Building An Athlete with Great Nutrition

March 29, 2017 by Angela Coon

I love to eat and I love to cook and I love to share especially when it comes to food. I made this salad up inspired by a yummy salad I enjoyed at a new restaurant  around the corner from where I live in Toronto Canada. 

Ange’s Kale, Parmesan and  Chicken Salad
Ange’s Kale, Parmesan and  Chicken Salad (Delicious and Nutritious all in one. I love it) 

  1. Chop up desired amount of Kale once you have washed and dryed
  2. Slice or grate from a solid block of parmesan cheese. ( yes, store grated will do fine but likely it's not authentic quality parmesean so even if you just buy the real deal once please try so you will experience the taste difference. The cost of grated is always less for the simple reason that you likely don't know the quality of the cheese they use) 
  3. Roast chicken breast with skin on and bone in the night before or buy a cooked chicken at your local butcher. Don't be afraid to experiment with where you buy cooked chicken or raw as you will be amazed at how quality of chicken tastes substantially better. Watch Project Jane to see me talking cooking for athletes here. 
  4. Add one hard boiled egg sliced ( eggs are one of the easiest and most affordable forms of protein you can have. I always try to buy organic eggs and eggs from chickens that are free range ( the means the chickens are not locked up or not locked up as much as caged chickens) 
  5. Add chopped handful of your favorite grapes
  6. Add several sprinkles of black toasted sesame seeds
  7. Add 2 to 3 TAB of black beans
  8. Apple sliced from 1/4 to 1/2 gala or your favorite variety of apple
  9. Drizzle with red wine vinegar.
  10. Add desired amount of Olive Oil toss
  11. Add sea salt to taste and pepper if you wish

Serve with Sparkling water or green tea or my new favorite drink ever, full fat cream with cocoa and a tiny few teaspoons of sugar.

Enjoy and go try this fantastic and nutritious salad as soon as you are able. 

Angé

 

 

 

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Sample speed workout for Short to Long Speed Training

March 22, 2017 by Angela Coon

I think there is a great deal of confusion for many coaches and athletes about what actual speed training looks like. To be fast you must run fast. To run fast you must set yourself up to succeed. You will not run fast if you are tired and tight as one example. You will not run fast if you are not able to give 95 percent effort. DON’T repeat runs for speed training if you are not feeling 95percent effort is possible. The reason you don’t want to do perform speed tired or tight is you will repeat runs performed poorly. Otherwise it’s likely you are practicing running that is not fast or technically sound. It’s essential you show up to practice each day and each workout feeling great, rested and ready to grab anything you are able to from each training session.

Below is a simple question asked by an interested person who saw an interview I did on the performance of life, rest and regeneration.
 

Forum Member Question

Hi Angela,
I listened to you recently in an interview online.    Could you give an example of a high intensity workout for speed?  Thanks Roy

Coach Ange’s Answer

Thanks for your note Roy. An example of a high intensity speed workout might be the following in a short to long method of speed training.

  1. 4 x 10 meters from crouch start or from blocks (volume is 40m of speed) Rest between each 10 meters would be slow walk back / slightly more rest if you use blocks. ( rest between sets might be 2 to 3 minutes / sitting , shaking your legs)

  2. 2 x 20 meters from crouch start. Rest between each run ~ 2 m/ rest between sets 3 to 3.5 min) (volume is 40m speed)

  3. 3 x 30 meter from crouch start Rest between each run 3 to 3. 5m /rest between next set 3.5 to 4 /5 min (volume is 90m speed)

  4. 1 x 60 m crouch start (volume is 60m) (v= 60) (if you did another 60 m rest might be 6 min maybe a bit more) . Total v = 230m

Above is one example of a speed workout for a beginner without much background in sprinting and without a developed Central Nervous System CNS. The workout shown above would be preceded by proper warm up. For more info checkout this blog post Warming Up for Sprinting in Track and Field

 

Important Definitions for Speed Training
  1. Speed / pure speed:
    runs that are 7seconds or less performed at approximately at 95 percent / slightly less with full recovery.

