The Preparation Season Pt. 2
Last time we ended Part 1 talking about preparing by setting up a plan and making sure that we can adjust to changes as time moves along. The one who can change quickly is usually the one who is the most successful. Having an overall plan for anything is important and what’s equally important is what goes into that plan.
Since we are still dealing with the preparation season, we will now dive into the training plan to get the athletes ready to train or what is more commonly known as pre-season or conditioning. During this time of year, as far as track and field training is concerned, we have a variety of focus. Knowing full well that most athletes didn’t do much of anything during the summer, we have to approach the conditioning period with caution. We can’t do too much too fast or else the athletes will always either be injured or unable to complete any workouts and the last thing we want is for athletes doubting their abilities! Mental preparation is just as, if not more, important as physical preparation. The reason being is that the mind will give way and set the precedent for how the body will perform and react to certain situations. So, while we are preparing workouts for our athletes, let’s remember that patience is a virtue and being able to finish a workout can and will do wonders for our athletes confidence level.
Now that we know the conditioning workouts don’t have a need to be too hard since we are only preparing the athletes to train, we can begin to write workouts based on the strengths and weaknesses of the athletes. From what I’ve seen over the past years as a coach is that many athletes come back to school from having an entire summer of sitting on the couch, laying in the bed or working at a summer job with very little time for fun or training, so the weakness spectrum covers all biomotor abilities. They lack everything from speed, strength all the way to coordination and flexibility and all of these need to be addressed all the time. The key is learning how to design workouts that address all of these components at the same time.
Now, how do we write these workouts that challenge the athlete while making it manageable enough for them to finish the workout? Well that’s where years of experience comes in along with some mentors who can guide you and make sure that you aren’t just making your athletes vomit everyday and getting nothing out of them at the same time.
I want to address everything in a week from speed/acceleration, special strength, aerobic capacity, strength, power development and endurance along with flexibility and coordination. So here’s how I would set up the first week of training:
Monday: Warm up (the warm up should address all biomotor abilities)
-Standing Long Jump, Standing Triple Jump 2/3×5 (Power Development/Starting strength)
-6x30m Accelerations – Crouch start. Rest: 3’ b/w reps (30 Abs b/w reps)
-4×6 Hurdle Hops, Frog Hops, Low intense bounds
Tuesday: Warm up
-Hurdle Mobility (walkovers, right leg lead/left leg lead, 2 up-1 back, Under-Unders) 2x8H
-General Strength Circuit
-2x10x100m. B-16 sec, G-18 sec. Rest: 30 sec b/w reps; 3 min b/w sets
–OR you can do 10x100m and use the general strength circuit part of the cool down
-Cool down (ice bath for 15 min)
Wednesday: Warm up
-General strength (more than likely a circuit that doesn’t involve any running)
Thursday: Warm up
-Hurdle Mobility (same as Tuesday) 2x8H (every drill twice over 8 hurdles)
-Standing Long Jump, Standing Triple Jump 2/3×5
-2x4x30m (or 8x30m) Accelerations – Crouch start. Rest: 3’ b/w reps (30 Abs b/w reps)
-4×6 Hurdle Hops, Frog Hops, Low intense bounds (straight leg, bent leg)
-Cool down (ice bath for 15 min)
Friday: Warm up
-3/4x20m Accelerations (working technique – can be part of the warm up)
-6-8x200m. B-30-32 sec, G-34-36 sec. Rest: 2-3’ b/w reps
(of course these speeds depend on the level of athlete you coach!)
Saturday and Sunday: Complete Rest
I would do this for 3 more week while raising the volume to accommodate the growing adaptation of the athletes and to make sure that they are being challenged each week.
Training design isn’t hard and neither is preparing, it’s just knowing what goes where, how and why. Once you figure those out and the more workouts you have in your arsenal, then it just becomes a matter of which route to take to get the athletes (and yourself) better.
Continue in knowledge my friends!