Combined Emphasis Workout

Below is a workout from Flotrack.com featuring Carolina Kluft. In this one workout she works on the high jump, power (with hurdle jumping--these are our plyos), and a little endurance work (600m run x1).

You may consider this a long video, and you may be wanting to get to your homework, so I'll boil it down to the essentials for you.
  1. From 2:15-3:25 point of the video. You see her take a good number of jumps, but what I would like to highlight is her running form. This is what I picture when we discuss approach runs (minus her skip/ stutter steps), instead of the bounding type approaches we use.
  2. From around the 4:00-5:35 point of the video. Kluft performs hurdle hops. I like the jumping itself, but I love her explanation of it afterwards. You can see the value she holds for her training.

Track and Field Videos on Flotrack

We all cannot do what this world-class athlete can do as far as times, heights, and distances. However, we can simulate her efforts with dedication to the work, and scaling of the training to fit our needs.



Vertical Video

As promised, here is the video of KayBee going 5'0" at the Runner's Roost Invitational hosted by Fort Collins HS at Rocky Mountain HS.

Will be following shortly with a video of AG, who is doing some awesome jumping for us. And then...well, I may even venture into some video of the boys--I've got a few worthy artifacts.



Runner's Roost invite @ RMHS summary

A great showing today at the make up meet in Ft Collins.

As a team, it seemed like everyone got off to a sluggish start, but I guess judgment should be in how the meet is finished.

Girls finished in first with a team score of 84 points, with the next closest team at 55.

Boys had an awesome day finishing in sixth, but were only out of first by 9 points. This was with trying some new things, while also missing some key pieces of the team--the future I think looks awesome for the boys.

Great job to both squads. For full results click here. (Results not posted at the time of this post being generated, but hopefully Ft Collins HS will be on that in the next 24)

On the high jump front, the highlight has to be with our new Freshman jumper--we'll call her "KayBee". KayBee went 5'0" in her first varsity competition, a new personal best, and which also got her a second place finish. Nice job KayBee. Look for video in the next few days.


Indoor Track Practice

This morning as I drove to practice I was mentally prepping for all the jumping we were going to do at practice on this Saturday morning. I knew that the mild wind, and slight amounts of cold were going to have an effect on the quality of jumps, but was just happy there was not the 5, or 8, or 12 inches of snow that had been forecast for the last 3 days. I had designs for warm-ups and progressions we would take in the jumps--it was going to be magical....but then I pulled into the parking lot.

Apparently, as Coach Hawk and Coach Neale can also attest to, those living north and west of the I-25 & Lincoln intersection were spared the storm that those living in Parker received. The storm in Parker was still much less than had been predicted, but nevertheless the track was covered in a snowy-ice, the wind was significantly stronger (as it always is in Parker), and the temperature was a few degrees cooler.

We realized we were relegated to being indoors. This led to a discussion between the coaches of the need for a book that has indoor track workouts, from which we needed only one workout. We put our heads together, and Neale headed to the Internet, and we came up with the following indoor workout that was challenging, fun, and effective. I post this not only to document an epic Chap track workout, but also in the hope that some athlete or coach will someday be searching for "Indoor Track Workouts" and will stumble on this workout. We all benefit: they get workout ideas, and my blog moves up in the Google hits algorithm (I'm big on this, send your friends to check out the blog so when I tell people to search for "Nack for Track" they actually find it).

-A decent sized space (we used bball court, adjust as necessary)
-Jump ropes
-Strength Bands
-Medicine Balls

-Each Athlete has a jump rope well sized
-There are medicine balls for at least half of the athletes

