Microcycle Structure

Posted In: Dan Pfaff

      • Avatar
        Participant
        burkhalter on #10252

        I have seen where Pfaff’s normal microcycle structure is as follows:

        Day1 Acc Dev 8-10 x 20-40, hops, weights
        Day2 Tech and GS, BB, medball
        Day3 MaxV, hops, weights
        Day4 Resoration and GS, hurdle mob
        Day5 Acc Dev same as Day1 except at 20-30% volume, weights
        Day6 Spe End and GS

        Can anyone go into a little more detail of what encompasses a standard Pfaff microcycle? Volumes, etc.

        How do athletes handle the seemingly high number of high intensity days?

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40432

        That is the template but it is much too simplistic and their are quite a few changes that take place depending on the phase of the training as well as the event the athlete competes in. For instance, acceleration work may go as short as 10m on Day 1, medball and BB are not always done on Day 2, Technique may be done on Day 4; Day 6 isn’t always a speed or special endurance day.

        As for how athletes handle the intensity, the results speak for themselves. I guess it should be noted however that Dan is one of the best therapists in the world and treats most of his athletes himself which permits them to train at higher levels than most.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        eliteathlete on #40433

        Good point Mike, Dan’s expertise and ability to provide preventative therapy is the key!

      • Avatar
        Participant
        burkhalter on #40434

        Thanks Mike.

        I assume, following a short to long approach Pfaff would not have the Speed/special endurance day on Saturday until SPP, opting for another GS type day during GPP. Also that would explain the shorter accels.

        Was that what you were getting at or does he favor an ends to middle approach?

      • Avatar
        Participant
        Kebba Tolbert on #40435

        the ability of Dan to do therapy and plan B is second to none.

        Many times, in a panic when i’ve had “higher level” athletes dinged up i’ll ask for advice…. they often comeback within 5-15 days at or near PR levels.

        one of his best sayings is something along these lines…

        humans are animals and in the jungle if you break a leg you’d better get going or else you’re someone else’s food. you can’t afford to sit around and wait for it to heal.

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40436

        [i]Originally posted by LR1400[/i]
        I assume, following a short to long approach Pfaff would not have the Speed/special endurance day on Saturday until SPP, opting for another GS type day during GPP. Also that would explain the shorter accels.

        KT or JJ correct me if I’m wrong but if I recall correctly, the GPP setup would be generally the same except the running workout would be intensive tempo rather than speed/special endurance.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        juggalo on #40437

        Kebba,

        You had mentioned that you have had “higher level athletes” dinged up and with Dan’s advice they come back within 5-15 days at or near PR levels.

        I was wondering if you could elaborate on or give examples on how you utilized Dan’s advice to elicit these results?

        Thanks in advance!

      • Avatar
        Participant
        jacko on #40438

        Some questions and answers from conversations I had with
        Dan, he was the most helpful coach I have ever met. Also very patient because I had like a million questions and he could very easily have told me to go jump. If I was asking Charles Poliquin these questions It would have cost about
        4 million bucks. (and of course not been real relevant to world class track)

        Q. Do you Vary your weekly cycle during competition phase? A. yes…..
        Q.If you compete on Sat does it still look like this
        Dan has edited the below
        m) Accel + Core lifts
        t) Circuits sometimes speed dev here….6-9 runs
        w) Vmax or speed end + Core lifts …if speed on t then speed end. here
        along with elastic end. work….
        t) Circuits ….sometimes a total rest day……
        F) Accel + Core lifts
        s) Comp …..sometimes we double or triple here or do runs after the
        comp……
        s) Regen
        Q. Would you still do accel + Core lifts the day before comp and if so do you
        change the Volume and or type of lifts? yes,,,,we often do starts,
        multi-jumps, and Olympics……

      • Avatar
        Participant
        jacko on #40439

        A bit more, I dont think Dan would mind,

        We work acceleration development sessions twice a week, all year long and
        this is the base of our teaching philosophy. From there we introduce twice
        weekly special speed endurance work which also happens all year long. These
        four workouts form the cornerstones of our program. We classically do acc.
        dev. on M&F with spd. end. on W&Sat……We total 300-600m of acc. dev.
        each day and total 1000-1200m of spd end. during the first few
        mesocycles…..We start with 2 minute rest at the beginning of the year
        and increase the rest by 1 minute each month so that by the end of the year
        we may be taking 20 minutes or longer between runs. With women a sample
        workout might be 6x200m in 36″ for cycle one using 2′ recovery….the next
        month hopefully we are doing the same in 34-35″ with three minute
        rec….and so on……by comp peak we may be going 2×200 in 24.0 with full
        recovery….I seldom go over 300m with the 100-200m types and do no road
        work or classic tempo endurance stuff. I believe in gradual adaptation to
        stress and progressive running. I am also a big fan of mastering a certain
        level before moving on to more esoteric stuff….dan

      • Avatar
        Participant
        burkhalter on #40440

        Jacko,

        Thanks for the info. Do you have anymore stuff on how Dan operates.