    What is full recovery?
    Generally speaking you use 1 min of rest per 10 meters of speed work. If you had a hurdle in the way that won’t be pure speed because by definition It’s difficult to perform you max 93 to 95% with a hurdle in the way. Therefor true speed must be done in absence of hurdles and before hurdles are practiced. Rest between reps will be slightly different than rest between sets. Depending on the fitness of an individual will 

  2. Speed Endurance:
    7 to 15 seconds of running with full recovery between runs. One example of SE would be 60m and above for most including 100m.

  3. Specific Endurance:
    15 seconds or above up to about 600 meters / 100m or 200m runners would not be running 600m but 400 meter runners would (As a 100mh I did a lot of 300m repeats (7x300m) in fall and spring for strong fitness base) 

  4. Special Endurance:
    15 seconds or above with incomplete recovery (note/ most people will not maximally benefit from doing high quality Speed Endurance because “ practice makes permanent”. For that reason performing Specific endurance combined with pure speed in the initial phases of running makes a ton more sense until the technical aspects of an athletes development can be solidified over time.

Running fast is fun. Learning to run fast is fun too but it’s hard work. It takes time, lots of energy and lots of practice and knowledge. Sprinting requires skill and often our skills have been learned the wrong way. Children know how to run and well meaning parents and coaches believe they know a great deal about skill when often they don’t.  It might help some of you to think back to when you used to race your friends in the playground. What did you do? Likely every one would line up and race a reasonable distance. Likely the younger you were the shorter the initial distance. The other thing that would happen is you might race until you were tired. There is an actual feeling to running fast and once you have run fast and well remembering what the feeling is and how to best repeat it can be an incredible asset in how you perfect the skill of learning how to sprint fast.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

Angé

 

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Is Upper Body Strength Important in Sprinting?

February 01, 2017 by Angela Coon

I get many questions about strength training for sprinting and it’s usually from athletes, coaches and concerned parents. Recently one such athlete asked “ I am curious as to whether gaining upper body strength would be beneficial to running faster?

In two words "Absolutely Yes!"

Everyone is potentially able to improve their upper body strength but your strength gains in your upper body are not necessarily going to be 100 percent transferable in improving your speed development.

 

Here is the complete question from the athlete from the website.

Athlete Question:

I am curious as to whether gaining upper body strength would be beneficial to running faster?
I currently have good strength at 70kg 180kg below parallel squat & 180kg RDL. I can bench only 100kg as I don't do the exercise or really train my upper body much. Should I train my upper body a little bit more?

Coach Ange’s Answer:

Gaining upper body strength is essential to improving your fitness, your overall strength and therefor it will directly and indirectly be beneficial to running faster.

Getting stronger in your upper body you will not guarantee improved speed. Begin to integrate bench, arm pulls, seated row, incline and decline bench. Adding pushups with in your warm up in small numbers as well as adding pushups into tempo days is another way to raise your upper body strength.

Incorporating strength training for sprinting has been an area of specialty for Coach Charlie Francis. I strongly recommend reading Speed Trap to fully understand his training methods. I also recommend purchasing the Weights for Speed Bundle. Reading this material will give you a comprehensive look at how to plan effective training for speed development. . You need to prioritize speed work, add lifts only if you are able to maintain high quality work. When it comes to sprint workouts everything possible needs to be done to put yourself in the best possible situation to run well every time you perform a sprint. Quality sprinting consistently needs to be your end goal to improve your sprinting.

 

Here are a few ideas you might think of when you begin the discussion on how to add a variety of upper body training and how that will help you towards sprinting faster.

1. Making sprinting a priority in your training, combined with lifting weights, will supplement the high intensity demands of sprinting. Weights for Speed Bundle 

2. Using a medicine ball in your warm up and within your training does not only add an element of strength training to your daily routine but it is also adding an exercise that helps with mobility, core strength and coordination. Use a very light medicine ball and don’t’ be hasty moving to the next weight of medicine ball. 

3. Adding upper body mobility exercises to your daily warm up like arm swings front and back help loosen the area around your shoulders and neck. 

