Part of the essence of the four-year plan was discussed in the Philosophy section. The idea is for each athlete to achieve maximal improvement over the extent their career. To achieve this, the focus of the frosh and sophomore seasons will be on establishing a solid foundation of strength, an increased capacity for event-specific work, and fundamental technique. The focus will progress to speed, intensity, and the execution of advanced technical elements through the junior and senior years. Peaking phases of your training require a significant reduction in workload and increase in intensity to sharpen your body (and mind) for the highest level of athletic achievement. This process is not particularly compatible with developing fundamentals, but is well suited for advanced training. Therefore, the peaking phases in your annual plan may be longer in your senior and junior seasons as compared to those in your frosh and sophomore years.
Fr: Most frosh will spend the majority of the year working on a strength and endurance (work capacity) base and learning the fundamentals of their events. With occasional exceptions, frosh will train through the Indoor Championships and go through a relatively short peaking phase leading into the final meets of the Outdoor season. Distance athletes will also have a peak in Cross Country.
So: Sophomores will continue their strength and endurance base work and begin to establish a power and speed base. We may decide to try some new events for the sake of the team and your development while spending more time on advanced technique for your established events. Some sophomores may go through a short peaking phase for the Indoor Championships, but the primary focus will still be on the Outdoor Championships. The peaking phase for the Outdoor Championships will be more extensive to allow for your highest competitive achievement. Again, Distance athletes will also peak for the Cross Country Championships.
Jr: In the junior year, most athletes will follow a two peak training program—one for the Indoor Championships and one for the Outdoor Championships. Distance athletes will have a third peak in Cross Country. At this point in your career, we expect a sufficient level of mastery of the fundamental techniques and sufficient strength and endurance base to allow for several weeks of your training program to be geared towards high level peaking. The premium will be on advanced technical gains and speed development.
Sr: With few exceptions, seniors will peak for both the Indoor and Outdoor Championships with full peaking cycles for each meet. Again, Distance athletes will have a third peak for the Cross Country Championships. Most of the in-season training will focus on advanced technique work and top-end speed.
Nationals: Athletes projected for Nationals will start their peaking phases later in the season to set up the best possible performances at the Championships. Younger athletes and “surprises” will have their training modified to extend their peaks through the Championships.