The multi event athlete must possess or attain the following characteristics in order to be successful:
2. How to train the beginning Decathlete
As I stated above, technique is the most important thing the young decathlete should concentrate on. It does no good to be strong, fast and have great jumping ability if you do not know how to use it. I would strongly suggest starting to learn the second days techniques on a 2-1 ratio with the first days techniques. The hurdles, discus and pole vault are the three events that have the most effect on the other events as explained below.
The hurdles directly help the decathlete in the 100 meters by developing a consistent stride pattern between and over each hurdle. The hurdles are essentially ten mini sprints to each hurdle. It also reinforces proper running technique by teaching the athlete to run tall with proper posture. Hurdles and hurdle drills also help develop the hip flexor muscles along with the hamstrings and glutes. These muscles are the most important in sprint development.
The hurdles help the long jump by teaching the athlete how to sprint correctly with a rhythmic stride pattern. It also helps the athlete learn how to set up for a take off with minimal deceleration. By learning how to run through a hurdle you will know how to run off the long jump board.
Hurdle endurance runs (4x12 hurdles) will help the 400 meters in the same way by developing speed endurance.
The hurdles help the pole vault in the same exact way that they helped the long jump.
The hurdles have an effect on 5 of the 10 decathlon events (l00m, LJ, 400m, 110m HH and PV), so I feel it would be a wise investment in time to master that event first off.
The discus is a difficult event because spinning is not involved in any of our childhood games. The is a technique that must be learned at a late age. The discus is the event where the most is lost in any competition. But by learning the fundamentals early, the athlete will have learned balance, coordination, patience and foot work and most importantly have confidence that he will not be the one looking stupid throwing it.
The pole vault has the same effect as the hurdles in that it helps the same 5 events and some of the discus. It involves sprinting; jumping off the ground; strength to plant the pole, hold on to it and rock back. All the while demanding that the athlete use patience, timing, coordination, body awareness. By knowing how to vault properly, the athlete will have confidence that will carry over into his other events. In short, if you can pole vault effectively you are on your way to learning the rest. The hurdles, discus and pole vault should always be the core to the multi event training schedule. Everything else should fit around it.
3. What things should a beginning decathlete do to develop?
There are many different things a decathlete needs to do.
This sounds like a lot of work and it is, but it is what it takes to get to-the top. Technique must always be the first thing done every day, since it is the most important. Conditioning is always done after technique.
For the beginning decathlete I would suggest the full load of training mentioned above every other week. I would just practice the events (technique) on the odd week in order to prevent injuries and over-training. The young athlete will also have concentration lapses when the volume is too high for too long.
Running technique should be the first thing taught because poor running technique will hamper every event. Sprint drills, hurdle drills and build-up runs need to be closely supervised.
SAMPLE TRAINING WEEK - HARD WEEK
THE DECATHLON: A PHILOSOPHICAL OVERVIEW
(A compilation of notes prepared by Rick Sloan, Fred Samara, Mike Keller, Terry Franson and Harry Marra, October, 1992 in San Francisco, California.) The decathlon is an all-encompassing event. We expect each athlete to develop their physical, as well as mental capacities in preparation for this event. To maximize one's ability in the decathlon, a long range program recognizing strengths and weaknesses is essential. Do not sacrifice strengths to develop weaknesses. "Balance" is key for success in the decathlon. Contributing factors for success in the decathlon involve development of the following components of fitness:
The goal here would be to improve your max VO2
OUTLINE OF A GENERAL DECATHLON TRAINING PLAN
|PHASE||FITNESS PARAMETER||% OF WORK LOAD|
|I. General Conditioning-- October 1 through mid-November (6 weeks)||Muscular endurance and Cardiovascula / respiratory endurance (CVE)||85%|
|Muscular Strength (MS) anaerobic||0%|
|Neuromuscular Conditioning (NM) (technique)||15%|
|ll (A) Late general conditioning Mid November through 1st wee of December (3 weeks)||ME & CVE||45%|
|II (B) Late, late general conditioning. End of 1st week in Dec through Jan 1 (3 weeks)||ME & CVE||30%|
|III Pre-competitive season Jan 1 through mid-March (10 weeks)||ME & CVE||10%|
|IV (a) Competitive season Mid-March through mid-June (12 weeks)||ME & CVE||5%|
|IV (b) Competitive season Mid-June through September 1 (12 weeks)||The post championship phase of the competitive season should be a microcosm of the annual training cycle. The length of each of these phases should be determined by the length of time prior to the next Decathlon, and an evaluation of performance there.|
|V Post-competitive season (Month of Sept) (4 weeks)||This is a period of time to both mentally and physically recover from the entire (Rest and/or active rest)|
FUNDAMENTAL RELATIONSHIPS AMONG THE FOLLOWING EVENT GROUPS
A.THROWS: "Balance" is a key word. Without proper balance at the start, and throughout delivery, all other aspects of throwing are negatively affected. Once balance is achieved, the following aspects are germane to success in the throws:
B. JUMPS: (The following similarities deal specifically with the approach and preparation for take off.)
a. Posture -Erect and tall from head to toe. Must be maintained throughout the run.
b. Turnover- To minimize reduction in velocity, you should emphasize stride frequency over length during tile final stages of sprint races (key word -'active')
c. Rhythm and Relaxation -"Don't be in a hurry!" Smoothly complete all movements to generate maximum force. Special emphasis should be placed on rhythm and relaxation during the latter stages of all sprints.
d. Acceleration Patterns -(acceleration -speed -maintenance - deceleration) Each sprint encompasses the above phases (a-c) to varying degrees. To optimize performance, a smooth transition through each phase is required. Conditioning, running, mechanics and relaxation assist in minimizing tile extent of deceleration.
D. 1500 METERS:
Posture, rhythm, relaxation and tempo (turnover) are important factors for successful 1500m running. Differences such as lower knee lift, increased surface area contact with the foot, shorter stride length and more limited arm movements are necessary for efficient management of the race.
Rhythm. posture and tempo are interdependent and critical to the success of the race .
Final acceleration (finishing sprint) is addressed y first increasing tempo (stride frequency) and ultimately is combined with stride length.
E. CLOSING STATEMENT:
In the process of changing motor patterns, one must accept the fact that there will be initial regression in performance level. You must be willing to remain motivated. focused and look at the "big picture". Each of you has the ability to improve upon your performances. Keep an open mind.
MANAGEMENT OF A DECATHLON
A decathlete can have all of the skills to perform well, but if he mismanaged his final weeks of preparation and the competition itself, he will experience a poor performance. Some of the concerns that need to be addressed are as follows:
A. Pre 100 M
B. General to specific
4. Technique (NM)
C. "Blowout" aspect
D. During and between events
E. Cooling down after day one -extensive
6. Post-Decathlon recovery period -How To
7. Day/Morning of competition management
A. Waking up
B. Eating -when, how much, what
C. Getting to site/stadium
D. Packing bag/equipment the night prior to the competition
E. Clothing/fluids/hat, etc.
8. Developing the ability to address yourself to the problem (event) at hand. (i.e., mental focus -punch in/punch out in each event)
9. Establish Long Jump/High Jump/Pole Vault marks as soon as you arrive to the stadium each day.
10. Intentional fouls!
11. The 30 minutes between events if to be considered "preparation time" and not rest time.
Planning your competitive decathlon season needs to be done early in the year and be very carefully thought through. It is strongly recommended that you do one full decathlon prior to the Championships and then expect to do one to two decathlons post Championships. You should strongly consider using other meets to compete in to improve upon your weak events.
FROM: Proceedings of the International Track & Field Coaches Association