4. Practicing Power Speed Drills within your warm up and making sure you are using your arms for each drill is an important addition into your training. How you use your arms in your drills will transfer into your running.  South Africa Practical Sessions Bundle 

5. Stand in front of a mirror and watch your arm actions while using your arms as though you are running. Keep your shoulders relaxed and down while consistently maintaining a 45-degree angle at the elbow. Hands should be relaxed and practice holding hand in a fist with the thumbs up (don’t clench your fist tightly, tightness has a tendency to migrate into other areas which is not desirable for sprinting) 

6. Weights to add into your weight lifting routine: Bench, Arm Pulls and or seated rows, upright row, incline and decline bench, pull downs and push ups. Cleans are an advanced lift which require technical advice to make the most of this exercise. 

7. Practicing explosive medicine ball throws and drills allows you to both gain strength and utilize and or convert the strength you have into power for running. Examples of these throws are in GPP as well as South Africa Practical Series download.

8. Running Tempo in your off days facilitates loose muscles, muscles that are more mobile and muscles that have greater circulation which makes them easier to get stronger and also easier for you to utilize strength you currently have. A great example of a tempo workout which combines upper body strength training is the:

 

PUSH UP / SIT UP WORKOUT

Everyone learns to dread this workout but you will love the results.

 

TRY THIS PROGRESSION FIRST.
If you have been routinely doing tempo such as 2(10 x 100meters) with less than 5 minutes rest between sets you will likely have little trouble doing this workout yet there is a specificity to all training so give yourself a few weeks of doing this workout 1 or 2 per week before you will start to feel great doing it. 

I strongly suggest beginning this workout with a shorter distance such as 80 meters and using less than 10 pushups to begin (for woman) and less than 20 situps (for men). Initially men will have little trouble with the pushups and the woman will have little trouble with the situps. Obviously exceptions apply. A reasonable starting number is 4 to 6 pushups building to 10 over 2 week period. 10 to 12 sit ups building to 20 in a 2 week period. If this progression is too steep a more radical reduction is suggested. NON TRACK athletes may need more progressive progressions. 

It's recommended that you modify warm up for tempo.  If you are stiff from speed work take more time. Cooler weather like the spring and or fall may require more time.  Use contrast baths before and or after tempo to jump start a warm up leading into tempo or speed workouts.

 

PUSH UP AND SIT UP WORKOUT

Full workout is 2 sets of 10 x 100 meters ( *tempo pace / low intensity as defined by 75 percent intensity or lower)

    Method =
  • Run 100 meters and do 10 pushups
  • Run back 100 meter do 20 varied sit ups ( press here to see varied sit up circuit in GPP)
  • Repeat to 10 sets
  • Rest is less than 5 minutes for elite athlete / if it takes you more than 5 minutes begin the progression of this workout with 1 x 6 x 100 meter of push up / sit up workout. Repeat 2 to 3 x per week for 2 or 2.5 weeks before trying 10 x 100 meters.

 

Good luck.

Send me questions if you have any.

Best,

ange

 

 

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World Speed Summit 2

October 14, 2016 by Angela Coon
I wonder if you can get faster?

Yes, one thing I know for sure is you are able to get faster.

For the past 16 years CharlieFrancis.com has mentored some of the most passionate people in the world regarding speed development. Several of these individuals will be sharing their stories at the World Speed Summit 2.

World Speed Summit 2 will be featuring speed experts who have been strongly influenced by Coach Charlie Francis on a personal level.

You do not have to go anywhere. You do not need to leave the comfort of your own home. This will be an exciting opportunity for each of you.

http://worldspeedsummit.com/angelacoon

At ZERO COST to you, you will learn how you can get faster, you will learn how these coaches succeeded and how they failed and how they came back to succeed and never gave up on their dreams.

Turn your passion for speed into a learning adventure with World Speed Summit 2. Unlock your personal recipe on how you can get faster in your sport of choice.

Enjoy.

Best,

Angela Coon

 

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What are the Best Hamstring Exercises for Sprinting?

October 12, 2016 by Angela Coon

The best hamstring exercises for sprinting comes from sprinting itself.   Speed drills ( or Power Speed Drills)   are also effective  hamstring exercises  for sprinters and runners.   The hamstring exercises noted  below are supplementary to your speed training. 

