loss. Do you think the CNS needs a rest for such a long time?

Also, Charlie has also mentioned this in a post before, while concentraining on each phase like the post before, we could split up the training week to concentrate on particular qualities to improve maintain.

Max Neural Cycle

Day 1 - Flying 20’s
Day 2 - Tempo
Day 3 - Glycolytic maintenance (3-4x300’s), very low CNS demand to allow recovery
Day 4 - Tempo
Day 5 - Flying 20’s
Day 6 - Tempo
Day 7 - Rest

Same pattern for the rest (1. & 5 improve, 3. maintenance quality, rest tempo).

Maybe 300’s fit into this? Because if you stretch the glycolytic system then you could develop glycolytic “reserve” for a lower distance because you have more enzymes etc) (Allow CNS to recover, develop glycolytic enzymes)

The rate of enzymatic reactions will not be be fast enough for a 100m athlete…as for 200? I would stay higher then 90% at that distance.

There are some good thoughts, and i’d say on the whole-given my understanding of human/exercise physiology,what you’re saying seems logical. just out of interest where did u find the info??

Wow, cool thoughts.

Since strength can’t be developed just by speed until a certain point I think that’s why Charlie did low rep weights with his athletes. I’ll let smart people address your other points.