Rise and Shine


hey Carl what could i do to build work capacity and recovery btw my high int days besides tempo – i heard u had some great ideas.?

Thanks for the first question. It's been a long time since I have posted on a blog so you will have to be patient. I will try to answer questions instead of ranting but I may vent some frustrations from time to time.

Two key elements you stated you wish to improve on were:

(1) Build Work Capcity

(2) Recovery from high intensity days

Both of those elements  you wish to improve on without classic  grass runs at 75% of event speed and this is a common request with many speed and power athletes. The problem with classic tempo runs I have found is that many athletes are larger than sprinters, meaning weights above 100 kilos tend to run into problems when running volumes of 1000m or more between speed and power days. Large athletes tend to have less elastic abilities and they also tend to be closer to the front side of the force velocity curve and are more likely to have CNS fatigue and eccentric damage. Some sprinters have very little access to therapy (soft tissue work) or have poor ability to induce structural repair and are more prone to DOMS and fatigue. The temptation is to have full passive recovery days in order to feel fresher and sometimes that is the right option. For me I think active recovery days serve as a way to stoke the internal fires of the body's own repair cascade so I like doing training that stimulates repair while building a biochemical capacity to fight fatigue.

Key components to creating effective recovery days are to 'work the heart and lungs' while resting the nervous system and not slowing down the remodeling slope. The remodeling slope is the rate that the body repairs various tissues and structures of the body so one should use feedback from the athlete and data from the workouts to see how the athlete is responding to work and rest ratios. Time and not doing more stress is the obvious part of recovery training, meaning you are not doing a hard workout and you are waiting for the right time to do the next intense workout. Many situations athletes feel great muscular wise but feel flat, a hint that maybe their CNS is still not fully recovered. Good coaches can estimate this through experience and trial and error, along with time working witht he same athlete. This is why many athletes that hop from coach to coach never fully benefit from training because it takes time to reveal each athlete's recovery index ( capacity to remodel and adapt from training).

Don Babbitt presented a fantastic explanation for the need for specific work capacity for throwers at the NACACTFCA last summer and you can see why elite throwers work with him with his excellent points on the needs of training. While I haven't seen his medicine ball circuit in Georgia, from his summary he stated he did high repetition work with agressive velocities. My own circuit was ripped off what the multi coaches do from Pague with concepts from Alan Wells (his book). I use two circuits against a concrete wall and ceated some tables to measure performances.

The basic circuit involves a medicine ball that is 5-10% of your bodyweight and having it thrown as fast as possible at the wall. Each exercise has 20 reps and the intro circuit is 6 movements (chest pass with minisquat, shotput right and left, scoop toss, side throws with feet perpendicular).  Each set includes 1.5 minute recovery times (nothing more or less) and includes rounds or 3-5. Don't be fooled as the lactate responses are high but not enough to create a bigger CNS fatigue hole. The goal of the movements is to go from feet to legs to trunk to chest to arm (summation of forces) and most athletes that are in good shape can hold 1:45 or under for time while keep the heart rate stable. I have replaced this workout as an alternative from classic 110s for football players and it's like boxing for five rounds. If you are sick and enjoy self inflicting pain the Black Widow has been done (9 movements for 20 reps each) with a decending rest interval. Yes sometimes people puke as conditioning has lost favor over the last few yeasr.

I have done pool workouts, slideboard circuits, tubing, and even dodgeball games for athletes but you simply want to find a way to challange the cardiovascular system without causing more stress to the neuromusclar system.


Discuss entry

Carl Valle

Carl Valle

Track & Field Coach
Carl is an expert coach who has produced champions in swimming, track and numerous other sports. He is one of the foremost experts in the fields of nutrition and restoration.
Carl Valle

Latest posts by Carl Valle (see all)