Wednesday, January 31, 2018


As we all know it's speed, speed, speed in regards to my training with the aim to hit a 2-point-something 20m sprint from a standing start, aka the AFL Combine Sprint Test.

My previous best before this off-season started was 3.12secs if I remember correctly.

This off-season I started in September and my initial sessions were with bodyweight sprints over 5 - 20m from a 4 point crouched (sprinter) start position with the best I could manage was 3.21secs. Not great but OK for coming straight out of footy season at 100 years old.

My next block was focusing on optimal force training through sled runs via strength coach Cameron Josse's method, where I did 4 sessions at 48 - 52% of peak velocity then another 4 weeks at 72 - 77% peak velocity (went out on my own on that last bit).

I introduced some standing sprints in this block as well and topped out at 3.15secs for sprinter start sprints (the same start used for the sled runs) and 3.10secs for standing, even though I did only 2 sessions of those out of 8 in this block.

I should add that all sled sprint sessions were performed on grass, not athletic track like the bodyweight sprint sessions.

I was on my way to my goal and happy.

That took me up to Xmas.

Post Xmas it was a bodyweight sprints block that used a lot more standing starts then sprinter starts.

Sprinter start PB for this block was 3.17secs which isn't a deal breaker by any means as it's not my primary goal while standing start 20m timed in at 3.18secs so a fair drop off there.

I wasn't worried here as sprinting can be highly dependent on nervous system and even though I was holidays, I was getting to sleep far too late and still getting up relatively early with Archie home from school.

I can never stay on track with early nights on holidays but I wish I had to take advantage of the lack of work stress like I did last year.

I did also do my anaerobic threshold program during that time as well which probably took some much needed energy resources away as well.

The last block I did was another optimal force training program but I used my PB for standing starts and used that start with the sled instead of the sprinter start from the previous cycle (again going out on my own here).

I did 1 session of sprinter 20m sprints and timed a 3.29secs but at this time I was doing more of a tempo 20m I suppose where I'd start hard and trail off at about 90% at the 15m mark or so just hit initial acceleration in prep for the standing sprints to follow.

My best standing was around the mark again at 3.15secs so not a lot of progress made there either.

In the back half of this block I introduced jump back sprints to the program to allow m to hit something closer to max velocity over 20m from the ballistic nature of the start.

For these I was hitting way faster times over 20m with a slowest time of 3.06secs and a fastest time of 3.02secs which exposed me to a similar speed I was wanting to achieve over 20m from a standing position.

Then along came last Sunday, all 42 degrees (f) of it.

We waited til 7pm to do the sprint session thinking it might cool down a little but it was still 38 when we got there which is simply outrageous.

After some sprinter start 5m sprints as normal, I was feeling "it" to be honest after being on the couch all day literally.

I felt slow the entire the session, well not slow, but not PB fast either until I got home and timed the sprints where I clocked a blistering 3.00secs on my standing 20m - an all-time record and just .01sec off my ultimate goal.

Here's a vid from about 2 weeks earlier of a 3.36sec 20m sprint on grass:

And here's my 3.00sec vid from last Sunday:

I can see a clear improvement in acceleration in regards to speed and how long I can keep accelerating for between the 2 videos and it seems the jump back sprints assisted a great deal with this which is evident through my times as well where I also managed a 15m standing start PB of 2.46secs.

Now the Debbie Downer part of it is what I can't knock that final .01sec off?

I'm starting some lactic power sprints tomorrow and also now footy training on Tuesdays leaving only 1 single sprint session per week but I will be doing some acceleration work on the lactic power days so hopefully I can do it - stay tuned!

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