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Charlie Francis Training For Speed Pdf

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Speed vs. Special Endurance. Should speed always be the focus? Designing a on Speed. Selecting the right exercises Charlie Francis (). Velocity. PDF | 80 minutes read | Andrew Maclennan and others published A 16 week A 16 week training plan for a sprinter The Charlie Francis Training System. Documents Similar To The Charlie Francis Training System Speed training yazik.info Uploaded by. glenlcy. Block Periodization.

It was the latter emotion, unfortunately, that coloured the work of most of our newspaper pundits. Their sentiments ranged from the aggrieved "How could Ben do this to us? Munich's Abendzeitung judged Ben "a doping sinner," while London's Daily Mirror headlined its story with a single accusing word: "Cheat!

To use drugs is cowardly, it's cheating, it's disgusting, it's vile. The biggest story in Olympic history required the worst knave Ben , the most Faganesque coach me , and the most malevolent witch doctor Astaphan. Though I understood how the press worked, I was amazed at how smoothly most of the world's track and field writers could suspend reality-how they could pretend that Ben's use of steroids was in any way unusual in elite sport.

I'd known many of these journalists for years, and they were anything but naive. Like the national track federations, writers routinely protected their own countries' athletes from scandal. At Rome in , I had lunch with a prominent Italian sportswriter just after a sports physician had blown the whistle on several well-known athletes in a magazine expose-a scoop iguored by every newspaper in the country.

Ten other athletes from seven other nations tested positive for banned substances. The unfortunates ranged from Bulgarian weightlifters to an Afghan wrestler to a Polish hockey player-all the usual suspects. Ben's case was remarkable precisely because he was a first-magnitude star, the only one ever to be caught. It might be noted that Ben was also the only major player in Seoul who lacked the clout of a powerful national federation behind him, something taken for granted by top athletes from the United States, the Soviet Union, East and West Germany, Britain, and Italy.

In November , Dr. Tony Millar told an Australian Senate inquiry a probe which heard evidence that up to 70 percent of Australia's international competitors had used drugs that this handful of track powers strives to apply anti-doping sanctions most rigorously against those who can fight them least. Millar, formerly the chief medical officer for the Commonwealth Games Association.

Several of the votes were split-which might suggest that power politics, rather than objective scientific evidence, determines whether an athlete is ruined or reprieved. According to Dr. Millar '5 testimony, international officials "get together and discuss this matter-I'll vote for you if you vote for me. According to Heller, Donike revealed that up to 80 percent of male track and field athletes at Seoul had endocrine profiles reflecting previous steroid use.

While Donike disputed the percentage figure on the stand, he acknowledged that an undisclosed proportion of the profiles were The Whole Truth 13 indeed positive. No action was taken against any of these athletes, aside from Ben-an indication that the endocrine profile had yet to be accepted as a reliable test. Even IAAF General Secretary John Holt, while insisting to the BBC that steroid use had been "blown up out of all proportion," went on to estimate that "between 30 and 40 percent of the athletes who are in the leading 20 in every event Taken together, they demonstrated that Ben's case was special only because he got caught.

Even today, however, most reporting on the incident continues to rest on the canard established in those first banner headlines of September that Ben was an exception and that his rivals-by implication, if not absolution-were clean. It is a pat morality play, and pure mythology, but it has stuck.

No News Is Good News When we discovered that reporters had staked out my apartment, Ange' and I found haven at a nearby Toronto hotel and checked in under her name. I was absolutely incoguito-a tremendous frustration for the media.

Canada's greatest international triumph had turned into its most grievous disappointment, and every news outlet in the country wanted to get to the man who had supposedly engineered it-"the missing link in the drug caper that has ruined many lives," according to The Toronto Star.

There was one bright spot: Canadian decathlete Dave Steen had won a bronze medal. A member of the University of Toronto track club, Steen had fallen out with his coach, Andy Higgins, in the fall of , and had come to me to improve his speed and power, key factors in nine of his ten events. I had worked with Steen three times a week for the last three years, and now it had paid off. His success could go a long way toward re-establishing my credentials as a coach.

We remained at the hotel for two weeks and ventured out at our peril. When Ange' dropped by the apartment to pick up some clothes, two reporters tailed her car on the way out, and she took them on a grand chase before losing them.

One television crew demanded that he unlock my apartment door for them, and he had to enlist one of my larger neighbours to throw them out. Another reporter actually began scaling the balconies at the back of the building to reach my ninth-floor apartment. On two occasions, Ange' arrived to find my apartment door inexplicably unlocked. Finally she boiled over.

She was upset; I was appalled. To get away from our pursuers, we took a trip to Ange's parents' home in Belle River, a small town near Windsor, Ontario, only to find just how far the long arm of the press could reach.

The New York Times had already searched out my future in-laws in its quest for background information. At Paddy's, a local gas station which also served coffee at a four-stool counter, the Times reporter had brandished pictures of myself and Ben, asking if anyone had spotted us in the vicinity.

On the highway between Belle River and Toronto, we stopped at a McDonald's, and the woman at the counter asked for my autograph. When I told my mother about it, she laughed and warned me not to get too excited.

On September 30, in a column in The Toronto Sun, I read that Dave Steen had startled Andy Higgins by embracing him after the decathlon medal ceremony and saying, "I owe you a lot, coach.