Jump Rope Complex Round 1
  1. On the first whistle athletes begin jumping rope moving in any manner they wish, but they have to be moving forwards, backwards, or laterally (30 secs)
  2. On the second whistle athletes keep jump roping, but this time in place (30 secs)
  3. On the third whistle athletes drop their jump ropes and begin to run in any direction, and jump over any jump rope length-wise(30 secs) [This is kind of goofy, but the I think they secretly enjoyed it]
  4. Return to step 1 and repeat steps 1, 2, and 3
  5. After the helter skelter jump rope jumping, have the kids line up on the baseline of the bball court and have them run a "suicide" (baseline to the free throw, half court, opposite free throw, and oppostiste baseline and back). This should be the most significant effort they have given. (We were surprised at the amount of heavy breathing we heard, especially because it sounded like they were still having fun despite the effort.)
  6. 4 minutes rest
Jump Rope Complex Round 2
  1. On the first whistle athletes begin jumping rope moving in any manner they wish, but they have to be moving forwards, backwards, or laterally (30 secs)
  2. On the second whistle athletes keep jump roping, but this time in place (30 secs)
  3. On the third whistle athletes drop their jump ropes and find a medicine ball appropriate for them (6-12lbs), and do underhanded straight over head toss, catching it after the first bounce. Emphasize not using the arms, but sinking the hips and exploding them upwards. Make sure the kids are well spread out. Some kids selected med balls that might have been too heavy, so we had them toss one ball back and forth to give them a little extra recovery time. (30-60secs)
  4. Return to step 1 and repeat steps 1, and 2.
  5. Athletes once again drop their jump ropes and seek out a medicine ball. This time they will squat, explode up and forward, chest pass the ball as far as possible, chase the ball down after the 1st bounce, turn back in the direction they came, and then repeat. The athlete is basically playing catch with themself. When done correctly, this one is very difficult. (30 secs)
  6. "Suicide" run
  7. 4 min rest
Jump Rope Complex Round 3
  1. The first two steps from previous rounds remain the same: Jump rope roving to jump rope in place. (30 sec each)
  2. Athletes drop the jump rope and do push-ups. Modifications include push-ups from the knee, or a push-up plank hold (>=30secs)
  3. Repeat step 1
  4. Athletes drop the jump rope and do sit-ups (30 secs)
  5. Repeat step 1 again
  6. Athletes drop the jump rope and do burpees (<=30secs)
  7. "Suicide" run
  8. >4min rest
Strength Band Complex
  1. We partnered the athletes up and gave each partnership a strength band
  2. One partner chose to go first
  3. Athletes doubled the strength band to shorten them and slipped them on just above their knees and did ten lateral steps with each leg. Like those seen here (except we had the bands double looped and up around the knee):
  4. Athletes then took the band off, unlooped it, and stood on the band, and then proceeded to press it overhead. They did these shoulder presses 10 times. They sort of look like what Mr. Burnfatathome is doing below at the 30sec mark.
  5. Athletes then put the bands across the back of their neck and shoulders while still standing on it, and then did 10 squats. Like so (without the music...or the handles--our method=more painful, but more effective)
  6. The Athletes then lowered band back down in front of them and did 10 speed bicep curls (I recommend more)
  7. The athletes then returned to where their partner was waiting and handed one end to the partner, and then got inside the band. The athletes then did 10 forward jumps, with the partner holding the band for resistance. The athletes' focus was on driving forward but landing balanced so the resistance band did not shoot them back. The partner holding the band must be instructed to not let go for any reason. I am sure you can imagine why.
  8. Switch partners
  9. Repeat if necessary
That was pretty much the workout. For my high jumpers I added in some three-point arch runs to substitute circle runs, and then they joined everyone in the weightroom for a solid squat and deadlift workout.

Though, I think the kids would not to see this workout come around anytime soon, I do believe they enjoyed it, and it was indeed difficult. I hopped in for a moment to give it a try, and was fairly well spent. For our kids and the condition they are in this workout was perfect; not so hard it would effect their performances in a meet two days from now, but just hard enough to shake out the cobwebs of this mangled and disjointed spring break practice week.


Runner's Roost @ RMHS for 3.27.10 postponed

Yes, again our meet for this week has been postponed, but at least it came with plenty of notice.

We will be attending the meet when it is held on Monday 3.29.10, beginning at 10:30am.

Entries remain the same for CHS High Jumpers:

  • Grimm
  • Bacovcin
  • Reasoner
  • Bills
Be prepared to leave the school around 8am. I have no idea what time we will be returning, but I would potentially plan on having a late night.

This works to our advantage, I believe. Given that we are coming off of Spring Break, which is one practice disturbance, and with all the recent weather providing plenty of other distractions, it is probably best we get some more practice time in. For now the plan is to have practice on Friday and Saturday, both at 9am. See you then, unless further notified.

Most importantly let's plan on getting PRs, victories, and state placements at the Runner's Roost invite on Monday!


Coach Nack going Multimedia

Awesome Interview on the High Jump with Gwen Wentland-Mikinski from NPR.

Link to the story is here.

I love the explanation of how she feels when she is given a few feet to run and jump in. What great confidence to have--probably attained through ability and practice!

Practice canceled 3.24.10

An amendment to the earlier post: practice is canceled for Wednesday 3.24.10.

As Coach Hawk said: go sledding and run up the hill. Do something active. Contact a coach if you need ideas for activities to do. I know I have plenty, and they start with Xtreme Snow Shoveling.

Guest coach on Monday 3.22.10

This is not Coach Lozier, but you have to think that height is close

On Monday we had an awesome guest coach stop by our high jump practice, Jeff Lozier (spelling?). Jeff is one of our athletes' uncles and was able to provide some much needed insight that I could never adequately provide, and that is that he actually competed at this event. As a matter of fact, he did so very well. With a PR of 7'6" how could we not listen and learn.

Coach Lozier pretty much took over the practice from the beginning and introduced the athletes to some new warm-ups that involved medicine balls, cones, and speed ladders. The focus of the warm-up was on preparing the athletes for the explosiveness that comes with jumping. The progression:
  • Med ball underhand forward throw
  • Med ball overhead throw
  • Butt kicks for reps over ten meters
  • High knees with hamstring kick over cones
  • Fall in runs through a progressively sized ladder (loved this drill, esp. for LJers & TJers)
From there we went to the jump apron and worked on circle runs. We started at 17' of radius in the circle, and we ran inside the circle, which was new to me and I loved it. Total of 4 circle runs.

