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Early Season Training - Progress
It's suddenly turned cold in the UK in London with temperatures falling below zero. We're lucky where we train in that there's an indoor arena, which is lovely and warm. But the cold did make me think of all those athletes in the UK and elsewhere in "track world", who are not so lucky. It's much harder to sprint and jump when the weather is so cold (of course you could be based in Florida!).
Now we do venture outside to train (when it's not too cold!), some sessions work better outside and there's also that slightly "old-school, toughen em up attitude" that makes outdoor training a good thing. We always go through a phase of hills before Christmas. This involves about a half-mile run and then some drills and plyometrics performed on a bridge that crosses the dual carriage way. You'll see us out there in the video embedded in this post. The runs are over about 70m and they are completed at about 80 percent. Recovery is sufficient to allow for this speed to be maintained.
Otherwise we are now starting to progress jumping beyond just take-off drills and have began positioning work into the board for both the long and triple jump and have so-far progressed back to 8-10 strides. We won't want to hang around for too long off the short approaches as jumping out of speed is key. However, I have found that you need to introduce the athletes "comfortably" to jumping after a couple of month of no "real" jumps. Mid December should see us jumping off of 14-16 strides in prep for the indoor season.
Speed work is now much more directed with runs being completed at near to 100 percent - albeit in trainers - over distances up to 40m. We always maintain acceleration training as this is also a power developer. Likewise plyometrics and drop jumps are crucial to my plans - we did a session last night where we worked on leg stiffness - trying to hop and do double leg jumps with as little knee bend as possible (as opposed to powering through jumps). I want the jumpers to be able to react to the ground with little effort using the natural elasticity of their legs.
Weights-wise, it's a heavy low rep phase, using for example, 4 x 5 reps at 85 percent 1 rep max. A couple of key lifts are performed at this intensity in the session... then 3-4 other exercises are performed at a lower intensity and are more for developing robustness purposes, rather than anything else. The central nervous system will only be able to power a few high intensity sets and reps and then it becomes less able to do so and the exercises would then become less dynamic.
Take a look at the video to see some of what I've just said in action and good luck with your training and competition and do sign-up to the YouTube channel. Many thanks, John
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