        What’s the deal with twice weekly Accel and Speed End but no max velocity work, as mentioned above?

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40441

        MaxV is ussually addressed on Wednesdays as in the first template. Often times it comes in the form of 90-120m SFS which could be considered acc. dev, maxV, and speed endurance work all rolled into one.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        jacko on #40442

        LR1400,
        they start about the 4th or 5th mesocycle and do it as mike says on Wednesday, he used sessions like 2x3x60 or as mike also said varied speed runs like 120 as 40 accel 40 hold 40 flat out.

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40443

        Sorry I didn’t clarify but if you didn’t pick it up from Jacko’s post, SFS stands for sprint-float-sprint, where the first section is essentially an all-out acceleration, the middle section is a maintenance section, and the final section is essentially a flying sprint.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        Kebba Tolbert on #40444

        [i]Originally posted by juggalo[/i]
        Kebba,

        You had mentioned that you have had “higher level athletes” dinged up and with Dan’s advice they come back within 5-15 days at or near PR levels.

        I was wondering if you could elaborate on or give examples on how you utilized Dan’s advice to elicit these results?

        Thanks in advance!

        Basically when i first heard Dan speak in 1996 he said that Donovan sustained an injury in 96 a few weeks before the games…. they’re periodized the train from that point to the games but also **periodized the therapy**

        Dan said, “people are animals and in the jungle if you break a leg you can’t just sit there or you’ll be someone else’s food.”

        made sense to me then and I use that philosophy as the starting pt in injury situations or when they’re just beat up. It also is why finding activities that are compatible and complimentary are so impt. you can do training that’s restorative (psychologically, endocrine-wise, etc) without going to complete rest…. so then rest became relative (some of this I got from listening to Loren Seagrave in the early 90’s as well)….

        so from a therapy/injury combeack perspective we’ve tried to stay active as possible and maintain the quality of the CNS/speed-power wk so that when whatver injury or problem is manageable we can perform at high levels…. this can take any and all forms of jumps, throws, lifts, and runs (if the injury permits)…. but the key is you’ve got to maintain firing and synchronization patterns, rate of force development, propioception, amt of force production, eccentric, elastic, and absloute strength qualities….

        hope that helps.

        KT

      • Avatar
        Participant
        burkhalter on #40445

        So, Dan basically, when beginning to incorporate max velocity goes from 40m – 60m with full acceration progressing to 90m – 120m S-F-S sometimes 150m.

        And refernce special endurance it seems it could actually be considered intensive tempo early in the season, progressing to SE1 and then to true Speed End.

        I guess no negative effects from the intensive tempo?

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40446

        [i]Originally posted by LR1400[/i]
        So, Dan basically, when beginning to incorporate max velocity goes from 40m – 60m with full acceration progressing to 90m – 120m S-F-S sometimes 150m.

        The acceleration work is ussually left in the microcycle. The maxV work would ussually go on another day (Wednesday).

        And refernce special endurance it seems it could actually be considered intensive tempo early in the season, progressing to SE1 and then to true Speed End.

        Yes.

        I guess no negative effects from the intensive tempo?

        No and why would their be? Perhaps you’re referring to CF’s “no-intermediate worK” philosophy?

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        davan on #40447

        And refernce special endurance it seems it could actually be considered intensive tempo early in the season, progressing to SE1 and then to true Speed End.

        Yes.

        I guess no negative effects from the intensive tempo?

        No and why would their be? Perhaps you’re referring to CF’s “no-intermediate worK” philosophy? [/quote]

        How do you feel about the no intermediate work philosophy? Does it have a place in a 100m guys training? Couldn’t you get the same results without it? Are you familiar with Cf’s thoughts on artery walls thickening from such work?

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40448

        [i]Originally posted by davan[/i]
        How do you feel about the no intermediate work philosophy?

        I don’t think it holds much weight. If it were the focus of training or the dominant stimulus then it would be a concern but this is not the case in Dan’s setup.

