I promised I would talk more about monitoring tempo as a simple way to gage overtraining and general fitness. In part one I talked about the South African Heart Rate Recovery Test but I wanted to share an American perspective, meaning dealing with the inmates when they take over the asylum. Today I saw a post about the Seahawks using the FMS to help their team with preventing a lot of injuries, and I wanted to show how tempo is more than just getting some running in. Tempo running for track athletes is a tool to gage the status of both fitness and overtraining. For more information on how to to set this up with Freelap Timing click here for more details. I am excited to see how things are evolving and feel that the evolution of Freelap will change the classic recovery runs done by the NFL to see what players need adjustments.
Modifying the SAHRRT for Track and Field and American Football
The test is a workout similar to classic tempo workout, and I don’t like testing artificially I just like testing the workouts. I do some general conditioning methods but find that doing some runs makes it easy to monitor. I like 3 x 5 x 200s or 3 x 8-10 x100s for interval running and 3 x 3 x 300s on open fields for experienced sprinters and 400m runners. Football players I like shorter distances and linemen I don’t’ have many ideas besides 50s because I don’t work with large athletes. Sharing what works for 280 -330 pound athletes would be appreciated.
Interval Set-up-Rest periods are 3 minutes between sets and 30-45 seconds between reps in general, and interval speeds are 16-25 seconds per 100 in general, based on abilities. I prefer slower speeds and better running mechanics and add distance and volume slowly.
Energy System Output-Heart Rate Analysis is based on the recovery slope from the highest number in the interval to the lowest before the next rep. The mean and median scores are charted. The speeds are captured by the Freelap Transmitters and watches so the velocity is gaged to make sure work output is regulated and measured. I like 4-8 transmitters used because I like to see how fast the athlete is accelerating and ensuring they FINISH. Running through the line is a pet peeve of mine and I like to see athletes getting into good happens of not shutting it down unless they are going to break D1 or IAAF records. Using smart shirts like Numetrix or comfortable polar straps is a must.
Take Home Questions and Practical Summary- Is the athlete getting in shape, getting out of shape, staying in shape, or overreaching/overtraining? The combination of using HRV such as daily and post training scoring with ithlete is a game changer. Perhaps we will see MLB teams using this protocol with pitchers, but running seems to be taboo unless it’s barefoot with everyone except athletes! Pitchers need a better way to gage the accuracy of the rotation schedule. Alternate means such as biking and aquatic circuits are possible for joint issues but that is another post. Use ithlete daily and monitor the day before, after, and of course the morning of.
Communicated the Results to Staff and Athletes-Interpretation is not rocket science, does each set get harder to do and longer to recover from? Does the score improve week to week? An NFL team may get 18-20 weeks of data points to see general fitness without using GPS systems. The beauty is that one can do this once a week or more depending on the sport. I like once a week for a team to get away from the specific patterns that seem to break down the joints. Running in a straight line has it’s benefits!
Since the running is repeatable one can add in wireless EMG, GSR, and even in-shoe pressure mapping to track change to see what could be sneaking up with injuries biomechanics wise. Subjective scores are valuable as well and doing so each week is a great start .