Athletics NI Coaching Conference 2013 - Tom Crick

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'Do You Need A General Preparation Phase?'

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Athletics NI Coaching Conference 2013 - Tom Crick

  1. 1. DO YOU NEED A GENERAL PREPARATION PHASE? Things to consider when planning over the next three months
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION Do you need a general preparation phase?
  3. 3. Planning… •  Planning is a massive topic! Ideally we need to discuss: –  Coaching philosophy –  Classification of exercises –  Long term athlete development –  Strategies for training organisation –  Designing training progressions –  Classic models for event organisation •  ALL before we even get started on any specific topic! •  Luckily this is all covered in the Event Group Coaching Qualifications which are currently all FREE!
  4. 4. Rule #1 of Planning! “Give the athlete the workout they need, that day, every day for their entire career” Henk Kraaijenhoff
  5. 5. Please talk about planning the general preparation phase? •  Suggested topic… What coaches should you do during the ‘general preparation phase’ (GPP) •  This topic makes some very big assumptions 1.  Everyone does/should do a ‘general preparation phase’ 2.  Its has ‘special content’ that is different to regular training!
  6. 6. What is a general preparation phase? •  I asked a few coaches what the ‘general preparation phase’ was all about? –  “It’s when you do general training to prepare the athlete for the season ahead” –  “It’s when you do high volume at the start of the year” –  “It comes after the transition phase and before specific preparation”
  7. 7. What is a general preparation phase? •  Looked at the literature to find a definition: –  Loading: Intensity Low Volume High Recovery Low –  Exercise selection: •  Technically speaking a general preparation phase only includes non technical exercises classified as GPE & SPE –  Maybe better described as a “physical preparation phase”?
  8. 8. GPE & SPE by event group Sprints & Hurdles Jumps Throws Endurance SPE (Non-specific Explosive Activities) Weight Training, Multi-Jumps, Multi- Throws (Non-specific Endurance Activities) General Strength (Circuits), Endurance cross-training GPE (Non-specific Endurance Activities) General Strength, Flexibility (Non-specific Explosive Activities) Weight Training, Multi-Jumps, Multi-Throws, Flexibility
  9. 9. General Preparation Phase
  10. 10. What’s the goals of a general preparation phase? •  I asked several coaches why people did general preparation phases: –  “Get the athlete back into the habit of training after a period of rest” –  “Work on improving base levels of fitness” –  “You can’t just go straight into full training or they will get injured” –  “Get them fit enough to do real (event specific technical) training” –  “Help them to lose the fat they put on while not training!”
  11. 11. What is a General Preparation Phase? •  As a consensus statement: –  FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPT •  Is carried out after a period of rest •  Aims to prepare the athlete physically and mentally to do specific training –  IMPLEMENTATION •  Involves exercises classified as GPE and SPE •  Involves loading that is: –  High volume –  Low intensity.
  12. 12. You shouldn’t take my word for it… Does this consensus statement make logical sense?
  13. 13. ANALYSING THE ASSUMPTIONS… The General Preparation Phase
  14. 14. GPP as a concept •  GPP is an element that makes up part of an annual plan •  It is carried out after a period of rest (usually after the end of the outdoor competitive season) –  ASSUMPTIONS: •  An annual plan must include a GPP! •  After resting you need a training with a different emphasis than at other times –  Do we really need a General Preparation Phase? –  What are the requirements of training following a period of rest?
  15. 15. GPP as a concept •  It aims to ‘get the athlete back into shape’ so they are ready for full training during the ‘specific preparation phase’ –  ASSUMPTIONS: •  The athlete is out of shape after a rest period •  You can’t get involved in ‘real training’ (CE & SDE) immediately after a period of rest –  How deconditioned really is the athlete after a period of rest? –  What exactly are they deconditioned to? –  Why can’t you start real training after a rest period?
  16. 16. Traditional training implementation during GPP •  Exercise selection –  GPP should include only GPE and SPE exercises –  Why? –  What’s wrong with SDE and CE during GPP? •  Loading strategy –  GPP should be a period of high volume and low intensity work –  Why? –  What’s wrong with high intensity during GPP? –  What’s wrong with low volume during GPP?
  17. 17. Recap of questions to answer •  GPP as a concept –  What are the requirements of training following a rest period? –  Are there any truly logical reasons why ‘real training’ cannot begin after a rest period? –  How deconditioned really is the athlete after a period of rest? •  What exactly are they deconditioned to? •  Traditional GPP implementation –  Why should you exclude SDE and CE during GPP? –  Why should you use a high volume, low intensity loading strategy?
