The Top 3 Articles, Programs & Answers of March 2014

Posted by Latif Thomas

Enter coupon code MARCH when you order any of the programs making this month’s ‘Best of’ post by April 15 and save $20 on your purchase.

I understand you may not have time to catch everything I post each month. As I continue to increase the frequency of new posts across the spectrum of event groups and training modalities, I put together a ‘Best of’ each month so you can get your track nerd on.

Below are ‘The Top 3 of March 2014′ for the following categories: 3 Most Popular Articles, 3 Most Popular Training Programs, 3 Best Q&A discussions.

Click on the title to visit the article page or program.

Top 3 Most Popular Articles (by total views)

#3: 3 Lessons for (Young) Coaches by Latif Thomas (Bishop Feehan HS – MA)

Don't be good. Be great.

Don’t be good. Be great.

 Why it ranked: I’ve made a lot of mistakes you can now avoid.

#2: 4 Goals of 800m Training by Ron Grigg (Jacksonville University)

 Why it ranked: Middle distance training info is fast catching the sprints in terms of popularity on this site.

#1: 3 Reasons Sprinters Fall Apart at the End of Races by Latif Thomas (Bishop Feehan HS – MA)

Why it ranked: Considering I promoted this article on 3/31 and it got to #1 in 24 hours, I’m guessing most peoples’ sprinters crap themselves in races as often as mine do.

Top 3 Most Popular Coaching/Training Programs (by sales)

NOTE: I didn’t include Summer Clinic sales/registrations in this category, but, real quick, the Top 3 most popular clinic ‘event groups’ are:

#3: Distance
#2: Hurdles
#1: Sprints

#3: The Training Model for HS Middle Distance (800-1600) by Scott Christensen (Stillwater HS – MN)

Why it ranked: Daily workouts from January through June? Sold.

2: Complete Speed Training Volume 2 by Latif Thomas (Bishop Feehan HS – MA)

Why it ranked: If it applies to coaching high school sprinters, I’ve covered it in CST2.

1: Complete Program Design for HS 400/600/800 Runners by Ron Grigg (Jacksonville University)

Why it ranked: You shouldn’t train 400/800 runners like true sprinters or like distance runners. The answer to planning training for this event group has arrived.


Top 3 Q&A Discussions (in terms of topics I found interesting and/or relevant to the time of year)

Note: I can’t really make a distinction between #3 and #1 so don’t read into the order they’re listed because it’s random!

From Boo Schexnayder’s ‘Complete Program Design for the Jumping Events’

Question: I understand this course is geared towards jumpers, but from what I understand this type of training system would be applicable to most (all?) athletes who need speed/power, including basketball players, football skill positions, hockey players (?), baseball center fielders (?), etc. Can you comment on how the program might change for these types of athletes, especially younger high school or college athletes where perhaps additional muscle mass in their developmental years may be beneficial?

Answer from Boo: You are correct, the development of speed, strength and explosive power involves following certain training principles that do not vary from sport to sport. The program as described would serve well as a preparatory program for any sport that is not endurance based (distance running, swimming, cycling, etc.) Adapting the program to different sports requires adaptations to the running program with place them more in line with the sport. For example, a volleyball court is only 30′x30′ so longer tempo and speed endurance would not be prioritized in that sport. Increases in the volume of weight training are often applicable with football linemen and other sports where size is prevalent and desired. However be careful in this regard, because developing increased mass requires additional loading which they might not be ready for at a young age… observe the rules of patient, multilateral development of all the different sports competencies.

From Latif Thomas’s ‘Complete Program Design for HS 400m’

Question: I’m now coaching at a school which, like many high schools in our area, has Wed league duals and Sat invitationals during the SPP. My thought is to have a week that looks like this:
M-Max V day which includes speed endurance (starts, relay exchanges, LJ approaches etc.
T-Intensive tempo
W-Dual-Spec. Endurance day
H-General strength
F-Easy day-Pre meet just touching on CNS work


Answer from Latif: We have Wednesday duals which is just awful for planning training so I feel your pain. In my opinion, it’s a bit too much specific endurance and not enough recovery, even for SPP. My guess is that, even with H, F essentially off, they won’t be recovered from MTW to do anything respectable on Saturday and the IT workout on T will make it hard to compete well on W. I try to avoid booty lock workouts (IT/SE/LT) or anything too specific when we have 2 meets in a week. If anything, I am more apt to challenge them more in the meets and use practices as recovery and work capacity. I might set it up more like this:

M- Max V but no speed endurance
T – Extensive Tempo
W- Meet
H- Continuous Warmup + 3×150 buildup + General Strength
F- Easy PM w/light CNS focus

From Ron Grigg’s ‘Complete Program Design for HS 400/600/800 Runners ‘

Question: I was reading about the multiple jumps and multiple throws and was wondering if this is something that can be added to the distance runners (1600/3200). If so, should they be added after the same type of workout done with the 400/800 runners?

Answer: Distance runners can do multiple jumps and multiple throws. Just remember progression. Jump rope or simple hops in the sand may be an appropriate place to start. Using light med balls for multiple throws would be appropriate. They can be done either before or after workouts that are faster than race pace. However we have used them as athletic development after easy runs. Just account for the intensity within your weekly plan. Have patience in teaching.

There you have it.

Enter coupon code MARCH when you order any of the programs making this month’s ‘Best of’ post by April 15 and save $20 on your purchase.

Latif Thomas - Latif Thomas owns and operates Complete Track and Field and serves as the Co-Director of the Complete Track and Field Clinic at Harvard University, the largest track and field clinic in the United States. A popular speaker and presenter at some of the largest coaching clinics across the country, Latif has true passion for the sport and it definitely shows. Over the past 19 years, he has coached more combined League, Division, All-State, and New England Champions in sprints, hurdles, and jumps than he can count. Follow @latif_thomas on Twitter.

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