Outside of sprinting fast , I wanted to share some insights on Christian Thibaudeau’s T Mag article recommending his “ 7 best hamstring exercises”  and how they fit into my training experience as a sprint hurdler. 


1.Back Extensions
One leg back extensions are a no brain – er in my opinion.  Coach Charlie Francis  still preferred both leg work to prevent injury. I do singles and doubles and also add in arm pulls with varied weights. I find single leg anything requires more attention and higher risk of injury almost all the time outside of those days when you are feeling AMAZING. Learn your own body and what works best for you. Careful training is smart training as prevention of injuries is time saving. Injuries suck and are draining in multiple ways. Coaching athletes to be cautious is tough. Learning it as an athlete takes time and most much learn the hard way. Sometimes you might not get second chances depending on injury severity.  Don’t confuse caution with less effective training or cautious means you are weak or afraid.  I rarely missed a full training day ever. Training might be modified but I always view training as an opportunity to see how much I could "get" each time I stepped into a workout.  Elite athletes tend to understand caution better than less experienced athletes .  Single leg stuff is higher risk for cramping. I guess cramping does not matter so much if you don't mind missing training. I was taught to  " Live to fight another day" and if you don't have to do something with risk don't. Find an alternative exercise or skip the exercise entirely.  I have a back extension machine and it's one of the most essential exercises for anyone and especially important for sprinters because of how it develops your entire back end. 

2. Natural Glute hamstring raise
I know I already made the point of ultra careful but if you are trying new hamstring exercises be fully warmed up and progress slowly.   The disconnect in literature regarding training IMO can be not knowing the common training mistakes and what the exercise looks like within a performance program vs a fitness program.  Keep the  emphasis on slow with this exercise. Start with a repeatable angle  and work towards going lower over time. You can get plenty done without going to the floor.

3. We called this exercise Hamstring Ups
( CT calls this Scissor hip Extension)  We did this exercise first with double legs and then progressed to single legs.  I would not start doing this exercise with speed. Make sure you can successfully do this exercise for 3 sets of 15 over a few to several week period , feel great at doing it and then add the variable of speed.  As a trainer or coach make sure your athlete or client is fully warm. Cramping is very common with this single version. 

4. Leg curl
We did a lot of leg curls or hamstring curls as we called it. My first weight lifting had leg curls in each 6 week block of 1. Anatomical Adaptation Phase, 2. Max Strength Phase One, 3. Max Strength  Phase Two.  After this background we did a lot of supplementary leg curls depending on need and time of year. 

5. I am not familiar with this exercise
but it sounds interesting and I love how easy that would be do replicate anywhere.

6. Band Stomping
We did several versions of band resistance exercises but not like this. This exercise looks like the leg swings we did ( daily)  only with  added resistance. It looks like a great exercise. 

7. Stiff Leg Good Morning
I never did much of this exercise but I know CF liked it. I was much better at  squats, cleans and RDL in that order so consequently I spent more time performing these lifts. You need to choose exercises where you get the biggest bang for your buck in your training. 
My first organized weight lifting was 6 weeks beginning in August and ending in late September. This training coincided with the end of my competitive  season and the very beginning of my fall training in Canada. 

  1. Half Squats were the first exercise
  2. Vertical / Upright Row 
  3. Leg Curls
  4. Incline Bench
  5. Reverse Leg Press
  6. 6. Dead Lifts.

( These lifts were ordered in priority and sometimes I might not have been able to finish all my lifts. I loved the feeling the results of lifting weights, getting stronger and running fast. I hope my comments shed some light on how we used the hamstring exercises discussed above. 

Cheers,
Ange


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Tempo running for Speed Training

October 05, 2016 by Angela Coon

Canadian National athlete Dan Brady

Canadian National athlete Dan Brady completing a 2 x 600m breakdown
at Riverdale Park August 2016

Tempo for Speed Training

Tempo running is defined as running performed at 65 – 75% percent of one’s maximum speed. What is important on how to perform tempo is you want the last rep of your runs to be the same speed as the first runs. For example, if you are not able to complete 10 repetitions of 100 meters at an even speed, start with a shorter distance and improve that distance over a few weeks. You might also try slowing the overall speed down. To improve the quality of your tempo running monitor by hand timing your runs and making sure you are consistent with short breaks. 

