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Old 06-15-2008, 05:13 AM   #1
Timothy Holmes
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 221
Default GPP/SPP for decathlon

I sent a PM to Greg about this, but that was the wrong thing to do. Greg is a busy man. Maybe you, forum regulars, can help me out.

I'm planning out my training schedule, aiming for the State decathlon at the end of this year (exact date unknown) with the hope of qualifying for the Australian Champs. I need some help with the programming.

I've set out a spreadsheet. Really, I've just added what looked good, but I gives me something to work from.

Here or here.

What it shows:
- The schedule follows a cycle of three weeks long (two weeks hard, one week easy)
- I have training at the track (coaching) on Tuesday (PM) and Sunday (AM). Later in the year (not sure when) there will be coaching for hurdles on Thursday (PM)
- For the gym work (AM), CA WOD (week starts on Thursday rather than Monday) and ME/SS, in 3 weeks with the 3rd week being DE. I try to throw in gymnastics into my warmup, and between sets (eg. handstands, tumbling, PV-specific)
- The 12 ME/SS workouts for each cycle would go heavy 5, heavy 5, ME for 5, ME for 5, heavy 3... 1,..
- daily volume/effort is (from Wednesday): hard, hard, medium, 'easy' (PV), medium/hard, hard/medium, rest

- It might be too much volume. I can handle a fair bit of training volume but I never know when I'm overtraining until a strain something (or worse).
- Maybe I should just stick with doing the CA WOD the whole time instead?

What are your thoughts?
dec log, goals: states '10 - 5600; states '11 - 6400
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Old 06-15-2008, 06:22 AM   #2
Steve Rogers
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Maybe I'm just lazy, but it looks like too much volume to me. I'd drop the ME/SS and stick with the CA WOD.
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Old 06-15-2008, 09:51 AM   #3
Steven Low
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Here's my recommendation (well, your spreadsheet was a bit convoluted so I kinda ignored it):

1. Most importantly is that you NEED to practice specific skill work for all of the events. For example:

~Get running technique extremely strong
~Get lots of technique practice with shotput, discus, javelin throwing, high jump, hurdles, long jump, etc.

This should make up the bulk of your training. Improving your technique (if it's not already fairly top notch) is where you will see the most improvement if you are already pretty good athletically which I assume you are since you're considering to do this.

2. Secondly, all of these events can be generally broken down into two specific categories namely:

I. Power/strength (discus, javelin, shotput)
II. Running (100m, 400m, 1500m, 110m hurdles)

*High jump and long jump kinda fall under each
**Pole vault is probably running but it's mostly technique

For the power/strength stuff you should be working full body strength and explosive work. I'm not sure how proficient you are with oly lifting but even something as simple as getting power clean numbers up will drastically increase full body power for these events.

I'd stay away from much deadlifting because of the volume of training you have to do and you don't want to burn out easily. Squats, however, are fine. Keep the volume for the ME work fairly low (as you still have to practice technique for the specific events), but make it so that you're progressing from workout to workout.

As for the running, there's a bit of an interesting dilemma here. 100m and 1500m are drastically different events so training for one doesn't necessarily carry over to the other. The one thing we can focus on is power or rather length of stride. The longer the stride, the faster you run. So some form of plyometrics getting you to lengthen your stride is a good idea (although combining this with heavy/explosive lifting is a bit sketchy). Depth drops and the like are extremely hard on the joints so I'd recommend some non-high impact plyometric drills such as bounding or something like a couple steps to max effort vertical leaps off one foot at a time (which should also help long and high jump).

Also, as far as running training goes I've probably bias it towards 100m and 400m training namely because intervals can carry over well to 1500m. Some form of combination of like 30-40m sprints for 100m as well as 100m sprints for the 400m would be a good idea. Keep rest times fairly high so as to bias it towards power more.

As far as programming this altogether goes that would depend on your current level of conditioning and abilities. I cannot speculate on making up a training program since I don't know any of that at least yet... and I don't like doing it even if I do because I don't know people's sleep, nutrition, abilities personally that something can be tailored specifically to them. But if you want me to I'll try if you give more info.

Good luck,

Note: I do not do track and field nor do I know of any programming that actual coaches use... just applying general concepts I know to T&F. Take that for what it's worth.
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Old 06-15-2008, 10:07 AM   #4
Dave Van Skike
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do you have a track coach or are you solo in this endeavor? i would guess decathlon programming to be a little more sophisticated than your average T&F event.
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Old 06-16-2008, 07:29 AM   #5
Timothy Holmes
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 221

Dave, I have coaching for most of my individual events, but no know that knows anything about training hard for a decathlon. So, that aspect is up to me to get sorted out.


Steven, thanks for your post! It's been a great help to have the it put into perspective like that. What you wrote looks very sound.

I really shouldn't be concerned too much with gym stuff since better technique is will give me much higher returns. So, maybe as little as two/three days per week to focus on power & strength? That would give me much more time and energy to concentrate on technical training.

Running x3, throwing x3, PV x1, LJ/HJ x1, gym x2-3.

I'll (hopefully) sleep on it.

- Tim
dec log, goals: states '10 - 5600; states '11 - 6400
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:56 AM   #6
Steven Low
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Yep, that sounds about right... from my non-track and field perspective. Especially if your technique isn't always fundamentally sound.

Make sure your diet and sleep are top notch. Might wanna incorporate some massages and ice baths into your recovery.
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Old 07-18-2008, 06:22 AM   #7
Scott Borre
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My only advice is to follow something Dan John said recently (change it to apply to yourself), with regards to lifting he said 'remember you are a thrower that lifts, not a lifter that throws.' He stated that you shouldn't focus so much on how much you are lifting, but on getting your lifts done.

I think that's important for decathletes. You are a decathlete that trains to improve fitness to improve your events, not a 'say CrossFitter' who does decathalons. This focus and acceptance will ensure that you put the proper time and attention into improving your skill level at the events and not focus so much on GPP at the expense of the recovery necessary to put the proper time into learning to throw, run, jump, get a perfect stride so you are in perfect position for each hurdle, etc. properly.

Best of luck! I regret that I didn't do track in high school. But it was the same season as Tennis.
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:20 PM   #8
Gant Grimes
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1) Decathletes are not generalists. They specialize in 10 events. Your SPP and skill requirements will leave little room for GPP conditioning.

2) Go to a T&F forum and learn about decathlon.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:04 PM   #9
Scott Borre
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Timothy check out these links - http://www.brianmac.co.uk/decath/ (WFS) & http://www.coachr.org/deca.htm (WFS)

Has some information.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:14 PM   #10
Mike ODonnell
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As said above....find where the Decathletes talk and hang out....and see how they train. There's alot of skill in what they do esp considering all the events. They are also not average at everything....those people don't qualify for anything....seeing all those guys doing sub 5min miles (winner like 4:15) on the last day of the US trails...made me feel pretty f'n slow.
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