ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: Thanks to Tom Crick at uCoach.com for providing this info exclusively for SpeedEndurance.com.
In this video from 2011, UKA Apprentice Coach Steve Fudge and Kevin Tyler take Richard Buck through a specific endurance workout for the 400m.
This video was shot to provide an insight into the thinking behind a coaching session with an elite senior performance athlete. It also shows how a mentoring relationship may exist between coaches working with athletes at this performance level.
I truly believe in a Master/Apprentice method for upcoming and development coaches.
There’s a lot of detail addressed in this training session video (so pay close attention!). If you are working with Elite athletes, the take home messages are focusing on technical improvement, constant athlete evaluation, and adjusting the workouts to take into consideration the athlete’s physical and mental status on the day. Note how there is a lot of therapy work in this session.
Another great bonus of the video is how Richard reveals his supplements, and the how coaches reveals all his split times.. something uncommon in today’s coaching world. There is so much secrecy out there, for no reason.
For all the young readers out there, if you think track practice is only 45 minute long for elite athletes, think again. This session spans several hours! (luckily it’s been edited down to 45 minutes) Professional athletes spend up to 5 hours a day in training.
Here is the session in the video for that day:
- from a roll over start: 4x10m, 3x30m;
- from blocks 3x30m,
- speed work: 1x60m (95%);
- specific endurance work: 300m [20min rest] 200m (>95%).
Definitions of the various types of sprint training methods can be found in the UKA’s Classifying Sprint Training Methods PDF document.
The 10 Day Taper
It should be noted how Richard just missed the 46.70 Euro qualifying standard 13 days out, but bounces back with a superb 46.38 the next day!
Then came the 10 day taper. Also note how he ran 4 races in 3 days in Paris. People worry about running the rounds, but you have to get to the meet first!
[See also Peaking When It Counts: Perfecting the 10-Day Taper VIDEO by Derek Hansen and Charlie Francis]
Here is a 2 week snapshot countdown leading into the first round in Paris with his training as follows (all high intensity work completed at 95% in spikes, extensive tempo at less than 70% intensity):
- Day 13 = Race Aviva Grand Prix, NIA (46.77s) **misses 46.70 Euro qualifying standard**
- 12 = Race Midland Counties Open Meeting, NIA (46.38s)
- 11 = Race recovery & soft tissue therapy
- 10 = Extensive tempo (trainers) & soft tissue therapy
- 9 = Acceleration/maximum speed (40m/50m/60m/80m/100m)/bench press
- 8 = OFF
- 7 = Acceleration/specific endurance (250m @ race pace)
- 6 = Extensive tempo (in trainers) & soft tissue
- 5 = Acceleration/specific endurance (1 x 200m @ race pace)/bench press
- 4 = Extensive tempo & soft tissue
- 3 = Acceleration/speed endurance (1 x 80m)/soft tissue
- 2 = Travel day
- 1 = Warm-up and warm-down
- 0 = Euro Indoor Champs Heats (46.57s), Semi-Final (46.79s)
- -1 = Final (46.62) BRONZE (see Video here)
- -2 = 4x100m Relay anchor leg in Paris (46.0s) SILVER (see Video here)
During the 17 weeks of work leading up to Paris (12 weeks of preparation and 5 weeks of competition) he completed 51 specific sessions for a total volume of 30,580m of high intensity sprint work (greater than 95% intensity in spikes). His average volume per session was 600m, with a peak volume of around 1400m coming early in his preparation.
In hindsight, Richard took 43 specific workouts to achieve his seasons best, which occurred at the Midland Counties Open Meeting (46.38s). However, the Paris track was considerably slower than the NIA so his opening European Championships Heat won in 46.5 was probably a relatively better performance meaning that his true peak occurred at 49-51 sessions. The competition block going into Paris consisted of 4 competitive weeks comprised of 3 weekends and 5 races.