April 22, 2024

Sprint Consideration

Each observe season can’t be the very best of your profession as a coach, however final season was simply that for me. As coaches, we need to set lofty objectives for our athletes whereas additionally setting lifelike expectations for his or her success and achievement. However there have been moments as this final season progressed that made me marvel if our objectives had been excessive sufficient.

For instance, we used the Freelap timing system final season to time our exercises. I ensured the batteries had been contemporary within the chips the athletes wore and the towers that may choose up the athletes’ alerts and file their instances. We had a velocity day, and the exercise was three 40-yard dashes out of blocks—we’d been working as much as this distance, and the children had been wanting ahead to seeing their 40 instances. I took my time measuring 40 yards, had my athletes write their names on the recording sheet within the order they had been going to run as common, and went to the top line to file all their instances.

Last season was the best track season in my career as a coach, but there were moments as it progressed that I wondered if our goals were high enough, says @DillonMartinez. Click To Tweet

The primary athlete to go was our quickest sprinter. Already a state champion within the 100 and 200 the earlier 12 months (2022), we knew he was going to have a improbable senior season. We had labored tirelessly on his block begins, basic approach, and mechanics, in addition to a yearlong lifting plan that he religiously adhered to. We had been all excited to see what he would put down in a 40-yard sprint.

He received set, exploded out of the blocks, and accelerated by the end line, wanting as easy as ever. It was a great-looking rep! However once I checked out my cellphone for his time, I used to be upset—I had clearly mis-measured the gap. It needed to be too brief. The Freelap registered a time of 4.29.

I stood up, seemed on the different coach, and stated, “Shoot—I used to be certain I measured it appropriately, nevertheless it says he simply ran a 4.29! I’ll re-measure.” He simply checked out me and stated, “I don’t know, that seemed quick.”

I apologized to the athletes and instructed them I tousled and needed to re-measure. As I pulled the tape nearer to the road, I noticed I wasn’t going to be brief. It was 40 yards, proper on the button. I used to be in disbelief.

His subsequent two reps—utilizing totally different chips, I’d add—had been 4.30 and 4.38. Nevertheless it wasn’t simply him—all of the athletes had been placing down instances that each they and I had been past proud of. It was a day I gained’t quickly overlook and a second that instructed me the season was going to be particular.

The 2023 season noticed faculty information damaged within the 100 (10.58), 200 (21.39), 400 (49.08), and 4×100 (43.00); it additionally resulted in a 100- and 200-meter state championship to prime it off, in addition to our 4×100 relay taking third within the Wisconsin Division 2 finals. 2023 will probably be difficult to prime—not simply this 12 months however in all of the years to observe.

Earlier than the 2023 season, I revealed an article outlining my whole season apply plan and my ideas behind it. As a result of climate and different facility points all of us face in Wisconsin, we needed to make on-the-fly changes. However the plan as laid out was virtually completely adopted. Listed here are 5 takeaways from 2023 and the way these impression my plans for the 2024 highschool observe season in Wisconsin.

1. Prioritize Velocity Early and Usually

Most of my sprinters are three-sport athletes coming off both a basketball or wrestling season. These sports activities are inherently extra demanding on the cardiovascular facet than what we do as sprinters, so they’d a very good work capability base constructed already. This allowed me to deal with velocity work (which can even construct endurance).

Conversely, these sports activities don’t contact the velocities I need their our bodies to have the ability to endure come observe season. Due to this, I received them sprinting immediately to begin the acclimation course of, with a HUGE deal with correct mechanics. Sprinting at prime velocity, in my view, is asking for bother if it isn’t achieved utilizing correct mechanics. This leads me to my second level.     

2. You Can Solely Run as Quick as Your Approach Permits

I despise the time period “warm-up,” and also you gained’t hear me say it at my practices. As a substitute of a warm-up, we do TECH. That is at all times the very first thing we do. It focuses on getting ready the central nervous system to dash at most velocity whereas engraining correct sprinting patterns and approach into the athletes. That is probably the most centered portion of apply. TECH serves as approach work, core energy exercise, plyometric exercise, and isometric exercise, and helps my athletes discover ways to coach up each other.

