Injured short sprint needs to stay get and stay in shape

Posted In: What Would You Do?

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #11544

        Athlete: Your top high school sprinter.

        Scenario: Your top sprinter is the returning 60m and 100m state champion. He is very talented but didn't train much in the fall. During a pickup basketball game two weeks prior to the start of indoor track practice he broke his ankle and won't be able to resume normal training for 6 weeks. He really wants to defend his state 60m title. Two weeks after his return is the indoor state qualifier meet. If all goes well with his healing and you chose to have him run indoors his first meet you have 20 days after he has his cast removed to prepare him for the meet.  You have access to a pool, stationary bikes, and any resistance training modality available. You do not have a track and are forced to train in the tile hallways of the highschool.

        Things to consider:

        *Do you want him to run indoor?
        *If so, what do you do to prepare him to qualify and run at the indoor state meet?
        *If not, what would you do to prepare him for the outdoor season?

        ELITETRACK Founder

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        coachformerlyknownas on #50601

        Neural, Neural, Neural maintain / develop thru weight training.
        Treat the core and upperbody as though you were in regular training ie: Dynamic days, Tempo Days, etc…
        Pool for conditioning. 
        Some non- cast ankle leg work but not such that imbalance beyond what the status quo before injury was.  Can work the Glute / Ham/ Quads with a boot on.

        Nah, no indoor.  progression to be monitored and in this fictional case I'd aim for outdoor

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        john-c-s on #50602

        Has the cast actually been removed or is that the anticipated time?
        Ironically my son is currently in plaster with a broken ankle, he was told 6-8 weks and goes back on Monday to see if it is ready, if not then it will be another 2 weeks. A similar situation may occur here.

        Either way I am going to take the conservative approach and forget about the qualifier  :wow: IMO too many athletes (in all sports) come back, or try too, too early.  He is in high school and has potentially a long career (and life) ahead go for long term over short. He didn't do much over fall and being in plaster wont have done much, if anything, so will be struggling to get in race shape in 2 weeks anyway. I would forget about the indoor season and focus on getting right for outdoor. Weights, pool work and outdoor work on grass would be my focus.

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        davan on #50603

        Lots of callisthenics. You can do a lot of neural work (as stated) in the upper body with any push/pull combinations you can think of and can also use the upper body to condition via depletion push-ups/pull-ups, etc.

        For lower body, single leg squats with the good leg (hoping for a crossover effect somewhat), 45 degree hypers weighted, hypers (if possible) weighted, reverse hypers. The last two there depend on the machine, the cast, and the size of the athlete. All 3 are possible though. EMS for strength building would be used on the entire lower body if possible.

        Lots of work on the little things (flexibility, good tone, body composition, etc.) would be focused during this time. PR's in the upper body lifts would be key as would conditioning via core and upper body. A strong lower back and possibly glutes and hamstrings could be developed somewhat with certain lifts available.

        If possible, run the qualifying meet in flats. With little ankle/calf development from no sprinting, this would reduce the forces somewhat. No spikes would be used in training except for one or two sessions total before the state meet and, if possible, not used in the prelims of the state meet.

        Even after the cast is off, there would be little lower body heavy work lifting wise and sprinting wise as the athlete would not at all be adapted. Medium loads and higher volume may be used while maintaining high (VERY high) intensities on the upper lifts. Up plyos with easier landings (onto boxes or into HJ pits) would be used to develop specific abilities and reduced load on the ankle.

        This is of course, if running indoors is a must. Physically, it may be better to scrap it and do outdoor as a focus, but it may leave the athlete feeling pathetic mentally, which may be just as bad.

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        Daniel Andrews on #50604

        Depends on where the fracture occured at the ankle joint.  If it's a fracture of the fibula then he can run indoors, if it occurred anywhere else, his outdoor season would also be in jeopardy and his indoor season is shot.  As for rehab, I would spend 2-3 days a week in the pool.  When the cast is removed I would spend 3-4 weeks on low to medium intensity plyos and general strength, before moving to weights.  Any running would consist of tempo in that first 3-4 weeks after cast removal and the goal for the season would be 200m race or relay help.  Any frequency work would be done on the bike.  The biggest must would forms and agility drills, if the athlete can't show improvement in these areas then he is likely still injured.

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        tkelly5 on #50605

        Depending on the type of cast, I'd have him do pool work while he was in the cast.  With a traditional plaster cast this would be hard to do as you'd have to figure out someway to seal it off from the water.  with a gel cast or something like that, or an air cast, you'd be able to jump in a pool no problem.  use the pool as a form of resistance to maintain fitness and strength as much as possible.  After the cast came off, and if ti appeared the athlete stood a chance in the 60m, then go heavy with technique and speed work and light on tempo sort of things, under the idea that excellent technique may be able to compensate for not being able to train for most of the indoor season.  As far as outdoor season, I'd change over to a more long-short program with more tempo in order to try and rectify the athlete's probable lack of endurance developed through the immobility of the injury and subsequent training.

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        john-c-s on #50606

        As a point of interest my son got his cast off today, although an athlete there is absolutely NO way he could be racing in 2 weeks (assuming of course he was) even though it has healed really well.  It hurts him more to walk sans cast as he does not have the same support.