        Does it have a place in a 100m guys training?

        I think it could but there are better options. Pfaff actually doesn’t use much intermediate work (only 1 day a week early on in the season) and uses no extensive tempo for his sprinters.

        Couldn’t you get the same results without it?

        Definitely. However, I’d bet more top sprinters over the ages have used intermediate work than not.

        Are you familiar with Cf’s thoughts on artery walls thickening from such work?

        Not really but being concerned about it seems completely unfounded to me.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        jjh999 on #40449

        I agree with Mike re: intermediate work. Although, CF has some excellent thoughts re: speed development, I believe that he is a bit too dogmatic on this point.

      • Avatar
        Participant
        burkhalter on #40450

        Mike,

        I was referring to CF’s philosophy of no intermediate work. However, something I have noticed that he recommends is split runs, for example a split 300 could be 150, walkback, 150. To me that is INTENSIVE tempo/INTERMEDIATE WORK. It’s faster than ext. tempo, but not as fast as a full on 150. He then moves on to true 200-300 -SE1. Maybe someone knows something I don’t but it looks to me like we are talking about the same thing and CF just calls it a different name.

        Re: Dan, as you stated and from the information provided it seems like after a few mesocylces it is SE I anyway.

      • Avatar
        Participant
        davan on #40451

        No, it is simply a rep split up. For example, a split 300 would be 200+100 followed by adequate rest. The overall intensity is high. Also, he changes the accel zones to control the intensity relative to current abilities (extending accel later on in the training year).

      • Avatar
        Participant
        utfootball4 on #40452

        do any of you guys know how pfaff setup his rudiment work for as vol etc?  also on his light days where he has tech work are those just builds working on tech?

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40453

        do any of you guys know how pfaff setup his rudiment work for as vol etc?  also on his light days where he has tech work are those just builds working on tech?

        1-2 x 20-30m for each exercise.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        burkhalter on #40454

        A bit more, I dont think Dan would mind,

        We work acceleration development sessions twice a week, all year long and
        this is the base of our teaching philosophy. From there we introduce twice
        weekly special speed endurance work which also happens all year long. These
        four workouts form the cornerstones of our program. We classically do acc.
        dev. on M&F with spd. end. on W&Sat……We total 300-600m of acc. dev.
        each day and total 1000-1200m of spd end. during the first few
        mesocycles…..We start with 2 minute rest at the beginning  of the year
        and increase the rest by 1 minute each month so that by the end of the year
        we may be taking 20 minutes or longer between runs. With women a sample
        workout might be 6x200m in 36" for cycle one using 2' recovery….the next
        month hopefully we are doing the same in 34-35" with three minute
        rec….and so on……by comp peak we may be going 2×200 in 24.0 with full
        recovery….I seldom go over 300m with the 100-200m types and do no road
        work or classic tempo endurance stuff. I believe in gradual adaptation to
        stress and progressive running. I am also a big fan of mastering a certain
        level before moving on to more esoteric stuff….dan

        The above quote goes into a little about how Dan periodizes Spd End, i.e. lengthening the rest interval per microcycle.

        But, does anyone know how he periodizes the distance of spd end runs? He says he does very little work over 300m and we know Donovan run upto 150m only.

        Obviously he is a S – L guy especially for accel and max v, but does he do L – S for spd end?

      • Avatar
        Participant
        Kebba Tolbert on #40455

        not necessarily… he'll normally lengthen the rest and the number of runs done. Something like 2-4 runs with long breaks.

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40456

        The program isn't a clean cut short to long as acceleration development tends to stay in the program year round. This is kinda how I set things up as well.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        utfootball4 on #40457

        The program isn't a clean cut short to long as acceleration development tends to stay in the program year round. This is kinda how I set things up as well.

        What do you mean acc development tends to stay in the program year round, a couple reps each speed workout or one whole workout for acc work only?

      • Avatar
        Participant
        burkhalter on #40458

        He does accel workouts usually 48 weeks out of the year, twice per week typically.

        From what I gather he does go short to long as far as the acceleration progression.

        As Mike and I have discussed, there is a bit of gray area on the MaxV workouts. In other words he may work speed, alactic, neural endurance in the same rep or race modeling runs as well (I am thinking Sprint-Float-Sprints for race modelling).

        On a different note what do you guys think of using 60m buildups run to a high intensity for MaxV development? Wouldn't it end up being essentially a flying sprint.