TECH serves as technique work, core strength workout, plyometric workout, and isometric workout, and helps my athletes learn how to coach up one another, says @DillonMartinez. Click To Tweet

Throughout this time, we’ll do many widespread drills you may see at any observe apply: A-series drills, bounding, rolling begins, and the like. However additionally, you will see our athletes coach one another such as you haven’t seen earlier than. My objective is to show myself out of a training job. Which means that I’ve completely taught my athletes what correct sprinting approach seems to be wish to the purpose I’m assured that if I missed a day of apply, they might coach one another and nonetheless come out of the session higher.

Secondly, we do an unlimited array of isometric work. Isometrics strengthen with out impression. Many athletes fall sufferer to shin splints early within the season as a result of the amount of stress on the physique—particularly the decrease leg—dramatically will increase instantly. Isometrics enable me to particularly goal the ankle complicated and strengthen it with out having to pound my athlete’s legs into the bottom.

We do what I name “A iso holds,” the place athletes maintain the right max velocity place, on one foot, then I’ve them elevate their heel so they’re solely on their forefoot and maintain for 30 seconds at a time. We do ankle iso squats, the place we maintain a squat a bit above parallel however they’ve their heels as excessive off the bottom as doable, and a plethora of different isometric actions that assist strengthen the positions I need my athletes robust in.

Personally, I believe all athletes, no matter their sport, ought to do TECH at first of apply day-after-day, however I digress. Taking the time to really train my athletes the right mechanics early within the season, after which intently engaged on them day-after-day in new ways in which the athletes couldn’t predict, allowed for max neural coding to happen between the mind and the physique. This resulted in flawless approach by my sprinters with out them having to consider it. It was a behavior, and it was a difference-maker.

3. Planning Utilizing Time Beneath Stress

The one factor I care about is how my athletes carry out on the state meet. I need my athletes to be the freshest sprinters with the least mileage once they stroll into the Wisconsin state meet held at Roger Harring Stadium on the College of Wisconsin Lacrosse Campus. To make sure this, I plan out my season utilizing a time below pressure (TUT) methodology. This has been the largest game-changer for me in my planning technique.

I plan out my season using a time under tension (TUT) method. This has been the biggest game-changer for me in my planning strategy, says @DillonMartinez. Click To Tweet

I estimate what number of seconds my athletes will probably be at max velocity in a exercise, then add up the full time within the week to get weekly TUT. Then, I take advantage of that quantity to create a base, load, peak, de-load, and cycle. In 2023, throughout the three-month season, my athletes recorded a complete of 20 minutes of time below pressure, with the heaviest load being 4.25 minutes in a single week coming at week 7 of the season. Be aware: I counted meets as time below pressure for the week; I can’t be doing that for the 2024 season.

For the 2024 season, we’re chopping the load much more. As of this writing, we’re planning for a complete of 338.5 seconds of TUT for the season. Right here is an instance of base, load, peak, and taper weeks for this coming season. Thoughts you, that is 338 seconds at max velocity, with as near excellent kind as doable.

TUT Chart

I present all of the coaches on workers with my “exercise plan rationale” annually—the coaches, athletes, and oldsters all know I’ve a motive for all the things we do. This mitigates teaching conflicts, in addition to parental conflicts. Right here is my rationale for the 2024 season:

