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Periodization (Read 303 times)


Mr. Muscle

    As a seasoned runner, I use periodization training for myself.  As a coach many of my athletes are in multiple sports and therefore cannot periodize as much as I want.  My question is, can I shorten their cycle or should I train them a different way.  I may have only 2 months to get a kid from a basketball player to a 2 miler by the end of the year.  Can I periodize or should I be training another way? And, what is your opinion on periodization?

      In my very humble opinion, mostly as a dad of a high school 2-miler and not as a coach, I would say that the season is too short to do much periodization.  And, with my middle school kid (who is a basketball player) I found last year that he came into track season already in pretty dang good shape from basketball and was running better and better 800s and miles by the end of the spring.  There are guys on this site who know a lot more about this than I do, but I say the season is too short not to jump right into the "race specific" period of training with these kids (assuming they have some kind of decent winter conditioning base).  Now I'll leave it to guys like Jeff, spaniel, BoilerTom90, who actually coach high school runners to give you the right answer. 

      - Joe

      all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

        As a seasoned runner, I use periodization training for myself.  As a coach many of my athletes are in multiple sports and therefore cannot periodize as much as I want.  My question is, can I shorten their cycle or should I train them a different way.  I may have only 2 months to get a kid from a basketball player to a 2 miler by the end of the year.  Can I periodize or should I be training another way? And, what is your opinion on periodization?

        Rustin:

         

        If you are talking about 5th grade kids, you shouldn't be too concerned about periodization.  You should teach them to have fun in running.  That said, as a coach, you should encourage them to go far, not fast; as well as work on their technique with drills.  Kids love doing those drills and they enjoy fartlek type of varied paced running.  

         

        Kids coming off the other sport, depending on what it is, are usually either very well-conditioned; or warn-out.  As a coach, you need to understand their current condition and prescribe programs accordingly.  Warn-out kids would show deterioration of performance (slowing down in time).  The last thing you want is to push them to train faster.

         

        I suggest you search for articles about Australian "Complex Training" program.  We have one on our Lydiard Foundation website but I believe it's under the member's section.  I'd be happy to send it to you if you want.  This was developed for students who "couldn't wait" for too long to "periodize" for a few races.  It's basically a mixture of training but done in a balanced way.  I also recommend you look for Arthur Lydiard's "Distance Training for Young Athletes" from Meyer&Meyer.  A great read (okay, I'm biased!).

          Rustin,

           

          From my observation with most MS kids, you don't need to do anything fancy to see improvement and have them do their best in a short track season. Given most have no endurance based (sure they have speed and quickness from other sports), any consistent distance running will yield improvements. Given that, why make it harder on them than it needs to be? Moreover, the 800 and 1600 are still distance events... treat them as such.

           

          Just have them run easy distance (most will push the pace on this anyhow) with a bit of quick stuff (50m strides to maybe at most up to 200s). If your season is short like ours, there are so many meets, and that is all the fast running a distance runner needs, especially at such a young age with no real base to speak of.

           

          FWIW, I coached my sons's MS XC team this past fall. It was bascially a 2 month season. We normally had 2 or 3 meets each week. For the most poart, all I had the kids do on non-meet days was easy distance, building up to 5 miles continuous, and perhaps some strides the day before a meet.  The last two weeks, when we had 1 week between meets, I had them do alternating fast/easy 400s until I felt like they had done enough (indviduality is important here). 

           

          Every one of the kids that came to practice improved dramatically over the course of the season, and PR'd the last meet. I think if I had done any more hard running, they would not have had as much success. 

           

          I also think you need to teach the kids about pacing... not to treat their distance races like a 100m sprint, followed by 700m or 1500m of hanging on.

           

          Also, teach them about the importance of proper warmups and having done some hard running before their race so their body is ready go at the start of the race. Many kids start races woefully unprepared and spend most of the race warming up.

           

           

          Tom


          Mr. Muscle

            Thanks for the quick and helpful responses.  I coach high school XC and track at a smaller school so many athletes are pulled into other spots (which is fine!)  I have had some success with this is the long run (pun).  I am having a little more trouble figuring out an athlete coming from another sport.  I need to adapt my training expectations for them.