Developing Endurance in Speed-Power Athletes

Posted In: Blog Discussion

  • Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #16949

    Much of what many track and field coaches of speed-power athletes do has what I’d call an “Endurance bias” in that they are using training protocols and methodologies directly from or influenced by the training theory and methods of an endurance athlete. Because the physical capacities necessary for success in speed-power activities is very different than those of endurance events, this approac

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    ELITETRACK Founder


    Participant
    Jay Turner on #100755

    This is why, IMHO, speed-power athletes (high jump, long jump, pole vault, throws, and sprinters) SHOULD NOT run cross country. You’d be amazed at how many coaches do not realize this. Also, there are parents who do not realize this either. Each year, I have quite a few parents of incoming freshman asking can their kids run cross country. They feel, like alot of coaches, that their kids need this long endurance to be better athletes (or, in this case, jumpers/sprinters).


    Participant
    jonnybgood on #100770

    This, to me, is a very interesting topic. But I would love to hear more conversation about it. I am only in my 5th year coaching track and field (1st 3 years at middle school and last year at the high school level), specifically sprinters, so there is more I don’t know than what I do know. I have no problem admitting that. And I consider myself a believer of the short to long approach. But in listening to George Williams (St. Aug’s) and reading some Bud Winter (up to 10 miles without stopping) articles lately, they believe in distance training with their sprinters (especially 400’s). I don’t know enough about them to say they do that with all their sprinters (short and/or long), but I also can’t argue with their success.
    Again, I would love to hear more conversation on this. Also, I would love to hear some of the coaches/athletes on this site preferred methods of developing endurance for sprinters, jumpers and throwers.
    Personally, with my sprinters and jumpers, I use mostly running but do add medball and bodyweight circuits. With my throwers, I use mostly weightlifting and medball circuits (some running too, but much less volume than my sprinters).
    Thanks for the knowledge guys.
    Jon Beyle
    Chapel Hill, NC


    Participant
    Eric Broadbent on #100772

    General Endurance Circuits….as the name implys are great for developing endurance really early on in training. Also the various circuits that you suggested bodyweight circuits, medballs circuits, weight room circuits etc are all great as well as Extensive and Intensive Tempo type work, Speed Endurance, Special Endurance sessions depending on the events the person does. The thing that I have always wondered about was with Intensive tempo type sessions for Jumpers (maybe not High Jumpers.) I have had some good convos with Mike and my old coach about why they use Intensive Tempo some with their jumpers and was wondering if others did some of this maybe in fall after doing some Extensive Tempo work. I think Nick did some Intensive Tempo work and was just wondering if any jumpers/coaches out there had any feedback about using Intensive Tempo as a means of developing work capacity while having more of a speed effect than doing extensive tempo, or maybe just as a progression to get to speed endurance work? Just wondering


    Participant
    jonnybgood on #100774

    With the time I have, actually don’t have, as a high school coach, I haven’t done intensive tempo work with my jumpers. It is challenging enough finding adequate time for technique, speed, strength, etc.
    Thanks for the response Eric. Makes a lot of sense. I do have a question about general endurance circuits. Could you give an example of one you have done? If you don’t feel comfortable giving one, maybe just explain the basics of it.
    Thanks and by the way, enjoyed meeting you this past June.
    Jon Beyle


    Participant
    Eric Broadbent on #100779

    I can’t remember all of the specifics of any of the general endurance circuits we’ve done but I can remember the basics.
    There is one that we do where its basically a general strength exercise followed by maybe A skips or some sprint drill then we might go back and forth with that followed by a 30-60 second run. There are also ones where its a general strength exercise followed by a 10-15 meter sprint off with walk back plus maybe 10 seconds rest then repeated 12 times or so. There also other ones which involve several 15-30 second runs mixed in with a general strength exercise and/or sprint drill or something along those lines. While they are horrible to actually do, it is a lot of fun to come up with one for your athletes to do. Hopefully that helps and it was nice meeting you also Jon.


    Participant
    burkhalter on #100780

    Just do a search, I know Mike has listed the ones he does. Look up Lancer or general endurance circuit.


    Participant
    RussZHC on #100858

    Mike:
    As your sphere of contacts and knowledge base is much larger than mine, would you say there has been a general shift with the training of combined events athletes over the last decade (or longer), away from endurance and more towards speed-power?

    Or has it always been, or should have been, speed-power based and some coaches are just “missing something”?


    Participant
    Matt Norquist on #100867

    Mike:
    As your sphere of contacts and knowledge base is much larger than mine, would you say there has been a general shift with the training of combined events athletes over the last decade (or longer), away from endurance and more towards speed-power?

    Or has it always been, or should have been, speed-power based and some coaches are just “missing something”?

    Don’t want to answer for Mike – but will speak to my knowledge…

    It is and has been a pretty mixed bag depending on the coach. Many still do the bulk of running as tempo work (intensive) with limited speed work – getting speed work primarily through event specific practice. Almost no periodization on speed work (other than maybe some flying 30s or 60s at peak periods). Many very successful Deca coaches have followed that model. And I actually suspect it works pretty well for certain athletes (especially if they are already blessed with blazing natural speed). PM me for specific examples.

    Am seeing many of the younger coaches (guys under 35 or 40) gearing training much more toward speed/power model with pretty sophisticated periodization plans.

    Weight room plans appear fairly similar across camps – although the speed/power group would be much more likely to actively incorporate squats as a core lift – while the tempo/technique group would use it as an accessory lift.

    Both camps have advantages as it comes to planning – and managing athletes.

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