FACTS regarding tempo running for speed training

  1.  A wide range of people with varied ages and skills will be able to benefit from tempo for speed training. There are also many ways to perform tempo versus just the running version which you can see in the GPP (General Preparation Phase) download. Examples are pool tempo (see Project Jane download), bike tempo (bike workout download) and indoor matt running (basement tempo download)
     
  2.  If you are a speed and power athlete who has not been performing tempo runs 2 to 3 x per week, adding in these cardiovascular building runs into your training will facilitate improved capillary density which indirectly increases blood flow which improves recovery. (Note: you will need to take something out of your current training plan to add more into it)

  3. 75% of top speed is the upper limit, in the same conditions as your best time for the distance. Adjust the effort level to suit conditions - long grass, short grass, smooth, bumpy ground etc. It’s a preferred practice to do all tempo on grass if possible in flats not spikes – this means you adjust pace downwards.

  4. Tempo aids in recovery and the ability to stay warm between reps and sets. It can have an indirect role in speed development by increasing the muscles’ ability to generate more heat.

  5. Typically the session volume would be as follows:

    100 – 200 meter specialist – 2000 meter per session 3 x per week

    400 meter specialist - 3000 meter per session 3 x per week

    800 meter specialist – 4000 meters per session 3 x per week

  6. Upper limit is 75% effort levels over distances of 100 – 400 m per repetition. Although the volume of each session would adhere to the above guidelines the length of each rep would result in different training effects.

  7. Above 200m distances could produce too much lactate for sprinters of early training age or trained inappropriately to handle. You need to gradually build up the distances and intensities so that lactic is not a problem along the way.

  8. SPRINTING AND TEMPO running can coexist fine in any training program as the tempo running is so low in intensity that it does not effect the CNS (Central Nervous System) and because the total volume of tempo work is small. (2000 m per session)

  9. AEROBIC TRAINING interferes with speed and strength development when the volume gets out of hand. In small quantities it’s fine and even enhances the speed and power development through recovery.

  10. Different types of tempo for different purposes

    Tempo performed in The General Preparation Phase of training (GPP) will be different than all other phases of training, which include SPP and pre competition and competitive season training.

Two different types of tempo performed during GPP

1. EXTENSIVE TEMPO
Extensive tempo are low intensity with incomplete recovery. Performing tempo in this way serves to flush out the system of impurities like lactic acid and promotes CNS recovery and promotes cardio fitness. FACT = extensive tempo can replace continuous runs even for the 800m+ distances.

Examples of Extensive tempo would be Big and Small Circuits or repeat 100’s.

 Big Circuit (big Tempo Circuit ) add 00’s

1+1+1

1+1+2+1

1+2+2+1

1+2+1+1

1+1+1

walk 50m between reps

walk 100m between sets

(we used a football field length wise, marked 25 m, walked back and performed the runs in this way)

2. INTENSIVE TEMPO
More intense runs than extensive tempo and not recovery work but used in the early stages of a speed development program and definitely not during the competitive phase of the season. This type of tempo is only used during GPP as it creates lactic acid and might be confused with what coach Charlie Francis discusses as medium work. The breaks are still short. In GPP intensive tempo is done for foundation of overall fitness.

Examples of Intensive tempo would be 7 to 10 x 300 with 4 to 5 min rest reducing recovery length over time or 600 breakdowns x 1 or 2 .

NOTES
Here’s an interesting note from Coach Charlie Francis in Forums from 2002 to 2004 “In later stages 100 meter sprinter Ben Johnson (born Dec 30 1961) did not go past 300 m in tempo. (Ben told the author that he performed 300’s and further distances from 1977 to 1983) but he did sessions of 10 x 300 in 45 to 48 seconds with a 100 m walk recovery. Earlier still he did 600 m breakdowns (6,5,4,3, 2,1) with walk equal to distance recoveries for tempo work in early season.

