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Shutting it down intelligently | Boddicker Performance

Filed under: Program Design, Running, strength training

Shutting it down intelligently

by on Jun 15th, 2010

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Some days in training athletes have record-setting days and other days athletes have atrocious performances, but regardless of what type of day it is a common theme prevails: their training demands on the spot adjustments to the training program.  Too often, we are too tied into our written workouts and training templates to realize that it is okay, at times, to shut things down.

If an athlete is unable to maintain a high level of performance, some modification must take place.  As a coach, you can dial down the scheduled load by altering volume, density, or intensity or you can progress them to a motor task that is similar yet not as technical.  In the case of a shot putter, for example, if he is unable to hit the necessary criteria on a full competition style throw, it can be dialed down to less specific and demanding by reducing the approach or even executing throws from the front of the ring.  If this is not working well and there is a volume to be upheld, then dropping further to a multi throw can help accomplish similar effects without destroying the motor engram necessary.  In competition phases, quality should typically take precedent over reaching a scheduled volume, thus, a coach may choose to simply move onto the next module once quality falls off.

The athlete who is having a record-setting workout may also demand some modifications as well.  Depending on the intensity of the workout and the time of year, several choices can be made.  Take, for example, a sprint athlete running intensive tempo reps during GPP.  This athlete may be running a workout at record paces, and the time of year will allow him to continue pushing.  The same goes for special endurance II work even closer to competition.  However, a record setting performance in 80 or 100m sprinting for an athlete with advanced training age and performance levels during a workout demands careful consideration as to continue training or not.  Typically, backing off after said performances is a wise choice to allow the athlete to stabilize his new performance level without undue stress on the system.

The same ideas can easily be applied to strength and conditioning and distance running with a bit of thought.   If an advanced athlete shows remarkably improved loading numbers, it is okay to move him into the next training component without beating him into a pulp.  Likewise, we should be cautious in deciding if we will use the new personal best as the number off of which to base our intensities until the athlete has stabilized said level of performance.

Remember, in athletics, personal records in training mean very little.  What means most is an athlete who can hit personal records in competition.

Regards,

Carson Boddicker

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Leave a Comment »2 Comments
  • chris nentarz June 16, 2010

    You bring up a great point. As much as we love to stick to our well thought out templates, it is necessary to detour at times.

    Good insight and thank you for sharing.

  • Sam June 19, 2010

    While in the private sector of S&C i find this information to be easily applied (providing they have full command of the theory). It seems the best coaches amoung us are able to monitor such processes in the group setting (collegiate S&C).

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