  18. 18. REQUIREMENTS OF TRAINING FOLLOWING A REST PERIOD GPP as a concept
  19. 19. Training and adaptation •  When athletes train they undergo physiological adaptation to numerous systems: –  Brain / Nervous system –  Muscles –  Tendons –  Energy systems (Cardio vascular) •  Each system adapts over a different timeframe •  Each system adapts through a different mechanism •  Each system detrains over a different timeframe –  Nervous system vs Tendon?
  20. 20. Training and adaptation •  Take home messages on adaptation –  The length of the rest period determines the athlete's status with respect to different adaptations throughout the body –  Not all systems will be at the same point in their adaptation cycle •  In practice –  An athlete may not be as unfit as you expect in some areas but significantly more unfit in others –  They will probably experience DOMS! This can be dangerous!
  21. 21. DOMS and performance
  22. 22. WHY CAN’T YOU START ‘REAL TRAINING’ IMMEDIATELY AFTER A REST PERIOD? The General Preparation Phase
  23. 23. From rest to ‘real training’ •  What do coaches mean by ‘real training’? –  Specialised in nature –  Technical event specific emphasis (CE & SDE) •  What are the pre-requisites for undertaking SDE and CE training? –  The body needs to be prepared to absorb the forces involved •  CE & SDE have the greatest injury risk because they involve: –  Focused high force activity –  And/or repetitive loading
  24. 24. Are all CE & SDE activities equally as dangerous? •  The idea that there are pre-requisites to CE & SDE is one explanation for why the GPP should only include GPE and SPE activity BUT… •  Are all SDE and CE activities equally as risky? •  Do they all require a lot of preparatory work? –  Endurance: Easy running (SDE) vs Specific Endurance (CE)? –  Jumps: Repeat take-offs (SDE) vs full approach jumping (CE)? –  Throws: Standing throws (SDE) vs full throws (CE)? –  S&H: 10m accels (CE) vs Speed Endurance/Rhythm Endurance (CE)?
  25. 25. Are all CE & SDE activities equally as dangerous? •  All event specific training progressions typically start with some kind of fundamental CE / SDE activity to introduce key skills •  By keeping volume low and by taking the edge off intensity (within acceptable limits) you can reduce injury risk •  Take Home Message –  Reduce risk by manipulating volume & intensity –  If used conservatively, CE & SDE can be used immediately after a period of rest
  26. 26. TRADITIONAL IMPLEMENTATION OF GPP… General Preparation Phase
  27. 27. Traditional implementation of GPP •  Exercise selection –  Some forms of SDE and CE have pre-requisite qualities which have a significant adaptation time –  BUT some CE & SDE do not, especially in low doses! –  There is no reason why some CE & SDE cannot be done straight away •  Loading strategy –  The high volume / low intensity paradigm is influenced by the Matveyan ‘Periodization’ approach to structuring training from the 1960s –  There are at least 4 other common strategies many of which include high intensity elements at the very start of the training year
  28. 28. Traditional Linear Periodization (General > Specific)
  29. 29. Constant Loading Strategies (Bondarchuck)
  30. 30. German Wave Loading Strategies
  31. 31. Complex Vertical Integration
  32. 32. Traditional implementation of GPP •  Loading strategy –  To prepare some systems, high intensity work is required for effective adaptation •  Tendon stiffness •  Nervous system •  Take Home Messages –  If implemented correctly, exercises of all classifications can be used following a rest period –  Many ‘preparatory’ training methods require high intensity to stimulate adaptation –  The progression does not necessarily have to start with low intensity/high volume. However, volume and intensity will probably increase to some degree during the GPP
  33. 33. Traditional implementation of GPP •  Take Home Messages –  If implemented correctly, exercises of all classifications can be used following a rest period –  Many ‘preparatory’ training methods require high intensity to stimulate adaptation –  All power/speed events involve high intensity and this must be prepared for using appropriate high intensity methods –  The progression does not necessarily have to start with low intensity/high volume. However, volume and intensity will probably increase to some degree during the GPP
  34. 34. DO WE NEED TO A GENERAL PREPARATION PHASE? General Preparation Phase
  35. 35. Do we need a General Preparation Phase? •  Immediately following a rest period some elements of training will need to be adapted while the appropriate systems are reconditioned •  The affects of DOMS and other ‘conditioning risks’ need to be considered and training adjusted appropriately •  Exercises from all classifications can be used if employed cautiously •  Intensity and volume should be considered relative to the adaptation you wish to induce •  If you like the idea of a having a GPP then use it but don’t be bound by traditional dogma about what it entails
  36. 36. GUIDELINES FOR GPP… The General Preparation Phase
  37. 37. 4 Steps to Creating a GPP 1.  Analyse your problem 2.  Where are you going? 3.  What route will you use to get there? 4.  How long will it take?