      • Avatar
        Participant
        tkaberna on #40459

        Sorry I must be missing something but UT asked the following
        "do any of you guys know how pfaff setup his rudiment work for as vol etc?"
        What is as vol?  Mike answered by saying 1-2 x 20-30m for each exercise.  Thanks.

      • Avatar
        Participant
        Kebba Tolbert on #40460

        We use 50-60m runs as speed devel during the year. Sometimes we call it "fly work" to emphasize a certain part of the run…

        We also do Sprint-Float-Sprint as well as a speed/speed endurance work. But when we first start we just do Sprint-Float.

      • Avatar
        Participant
        star61 on #40461

        …I think it could but there are better options. Pfaff actually doesn't use much intermediate work (only 1 day a week early on in the season) and uses no extensive tempo for his sprinters…

        …..We start with 2 minute rest at the beginning  of the year
        and increase the rest by 1 minute each month so that by the end of the year
        we may be taking 20 minutes or longer between runs. With women a sample
        workout might be 6x200m in 36" for cycle one using 2' recovery….the next
        month hopefully we are doing the same in 34-35" with three minute
        rec….and so on……by comp peak we may be going 2×200 in 24.0 with full
        recovery….

        Mike, could you clarify the "no extensive tempo" for me? Does this include GPP? Under another post, a quote from Dan stated that they may start out with something like 6 x 200 in 36secs, eventually becoming something like 2 x 200 in 24secs. Wouldn't the intensity of these earlier workouts (24/36= 66.7%) classify them as extensive tempo? In fact, anything slower than 30secs would be extensive tempo, and it sounds like that would take them up to 3-4 months to reach if he's dropping the times by a couple of seconds per month as he states above? Is it because these are split runs with little rest? Even so, it seems like such a slow pace would classify at least the earliest (>30secs per rep) workouts as extensive tempo.

        Also, the progression of 200's starts with little rest (2mins) then progresses to more and more rest and eventually full recovery between reps as volume decreases and intensity increases. This is the reverse of others such as Kitkat who reduced rest, along with volume, as training, and intensity, progressed. Were these workouts for 100/200m sprinters? Did his 400m workouts include 200m reps with reduced (2mins or so) rest between reps later in SPP?

        Finally, was the lack extensive tempo found even in the 400m training? If not, could someone give an example of a week of GPP and a week of SPP for his 400m sprinters?

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40462

        I could be wrong but I don't recall them running that slow. ever. I could be wrong though. Kebba can you comment….6 x 200m in 36s….does Dan do that? 6 x 200 is definitelty a workout in the progression but my understanding is that they were much faster than that. Also, as I've mentioned before time alone does not necessarily tell the whole story on these types of runs. We do 6 x 200m early in the year and my 21-22s 200m runners will all run 27-29s….a time which seems like extensive tempo on the surface….until you see how the runs are distributed.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        burkhalter on #40463

        I could be wrong but I don't recall them running that slow. ever. I could be wrong though. Kebba can you comment….6 x 200m in 36s….does Dan do that? 6 x 200 is definitelty a workout in the progression but my understanding is that they were much faster than that. Also, as I've mentioned before time alone does not necessarily tell the whole story on these types of runs. We do 6 x 200m early in the year and my 21-22s 200m runners will all run 27-29s….a time which seems like extensive tempo on the surface….until you see how the runs are distributed.

        Can you expand on how the runs are distributed please?

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40464

        Instead of running even pace the entire duration of the run you throw in segments of higher and lower intensity…sorta like some hybrid variation of extensive / intensive tempo and the concepts of sprint-float-sprints / flying sprints.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        utfootball4 on #40465

        He does accel workouts usually 48 weeks out of the year, twice per week typically.

        From what I gather he does go short to long as far as the acceleration progression.

        As Mike and I have discussed, there is a bit of gray area on the MaxV workouts. In other words he may work speed, alactic, neural endurance in the same rep or race modeling runs as well (I am thinking Sprint-Float-Sprints for race modelling).

        On a different note what do you guys think of using 60m buildups run to a high intensity for MaxV development? Wouldn't it end up being essentially a flying sprint.

        i think most people cant follow the setup below nor most of Dan workouts bc they don't have the therapy and recovery methods that Dan athletes have.

