Back in the fall, I wrote a blog post about one of our athletes, Aziza Ayoub, and the program we did with her to help her win the Ohio state track championship in the 800M (twice). You can read about Aziza’s program by clicking here.
We were fortunate enough this year to have three athletes make it to the state meet this year – Isabelle Angerman from Dublin Coffman who was the state runner-up in the 300H last year and got 3rd place this year, Maya Fuller a freshman who anchored her Dublin Jerome 4x400M team to an 8th place finish, and Anna Kessler a sophomore from Bishop Watterson who got 9th place in the 100M.
Like Aziza, I want to highlight one of those athletes and how we approached her program to get her to that state meet. Isabelle was already a state runner-up from the previous year. Maya was part of a relay and being a freshman anything she did her first year of high school track would be great.
So, we are going to focus on my daughter, Anna. We will look at her program in three parts – an overall look at what is needed which will be today, her off-season program, and her in-season program.
Anna’s freshman year of high school was nice, but nothing earth-shattering. She was part of a mile relay team that set a school record and made it to Regionals. Every other event she was in faded out in the Districts.
Here were her PR’s from freshman year:
- 100M – 12.85 (did not make District finals)
- 200M – 27.38 (didn’t run at Districts)
- 400M (open) – 1:03.30 (only ran it once or twice early in the season)
- 400M (split time) – 1:00.70 (this was from her 4x400M run, timing when the baton crosses the finish line when she receives and hands off)
As a point of reference, in the state of Ohio, everyone begins the tournament at Districts. Top 4 in each event move on to Regionals. Top 4 at Regionals and the athlete advances to the state meet.
The biggest thing Anna needed to work on between freshman and sophomore year was her strength, power, and explosiveness. Not really a shocker, but if she was going to advance far in the state tournament those times needed to drop and that was how it was going to be done.
Anna plays soccer in the fall. So, there is a little work that is done during the summer, but not a concentrated effort. You have vacations, summer camps, work, etc. By the time August 1 rolls around, you might have been able to do 6 or 7 weeks of training then you are off to soccer for 2.5+ months.
She doesn’t do a winter sport, so her important training time of the year are the months inbetween soccer and track – end of October to March 4. That is a little over 4 months or a third of your year.
If your athlete has this opportunity to train during that timeframe, it is almost perfect for them. Not too many interruptions due to the fact they are in school the majority of that time. So, they are on a constant schedule. Maybe a holiday break, but that is it. Good training for 4 months.
Anna’s training consisted of the following:
- A good 30-45 minutes of speed work three times a week.
- This speed work focused on mechanical drills, resistance runs, plyometrics, acceleration drills, and blockwork using plastic indoor blocks we had at the facility. Plus some more drills I can’t remember.
- Strength sessions were done 3 times a week right after the speed going for another 45-60 mins depending on where she was in her strength program.
- The strength program was designed for total strength development with a focus on posterior strength and developing relative strength (strength to bodyweight).
- Figuring out how indoor track would play a role in this development and participating accordingly.
With soccer ending, she would begin her 4 months of training. The end result is a hope that her speed improves like Aziza’s did to get her to the state meet and maybe place. Next week, we will go into more detail her off-season workouts. Also, we will discuss things that were done outside of training that benefitted her development (diet and sleep).