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How to run separate short and long sprints workouts at the same time

Chances are you’re in charge of the entire sprints group. You know your 100m runners and 400m runners often need different types of training. But, if you’re watching short sprints come out of blocks, you lose track of the long sprints rest period and you screw up that workout. If you’re timing the long sprints interval workout, you’re not addressing the abomination taking place over at the starting line. In the past, when I had a lot of things happening during practice, I felt like my head was on a swivel and I was consistently about 10 seconds behind real time. I was doing both groups a disservice when I tried to write separate programs. I was doing both groups a disservice when I coached…

Training in the Hallways: Mangaging Shin Splints and Training Volumes

To make sure I crossed every ‘t’ and dotted every ‘i’ before launching my new Complete Program Design for Sprinters program, I asked coaches to answer the following: What is your biggest question about training in the hallways? I’ve received 318 responses so far and noted some clear patterns in what you asked. I took all the posts and grouped them into roughly 10 questions that covered a solid 80% of what I read. I made an audio recording answering all the questions so far as they specifically applied to training on concrete hallways and gym floors. Have a listen to my answers to the top 2 questions: How do you avoid/manage shin splints? How do you get all the volume in when you have…

Stop Doing “Recovery” the Day After Speed Work [PART 3]

“When you free yourself from volume concerns, the picture becomes much clearer.”    – Vince Anderson (Texas A&M)   ==> Click here to read Part I: Training Deeper in the Same Pool ==> Click here to read Part II: Training Shallower in the Same Pool   I heard Vince say this at the first USTFCCCA Event Specialist School back in 2011 and it blew. my. fricken. mind. Volume as the constant was dead.  When it comes to planning workouts for high school sprinters, especially 200/300/400 types, too many coaches still default to a volume-centric approach. Instead of thinking about the meet preparedness of their athletes as a function of the amount of volume they could handle, I was able to flip the script and focus on what…

Stop Doing “Recovery” The Day After Speed Work [PART 2]

In Part 1, I explained the many benefits of using back-to-back training sessions of high neuromuscular demand as a model when your are planning training for your sprinters. In regular people terms this means back-to-back speed days. If you haven’t read it, it’s worth checking out before continuing on here because it explains the underlying ‘Reason Why’ behind the activity and exercise selection discussed below. Click here to read Part 1: Training Deeper in the Same Pool. Building on the ideas contained in that article, we’ll now move to our next preferred practice session format:   Training Shallower in the Same Pool   Training shallower in the same pool means incorporating back to back sessions of high neuromuscular demand with the first being the more…

Stop Doing “Recovery” The Day After Speed Work [PART 1]

“It depends.” It’s the empty, but honest answer to nearly every training question I get from high school coaches about optimizing program design for their high school sprinters. The reality is: What you do at tomorrow’s practice doesn’t matter nearly as much as WHY you’re doing it and HOW you implement it. We’ll go in circles forever if we go down the path of “What if…” so in this article I’m taking a slightly different approach. Imagine you’re sitting at your computer planning your workouts/practices for the upcoming week. You schedule your standard speed related day for Monday. So your biggest question now becomes: What exactly should I do on Tuesday? If your brain immediately blurted out ‘extensive tempo’ or ‘recovery’, keep reading. Because I…

How to write better workouts for high school sprinters

We live in, apparently, the Golden Age of Gurus. It sure is a lot for me to keep up with. In times like this, I do my best try to live by the wise words of Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer: Your world frightens and confuses me. Now that it’s time to start preparing for the 2018 season, what’s a coach to do? I think a good idea may be to review the reasons kids actually run fast. Then prescribe activities that align with what is known to work. Basically, it’s a philosophy of advanced simplicity. Take the 400 for example. Lots of coaches spend a lot of calories doing some really pointless and cruel stuff to their 400 runners.   Question: Let’s say we’re going to…

Does the squat and deadlift improve sprinting speed? (Part 2)

In part #1 of my previous article, (see: Does the Squat and Deadlift Improve Sprinting Speed? Part 1), you saw the proof for exactly why both the squat and deadlift are very useful choices when the number one goal is to get faster.  Now, the next question that often arises is what kind of squat and deadlift will give you the most bang for your buck in the speed development department?  Lets first look at the squat.  Click on the link below to access a comprehensive scientific review compliments of Dr. Bret Contreras that evaluates a somewhat recent study from a researcher by the name of Swinton back in 2012 (1):   Related article: Traditional Squat vs Powerlifting Squat vs Box Squat (by Bret Contreras)…

What to Do When Disaster Strikes at a Major Meet

Mike Tyson hit the nail on the head when he said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. Seeded #1 (4×100, 100, 200, 400) and #2 (4×400) going into the Rhode Island State Championships, we had high expectations. Starting the day off with the 4×100 meter relay, we believed average handoffs would get us across the line first and earn the first State Title of the day. Then we got punched in the mouth so hard it made Kermit Washington cringe. I started coaching high school track and field in the spring of 2001, my first year out of college. The following video (Lane 4, black uniforms) shows the only time I have ever had to choke back tears because of…

Why Coaches Should Attend the 2017 CTF Summer Clinic

When most coaches think of summer track and field camps/clinics, they assume they’re strictly for the kids. So, you may not be aware that the Complete Track and Field Clinic is different. Of course, our focus is on the athletes. But, we also encourage high school and youth coaches (and parents who work with their kids) to register and attend as well. We’re confident when you attend the 7th Annual Complete Track and Field Clinic, you’ll agree it is a World Class event. And you can get Complete Access (more on that in a moment) for FREE when you encourage 3 of your athletes to register. (Just send us the names of the athletes and we’ll register you. If you already paid, we’ll send you…

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