NCDP Endurance get together at Loughborough University
Over 60 coaches attended the national endurance get together at Loughborough University 11th and 12th March 2017 as part of the National Coach Development Programme. The event held straight after the intercounties cross country championships is part of the ongoing coach development programme and this year was held at Loughborough University campus. Spencer Duval updates on the activity:
Andi Drake (NCM England Athletics) started the weekend off with a support network presentation focusing on his set-up for Tom Bosworth. The insight into what is needed as a team around athletes is always invaluable especially at the top end of the sport. A coach isn’t just someone who stands at the side of the course or track and shouts out times. The coach needs to be able to coordinate the athlete, physiotherapist, strength and conditioning coach, lifestyle coach, nutritionist, agent, parents and friends to name a few. This insight highlighted a joined up thinking and detailed planning philosophy and brought together all the various aspects that coaches have been learning about over the course of their time on the NCDP.
Three groups then split up to attend various practical and lecture based workshops. Each coach got to attend all three of them:
- Physiological Profiling - Practical Workshop and Demonstration. Nathan Miller – Physiologist – Loughborough University Athletics Club. The sports science team delivered a live physiological test in the Performance Lab, demonstrating how they assess for the key physiological determinants of successful endurance running performance. Throughout the test, they discussed terms such as VO2max, running economy and thresholds and then outlined the importance of these measures to an athlete’s training programme.
- Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy – Lecture-Based Workshop. Desi Gillespie – Physiotherapist – Loughborough University Athletics Club. The Athletics Physiotherapist outlined a summary of Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy at Loughborough Sport including who they are, who they work with, what type of support they provide and examples of interventions and treatment strategies. She explained her role within the Loughborough University Athletics Club and detailed the structure of Sports Medicine support to endurance running. This included common injuries associated with endurance running, how they are prevented and treated. She finished with some examples of how she has managed the coach-athlete-practitioner relationship to best effect.
- Performance Nutrition for Endurance Performance. Harriet Bates – Performance Nutritionist - Loughborough Sport. The Performance Nutritionist described her role in creating athletic performance improvement in the sports at Loughborough University. She presented the basics of athlete fuelling and recovery, the strategies they use to optimise body composition and issues surrounding the female athlete triad.
Back at the conference area the mornings workshops and lectures were discussed and the practical demonstration results were analysed and recommendations made by Chris Jones (National Coach Mentor, England Athletics). This area proved to be very popular with Chris giving real world examples of athletes he had worked with and how the analysis of particular results can and should lead to different approaches to coaching intervention. The results of one of the athletes who was tested earlier in the morning was discussed to show the testing results relating to a current athlete that the coaches had watched do the tests on the treadmill. This type of hands on and practical demonstrations are always invaluable to allow coaches to see what actually happens in a lab and how the results can be used to shape future training programmes.