Then came the heart of the practice--approaches and full jumps. Coach Lozier gave all the athletes detailed evaluation of their approaches, specifically in the curve. He was amazingly patient given the recent changes all of the athletes have made to their marks, and as a result their starting marks (the athletes were also patient, bravo!). Takeaways from this:
  • We. Must. Jump. Up. (not into the pit)
  • The curves significance- this should sound familiar
  • Measuring your mark- confirm your measurements at all meets with measuring the three sides of the triangle
  • Curve initiation mark- I usually wait a few more weeks to introduce this, but it is good to hear it now
Coach Lozier provided personal experience with what it takes to reach high heights and go beyond what we think we can. It is not easy, and nothing is guaranteed, but attention, hard work, and dedication will take you further than you may think. Remember, talent is overrated.

Practice postponed 3.24.10

The practice that was set for Wednesday at 9am has been postponed due to weather. We are planning for a 2pm practice. Hopefully this plan will stick. Please stay tuned for further details. I will post any news as soon as I get it, and coaches will be trying to get to their athletes as they can.

Practice or no, stay active.


Hot and Cold Contrast Therapy

(Aspiring writers: the following is not the greatest hook, and should not be replicated by anyone thinking about writing. Anything. Ever. For anyone) The topic of this post is a bit controversial. Not because it is dangerous, but because it is unproven as effective.

The topic expounded: Exposing oneself to intermittent bouts of hot and cold temperatures (with ice, cold packs, showers, or plunges into cold water following a similar dose of heat) has yet to stand the test of time, and the tests of a significant body of scientific studies. The tests that have been run, as well as the anecdotal evidence, show results that warrant a true athlete's experimentation and evaluation.

I will state my bias right off the bat: I am a fan of contrast therapy. I think cold therapy by itself does great things. I think that heat therapy by itself does a little for some people (I am not one of them). However, when the two are put together I think that the best gains in recovery are made.

My personal preferred process of H&C therapy for high school athletes (or for those too busy for more):
  1. Take your normal shower at desired temperature
  2. Get ready!
  3. Crank water temperature down as far as tolerable (Do it, Wimp!)
  4. Push it a little further
  5. Move you/the shower head to around to sore parts of body, and always the back, neck, and shoulders
  6. You should stay in the cold spray for 1 - 2 minutes
  7. Turn the heat back up for 1 minute (Enjoy, because the cold is returning)
  8. Turn it back to cold for 1 minute, and try to go a little colder (you will surprise yourself with how accustomed you become to the cold after only a few efforts)
  9. Optional: try not to make any noise, or fidgety movements; relax
  10. Repeat as many times as wanted--I think one is better than none, but you should aim for 3 cold sessions.
Now, judge your recovery. Is your soreness reduced immediately? Long term? Did you feel more prepared at your next workout? Did you feel more awake and alert directly afterwards? (One of the nice unintended benefits of H&C therapy--if you end your shower on a cold session you tend to be more awake and alert for some time to come. So, athletes, DO NOT end on a cold session right before you lay down for your 9 hours of sleep!)

Want more info, and better justification than I can provide? Check out Patrick Ward's article from optimumsportsperformance.com. Mark Verstegen's response to a reader's question is a bit more simplistic, but I really like the brief explanation of what your blood does during this. This is how I was introduced to H&C therapy.

Remember different things work for different people so no guarantees this will fix you right up, but with how important recovery is it is worth you trying as much as you can until you do find what works for you. I think you will find the simplicity of this method nice, because it is quick, clean, and (relatively) painless.

Panther Invite cancellation and Spring Break Practice

The Panther Invitational scheduled for Saturday March 20, 2010 at Harrison High School has been postponed, and we will not be making this meet up.

This leaves one less state qualifying chance for the athletes, and means that we need all the greater focus and effort in our following meets and practices to make up for this loss.

With all the great work we have seen so far this season, tomorrow's postponement is most likely a bump in the road that we will overcome.

Be sure to communicate with your individual discipline coaches on when you have practice during Spring break.

High jumpers have practice Monday - Friday at 9am, at the track. The same training plan that we have had will apply--runs, jumps, plyometrics, and weights.


PF tying her own school record for the second week in a row

Great work!

Ambitious title? Perhaps. Overly ambitious thoughts going into and maintaining this blog? Definitely

Well, this is my first blog post on my own blog. I am going to try to replicate the efforts of Coach Sepp and maintain a wonderfully designed, maintained, and presented blog. Please notice I am already off to a poor start with an overly-long blog title. However, I refuse to change it.

The first post I would like to make is one that I think is of pure beauty. It is film of a sprinter who runs very well. The film is slowed waaaayyy down so you can really get a good picture for how a sprinter runs a short hard effort. I do not know about everything he does (e.g. pulling up before the finish), but his technique coming out of the blocks and on each step is really something for amateur runners to watch and attempt to imitate.

My initial thoughts were to place this on Sepp's blog, but I have wanted to get this blog going, so you know, what the heck?!? Please watch, listen, and enjoy:

Post thoughts to comments.