Well I am finally back from holidays. I had good intentions of writing lots of articles whilst I was away but I just didn’t get around to it. I thought with the 35 plus hours I spent on planes I would have loads of time to write. Nope, it just didn’t happen. I think after my first year of serious blogging in 2013 and over 80 articles I just needed to stop and recharge.
It was also my first year of coaching a squad of masters track athletes. Overall for a small squad of just 4 athletes we had a pretty good year. Multiple state titles, 3 gold, 3 silver at the state relays and a number of PB’s. It proved to myself just what can be achieved when you bring a group of like minded dedicated athletes together. It also made me realise that when your athletes have confidence and belief in the program they will train even harder.
We tested new training methods, threw out stuff that we didn’t like, kept stuff we did like and focused on our strengths. We live and breath by SPC – Specific, Progressive and Consistent training methods as its proven to get results.
The big lessons learned for the year were setting up our training week, 3 days on the track with at least 2 days rest in between 2 of those session. Our week looked something like this. Tuesday-endurance, Friday-speed, Sunday-Hills. This format seemed to work pretty well as the extra days rest between Tuesday and Friday allowed us to do higher quality running on Friday. The other big focus for the year was race modelling. I think this was a big plus in the number of PB’s we were able to achieve.
Injury management was another big one. We managed to get through the majority of the season with very few injuries. We never went to far away from our speed, however, we never did a lot of 100% work either but still managed to run a few PB’s over the 100 and 200m. I am a big believer in the short to long program as it allows you to get a good percentage of your race speed early and slowly increase the distance. However, I would call our overall program a concurrent program. We also worked on our transition from one phase to the next trying not to make the leap to big. Basically, if we were moving out of the General Prep phase into the Pre Comp phase the last few weeks of GP would closely represent what the first couple of weeks of the Pre Comp phase would look like allowing a better transition into the slightly higher speeds.
The other one was rest. We de-loaded every 4-6 weeks depending on how we were feeling. If we were getting pretty tired we would drop a track session for the week or increase the rest between sets on our hill days and drop a few reps. As an athlete you have to be prepared to rest when you are starting to feel tired and trust that you have done the work. We also took at least 1 week off after major events followed by a light week and will have between 4-6 weeks off at the end the end of the season. I have just listened to a interview with David Oliver today, 110m hurdle Olympic Gold medalist and World Champion, and he said he has 6 weeks off at the end of each season particularly as he has got older. He is only 31yo.