There are lots of factors that go into figuring out how to train each groups of kids from year to year. Training age, dedication levels, familiarity with the my coaching style, cross country success, etc etc.
This year, we have a lot of seniors. All of these seniors have run for me for at least 4 years. All of them had successful cross country seasons, (some of them suffering more than others). I think track racing has changed, especially at the championship level. The winner of the race is not always the fastest kid anymore. It is who can survive the first 75% of the race, with all the bumping, shoving, grabbing; and come out with a huge last 25% kick that is fastest of them all. I have also decided to go back to the idea of building great track milers, especially since all of these kids handled 3.1 miles of racing all autumn long.
In years past, we have gone hard day/easy day, we have gone all base training until January 1, we have tried to have multiple peaks, we have tried to peak once. Because this crop of athletes is truly unique, however, this season we are going on a Seppala Block System (SBS). This is different than traditional block training systems, which is 3-5 super hard days in a row, then 3-5 days off. SBS athletes are going to train hard for two consecutive weeks with lots of speed work, lots of hill work, lots of general strength and lots of VO2 max work. Then SBS calls for a easy week with one hill day, one medium day, and the rest easy days. After that easy week, back to the consecutive hard weeks, where the training load will have increased from the prior double weeks. Essentially, it is two hard weeks, one easy week, two hard weeks, one easy week. (I am sure this is not a totally original thought, but if it is not, I don't know who to give credit to.)
Today marked the end of the two week intense period. We did long orange intervals, an overdistance run, mucho hills, 450 m repeats, a ton of tempo intervals, flying sprints, and many, many 200's. I thought it went very well. We were lucky with the weather (except for today), and I think we worked to the best of our abilities and got in some excellent training. This upcoming week will be easy. We have a hard uphill time trial on Saturday, but other than that, I think the week looks pretty easy. Check the sidebar for details, take an easy walk with your dog tomorrow, and be ready for a great practice on Monday.