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        davan on #50607

        Ankle and calf strength is imperative.

      • Mike Young
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        Mike Young on #50608

        I'd try to maintain as normal of a training program as possible with high and low intensity days. I think I'd probably have him substitute his high intensity running workouts with cycling workouts (think repeated wingate protocols) and either do pool work or general strength work on the low intensity days. Weight lifting would likewise be as normal as possible. I'd probably increase upper body volume slightly and do plenty of glute-ham raises and reverse hypers (both of which could be done in a cast). As for ankle strength I'd probably have him do isometric calf contractions in his cast to reduce atrophy and detraining. I'd also train the non-injured leg quite a bit with the neural-crossover effect in mind. I don't know if I'd race the guy indoors unless he somehow had the achilles and foot flexibility to run well following removal of the cast (which I'd guess would be highly unlikely).  I think doing so before he was ready might invite more injuries.

        ELITETRACK Founder

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        Kebba Tolbert on #50609

        I agree almost completely… In real bad injury situations we do a lot of pulls if possible with releases at the top of the pull. We'll also go to kneeling Oly lifts *if necessary*.

        Tons of Multo-throws even if they have to be done off of one leg. In Place jumps as well.

        I can't imagine reacing 2 weeks post-cast.

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        davan on #50610

        Similar situation:

        What would you do with an athlete during winter break if they don't have as frequent access to an indoor track as needed? This would be, of course, right in the middle of SPP and 4 weeks during the middle of SPP leading up to the season is a big hurt. Thoughts?

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        utfootball4 on #50611

        Similar situation:

        What would you do with an athlete during winter break if they don't have as frequent access to an indoor track as needed? This would be, of course, right in the middle of SPP and 4 weeks during the middle of SPP leading up to the season is a big hurt. Thoughts?

        if you have no access at all i would lift really heavy, plyos and throws in hall or bb court and tempo on a treadmill and lots of short sprint resisted and unresisted

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        Kebba Tolbert on #50612

        Similar situation:

        What would you do with an athlete during winter break if they don't have as frequent access to an indoor track as needed? This would be, of course, right in the middle of SPP and 4 weeks during the middle of SPP leading up to the season is a big hurt. Thoughts?

        We just tell them to modify… that is, train outside, find a sidewalk, find a garage, find a hallway at the local HS, find some stairs, find a YMCA, etc, etc.  They've got to take ownership in the training.  They can use a medball for multi-throws and ANYONE can get to a wt room. Ballys, 24 HR Fitness, etc. a month membership is not that expensive. General Strength and Circuit work can be performed almost anywhere.

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        davan on #50613

        I understand everything you are saying KT, but how effective is sprinting outside going to if it is in the 20s and below? I have done it before, but that doesn't mean it was smart or effective lol. I like the idea on garages–there would be at least some cover and hopefully not as cold.

        Question on the schools–how do you go about asking schools to use their hallways for people NOT enrolled in the school?

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        mjstocko on #50614

        I used the straightaways of a 160m jogging track for acceleration development during break last year, I just tried not to run over an old people walking in the morning.  If it got up to 30s and 40s outside you could do slower tempo on the outdoor track and leave the heater on in your car to stay warm doing intervals.  I've also done accel development on the basketball court.

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        Kebba Tolbert on #50615

        I understand everything you are saying KT, but how effective is sprinting outside going to if it is in the 20s and below? I have done it before, but that doesn't mean it was smart or effective lol. I like the idea on garages–there would be at least some cover and hopefully not as cold.

        Question on the schools–how do you go about asking schools to use their hallways for people NOT enrolled in the school?

        are you talking about during December Break… most kids are going to places where they went to HS during this time. But a lot of times if you call the track coach at the school, they'll be accomodating.

        re- outside in the 20's…. It's not fun or ideal (I went to college in New England) but if they bundle up they'll be ok… obviously there are times that are better than other to be outside, too. But if they can find a pool, a YMCA/HS gym, and a weight  room you'll be able to hit most of the basics

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        Jay Turner on #90743

        [quote author="davan" date="1155890255"]
        I understand everything you are saying KT, but how effective is sprinting outside going to if it is in the 20s and below? I have done it before, but that doesn't mean it was smart or effective lol. I like the idea on garages–there would be at least some cover and hopefully not as cold.

        Question on the schools–how do you go about asking schools to use their hallways for people NOT enrolled in the school?

        are you talking about during December Break… most kids are going to places where they went to HS during this time. But a lot of times if you call the track coach at the school, they'll be accomodating.

        re- outside in the 20's…. It's not fun or ideal (I went to college in New England) but if they bundle up they'll be ok… obviously there are times that are better than other to be outside, too. But if they can find a pool, a YMCA/HS gym, and a weight  room you'll be able to hit most of the basics[/quote]

        Will they really be OK from sprinting in that kind of weather? What kind of microscopic tears will they get from doing this? Wouldn’t this just invite injuries further down the road?

        Also, if you were to try this, how does one bundle up enough to be able to SPRINT in 20-30 degree weather?

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