Useful workout high jumpers?

I’m coaching at a high school where the high jumpers are following a specific program that their high jump coach has given them. There are two girls who are pretty good jumpers, aged 15 and 16 who both jumped 1.60 or slightly higher last season (when they were 14, 15).

Their workout was: 2x4x400m in 80-85 seconds. I’m not sure of their rest times, but I think it was somewhere in the 3 or 4 minute range. They are both around 1:05 400m runners, who are in pretty good shape and do other sports throughout the year. I did not think the workout was appropriate for them, and as it was getting pretty damn cold outside (about 5 degrees Celsius around 8:00 pm), I cut them off after their 6th 400m (their high jump coach was not there). I wasn’t happy about them running repeat 400s at all (especially at that pace), but I didn’t want to change their program without talking to the other coach. Thoughts, advice?

What was the workout supposed to accomplish? I guess I’d ask the HJ coach that one.

If those high jumpers also run 800s or 1600s, that workout might make sense. I doubt that it would contribute anything to better HJ – other than shaving off some weight maybe. You were wise to stop it.

Running some 400s is not a bad thing because the speed of the 400 equates fairly closely to the speed at the end of an approach in HJ. I think there are better ways to deal with that, however. For example, curve running on the track with a walk back across the track to the start is good (if the runner jumps from the left side, though, they should run the curve in the reverse direction). I also would opt for more explosive activities, but the days between high intensity workouts could be tempo runs (less than 75% effort) in the 100 to 200 meter range, totaling about 1600 meters or so. It depends, too, on what other events they are doing.

It’s a little hard to get too far into this based on one workout, but that workout doesn’t seem appropriate.

Thanks for the input. I did ask the coach and his response was general conditioning. What you’re saying is exactly how I felt, but these girls have no weight to shave. They are not 400/800 runners. One is O.K. at the 100m and 200m, while the other has little top speed.

I moved here not long ago, but 2x4x400m seems to be the ‘general conditioning’ staple of the pole vault and high jump coaches, which confuses me as these are explosive events.

Get them to lift, throw med-balls, jump hurdles, and run accels (10-30 meters). Some of the accels can be on the curve. Very simple.

Brian Oldfield was quite a high jumper at 275lbs body weight. I can’t recall him doing 8x400m for training.

Sounds like the HJ coach doesn’t know what to do on days they don’t jump. More like a time filler than a productive workout. I don’t mind that type of workout for a recovery day, but it shouldn’t be at specific pace (other than less than 75% effort – extensive tempo) and the volume wouldn’t need to be that high. I think the workout they were doing would leave them fairly exhausted for the next day because it probably is intensive level (75%+) for most if not all of them.

If I were one of those high jumpers, I would have serious questions about why I was doing that workout and what it would do to help me jump better.

Brian Oldfield running 8X400? Now that’s a workout we would all love to watch.:smiley:

I’d say a high jump coach isn’t impressed with a school coach taking over athletes. I presume the school has qualifying standards which these athletes met, step aside coach you can have them back when they finish school.

Huh? I am the head coach of the school team. There is no club team in this area, but some of the more serious athletes keep training with the same coaches through the summer. The high jump coach has coached the school’s high jumpers for a few years now, and he is a teacher at the school. He is unable to make practices due to more pressing matters.

I didn’t notice where you are from Canada, we have a different system in Aust and this is the sort of practice that happens here.

Rainy I am a High Jump coach and for general conditioning the most my jumpers run is 100mt, 60’s is our base line and 30’s getting closer to competition, we do rhythm bend runs early in the season and for young ones these are never any longer than 60mt. High Jump requires short bursts of explosive power and this is what we train for, I can see no logical reason to run 400’s.