Thursday, 2 December 2010

Elaine McCaffrey Lee Valley Experience- Blog 2

Tuesday was a very fun day at Lee Valley with many top training groups present and working hard.  For a novice like me in this environment it was very hard to decide who to focus my attention on.  The choice was too tantalising with Tony Lester working with Nicola Sanders in one corner, Ayo Falola putting Marilyn Okoro through her paces in another and of course Dan’s group.  In my initial attempts to take it all in I noticed that the coaches were working very hard on drills and skill of running technique and again the focus was on correct execution.  I feel this may become the theme of the week!
Later in the session I got the chance to work with Pole Vaulter Steve Lewis, Videoing his vaults and then working with him on some Medball Multiple Throws Exercises.  Unfortunately as it was just the two of us and most of the exercises required a partner I had to join in.  It was great to experience the exercises first hand and so fully understand what effort was required. 

Wednesday was a big day for Dan’s Group with lactate profiling planned during the running session.  The warm up was extremely important and each drill is used as a screening tool to assess if the athletes have any mechanical issue cause by soft tissue dysfunction.  These issues are then worked on immediately at the track side using therapy techniques, most notably active release.  Active release enables the issue to be resolved whilst keeping the athletes fired up so not to interrupt the warm up. 
15 minutes after the warm up the lactate profiling started.  It was then repeated during and after the session at specific times.  The lactate profiling will be done over a number of weeks and the team hope the data will give an indicator of where the athletes are at and alter training to try and develop any issues uncovered.  This was a very exciting task for me and I was in my element testing Marlon Devonish, Ryan Moseley and Steve Lewis throughout the session.  The results were instantaneous but further analysis of the trends will produce some areas for the guys to work on. 
After this gruelling workout the guys then went on to some multiple jumps.  The aim of this is to teach the body to work with the lactate in the system.  This was then followed by weight training in the gym.  This really is a full time job for these athletes.  From witnessing and being involved with this heavy training day and questioning Dan as to how this would work for part time athletes I learned that the similar training protocols can be utilised by part-time athletes however the work should be spread over a longer period of time with adequate rest and recovery factored in, taking into consideration their other commitments.  If you do not have the luxury of time on your side you must stick to the correct training philosophies but be smart about how your training is structured.
This was probably the best day of my career so far, learning from the best athletes and coaches and being right there in the middle of everything.  I’m not sure if it can get any better but here’s hoping for tomorrow!

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