An example of how the author performed tempo running year around during competition was to do varied tempo distances 2 to 3 x per week alternating with Speed and Power work performed 2 to 3 x per week. Typically speed and power work together on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays. Tempo and recovery work we would do Tuesdays and Thursdays and Saturdays. A tremendous amount of variability might exist from individual to individual and day to day in terms of how much volume performed. It would depend on how the adaptation happens daily and cumulatively over each training block annually.

INTENSIVE tempo performed during other parts of a season such as pre comp and comp when quality needs to be first and rest intervals long and complete will create the opposite effect for an athlete as I have discussed above. For further reading go to Amazon and look at the Key Concept Books series of books and Speed Trap. For an extensive overview check out the charliefrancis.com site for the Vancouver Seminar 1 and 2 series.

There is more to discuss about tempo but this blog will give your more than what you need to experiment as a beginner or elite athlete. 

I am always around to answer questions. Curious minds learn more. 

best,

Angé

 

 

 

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Bike Tempo and Pool Tempo for Speed Training

August 25, 2016 by Angela Coon

I may have some days from now on when I have no time to get running tempos in at all....

Forum Member Question
I wonder if doing bike tempos can have negative effect on sprinting mechanics.

Coach Ange’s Answer

I am not able to think of any good reason bike or pool tempo would have a negative effect on sprinting mechanics. Avoiding tempo in a program may make it a challenge to perform routine, quality speed work as a key benefit to performing low intensity exercise promotes circulation which helps keep muscles loose and limber. Utilizing bike and pool tempo ensure an adequate volume of low intensity work gets performed in an annual plan. Bike, pool and tempo substitutes are used for variety in training, limited facility access, poor weather, and travel distance to training as well as avoiding excess pounding of running. We have used the bike and pool for tempo with success when I was a 100m hurdler on the National team. We continued to use tempo training of each variety with Professional athlete in the tennis, NHL and NFL.

Tempo is used to flush muscles of lactates produced by high intensity work and to ready the muscles for speed training and other high intensity work. Performing low intensity work such as tempo assists in vascularizing the muscles, which facilitates greater blood flow. Greater blood flow facilitates a higher rate of access of fluid in and out of the muscles so you are increasing the circulation.

Extensive Tempo:
Slower, recovery based tempo used primarily during the competition phase as you want to make sure none of the non speed day training competes with the energy systems needed for performing quality speed work. Use the guideline of running 75% your max effort but never forget the last set needs to be performed at the same speed and quality of the first set no matter the volume of total runs. ( 75% max effort of what distance, under what circumstance and with what kind of conditions / wearing flats or spikes for max effort) When performing extensive tempo during competition season be conservative if you are unsure of speeds)

An example of an Extensive Tempo session performed during competition phase might be 1 or 2 sets of 10 x 100 meter for 100/200m National level sprinters with consistent rest breaks and up to but not more than 5 minutes rest between sets. I might never do bike or pool tempo with an athlete during comp season especially if they had not ever done it before. Pool can be unexpectedly tiring and then becomes something other than low intensity.

Intensive Tempo:
Faster/ harder tempo where by you are using the quality of the runs to rule recovery while controlling breaks and trying to keep them as short as possible but never to compromise quality. This type of tempo is used extensively during GPP (General Preparation Phase) as well as the fall and spring training.

An example of an Intensive Tempo session performed in the General Preparation Phase for a 400mh National level sprinter would be 600 breakdown x 1 building quickly to 2 sets with last 100 meter of each run up graded hill. Rest intervals might be 4-5 minutes after first 600, 4m after 500, 3.5m after 400, 3m rest after 300, 2.5m rest after 200 and 2 minutes or less before the last 100 meter run up hill. Take 20 minutes before you perform next 600m breakdowns.

 

Forum Member Question
With bike, one is not able to extend his fully, because the position of hips is fixed and range of motion of the legs are limited, resulting in "sitting back" posture.

Coach Ange’s Answer

The main goal of tempo is to facilitate more work of high intensity especially as it pertains to speed work. While running tempo facilitates other mechanical strengths for runners, performing alternative tempo methods is useful for a variety of reasons mentioned above. (Injury prevention, time saved for travel to facilities etc.)

