Ginninderra Athletics was very excited to see so many students come out and show an interest on Market Day this week.
If you missed any of the details here is a recap.
Seniors (18-30 yrs)
Masters (25-80 years)
Teens (12-17 yrs)
UC Athletics Academy
Another great week is concluded with this blog article from learning different coaching techniques by Steve and Faye to experiencing another lot of sessions with the FAST squad. This week’s FAST sessions with Steve took place at the AIS, Charnwood and Governor General’s Hill (GGs) with a range of different training modalities being experienced. The AIS session included 10 x 90m sprints at 80% with only a walk back as the recovery. This training session was designed to further teach the importance of speed maintenance and accelerating to this speed in a short amount of distance. I learnt that athletes throughout this type of session start to feel fatigue from the 6th/7th sprint so as a coach we need to cater for this and monitor the athletes closely throughout these remaining sets. As well as this in was an important lesson in how to individualise the training session for other athletes and that the simplest change to the training such as decreasing the intensity from 80% to 70% can prove to be beneficial.
Not only was there the AIS speed session but there was also a different session that I have not completed with Steve before. This session was focused on reaction timing and being able to react to a signal without looking at the coach. This was an awesome session as it was something different focusing on the athlete’s ability to react to a stimulus. What I took away from this session was that it is important to diversify the training modalities in order to further improve and peak the interest for the athlete. Not just this but that all sessions don’t have to be hard and fast, but they can be easy and fun. With this in mind, this session even though it was not as difficult as the previous sessions, it still aimed to improve an aspect of a sprinters run and that was reacting to a pre-set stimulus such as sound, similar to how runners would react to a starting pistol.
The last FAST session for this week took place at GGs and to tell you the truth, the more times you run it the less daunting it becomes. This session included 4x300m runs up the hill but compared to last time it was a fair bit easier in the sense that I was able to recover quicker. All the athletes smashed through the sets and were true champions for completing another session at GGs. What I learnt from this session was a revision of what I had learnt from previous sessions under Steve which was how to individualise the training to meet all athlete’s needs (newbies to the hill a pyramid set, short distance runners were 4x230m and the 400m runners was 4x300m), how to identify an athletes fatigue level, speed maintenance and the use of a hill terrain to further increase strength in athletes. If anyone hasn’t been to one of Steve’s sessions at GGs, then it is highly recommended as you do see improvements and the hill does become less daunting every session you do complete.
This week I also had the pleasure of observing Faye’s squad again, this time watching them run 10x100m. Not only was I observing how Faye led this session but also helped out with timing some of the kids runs. It was awesome to see how connected Faye is with each of the athletes in her squad and how engaging she is with each and everyone of them. What I learnt from this session was engagement with the athletes are an important part of coaching cause this is where a coach can individualise the training ad create personal programs for them to complete. As well as this it creates a friendly and trusting environment for the athletes to be training in. Not only this but that each training session isn’t always competitive and hard and that they can be fun and engaging as well.
With the Canberra winter well and truly here to stay, the focus for Tiny Tots in week 7 was simply athletics. This week we wanted our Tiny Tots to transfer the fundamental movement skills they have learned into specific athletic skills. In previous weeks the focus has been learning the basics of running, jumping and throwing, while incorporating a hint of specific athletics. Activities for this week included modified versions of discus, shotput, high jump, and of course lots of running!
With our Tiny Tots having mastered the fundamentals of how to throw, we moved onto teaching them the basics of the discus and shotput throw – two very different movements. In the firing line were the parents, holding the hoops for the kids to aim for. Our Tiny Tots displayed some great power and accuracy with their throws, and thankfully, no parents were injured. Next up was the high jump, with our Tiny Tots giving us their best crazy jump over a hurdle and onto a mat. And as always plenty of running with a Tiny Tots vs Parents race, and a 50m sprint to finish off the session. This progression is an important part of the program as it prevents the kids getting bored by challenging them with more complex movements and skills.
With only 3 weeks left of the Tiny Tots program I encourage everyone to come along and bring a friend. I’ve had an absolute blast so far and look forward to finishing the program with a bang!
