My training plan is broken down into 4 week blocks: 3 weeks of intense training and 1 week of lower intensity training to allow for appropriate adaptations to the 3 weeks of intense training. This is what is known as periodisation. It is essentially applying a stimulus to the athlete and then allowing for adaptaion. Here is my current weekly plan as part of the first 3 weeks of a 4 week block:
Monday: Gym Strength/Power Training
This session varies from 3-4 sets of 15 to as low as 6 reps across the 4 week cycle. Recovery times for this session vary from 30secs to 2mins. The intensity level is moderate to high. The exercises are all compound exercises that work the whole body: deadlifts, power cleans, bench press, seated row, shoulder press, squats, lat pulldown, etc.
Tuesday: Track Sprint Training:
This session is usually a mixture of 6-8 reps of distances from 100-300m. The recovery times vary from 1min to 15mins. The intensity level is high to very high.
Wednesday: Gym Strength/Endurance Training
This session is 3 sets of Olympic Lifts and plyometric exercises which are usually 4-6 reps. Exercises include deadlifts, power cleans, squats, clean and jerk, snatch. I only do one of these exercises each week. I follow the power exercises with an upper body circuit to break up the Olympic Lifts. The recovery is 2mins on Olympic lifts and no recovery for the circuit. The circuit exercises include: various chin ups, dips, push ups, pull ups, tricep dips, bicep curl and crunches. The intensity level is moderate to very high.
Thursday: Track Speed Endurance Training
This session is more specific to 400m training. It is usually 6-8 reps over distances from 150m to 400m. Recovery times vary from 2mins to 15mins depending on the specific session. Intensity level is high to very high.
Thursday: Core Strength
I complete this session only if my recovery is good and energy levels are high. It involves a variety of balance, flexibility and core strength exercises. Intensity level is low to moderate. It is less structured to prevent over-training.
Friday: Recovery/Easy Run
5km run at a moderate pace. This session provides an aerobic base whilst providing a reprieve from the intensity of the other sessions.
Saturday: Sprint Hills
This session is 6-8 reps of 40m to 300m hill sprints usually at Centennial Park. The recovery time is between 4 and 12mins. The intensity level is high to very high.
Saturday: Guerilla Group Training
A variety of general conditioning and strength training in a group setting. The intensity level is moderate.
Sunday: Grass Sprint Training
This session is a speed and technique session which I usually do away from the hard surface of the track. It involves 6-8 reps of 40-120m with approximately a 4min recovery between reps. The intensity can vary from low to high depending on recovery and training progression.
Every Session: Every session includes 15-30mins of flexibility work and warm-up drills.
It is important to note that I constantly liaise with my coach and adjust sessions as necessary. I also have additional rest days during my 4th week of training if all other sessions have been completed. I monitor my recovery, injuries, illness, sleep, nutrition and energy levels which all provide clues to my progress.
A training plan is great but the end result is determined by the application of the program. What I do know is that over time and with a good habit, this program will create the excellence I am chasing just as Aristotle’s quote suggests.