It’s been another really busy and productive month for the Event Group Leads and members of the Talent Development team at England Athletics. March saw them hosting a series of Regional Training Days and National Talent weekend.
Review of the Regional Training Days
At the Regional Training Days on 5 March at both Loughborough University and Brunel University, athletes and coaches in jumps came together regionally to learn more on: the RAMP warm up, technical training - linked to the time of year, and how to plan, with the day finishing off with movement assessments and plyometrics.
The Throws Regional Training Day saw valuable insight into physical preparation provided by strength and conditioning coach Rob Thickpenny. There was also advice on using the technical excellence frameworks to track and guide the development of athletes, in addition to a session about using the individual athlete plan to profile athletes and plan for future success.
Rafer Joseph, England Athletics Talent Event Lead for Combined Events, also led a Regional Training Day for combined events at Loughborough on the same day. This saw decathletes developing their technique in the hurdles, pole vault, and the discus, whilst heptathletes worked on their long jump, hurdles and shot put. At the end of the day, both groups came together to work on aerobic development and rhythm running for the 800m and 1500m.
The endurance regional training day took place at Loughborough University on 26 March. Attendees started the day with a session focused on ‘adaptation to training’ and how the body reacts to different training stimuli and how we recover. Following that was a practical training session which was split into either:
- ‘alternating pace session: above and below threshold’ featuring two to three lots of 2100m with 3mins recovery – or alternating 300m, approximately 4-6 seconds faster than threshold pace, with 300m, approximately 10-12 seconds slower than alternating 300m.
- Float recoveries featuring three to four lots of 300m (100m ‘float’) and 200m (6m), 1500m pace/800m pace
“Just want to say thanks again. These few sessions and talks have given me lots to look at. Very much appreciated” – one attendee.
After lunch, there was a session on common injuries featuring bone, muscles and tendon and practical interventions, rehab, and prehab. Another attendee commented on the day:
“Great day with loads of learning. I need to go back over my notes as there was so much to take in.”
Review of the National Talent Weekend
The National Talent Weekend for jumps took place at Loughborough University on the 11 and 12 March. Invited athletes and coaches came together over the two days to work with the Talent Event Leads and performance support practitioners and covered the following:
- Prehab and rehabilitation solutions for muscle/tendon injuries related to jumpers. This session was led by 2022 Commonwealth Games medical Lead, Sarah Connors.
- In the evening, UK Anti-Doping’s Dave Walsh delivered a Clean Athletics workshop on the doping control process. During the session, he walked athletes and coaches through the sample giving process, which offered valuable insight and education for when they are required to provide a sample or become a chaperone, respectively.
- Speed is a critical component for jumps, and on Sunday we presented the ‘Need for Speed’ which looked at the key postures and positions and considered some of the drills to teach and develop these positions.
- On the second day, English Institute of Sport Strength and Conditioning Coach Rob Miller delivered a workshop on ‘Developing the Power Clean’. During this session, he presented on why we use, and when to use the power clean. He then walked the coaches and athletes through his teaching progressions for the lift.
This was the second of two planned weekends where we provided learning and development opportunities for coaches and athletes, aligned to the ‘What It Takes to Develop’ model for the event group.
The national talent weekend for endurance was held straight after the inter-counties cross country in the Midlands on 11 and 12 March. Loughborough University’s Talent Hub hosted the event and the day was headed up by Kyle Bennett and Jo Wilkinson, England Athletics Talent Event Leads for Endurance.
The Saturday began with an easy recovery run for athletes with Loughborough University athletes followed by a coach development session led by Mark Jarram, Head of Coaching and Performance Development at Loughborough University.
After lunch, there was a workshop led by sport and exercise psychologist, Tim Wyatt. Following that was a second workshop on ‘how to be confident on the line’, led by sports industry practitioners Colm Cunneen and Hetty Rudman.
Sessions included championship selection with Nick Ridgeon and Mark Chapman, preparing for the summer season with nutritionist Fran Baldwin, and muscle injuries and the role of the physiotherapist with physiotherapist Lucy Eggleton.
Feedback from the National Camp included:
“Overall the camp was great. The sessions with event leads were informative and gave adequate opportunity for coaching and suggestions technical improvement. The physios were amazing and gave sound advice. All three workshops were insightful especially the physio and championship selection workshops as it gave a clear insight as to how selections actually take place, what goes into making a team selection and what us as athlete's can do to maximise our chances of getting selected. The physio workshop also gave us a good basic overview of basic body anatomy and how different parts of the body work together and what areas we as throwers need to work on to prevent injury.” - attendee.
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