Severs Week 5 - Skips & Mastering Training Load

This week we are going to include another running drill - high hip skips plus spend some time looking at the concept of load management

This week's activities

This week you will include the high hip skips into your workout. Be sure to check your workbook for the exact sets and reps. Take some time this week to learn about the acute to chronic workload ratio, a key principle in keeping your Severs pain away in the long term.

Severs quick links:

Join the Facebook support group →

Read the Severs Knowledge base →

The daily routine is still to be done every day. It now contains:

  • Foam rolling, 10 rolls each position
  • The Crouching Three stretches, 30 seconds per position each leg
  • Glute activation routine, five reps each leg for each variation
  • Standing calf isometrics, just two sets of 45 seconds each leg
  • Bent leg calf isometrics, just two sets of 45 seconds each leg
  • Keep logging your pain levels before and after the days program

The workout. To be done three times per week, with at least 48 hours rest between each workout. It contains:

  • Glute bridges, three sets. See workbook for reps
  • Bodyweight squats, three sets. See workbook for reps
  • Standing calf raises, three sets. See workbook for reps
  • Stride Outs, three sets. See workbook for distances
  • High Hip Skips, three sets. See workbook for distances
  • Learn about the acute to chronic workload ratio and experiment with the spreadsheets

*On days when you perform the workout routine, this can be done separately or combined with the daily routine.

High Hip Skips

high hip skips are a great way to build on stride out drill you have been doing but with the added challenge of some bounce and air time. Start very easy, focus on landing and pushing through the mid foot, swinging your arms and staying relaxed. The video shows how to do these.

NB: If these give your heels any irritation or cause pain, stop immediately and wait another 5-7 days before attempting again. These are a challenging but necessary step to fixing your Severs but should not be rushed.

Mastering Training Load

This week we are going to consolidate your strength training from last week (ideally squatting a little deeper if tolerated). Be sure to note the increased reps in the workbook you are required to complete for the strength exercises.

As your heels start to feel better each and every week, you will probably be increasing the volume and intensity of your sport. With this in mind, we have another education week to help you reduce your risk of Severs flare-ups and also help you get the most out of your training without under or overdoing the hard work.

The Acute To Chronic Workload Ratio

The Acute to Chronic Workload Ratio directly complements the heat map, allowing you to track your training load over time to see how consistent you are with your training.

We have built a spreadsheet designed to help you track and monitor your training load over time. You can download and access it here:

What is Training Load?

Training load is the amount of training we do in a week.

Whether it’s measured as hours of practice, distance covered, intensity of training or number of sprints measuring training load helps athletes and coaches manage their fatigue and performance to get the most out of each session and prepare to their very best for competition.

To start monitoring your training load enter your weekly sporting commitments into the spreadsheet and fill in the number of minutes the session lasts and a rating of perceived exertion (RPE)*.

*RPE is an individual’s measurement of how hard a training session was. 1/10 would be an easy walk, 10/10 being your hardest sporting session ever. Some sessions may have a mix of hard and easy components, but most athletes have a pretty clear idea of an overall score. Get them to use that score.

This gives you an idea of how hard the session was, and how much time you spent at that intensity.

The goal of monitoring your training like this is to keep your training inside a bandwidth of what we call the floor and ceiling of training loads.

During the preseason, you want to smoothly build your training up until it enters a challenging but maintainable zone. In competition phase, maintaining your acute weekly loading within a consistent range (±15%) relative to your recent four-week rolling average is an important factor in reducing your risk of stress and overload based injuries, like Tendonopathy, stress fractures and Severs Disease.

Mastering training load is a vital skill for athletes as it enables them to sidestep a vast majority of overuse injuries throughout their careers.

“Both low and high training loads are associated with increased likelihood of injury compared to moderate chronic loads.
— Australian Institute of Sport, 2015

Errors and Mistakes

A training error is when you have a random or unavoidable lapse in acute workload (illness, weather, holiday etc). While a training mistake can be when you try to overcompensate to make up for the error.

Training errors can also be accidental spikes in training volume due to tournaments. Errors are often unavoidable, but mistakes are when you try to play catch up and get the reloading wrong.

It makes pretty good sense that if you spike your acute training load too high relative to your chronic loading you’re going to open yourself up to an elevated injury risk. What’s interesting though is that a drop in your training volume is just as likely to leave you open for injury risk as it creates a relative spike on your reload as you return to normal training.

There is sometimes a lag between when you made the training mistake and when the injury strikes. Stress fractures can take 3-5 weeks to show up, while things like Severs Disease can appear settled or beatd but re-appear 7-14 days after a spike in training load. This is one of the key reasons it’s important that you complete the entire seven program as a minimum, even if your heels are pain free already.

These two videos explain in detail the concept and application of the ratio.

That's it for Week 5

Begin gently with the skipping exercise, and take some time this week to consider your weekly training load, maybe begin logging your sessions every day for a few weeks and notice any trends that might occur. This a valuable skill as an athlete to help you pin point any potential spikes in volume before they happen.

Severs quick links:

Join the Facebook support group →

Read the Severs Knowledge base →