So to update the above info about my guy mentioned above...after our failed 200m experiment down south, I have kept him out of 200m races for the time being. His hip flexor strain healed fairly quickly, and we got back to work after about a week of bike workouts, some lifting, and EMS.
I took him through the KitKat transition phase, but he raced a couple of 400's during that time. The first one was in Windsor, a meet I couldn't make it to. He went pretty nuts, with reliable splitters getting him at 200m in 21.8, and hitting 300 in 33.8 (a new hand-timed PB) before blowing up in the last 100 and finishing in 48.63- still a 400m PB. He learned the hard way that taking it out at 21.8 when your 200m speed is around 21.5 is NOT wise!
A couple of weeks later, he raced another 400m and came through 200m in a sluggish 23.0, but he finished strong and ran 48.09 for another PB. I've tried to keep some work in there, so the week of the first race we did 2x2x200, while the week of the last race we did a single set of 2x200 with the first rep tempo in 23.00, with the backup rep in 22.9 off two minutes rest.
We are just completing our last week of transition right now, and he's racing on Saturday again. Last Friday, we did 3xEFE 40-20-20, and his technique is much improved. We also did 6x15m starts to get him to extend his lead arm. He comes out like a 5'5 guy fighting for frequency, when all he needs to do is extend and use his 6'5 size and strength. I wanted to do a few 30's and 60's, but he was getting tired so we opted for a single standing start 150 instead. It was a nice day with a pleasant tailwind, so I knew he had a good chance at a confidence boosting time. He ran 15.72 from a standing start, his best 150 of the season, and it was a huge psychological boost for him to be back in the 15's.
Monday he ran with another guy near his level, and they went 350, 200, 150. The 350 was under control in 41 seconds, and the 200 was pretty fast, 21.35 including reaction time off an "on your mark, set, go" command. The final 150 I asked him to run smoothly at 95%, keeping in mind his big SB in the 150 on Friday. I've noticed in the past that his previous coach would get him to run fantastic times in the 150 for two or three weeks in a row (off of no base, incidentally), and bam, like clockwork he's hurt the third week. Once you get a great result, it's probably wise to let him recover a bit before letting him run fast again.
This week, I'm leaving the 200+200 out during race week, and we substituted bike tempo yesterday instead, and focused on some deep massage to get him loose. The Olympic trials qualifying standard is 48.30, and he has already run under that. If we can get a good result this weekend, then we will probably go to the trials in Calgary at the end of the month.
I am cautiously optimistic. I think he has the potential to run a little bit faster this weekend. Everything has been going well, and he learned not to go out too hard from his first race, and not to go out too easy in his second. Let's hope the third race will lead to a further improvement in pace judgement, and a slightly faster time (which will improve his seeding at the trials). Clearly going forward, race modelling is going to be a critical focus in all training sessions.
My biggest worry is losing overall fitness. We've been racing during transition, and only got through a single 6 week GPP block. After this weekend, if we end up tapering for trials, does anyone have any ideas on how to modify the taper a bit?