As a general rule for training finding ways to accomplish your athletic goals in a variety of ways will ensure consistent training with little or few injuries. There is an ideal way and then there is a compromise. Don’t make the mistake of believing the compromise won’t be as good or better than what some insist is the only way.

 

Forum Member Question
Will this carry over to one's actual sprinting or sprinting drills?

Coach Ange’s Answer

Yes, tempo performed as a low intensity exercise facilitates high intensity work and all other types of low intensity work. The more fitness you have the greater your ability to grab onto all other variables of your training. I was taught this idea early on in my training, as athlete and maintaining fitness became a main goal as the premise for all other work I needed to get done.

Guidelines for tempo speed:
75% of your maximum effort or overall speed may seem vague for people trying to understand how exactly to perform tempo runs. You want to be able to finish the last run of any chosen volume of work the same way you began the run. Timing yourself might help but routinely it’s better to have your coach time the runs. Be mindful not to run too fast on the first rep or first few reps. Speed can be added but you cant take it away. Be conservative until you have experience of what a tempo circuit feels like in a week or two of training. A coach can time the runs and have the athlete raise their hand at the beginning and end of each run. Over time you will see the pattern and speed of the runs. A coach needs to learn to watch for mechanical breakdown of an athlete and stop work right away. Even if you are in the pool or on the bike when quality begins to diminish your estimation of workload has been over done. Stop when you see degradation of any kind.

 

Forum Member Question

…or are these too unsimilar to have any carry-over effect biomechanically?

Coach Ange’s Answer

Biomechanics won’t be successfully maintained if the foundation of fitness has not been in place and stays in place throughout the season. Fitness is usually best attained using a variety of methods of training. A person will be able to accomplish greater volumes of meaningful work of all kinds when the work is varied and spread across the spectrum of both low and high intensity work.

 

Forum Member Question
I've read also that treadmill tempos can have negative effect on sprinting mechanics because of longer ground contact time due to the belt moving forward.

Coach Ange’s Answer

Tempo on treadmill will never match the tempo on grass but it can be successfully used as an alternative the same way basement, pool and bike tempo can be utilized. Speed work done on treadmills is not recommended and might be where you are referring to ground contact times.

Tempo performed badly any place should not ever be continued or repeated.

Providing alternatives for tempo is not to say you want 100% of tempo performed as an alternative. Having said that if it’s the only way you can sustain successful training due to lessening pounding from foot or ankle issues then that is what you need to you do to get the job done.

 

Forum Member Question

I wonder what I should do.....bike or treadmill. 

Coach Ange's Answer

How about you try both and follow the videos that are based on real results are record your experiences.

 

Forum Member Comments Questions

Bike - possibility of causing sitting back.

Treadmill - possibly cause longer ground contact time, but more movement specific (mechanically).

Coach Ange's Answer

Use the treadmill as a tool to perform tempo. If possible use the tempo to come on and off and mix exercises in between for another type of tempo we use which mixes exercises like sit ups and push ups and low intensity exercises which can enhance the type of work you wish to get done in lieu of running.

 

Final Comments from Coach Ange

Bike, pool and basement tempo each provide excellent alternatives to tempo runs which facilitate speed training in athletics.

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Actively Regenerate your speed Training

July 21, 2016 by Angela Coon

One of the simplest and most attainable ways to immediately gain improvement in your speed training is to begin practicing daily rituals of active regeneration.

The definition of regeneration in the Merriam-Weber online dictionary says “to change radically and for the better, to generate or produce anew” and my favorite is “to produce again chemically sometimes in a physically changed form”.

I found the definition of regeneration helpful when trying to best describe the implications of routine generation for your existing speed-training program if you add small amounts each day.

A priority trick you must learn is to install various methods of regeneration into your existing plan, as is, if you want to see improvement.

The simplest methods of active regeneration are repeatable at home and are not expensive. The best way to practice and benefit most from active regeneration is to remember small amounts performed routinely on a schedule works best.

