I'm in the final weeks of training before my "A' race on the
So the two sessions I've narrowed it down to are:
These are called "split 400's" and are easily the toughest workout I do. Tough from a pure workload aspect. I consider this a strength of mine because I love to work hard. I'm not necessarily fast on this session but It's one that I crave and want to do over and over. Anytime an athlete loves a certain workout they will thrive. The mental side of training is very much underrated (because it's not nearly as understood as the physiology) and any positive cue from our brain should be pounced on and exploited.
3 X (300 meters/ rest 1:00/ 100 meters) rest 5:00.
The Sanya session I did the day before yesterday is a more gnarly S/E session with a similar focus. It's a little more blunt though and something that fits better earlier in the cycle. The 300/100 split is sharper and designed more for final specific race prep. This is very much in part because of the 100 meter interval that follows the 1:00 rest. This comes very close to mimicking the last 100 meters of a 400 (in speed that is) and the rule of specificity comes into play.
Speed (my weakness): something like 2 X (3 X 50 meters flying starts) on 3:00 and 8:00. So that's 3:00 rest after each 50, and 8:00 between the two sets. This session is pure speed and central nervous system and I think is going to be my biggest challenge. I have two major factors going against me here and they're tied in together. My actual age and my athletic or sprinting age. Not only is this something I've never really trained but I'm picking it up and starting at an age where my nervous system is on the decline. Had I been a sprinter in a previous stage of life that would help, but this is all new to me. So I'm starting from zero with an already declining nervous system.
So, this morning I'll get through the warmup and see what my legs are telling me is appropriate on the day. One training concept I'm reading more about, and like a lot, is "the Bondarchuk method". This is old school which is partly why I like it but I also feel like it's how I coach and train myself already. Bondarchuk is a Russian hammer thrower (Olympic champion himself and the coach of many champions) who changed the way coaches think of periodization. At first, on the surface, it looks fairly complex but once you begin to understand it it's actually the opposite. It's simple and relies entirely on the response of the athlete on the day and also the athlete's development over time to guide the training. If there's a downside to it for me its that it is very data driven and my own opinion on data is that it can hurt as much as help, but I think that applies much more to endurance running than anything else. That's a whole blog post in itself so I won't go there. For sprinting and power based or explosive sports however, data becomes more relevant because of the aforementioned unique qualities of nervous system fatigue. It's harder to sense or feel CNS compromise without actually testing it and seeing a result. If the goal is to log 10 miles easy (a metabolic and muscular aspect) then CNS plays a very small role in that and it being compromised won't compromise the goal. Bondarchuk also eliminates the complexity of exercises used. The idea is that you choose just a few exercises that target your goals and you simply repeat them over and over until you see a decline in performance. Once that decline hits -10% (this number is widely varied, some coaches feel that 3% is enough while others will push that much higher or deeper) then you change the stimulus. In a way this resembles in concept the Maffetone method which may be why it appeals to me? It's been 22 years now since I started using MAF!? With Maffetone you do one thing until you're fully adapted and see a plateau, then you change the stimulus. When it comes to adaptation, at a certain point change is king. There's much more to the Bondarchuk method but that's a couple of the basic ideas. One more that is applicable to me right now is response time to a training stimulus. It's applicable because I have only 4 weeks until my "A" race and that is not enough time to significantly change or enhance my weakness. So is it better to cut those losses and focus more on my strength which I have been developing for a longer period of time? I feel that my strength will be reducing my drop off in speed, or maintaining the crappy the speed I have. Slow less in the last 100 of my race. Lots of little concepts in this idea like being able to hold a higher percentage of my top end for longer and aspects of genetic muscle composition, type II versus type I dominance and so on.
If you've read to this point I commend you. Time to go run.