Thursday, August 10, 2017

Speed day. 4 X 20 meter fly

      Today I warmed up and then took video of my starts for visual cues. Playing them back in slow motion I see, as near as I can tell, that my technical use of the starting blocks is quite good. Which only verifies my previous assertion that my 46 year old legs don't have the explosive/ power qualities yet. My form is good though.
     Then I ran 4 X 20 meter flying starts with 5:00 rest intervals. Flying starts are when you build for ~20 meters and then punch it to 100% max speed. A question I'd pose to anyone reading this is: do you know HOW to run at (truly) 100% max speed? How do you know you're actually there? One of the cues I use for myself is to try to constantly accelerate, never relax.            

      I've been reading and listening a lot lately. Last year I read 112 books but this year I have probably surpassed that word total in articles, blogs, forums and podcasts. My brain has always been a jumble of ideas and rarely shuts down (it wakes me up at 3 every morning ready to go) and it's only gotten worse since I started training again and trying to educate myself on sprinting. Lately I've resorted to carrying around a notebook to write thoughts down. A great tool for not forgetting those brief ideas or thoughts. Here's a page from this morning that I wrote during a rest interval during my workout.
     This is an outline of a weekly training schedule or structure. Each note represents a day of training with a 4th one assuming a rest day. Then you'd start over. So it's a repeating 4 day block.

     The "million $" entry is referring to the "AN2" workout.

     "Fly" is a speed session which I did today, or an An1 session lasting less than 10 seconds. Technically it's 9 seconds but rounding to 10 makes it easier for my mathematically challenged brain to use.

     "Strength- w/ iso" is potentiation or CNS stimulation and explosive power. Bulgarian split squat's using the concept of oscillatory isometrics is where I want to focus here, but drop jumps and depth jumps are also interesting mainly because of my age. What's happening in my aging body and how do I stem the slide? Fast twitch fibers begin to drop off after ~30 but through stimulation they will drop less or they'll sort of self regulate the loss. Use it or lose it, right? And I won't go too deep into this thought, but as we age we don't really lose strength at the same rate as we lose power or speed. As an older, (relatively strong) guy I might be better off actually avoiding the typical gym work and focusing more on things like drop jumps where you step off a box and then immediately go into a maximal effort jump (a true plyometric). Your CNS is being asked to go from a relaxed (the drop) state to 100% activation (the landing and then jump) pretty much instantaneously. What is dropping off as we age? THIS! This is pure central nervous system stuff. This is (as far as I look at it) the relaxation and then the activation of a motor unit or motor pool under load. Look into oscillatory isometrics, same concept. Pure CNS but you must keep it under 10 seconds in duration. Another idea for another post that.

     "An2" or any load that lasts 10" up to 50". This is where the concept of autoregulation becomes usable without the need to spend a couple thousand dollars on timing equipment. I wrote about autoregulation or a-reg previously so I won't touch into that but it is possible to learn to feel or sense the drop. And really does it have to be focused down into a hundredth of a second or millimeters? For measuring speed of neural function yes, but for a longer effort of say 20 seconds I don't think so. All you are looking for is a range of drop off in performance and getting close is enough.

     I didn't come up with this on my own by the way. These are ideas I got from a podcast (about a fictional guy named DB Hammer and inno-sport) and then follow up reading. These concepts sort of go against the grain of popular training methodology which is exactly why it appeals to me but there is enough similarity that it's not completely off base. I also never adhere to one method but rather pull the good bits and pieces out and integrate them into my planning. The a-reg stuff I know is sound because I've used it. It's also, to me, common sense or intuitively correct. I do have be careful with all this because I run the risk of not sticking to one thing long enough to see if it works because I see something that sounds good and change over to that. Information saturation waters down the basics.  


George Zack said...

The header is the Monarch track, right?

Lucho said...


BB said...

Speaking of books: have you read "Relax To Win" by Bud Winter? I found it excellent. He has some nice videos from back in the day ("So you want to be a sprinter?")

Lucho said...

A little out of my budget, but it looks good. I think learning to consciously activate (or change slightly, like learn to relax) the sympathetic nervous system is huge. I know mine is constantly ramped up which is why I can't sleep.