Coaching, jumps, sprints & more
Everything about jumping and sprinting and how to improve your performance
I produced a video on this topic on my youtube channel which has had a number of queries (please see video below). Here's an answer to a difficult question on how to prepare 7-10 days out from a comp. Please note these are my views and are based on my experiences - other coaches and athletes views may differ. That's why coaching is both an art and a science!
Daniel, thanks for the comments on the channel. Your question is not an easy one to answer as there are so many influencing factors. By championship meeting are you referring to a major meeting and the indoor season? (I'll assume that you are). Firstly, it's important that you train through the indoor season i.e. enabling you to have sufficient gas in the tank for the outdoor season (you can have an easy transition week or 10 days at the end of the indoors). However, competition as I (and you) pointed out drains and taxes in particular the neural system, so you need to decide on the key comps and prepare to be at your best mentally for these. To ease strain on the neural system some of your pre-lim meets should be viewed as training comps and as stepping stones on the way to the bigger meets (this is particularly the case where you face multiple comps in a short period as is often the US collegiate athlete's situation). You may also decide to jump off a slightly shorter run-up, focus on an aspect of technique and/or take a limited number of jumps. This will reduce nervous (and physical energy drain). For the major comps "they need to be important to you in your mind". These are the ones that you will focus on to do well at in particular. By placing a specific value on them from a time-point back (perhaps at the beginning of the training year) you will be "up" for these comps when they come around. Your mental prep can lift performance, let alone specific physical preparation. It's something that I believe athletes don't work on enough. I try to get my group to do this (with varying degrees of success). "Believing" you will do really well in certain comps, will give you every chance that you will. (you can do a lot of pre-comp training in your mind!). As will trusting your training. Okay, the physical side... this will depend on your loading levels and what you are used to. I'll have to focus from my specific experience with those I'm working with and hope this will inform what you require. The key period is 5 plus days out (back) from the major comp, this is when you can work to very high intensities with relatively high volumes - so multiple sprints and run-ups and longer approach jumps - but with rest and recovery days between. With the triple jumpers, they will regularly work off their full run-ups, for example, 9 x out of 10 making a significant hop from the board. Weights will be performed but with reduced volume on key lifts in the two-three weeks prior to the important comp. (Note: some jumpers will lift much closer to comps due to the potentiating benefit - this needs to be experimented with in training i.e. some will lift the day before a comp (only a key lift and near to maximum, few reps with good recovery). Five-six out days out loadings are dialled right back, but what is done needs to be at max velocity. So three days from a comp we will do a quick warm-up that readies the jumper for speed. Then do flying 20m sprints (2-3) with the emphasis being on turn over and "attacking the take-off". We will then do 2-4 run-ups, making the hop as indicated. These need to be full on. We won't do full jumps nor longer approach run jumps so close to comps (this should have been taken care of in prior training and crucially build-up comps). Two days before a comp the athlete may do a light warm-up with low intensity drills. I ask them to visualise the comp and the venue and see themselves performing well. This will depend on their work situation - college athletes will have more time and will do this session. The day before the comp depending on travel, it's often good to loosen up too. Incorporating some fast feet drills can fire up the system for the next day (bit like the weights that some jumpers do). I wouldn't recommend nothing major. You're trying to ready fast-twitch fibre but not tire it. You've got to learn what works for you too and inform your coach too. This experience is something that will develop over time. I hope this has helped you... it's not an easy subject to deal with. There's new thoughts on compensation and adaptation from training to complicate matters and also the possibilities of potentiation (as mentioned when it comes to comp this needs to be trialled in training). Good luck!