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This Weeks Training Sample: Junior Development

This weeks training cycle comes from one of our Junior Development Schedules. This is slightly varied from our normal schedule as we would include the athletes other sporting commitments. Now, this athlete is just doing strength and conditioning and mobility on top of their running.

SUNDAY: Easy 30mins of running with friends plus 4x80m strides. This is the athletes aerobic run for the week, but we keep it social. The strides are great for getting the athlete prepped for their session tomorrow. Usually, the athlete plays a bit of pick up basketball or touch football after.

MONDAY: Fartlek or Change of Pace work. Today’s session is an 8x200m set with 200m jog. The 200m efforts are of varying pace, and the instruction usually is given as the following “relaxed-moderate”, “Relaxed-Fast”, “Pick-up” or “Fast-Hard”. These will be given at the start of each rep to the athlete rather than a predetermined pace. The reason we do this is so the athlete can know how she/he feels at that pace.

TUESDAY: Mobility Workout that usually consists of a handful of general mobility exercises plus strides in between. Our circuit today is one we defer to as Warm-Ups on occasions. The first station includes the Bretzel Stretch (1min ES) and the Worlds Greatest (5 Reps ES) and the second station consists of the Pigeon Stretch (1min ES) and the Knee to Wall Stretch (10 Reps ES). These four stretches are quite specific to runners. Still, they are also significant for general populations, especially if they spend loads of time sitting.

WEDNESDAY: Wednesday is our speed day. The emphasis for this workout is more our Warm-Up as we hit loads of drills and low amplitude plyometrics. We follow this up with 2x200m, 3x120m and 4x60m. All of these are off full rest and are done with a nice relaxed form. This session can be modified or cut if the athlete is not moving well. We usually finish with a couple of rounds of pick the kicker, which is a 150m race where the coach designates a kicker (unknown to the squad). The team has to respond to when they kick for home.

THURSDAY: Strength Days include most of the big movement patterns, squat, hinge, lunge, press, pull, and rotation/anti-rotation. This week’s circuit included 2 sets of 20xZombie Squats, 10xToe Up/Down Rocker (Variation of Romanian Deadlift), 10xReverse Lunge ES and 30sec of Plank. No rocket science here, just good sound movement patterns

FRIDAY: Day Off – Work through some mobility, but otherwise full rest

SATURDAY: Pace Run. While this is called a pace run, there are no real specifics other than it needs to feel like cross country pace. We limit this to 2000m for our youngsters, just an arbitrary distance. However, I think any longer is too taxing.

THE RATIONAL: For our junior development kids, we aim more for enjoyment in our sessions. We try to play several games, i.e. pick the kicker, touch or even just kicking a ball around. We use a similar template all year round as we are trying to develop an all-round athlete rather than a specialized athlete.

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