  38. 38. Analyse your problem •  What athletes are you coaching? –  Developing ‘Event Group’ athletes •  Broad spectrum of training across numerous events. Emphasise skills for general athleticism and event specific training (ADM) –  Mature senior ‘Event Specialist’ athletes •  Focused training on a single or closely related events* *Only IF they have already developed the fundamental skills (JD)
  39. 39. Where are you going? •  Plan backwards –  What’s the first ‘real session’ you want them to do? –  What will they need to do to be ready for this? –  What are the capable of now? •  Join the dots… •  How long will that take? That’s your GPP!
  40. 40. What route are you taking? •  What’s your strategy for organising the training? •  Event Group Athletes –  Consider Complex Vertically Integrated Training (Tschiene) •  For Event Specialist Athletes –  Build your programme around a ‘popular model strategy’ for your event group •  S&H: Vertical Integration (Tschiene) •  Jumps: Vertical Integration (Tschiene) •  Throws: Constant Loading / Wave Loading •  Endurance: Vertical Integration or Linear Periodization
  41. 41. How long will it take? •  Different training methods require different adaptation times –  The higher the absolute intensity the shorter the adaptation period –  So endurance work takes longer, explosive/speed takes shorter •  The length of the GPP should be matched to the timeframe for adaptation you are trying to create.
  42. 42. COMMON MISTAKES… General Preparation Phase
  43. 43. Guidelines / mistakes to avoid •  When introducing a new stimulus be conservative •  Provide enough time for the athlete to adapt to each new stimulus •  Progress your training gradually and avoid sudden changes in: –  Loading –  Exercise selection (bleed in new exercises) –  Surface selection •  Take your time to reach your goal.
  44. 44. The first week •  Day 1: Teach the athletes the warm up > go home –  It doesn’t matter how little you do they will get DOMS! •  Day 2: –  Teach them the first step in your progression at each level of the ECH •  Day 3: –  Assess soreness –  Repeat day 2 but practice them a few times (25% volume) •  Day 4: –  Assess soreness –  Repeat but at 50% volume •  Day 5: –  Assess soreness –  Repeat but at 75% volume
  45. 45. An alternative structure… •  Day 1: Do a normal session •  Day 2: Do a normal session •  Day 3: Athlete too sore to complete session •  Day 4: Athlete too sore to train •  Day 5: Athlete too sore to train •  Day 6: Rest •  Day 7: If you are lucky they can do something but then pull out… •  Day 8: They probably have a minor injury!
  46. 46. TAKE HOME MESSAGES General Preparation Phase
  47. 47. GPP and the next 3 months •  We all have preconceived ideas about what we should do at certain times of the training year. Are these assumptions logical? •  Do these assumptions apply equally to developing and senior athletes? –  For developing athletes – skills & event specific technique –  For senior athletes / event specialists – preparation that is specific to the demands of the event and their individual athleticism •  Your GPP should prepare the athlete for the training you intend to do afterwards. Logically, the GPP will probably include low doses of specific high intensity work.
  48. 48. GPP and the next 3 months •  You need to be cautious when starting back training after a period of rest to allow those adaptations that have been lost to be re- established •  Avoid sudden changes in: –  Loading –  Exercise selection –  Surface selection •  If the athlete has had several weeks off consider an introductory period of extremely light and infrequent training for the first 1-2 weeks.
  49. 49. Do you need a General Preparation Phase? •  If you want to call your initial training after a period of rest the ‘General Preparatory Phase’ that’s fine! •  BUT don’t assume you must adopt traditional ideas regarding implementation •  Traditions are example solutions not ‘THE’ solution •  Your plan for each athlete in the next 3 months should be a solution to their specific needs – not someone else's! –  Don’t assume anything –  Observe the challenges and create YOUR OWN ROAD MAP –  Respond to what you observe and don’t be afraid to change

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