The key to consistent improvements from your
athletes boils down to how effectively you
write and run their workouts.
Do too much, too fast and they'll overtrain
and compete poorly.
Do too little, they'll be undertrained and
won't have enough in the tank.
So how do you ensure your athletes run the
perfect amount and get the most out of each
and every workout, no matter how old they
are, how fast they are and regardless of
what sport they play:
I appreciate the great information you provide.
How do you record the times when you have a large group? Do you have each athlete run individually or are you eyeballing and estimating times with a stop watch as the large group runs?
Thanks and keep up the great work,
>>> I put athletes in groups of 5-8 for my varsity and borderline varsity athletes. I will put the lower tier athletes in bigger groups if necessary. I give each ‘varsity’ kid a specific time I want them to hit for the intervals in the workout. I send the groups off every 3 seconds and call out the times as they finish. If you’re in the second group you know to add 3 seconds to the time I call out when you finish. Then I either write the times myself or have an injured athlete, manager, etc. record the times. Once a kid misses their time by a certain amount twice in a row, the workout is over for that athlete and they either walk for the remainder of the workout or move on to the next part of their practice. By looking at these numbers after practice, I can figure out which kids I gave the wrong times to and adjust them. I can look for trends in where kids fell of the pace to determine if the volume or intensity is too high (or low) or if the rest is too long or short.
This is how I evolve my workouts to be both more effective and efficient because I’m not just guessing. Well, I am guessing. We’re all guessing. Those who guess most accurately get the best results. I just try to minimize the errors I make in guessing volume, intensity and rest by keeping and analyzing my notes. You’d be amazed how much you can learn about an athlete just by looking at their workout times, even if you’ve never seen them run. But it always comes back to testing, retesting and experimenting with how you build your workouts.
With the consistent workout examples you demonstrated, your examples were approx 8 runs consistently. i realise it varies between athletes however, moving forward do you intend the athletes to produce more consistent runs at the target time before setting a new target? Or do you manage both times and targets together?
Thks , Howard
>>Good question. The answer is both. I have to manage them together. Just because an athlete is inconsistent does not mean they are not getting in shape or capable of progressing in volume, intensity or both. Most kids have never been consistently given target times. They just run. So they’re not thinking about intensity or pace or thinking specifically about memorizing what it feels like to run a 30 second 200 *and* be at exactly 15 seconds at the 100 meter mark. It’s a new skill for them to learn and like any skill it takes time and repetition. But they must learn it so they can do race modeling later or know how to run, for example, fast enough in a trial to get a good lane in the final, but not so fast they burn themselves out of the final, but not so slow they don’t make the final or get a bad lane.
Great explaination. Will use this with my track athletes. Thank you
I own almost all of your programs. The DVD series, the secrets series, the complete series.
You mentioned that you were becoming more Clyde Hart in your 200-400 training. How has this changed the basic concept of your workout especially with the 400 runner. Like more distance traing or longer speed endurance, etc. Also will you be having an update on the types of workouts used to accomplish any of these changes?
>>> Hi John. Good question. You’ve been paying attention! The fundamental changes I started making last year and am incorporating are in large part the things you mention. I am having my 400 types do more ‘distance running’ during the General Prep period. Nothing crazy, but definitely more than in the past. They’ll also see more Special Endurance II runs (300-600m)and more long hill runs, where in the past it would be more Special Endurance I (150-300) and speed endurance (80-150m). For their base work, I’m focusing more on limiting rest than building volume. For example, in the past I’d have the 400 types run, say, repeat 200s but extend the rest between intervals from a starting point of 2 minutes to up to 3.5 minutes and even give them a ‘halftime’ rest of 4-5 minutes. The focus then was on hitting a particular amount of volume. This year, I will keep the rest to 2 minutes and sacrifice volume for less complete rest. So I’ll build up their ability to handle increased volume during GPP at a relatively low intensity (roughly 70% of 200 PR) and focus on building that volume during GPP. Once we get, roughly, a quarter of the way into Special Prep, I’ll drop the volume and increase the intensity. Ultimately I’d like them to be able to get through 5-6 x 200 @ ~85% R=2′. That might be a stretch. We’ll see. This is nothing new, it’s a classic Clyde Hart 200m progression that many many 400 programs use, particularly at the collegiate level.
You can follow what I’m doing by looking at and keeping up with the Preseason 400m program I’ve been posting: http://tinyurl.com/yevo5jz
I’ll wait to update CPD until after this season once I have worked through some questions I have and see the results.
I’m a speed guy through and through, but I have to follow the evidence. And as I’ve added more lower intensity work to my sprinters’ training (including my short sprinters) they’ve gotten better results. Goes against everything I’ve stood for for years, but I can’t complain about the results. Boys and girls broke school records in the 4×4 last year. Boys were 4th in New England. (Girls focused on 4×1 and won at New Englands) Kids that were running 54s two years ago are running 50/51 now. Girls who ran 63/64 two years ago ran 60/61 last year. One of those girls was our #2 all time 55/100m runner and got a D1 scholarship, the other lowered her 200m per from 26.40 two years ago to 25.31 last year.
Hope that gives you some insight.
what do you do during the rest periods …. if we run 7 or 8 repeats …. thats time to do what and thats 16 minutes of rest to do what ?
>>> Walking recovery. The purpose of the rest time is to let athletes recover so that they can keep hitting their times. So I generally don’t want to do anything that will make them more tired. Plus, I’m calling out names and getting times, giving and getting feedback. So, for me, that, say, 2′ rest goes by in about 2 seconds and for the kids, they need every second to be ready for the next interval or repetition.