Transitioning a high school team from indoor to outdoor season

Posted In: What Would You Do?

      • Mike Young
        Mike Young on #11671

        Athletes: High school sprint group of 20 athletes.

        Scenario: 10 of the athletes ran indoor track and went through a very short GPP-SPP-Comp cycle. These atheltes peaked for the indoor state meet at the end of the season. 5 of the remaining 10 athletes played another winter sport such as swimming or basketball. The remaining 5 athletes did no organized activity during the indoor track season. The first outdoor track meet is in 3 weeks and the outdoor state meet is 12 weeks away. It is important that athletes be prepared to run decently by at least week 9 in order to be ready for the pre-states qualification meets (districts, regionals, etc.). Assume that there are no true event specialists in the group.

        Things to consider:
        *How do you integrate the new people with those who have been training for the previous three months? Do you treat those athletes who competed in a winter sport other than track differently than those who did nothing or those who ran indoor track?
        *How do you modify the training of those who ran indoors to be best prepared for the outdoor season? (i.e.- do you go back to GPP, SPP, etc. or just keep them in competition phase training).
        *How do you set up the overall training setup for the group (or each individual sub-group) over the next 12 weeks given the short season and requirement to be running fairly well by at least week 9.

        ELITETRACK Founder

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        saltojump5 on #52310

        Oh, I like this one! Let's have a go.  

        This is similar to the situation I face, and it has been a bit of a chore organization-wise. In the past I treated the athletes with an indoor track season separately; I kept them in the competition phase of training. I would no longer do this, however. I recognize that once you peak, you peak. I don't believe comp. phase should be extended an additional 12 weeks for these athletes. Comp. phase should be relegated to 3-4 weeks, and peak to 1-2 weeks. I'm particularly thinking along the lines of short sprinters, or all power athletes for that matter…Give them double periodization, going back to GPP, SPP, etc., just at an accelerated pace, and have the other athletes come along similarly. This will refresh the base for all, allow for reparation of minor bodily traumas from their previous peak performances, refresh them psychologically, and get them hungry for phase progressions once again. Indoor track athletes will essentially revisit their plan and cycles of all athletes can be on the same page, though expectations will be higher for the indoor track athletes. This means they'll be hitting faster times, everything will be heightened coming off indoors (new SRM's established in weightroom, thus loads proportionally higher at same intensities). Set-up will be short-to-long for all thru 400m. Throw extensive and  intensive tempo (shorter to longer, as well) and special endurance (long sprinters) at them in practice, and use the meets themselves as speed endurance sessions, as they race themselves into shape. By week 9 distances of training runs on the track will match actual race distances in meets. Mesos will be 2 (GPP), 3 (SPP), 2 (pre-comp), 3 (comp) and 2 (peak) as unloading weeks are probably unnecessary, seeing that more recovery days are allotted by pre-meet and post-meet days and by vacations themselves. Those coming off swimming or basketball, one assumes, have also peaked, and will be more or less on the same page. Those coming off no sport will likely need some extra general work capacity and dynamic flexibility to bring them up to snuff and to prevent injury. Some "especially talented" athletes may merit special treatment with their workouts, but to micro-manage everyone with different backgrounds could be a tactical nightmare (as Mike has helped me realize). Those with whom I used to try and extend peak performance/comp phase thru an additional 3 months either A) were forced into taking a step back anyway, by their own bodies mandating it or B) flopped by State. Volumes should always be progressively dropping, as intensities are rising within each period of training, and the athlete should always feel that he/she is headed somewhere.

        I just remembered there are only 20 athletes in the group, so I guess we don't have a tactical nightmare. Regard details of my above post as for a larger group of sprinters (50+)  :bigsmile:

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        Daniel Andrews on #52311

        Unfortunately with HS athletes, you will always have combined transistions.  Your SPP will still be general in some means and both should have speed development 2x a week in the training.  You cannot get around the time considerations of HS athletes, Your focus should be a continued shift from both ends (speed and fitness) towards event specific goals.  My transisition takes out a day of tempo/GS and speed and replaces it with event specific endurance work. 

        GPP  (crouch, falling and prone starts)
        Mon: speed
        Wed: Tempo
        Fri: Speed

        SPP  (introduce blocks and short speed end)
        Mon: speed
        tue: Tempo or speed end
        wed speed or technique
        Thu: tempo
        Fri: Technique or speed
        Sat Race or rest

        Outdoor (first 3 weeks) 
        Mon: speed
        Tues: event specific endurance (usually in a duel meet)  3-4 event people
        Wed: Tempo
        Thurs: Technique
        Friday: race  (1-3 event people)

        I have 3 running specific goals to be met by the time the first 3 weeks of outdoor are done and remember this is for HS girls

        12x200m in 40s tempo  (5 person continuous relay)
        2x3x200m in 34s tempo  (7 person continuous relay)
        6x150m in 20s speed endurance (8 min rest)

        My speed and fitness goals

        As long and rapid an acceleration as possible
        Clean 80% Body Weight, Squat 1.5 x BW, Trap Bar DL 1.8 x BW
        Significant Improvement in sprint form, SLJ, VJ, 30m block TT, and 300m TT.

        If  I get all those, I know I will have a competitive team.

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        tkelly5 on #52312

        For those 10 athletes that didn't compete in indoor track, I'd ahve them do GPP/SPP/Comp.  Of course with that small a group I'd be able to give them a pretty individualized program for their GPP phase depending on their individual levels of fitness.  For the SPP phase, I'd hope that they'd be more closely on the same page in terms of speed and strength so that I wouldn't have to individualize their SPP program as much.

        For the 10 athlete that competed in the indoor season, I'd have a transition period out from their comp phase back into a SPP phase.  I guess what I'm sayin is that I'd try to give their bodies time to recover from being beat up and torn up during their comp phase without losing their fitness so that they would be prepared for the SPP phase at about the same time as the other 10 athletes.  For them, the period after their comp phase and before the spring SPP would be similar to a GPP but would focus more on maintaining fitness and promoting recovery then an improvment and preparation.  I'd be working off the idea that they're already in shape and would just give them a chance to get their focus back for the outdoor season.

        After three weeks of this treatment (thats three weeks GPP for the non-competitors, and three weeks of maintenence/recovery for the indoor competitors), I'd take both groups and have them start doing their SPP.  I'd have this last about 4-5 weeks, with a transition to comp phase beginning during the 5th week.  By this time, we're at week 8 of the season.

        Then I'd have them start their comp phase, and continue that through the state meet.  This way, they have 4 weeks of being strong competitors, and will have a week of comp phase work under their belts for that 9th week meet, giving them some confidence for the upcoming qualifying meets.

        During each phase I wouldn't do anything special outside of the normal goals of those phases, unless it was an individual athlete that was progressing faster or slower than the rest.

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