        Day1 Acc Dev 8-10 x 20-40, hops, weights
        Day2 Tech and GS, BB, medball
        Day3 MaxV, hops,  weights
        Day4 Resoration and GS, hurdle mob
        Day5 Acc Dev same as Day1 except at 20-30% volume, weights
        Day6 Spe End and GS

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40466

        I do something very similar and we don't generally have problems with overtraining. I think this may partly be due to making minor on-the-spot adjustments as necessary. I will say that last year I severely overtrained an athlete using this setup but it was via correspondence and I have since put 'safety measures' in place to help prevent this from happening.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        utfootball4 on #40467

        I do something very similar and we don't generally have problems with overtraining. I think this may partly be due to making minor on-the-spot adjustments as necessary. I will say that last year I severely overtrained an athlete using this setup but it was via correspondence and I have since put 'safety measures' in place to help prevent this from happening.

        is the athlete on track to pr this yr.

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40468

        is the athlete on track to pr this yr.

        After my miscalculations he did his own training for a while. After some heavy modifications, we started working together again earlier this year and he just PR'd. I'm assuming you know who he is since you're asking.

        If blowing someone up is the outcome of overtraining, last year I made this guy explode. It had been haunting me for a year and the experience made me rethink some things I do with correspondence trained athletes, but now he's back on track and I think I've learned some valuable lessons.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        utfootball4 on #40469

        [quote author="utfootball4" date="1196669383"]
        is the athlete on track to pr this yr.

        After my miscalculations he did his own training for a while. After some heavy modifications, we started working together again earlier this year and he just PR'd. I'm assuming you know who he is since you're asking.

        If blowing someone up is the outcome of overtraining, last year I made this guy explode. It had been haunting me for a year and the experience made me rethink some things I do with correspondence trained athletes, but now he's back on track and I think I've learned some valuable lessons.
        [/quote]

        excellent job Mike, i wish more coaches could make adjustments and listen to the athlete.

      • Avatar
        Participant
        burkhalter on #40470

        [quote author="Mike Young" date="1196670193"]
        [quote author="utfootball4" date="1196669383"]
        is the athlete on track to pr this yr.

        After my miscalculations he did his own training for a while. After some heavy modifications, we started working together again earlier this year and he just PR'd. I'm assuming you know who he is since you're asking.

        If blowing someone up is the outcome of overtraining, last year I made this guy explode. It had been haunting me for a year and the experience made me rethink some things I do with correspondence trained athletes, but now he's back on track and I think I've learned some valuable lessons.
        [/quote]

        excellent job Mike, i wish more coaches could make adjustments and listen to the athlete.
        [/quote]

        Not to mention admitting mistakes. IN PUBLIC! How many ever do that? Great job Mike. 

        Without hurting your clientele can you expand on "safety measures"?

      • Mike Young
        Keymaster
        Mike Young on #40471

        You guys are killing me. I screwed it up and there really wasn't anything great about it. It ended up working out well though due in large part to the athlete being in-tune with his body and the adjustments that were made.

        Since this is a Pfaff thread and we're veering off-topic, I'll talk about the adjustments and 'safety measures' in another thread later in the day.

        ELITETRACK Founder

      • Avatar
        Participant
        burkhalter on #40472

        [quote author="LR1400" date="1195593579"]
        He does accel workouts usually 48 weeks out of the year, twice per week typically.

        From what I gather he does go short to long as far as the acceleration progression.

        As Mike and I have discussed, there is a bit of gray area on the MaxV workouts. In other words he may work speed, alactic, neural endurance in the same rep or race modeling runs as well (I am thinking Sprint-Float-Sprints for race modelling).

        On a different note what do you guys think of using 60m buildups run to a high intensity for MaxV development? Wouldn't it end up being essentially a flying sprint.

        i think most people cant follow the setup below nor most of Dan workouts bc they don't have the therapy and recovery methods that Dan athletes have.

        Day1 Acc Dev 8-10 x 20-40, hops, weights
        Day2 Tech and GS, BB, medball
        Day3 MaxV, hops,  weights
        Day4 Resoration and GS, hurdle mob
        Day5 Acc Dev same as Day1 except at 20-30% volume, weights
        Day6 Spe End and GS
        [/quote]

        Why couldn't they with modifications, i.e. reduction in overall volume. It boils down to only three High Intensity days a week which is pretty common right? The Sat workout, from the definitions I have seen really only becomes a true Speed End day later in the preparation and from my understanding when overall volumes are reduced to comp phase type volumes.

        Dan also says this is not set in stone. For example with Oba there had to be less high intensity days is my understanding.

        But of course his therapy and knowledge would be nice to have.

Viewing 41 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.