 
Here are some great ideas to get your started

  1. Get some mason jars, fill 3 up on your kitchen counter and make sure you drink that amount of water every day. If you are travelling for training or comp buy a few days supply of bottled water ahead of time for the trip and take them with you don’t get dehydrated (if you are flying, buy some as soon as you land)

  2. Epson salt baths, as soon after your speed training has been completed as possible, to begin the cycle of your body healing

  3. Epson salt baths done before bed might also help you sleep.

  4. If you have not yet tried contrast showers, today might be a good day to start. If you have concerns about health always check with your medical doctor. Begin your shower as hot as you are able to tolerate it and follow with cold. Alternate 3 minutes of hot with 1 minute of cold ensuring your head is getting wet. Repeat so this water circuit takes 12 minutes and always end in cold. The first time you perform this will be hard. The more you do it the more you will enjoy it.

  5. Clean up your diet. If you are going to training hungry and tired or finishing training too early as you need to eat, something in your diet is not working well. Craving sugar and fat both indicate issues as well. Athletes put extreme demands on themselves both physically and mentally. For this reason the room for error is amplified.

  6. Exercise on your off days on a stationary bike for tempo or in a pool. Water has incredible healing properties. Bike training can ease joints and help accelerate circulation to speed up the rate at which you recover.

Speed Training taxes the body in an intense way. Achieving balance between work and rest in speed training takes time to learn. Learning to rest and recovery actively, even a little bit each day, will help you consistently make gains and actively regenerate your speed training.

 

 

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Fundamental Key Concepts For Speed training in any sport

June 29, 2016 by Angela Coon

Proudly I’d like to announce the completion of 7 books in the Fundamental Key Concepts eBook Series that were created to enhance the education of coaches, athletes and parents on world class methods of how to perfect speed training for any sport.

I guarantee reading one of these books will change how you think about your training if not draw you in to read more about how you can change your athletic successes no matter what your level of participation in sport.

Here is what one coach has said about the information available and his opinion about the content at CharlieFrancis.com.

http://www.charliefrancis.com/blogs/news/high-school-coaches-support-platinum-sprint-information 

The following is a list with links of the 7 Fundamental Key Concept Books for you to enjoy and learn from.

Let me know what you think or if you have any questions. 

1- The Structure of Training for Speed (Key Concepts Book 1)
2- Training for Power and Strength in Speed (Key Concepts Book 2)
3- Compensation and Recovery (Key Concepts Book 3)
4- High Intensity Training Expanding the Limits of Performance
(Key Concepts Book 4)
5- Race Dynamics and Sprint Techniques (Key Concepts Book 5)
6- Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) for Maximum Speed
(Key Concepts Book 6)
7- Fundamental Guidelines For Building a Champion Sprinter
(Key Concepts Book 7)

Here is the list. I hope you love these books as much as so many coaches and parents have told me they have enjoyed reading and learning from them.

Let your passions guide you to where you need and or want to go.

Best,

Ange

 

 

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High School Coaches Support Platinum Sprint Information

June 22, 2016 by Angela Coon

One of the reasons I have made a commitment to www.charliefrancis.com was my belief that building more knowledgeable coaches will always be a worthwhile goal.

 

Here is a recent letter I received which I wanted to share.

Check out the latest and last book in the Key Concept series now.

Fundamental Guidelines For Building a Champion Sprinter
(Key Concepts Book 7)

Enjoy, best, Angé


Hey Coach,

I'm the Strength Coach at “X” High School in “A Place” in Nebraska.  Yes ma'am, I have both Speed Trap and CFT Manual.  I'm 53 years old and I've been a Strength Coach for 30 years, mostly part-time but the last two years I've been the full time Head Strength Coach for all sports.  I've experimented and researched everything I can get my hands on but Coach Francis's work speaks for its-self and I would like to understand his philosophy and methodology on a deeper level.  I don't Coach any other sports, I'm solely responsible for the weight training but I would like to start implemented speed work, change of direction, med balls and plyos to ensure a more balanced athlete. 

Thank you for your time,

 “Signed self proclaimed fan of charliefrancis.com material”

Physical Education Teacher
“X” High School
Head Strength Coach
CSCS, USAW -2

 

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