My Thoughts Monday #4: The Primary Objective

mtm-logoWhen we went through our initial meetings the head coach of this team stated how important “fitness” was to the success of the team, so let’s discuss how we are training that first. Three days a week we are doing some conditioning work, and we are following the MAS protocol covered by Dr. Dan Baker on (link below), and Danny Raimondi in The Manual Vol. 1. The following is how I set it up and we broke it down.

We ended out having to take the evaluation 3 times, and I think this turned out to be a positive thing. Without going into details as to why we did, I think that sense the track is different it taught the athlete’s how to run on it, so our differences between evaluations will be less about figuring out how to run on a 10 lap per mile indoor track and more about improvement. So that’s a good thing, I think.

We then broke it down like Dr. Baker and Danny both cover in the above-mentioned article/chapter. I did this for a couple reasons:

1) We tested the mile on an indoor track that is 10 laps/mile. This allows for easy math and set up for this protocol.

2) It’s a very simple way to produce a positive adaptation while allowing us to provide simple and easy to visualize progressions for the athletes.

I did make some minor changes to their protocol:

1) I’m a firm believer that simpler is better, especially with lesser-trained athletes. These student athletes would probably not be qualified any higher than “middle level” so I don’t think we need to be to creative with periodization and undulation during the week. So with that in mind we set our “buckets” as Danny called them at 95% of their best time from the start, I don’t think we need to step back to 92% because that’s a lot in a mile.

2) Instead of undulating the program, we are going straight linear. So depending on where the athlete’s start on day one, we are moving them back “2 poles” Wednesday, and 2 more poles on Friday. The poles are actually the suspension beams that hold the track up, but make for really easy markers to start the athletes.  This way they have to cover about 15 yards more each rep (30 yard total increase from Monday-Friday). I know that’s not a ton, but for a team that has had issues with testing in the past, it’s a greater mental distance than physical.

Here is how it was all set up:

Field Hockey 2017 PreperationSo let’s walk through that column by column:

To get the total seconds it was written as the minutes column multiplied by 60 added to the second’s column. Written like this:


Yards/Sec was simply 1600 divided by seconds. Written like this:


The .92 and .95 were just 92 and 95% of yards per second.

Laps/rep were calculated by taking the total time (180 seconds) and multiplying that by the yards per second at 95%. This number was then divided by 160. 160 came from 1600 yards (roughly) in a mile, divided by 10 laps. So each lap is 160 yards (roughly). The formula is written like this:


The buckets were just rounded to the nearest one listed below the players.  Players are able to jump from bucket to bucket if necessary.  Danny did a really good job describing this in his chapter of The Manual Vol. 1.

The workouts are listed week by week below the distances needed to be covered by each players, so you can see it is just a slight increase in distance each workout (6, 8, 10, 12, 14) and writes as this: Series (Sets x Time(Recovery between sets))Time Between Series.  So week three is 2 series of 5 sets, with 3 minutes of work to 2 minutes of recovery between bouts and 5 minutes between series.

The last thing I should point out is just how I prefer to “run” the run.  We have them stagger at the start.  So the extra half or quarter lap is done at the beginning and I have them all finish at the same place.  I know some people like to start them together, but with this group I think having them finish together is a better option.  The main reason being that I can call out times for when the pass the start/finish line, so they understand how they’re pacing the run.  For a team that has had run/test anxiety in the past, this has helped with our success rate in these types of activites.

Next week we will go over the progressions we will utilize on our movement work both with cutting and our “footwork” the coaches wanted. Following that will be our 1×20 modifications based on our goals.

Dr. Baker’s Article

Pick Up The Manual Here

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