This is my Decathlon.
In any given week, or mesocycle, we try to cover these 10 types (i.e. events) of training in our routines.
The first 6 are training specific at the track & weight room, and the last 4 are things outside the track. You can call it intrinsic and extrinsic. Or call it whatever you like.
I can only supervise the first 6, and only guide the athletes (or prepare as much as possible) on the last 4.
It’s really that simple.
- AGILITY & SKILL (i.e. especially in hurdles, field events)
- CORE STABILITY
- RECOVERY & REGENERATION (including sleep)
- FLEXIBILITY & SUPPLENESS (and stretching to some degree)
- MIND CONTROL AND SPORT PSYCH
But you can’t follow these 10 items and expect a personal best. There’s a lot of tweaking and customization involved.
You can even argue that with Pareto’s Principle, only 20% of the items will yield 80% of the results. So focus on just 2 of the items. (I’d pick Speed and Endurance any day)
Do too much of one, and other items may suffer. There’s only so much CNS and Energy to be distributed.
The 7 Scientific Principles of Training
Thus, you need to follow the 7 basic scientific principles of training. All areas of training are required by all athletes, in varying quantities and qualities, according to event and training period.
- STRESS – body responds to stress that is regular and reasonable.
- OVERLOAD – Stress must be adequate to create a need for the body to adapt.
- SPECIFICITY – You get what you train for.
- REGULARITY – More regular the training, the more rapid the improvement.
- PROGRESSION – Occurs gradually and in jumps
- DIMINISHING RETURNS – The closer you get to your potential, the smarter you must train for small gains.
- RECOVERY – Improvements come when we recover. Must get adequate rest, nutrition and hydration.
Everything (i.e. the system as a whole) breaks down when we fail in any of these.
There are a ton of books that cover this in theory, but at the end of the day, you really have to use your gut instinct, “think outside the box”, and REMOVE ALL THE OBSTACLES. Usually the biggest obstacle for an athlete is the lack of money & support for basic living needs (food, rent, etc) and medical support (massage, physio, chiro, etc).
So the magic formula isn’t::
Genetic Potential + Training – Injuries = Personal Best