Week 9 - Forever program

Re-test week

Congratulations, you have reached the final week of the training plan!

By this stage of the program you should be feeling significantly lighter, smoother, and faster with your running, cutting and jumping ability.

With this new found power and efficiency it’s not uncommon for athletes to try too hard when they are running, tightening up and actually becoming slower. Channeling just the right amount of effort into your sprinting is key to maximising speed and minimising wasted energy.

This week we will also discuss a forever program, with a plan to help you maintain your new found speed and power and even continue progressing.

This weeks training

There are no new drills or exercises this week, instead you will swap out your third training session of the week with another retest session. Refer back to week 1 for tips on how to do this.

There is also a sports psychology concept we want you to take away from the program that you can start applying to all of your sprinting and running.

The art of effortless effort

Arousal is a term used in sport to characterise how focused and pumped up an athlete is. Arousal can be a blessing and a curse, too much and the stress causes little mistakes to creep in while the anxiety takes away the enjoyment of playing, too little arousal and you may end up napping at half time.

How much you need and when to apply it is different for everybody and varies across sports, but when it comes to sprinting fast there is an arousal zone that most athletes should be striving for.

We call this zone effortless-effort.

It’s the point where your body is in rhythm, you aren’t trying to break a world record or a personal best, you are simply in tune with your body, feeling the ground under your feet, and are completely present in the moment. Psychologists call this the zone, or flow-state, and it is an unbeatable experience.

Have you ever had that feeling where you were running so insanely fast, it didn’t feel like it was you? It feels amazing, but you wanted more. So you pushed a little harder to see if you could squeeze out more speed, and what ended up happening was you slowed down.

This is the tightness and over-effort that sprinting does not reward. Sprinting (particularly top speed) should be loose, relaxed and effortless, lower down on the arousal curve than most young athletes might think.

So work hard on powering and pushing through your acceleration phase, but as you open up and push towards top speed, relax, breathe and glide over the ground.

Think light.

Then easy.

Then think fast.

Forever program

What to do next?

The training plan laid out in week eight and nine serve as brilliant templates for an ongoing maintenance plan, continuing as much of this work as possible each and every week.

You will notice there are only two workouts this week, each workout is different, one has a top speed and agility emphasis, while the second is focused on acceleration, deceleration and jumping ability. For moving forwards you might find that two workouts per week will be more than enough to maintain your new found speed and skill without overloading your system. You can always increase back to three sessions per week in the off-season.

We also recommend maintaining your athletic warm up training (every day ideally) and the strength workouts (two or three sessions per week) as a great way to stay strong, fit and healthy.

Thank you for completing the program, thank you for trusting us to help you become the best athlete possible and all the best for the future!