This week’s lot of sessions consisted of many hard training moments and important learning curves. The sessions for this week involved speed maintenance, adjustments and explosiveness which are very important aspects of running. The Tuesday session for this week was split into two groups in order to meet the needs of all athletes. The groups were split in regard to what events the athletes would likely be competing in, one group was the 100/200m runners, and the other group was the 400m runners. I had the pleasure to run with the 400m guys for this session and to tell you the truth this was one of the hardest session I have ever done. Our group had to run 3x250m sets with only 30 second recovery in between at an intensity of 80%. The second group also had a challenging session ahead of them with doing short sprintsover 150m at 90% and then 100m at 80% with a recovery time of 4 min between each set. Participating in this session really opened my eyes at the importance of maintaining a particular speed and the negative effects even going a little too hard can have when completing the remaining sets. This was clearly evident in the last set of our run where I struggled to finish the full 250m. This session was a difficult but an awesome training experience where I learnt the importance of speed maintenance, how to pick up on when the athlete is running at a higher intensity then what was set out and how to individualise the training to suit the needs of different types of runners.
As well as this the Thursday session was 10x100m sprints with just a walk back as recovery and at an intensity of roughly 80%. This training session had elements of explosiveness where the athletes from the start had to reach what they felt was 80% and maintain that for the duration of the 100m. With only a walk back as recovery this training session was designed to become harder once you reached the 6-8 set as that is when lactic starts to affect the legs. A little different to what was done on Tuesday, but the same principles are still being taught and learnt. These principlesbeing the importance of speed maintenance with some element of explosiveness and the notion of when you start to feel tired don’t stop swinging the arms as this is what will carry you through the remaining sets.
The Sunday session was different again to the other sessionsthis week with this training being more centred around speed. This session involved running 5x120m runs with varying intensities at every 40m block. The first 40m block was to build up to 80%, then to drop down to 60% for the second 40m block and finally explode into a 90% sprint for the last 40m. This session in itself was teaching the importance of having that explosiveness in a race and was also teaching about how to vary your race pace mid run.
I also had the absolute pleasure in observing another squad this week which was Faye’s squad that train on a Monday and Wednesday night. Faye is an awesome coach that trains athletes from the age range of 10-15 years old in sprints, hurdles and jumps. This weeks Wednesday session was focusing on long jump with some easy plyometric work. This was an awesome experience learning new ways of coaching from a different perspective. What I learnt from this session was some of the technique behind the long jump and how important it is to be ‘down to earth’ with your athletes. The different ways that coaches conduct their warmups and technical components of the training session. Also, just from observing I learnt the importance behind having a friendly and positive personality while also being able to be strict when you need to be. This was an amazing experience and I hope to continue learning from Faye and her squad in the future.
This week also involved our weekly Tiger cub On Track session for kids within the age range of six to eight years old. This week we were teaching the fundamental movement skills behind hopping and vertical jumping. This week was also the first week taking on the Tiger Cubs session without Alex being present. This session was a tiring session for all the kids as each activity involved constant movement, but all the kids looked like they were still enjoying and having fun in each designed game. It was awesome to see how much talent and understanding that the kids at that age had for these skills and how they were able to apply it for each activity. As well as this it was amazing to see how much the junior coaches were doing in leading and helping to coach the kids through each of the activities.