Aaron Springer and ELITETRACK Training Logs

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Today, May 30th, 2009 is a day Aaron Springer will remember the rest of his life. Today he was part of two relays which received medals at the Illinois State High School Track Meet in Charleston, IL and those two relays played a pivotal part in his team’s 3rd place finish and a state trophy. Aaron has been posting his training log on Elitetrack since November, 10th of last year and while his events of 400m and 800m don’t match what many on this site compete at, his training log and interaction with the board enhanced his experience and development as an athlete. Personally, I think he’s a coach in the making right now. He designed his own framework from which to train and understands the concepts of sound training.

Aaron geared up for his HS season without piling on the mileage as many 400/800 and above runners like to do, he took all the information he could gather from the great minds on this site and forged ahead. I think if you read his logs, you’ll find he probably never exceeded 20 miles in training volume a week. You’ll also find he PR’d by over 1s in the 400m and by nearly 4s in the 800m race. While Aaron may not be the fastest at any event on his team, he may have the best range of events he can competently compete at. From 24s at 200m to 5:00 at the 1600m he helped his team by filling many roles. Aaron’s dedication and preparation for his track season helped produce a wonderful experience for himself and his team. I hope Aaron continues to log his training as I foresee a potential classic thread in the making from it.

The one thing I hope people learn from Aaron’s log is the importance of the fitness-fatigue and listening to your body. About two weeks ago Aaron logged about not sleeping well, he said he was putting in over 9 hours and now it was down to 8 hours. Earlier in the year, I warned Aaron about over-training and advised him to cut back on his weights by going from 3 to 2. Generally, adaptation takes at least 21-28 days to take effect, but in the case were fatigue levels are starting surpass the fitness levels it takes less than a week for a supercompensation / adaptation to occur when you start lopping off the workload. These two instances I think are critical in evaluating Aaron’s season, I think Aaron was pushing himself close to his limits a little too early in the season. He had to back off a little which he did and about 3-4 weeks later he runs the races of his life at his conference meet at which time his sleeping patterns started to return to normal. If I hadn’t started a new job at the time I might have recognized this slight problem in Aaron’s training logs right then and not on Monday of this week when I mentioned to him that there wasn’t anything wrong with his sleep, he just wasn’t as fatigued as much, but with that under normal peaking scenarios is that your fitness starts to drop as well. I think Aaron held onto to his fitness long enough, but I must stress listen to your body and understand that any change which does occur which alters the normal daily routine such as sleep or heart rate is the direct result of changes in fitness-fatigue levels and training over the past 21-28 days.

His HS coaches are friends of mine as I was a member of his HS teams coaching staff a couple years back and although I slightly disagree with some things they do, I realize there are many roads to Rome and I am happy his team did so well this year. This may be the most important part, because as Aaron may not have always agreed with what the coaching staff was doing with his in-season work he still listened to them, respected them, did what they asked. This is a sign of great leadership on part of his HS staff and himself, by not outwardly rejecting each other, but finding ways to incorporate each other. Congrats, to Coach Stine, Coach Wiggington, and Coach Teedo as well as Aaron’s teammates I have worked with at some point in their careers in Alex Freshour, Brian Petersen, and Jason Beach.

Lastly, if you are an athlete on this board start your own training log and engage in the discussions and don’t be afraid of the science or about being wrong (is anyone really wrong?). If you are a coach, search these training logs and find athletes you can help or even start your own logs like Tom Kaberna and engage in helpful guidance with these athletes.

Daniel Andrews
Daniel is an Assistant Cross Country and Track & Field coach at Millikin University, A partner at Illinois Top Times, and runs his own technology business. He majored in Physical Education at Illinois State University and has taken Masters level courses in Biomechanics and Biology. He is in his 11th season coaching track and field, having coached in each event group for multiple seasons at the high school, jr. high, and club levels before taking his current position at Millikin.
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