  • This coaching schedule has three cycles, with a deal with coming into the final two weeks of the season as contemporary and as quick as doable. The primary three weeks of the season will deal with instructing our system of dash growth to the athletes and introducing their our bodies to the stimuli we would like them to get acclimated to for the remainder of the season. We are going to apply three days per week to make sure no shin splints develop resulting from a speedy enhance in utilization that can result in nagging points into the late season. The primary three weeks will act as the bottom for the remainder of the season.
  • Week 4 will see a leap in quantity (75 seconds of time below pressure) and act as a loading week for the height quantity week we’ll see in week 5 (80 seconds of time below pressure). Eighty seconds, with the majority of the amount approaching someday (60 seconds), would be the most quantity the athletes will expertise in apply all week. Following this, the main focus will change from constructing a base of stimulus to rising max velocity and energy output.
  • Weeks 6–9 will act as a taper from the height of week 5 and can primarily deal with extending the drive section of athletes and serving to them attain max velocity additional down the observe whereas additionally emphasizing staying relaxed late within the race. Weeks 6–9 will see large tapers starting from 56%–93% from the height in week 5. It will assist the athletes recuperate whereas additionally eliciting a hormonal response that can hopefully make the subsequent reload section (weeks 10 and 11) more practical.
  • In the course of the reload week, the athletes will solely attain 21% of the amount accrued throughout the peak week (week 5) of the season. Following the reload week, we enter into match time. Throughout these two weeks, we’ll deal with retaining the athletes contemporary whereas deliberately not letting velocity develop into detrained. We are going to do that by programming 5 seconds below pressure throughout week 12 and solely 3.5 seconds within the week of the state meet. We would like wholesome, contemporary, and quick athletes going into state.

4. Elevate

Our faculty is past blessed to have our energy and conditioning dealt with and applied by Three Rivers Efficiency. Since they took over, soccer has gained three straight state titles (21, 22, and 23), and the playoff depth for each crew within the faculty has elevated.

For observe, we carry three days per week earlier than apply. Now, ideally, lifting is finished after velocity work. However as a result of we don’t have a observe on our faculty’s campus, we’ve got to bus our athletes to a observe, they usually go house from there. No matter that, Eddie Hodges (proprietor of Three Rivers Efficiency) plans the lifts in a method that can help the velocity work we will probably be doing that day. Lifts take half-hour, and they’re environment friendly. Everybody on the observe crew lifts: sprinters, throwers, distance.

5. Discipline Occasions

Discipline occasion work will come second to hurry work. Even when an athlete is barely a jumper, they’ll at all times take part within the velocity exercise that day earlier than engaged on their discipline occasion. The easiest way to leap farther or increased is to have the ability to dash sooner. Sprinting is the very best plyometric recognized to man! They may profit way more from velocity work than from event-specific drills in the long term. With that stated, on days when no velocity work is deliberate, they will spend all apply after TECH engaged on their occasion.

I will also take this time to argue that your throwers should also participate in speed work weekly, says @DillonMartinez. Click To Tweet

Now, I can even take this time to argue that your throwers also needs to take part in velocity work weekly. I outlined my expertise working with a Division 1 discus thrower this winter on X. The general takeaway was that by rising his max velocity, we had been in a position to enhance his most energy output.

On day one, his max energy output was 886N. This quantity comes from his 10-meter fly time of 1.31. There are some nice articles about “truck stick”—examine them out. After 10 periods of velocity work, we received his flying 10 meter all the way down to 1.21, which equates to a 964N output. This enhance in energy output alone theoretically interprets to with the ability to throw a discus 8.8% farther. Rising velocity will increase energy, which will increase the implement distance thrown. With that stated, I will probably be advocating for our throwers to do velocity work with us at the very least as soon as per week. Velocity really is the tide that raises all ships.

Onward and Ahead

With my 2024 apply plan accomplished, I can solely hope that when it’s achieved, I’ll have the ability to replicate on the season with as a lot enthusiasm because the earlier 12 months. Placing the time in to meticulously plan will help you monitor progress inside your program in an in depth method 12 months to 12 months.

After many seasons, you’ll clearly have the ability to see what works and what must be added or subtracted to your apply plan primarily based on the information collected over time.

Good luck to all of the coaches and athletes this 12 months! Could 2024 be your finest season but!

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