Working with a range of different coaches who coachdifferent age groups and skill levels have really opened my eyes to the athletic community. From learning from Steve who participates with the athlete and motives them to further improve themselves to Dick Telford who sets out the purpose of the session and lets their athletes’ own motivation push them through it. These two different types of athletic coaching styles are what I had the pleasure in observing and getting involved with for my 8th week with the UC Ginninderra Athletics Club.
This week’s FAST sessions were full of experiences both from a coaching point of view and an athletes point of view. The two sessions for this week were held at the AIS track and the dreaded Governor General’s Hill (GGs). Both teaching the importance of individualising your training routine in order to suit the ever-changing needs of the athletes. As well as this how to further identify any inconsistencies with an athlete’s technique and try to figure out if its due to their own understanding or if it’s because of fatigue. At the end of the day the key message to take is something that I have fully understood the meaning of throughout my time which is that arms drive the legs. The arms are an essential component to running cause as you fatigue your arms carry your legs through the pain to finish. This is especially important when running in a session at GGs. Not only these technical aspects of training and coaching are important though, we as coaches are there to motivate the athlete to push through the pain and to achieve the most they can from the training session. From an athlete’s point of view through these two sessions I learnt the necessity of proper form and technique to help achieve the desired speed that the activity is designed for. As well as this it is crucial for an athlete to not only know what pace to run at for different intensities (E.g. 60%/80%/90%) but on how to maintain that speed for the full distance and how to repeat that speed for the same intensity. This is especially important for 200-400m runners as they are working out times to beat for each 100m leg of their race to achieve the best possible time.
I also observed and learnt from Dick Telford again this week who held his session at the arboretum. This venue was a tough one for the athletes to complete which involved a 5km run and some hill runs for a total of a 45min session. What I learnt from this session was what is the main focus of an endurance runner and that is control. Ok getting a bit technical here but what i learnt was that the least amount of homeostatic change in the body is the difference between 1st and 2nd place within a long-distance race. This being the amount of control that one has of the bodies reaction to chemical effects on the body when facing fatigue, for example, their tolerance to lactic acid. Someone who has a better control of their body and homeostasis is more likely to be first in a race. As well as that knowing when to increase pace and being able to maintain a competitive race pace for majority of the race is crucial for these guys to learn and apply. Dick, through his sessions is preparing the athletes for this and to endure a high intensity pace for a long period of time or distance.
Unfortunately, there was unpleasant weather this Saturday, so Tiger Cubs did not take place, but this gave us time to review our current program and to see if any changes needs to be made and so that we fully understand what is required of us to conduct the On Track program. I am looking forward to seeing all of the Tiger Cubs next Saturday for a fun filled session.
Whilst undertaking this internship, each week is providing me with opportunities to not only expand my understanding of athletes and their training regimes but also allow me to develop my own techniques and work on personal goals. Participating in sport is a huge factor in my life, therefore watching and learning from the coaches and other runners has been very beneficial and helpful towards reaching my goals and outcomes of my internship experience.
This week unfortunately our successfully and slowing building Winter Wonderland session had to be cancelled due to the threatening rain that was predicted. Just quietly this was a godsend as we could have a sleep in – yay! However, I was still scheduled to participate in my routine FAST sessions on Thursday afternoon and Sunday morning. Both sessions were very different which allowed us to work on various techniques to master our skills.
Thursday consisted of focusing on speed over shorter distances. Our intensity for this session was to be based at 90% which allowed us to focus on timing our take offs and holding a consistent speed for the duration of the length. On Sunday we were back at GG’s Hill. Whilst many of the runners looked to have been eaten alive by the hill, everyone soldiered on and conquered it once again. This session was focused on completing the runs efficiently without burning out too quickly. The best feeling about GG’s (yes there is one) is when you’re running up the hill and being able to overtake cyclists who are doing it hard by slowly riding up the slope. The look on their faces when they finally reach the top of the hill is priceless when they think they can do it better and faster than any runner. This week I ran with a younger runner who had never done the hill before, but she was very successfully in making me work harder to reach the top. We completed a pyramid structure of 230m, 200m, 150m, 100m and 50m. Each run became harder with heavy legs and oxygen deprivation kicking in.
Just like each week, I have once again thoroughly enjoyed participating in the training sessions and slowing learning and getting to know everyone from athletes, coaches, volunteers and parents.