After a few days I began to regroup and think about the future. I held no illusions of returning to the sport. My hope was to expose the sabotage in Seoul, if that's What it had been, and to move on from there. Early on, I received an offer from an international publishing group. But we decided to turn the offer down. On October 5th, the federal government established its commission of inquiry into the use of drugs and banned practices in Canadian sport, to be headed by Charles Dubin, Ontario's associate chief justice.

I decided that I would wait to speak until I was called as a witness. I knew that I needed a high-powered trial lawyer; I retained Roy McMurtry, former Ontario attorney general and high commissioner to London.

Our hope was for Ben to be represented by Bob Armstrong, who'd worked extensively on other commissions of inquiry, and to co-ordinate our legal strategies. Armstrong was later selected as chief counsel for the Commission. At this point, however, we were unable to get through to Ben, as his phone had been disconnected; we leamed after the fact that he had hired Ed Futerman, a local attorney.

But Ben's line of defence had already begun to emerge through public statements by such IOC heavyweights as Juan Antonio Samaranch and Dick Pound-the people who would ultimately decide his athletic fate. If supporting characters like Astaphan and me could be painted as having coerced an innocent athlete into taking drugs, Ben might yet be saved.

Just one week after Seoul, Ben took the bait. At a press conference three days later, he repeated that he had "never, ever, knowingly taken illegal drugs. If Ben stuck to these statements, they would No News Is Good News 17 support the theory that I had deceived him by giving him steroids without his knowledge or assent-a scenario that would lead to criminal charges against me.

Angella Issajenko perceived Ben's statement as a betrayal, and she was furious with her old teammate. On October 9th, she took him on in an explosive interview with The Toronto Star. You don't back down and slaughter the people you were in league with from the beginning. I neither admitted nor denied that Ben had taken steroids, but suggested that foul play was involved.

Ben's positive, I said, "can only be explained by a deliberate manipulation of the testing process. Astaphan, by contrast, had opted for a total stonewall; in a September 28th interview on CBC television, he maintained that he'd never given steroids or any other banned drugs to Ben. Meanwhile, Ben was a virtual hostage in his suburban Toronto home, and he was beginning to fray. During the second week after his return, a motorist complained that Ben had pointed a grin at him when caught in traffic; a police search turned up a starter's pistol-the "gun" in question-in Ben's black Porsche.

Ben pleaded guilty to common assault, and received a conditional discharge and 12 months' probation. A few weeks later I was rocked by news of another sort. The Dubin Inquiry had submitted for laboratory analysis a sample of the injectable steroid, provided by Angella, that members of my sprint group had been using for the past three years.

In November, the lab issued its report-and revealed that the sample was not furazabol the untestable steroid we had known as Estragol. It was, rather, stanozolol, the same commonly used steroid that had surfaced 18 Speed Trap in Ben's drug test at Seoul.

My confusion-and dismay-was compounded. I would never have allowed my sprinters to use an injectable known to the bC-I would have feared the possibility that its metabolites wouldn't clear their systems in time. Oral steroids, which we had relied on before Astaphan introduced us to "Estragol" in , clear the body much faster than injectables. This revelation failed to solve the mystery of Ben's positive, however. As far as I knew, he had received his last injection on August 28th in Toronto, or 26 days before the metre final.

There should have been ample time for the drug to clear, based on our past experience. Using the same steroid, Ben had tested clean on 29 previous occasions, often with clearance times of less than 26 days.

In several instances, he'd taken an injection as close as 13 or 14 days before a meet. Why had he tested positive this time? Amid this swirl of conflicting stories, I bided my time, and waited for the Dubin Inquiry, which was expected to convene early the following year. I would try to demonstrate that Ben had won on a level playing field in Seoul, and that his spectacular accomplishment should be returned to the record books. Over the next six months, I would prepare obsessively for my eight days in the Inquiry's witness box, retracing every step I'd taken as a runner and coach over 25 years.

I would summon up a career rich in friends and adversaries, in breakthroughs and setbacks. In the process, I would seek to rebuild my reputation as the coach who had forged one of the world's leading sprint teams, whose runners had set 32 world records and won 9 Olympic medals, and who had, by the unwritten rules of my day, developed the fastest man in history.

For years I had been a good soldier. I had kept the conspiracy of silence that governs international track, a see-no-evil world where high-minded condemnations of drug use coexist with the cynical protection of doped-up superstars. But silence wouldn't work any more-not for me and not for Ben. It was finally time to speak up. The Schoolboy I always loved to run. For a boy growing up in the s, in Rosedale, an affluent Toronto neighbourhood, the activity held one great attraction: I was good at it.

In other areas, my gifts were not so clear.

Charlie Francis

In team sports I was a total bust. I had no hand-eye coordination to speak of, and in schoolyard games I would be picked next to last, just before the fat kid. Although running came naturally to me, my first formal sprint was inauspicious.

In a charge of 30 weaving first-graders in a district competition, I was cut off by two kids and trapped behind the crowd. My classmate Jack Robbins was leading until he dropped his handkerchief, and ceded the race when he stopped to pick it up. But from second grade on I won the district championship every year. I was lucky to have parents who supported my athletic pursuits. My father was a former ice dancer who developed the "Canasta Tango," which remains a compulsory routine in international competition to this day.

He was also an artist who worked in the figurative tradition, despite the commercial trend towards abstracts. He was stubborn in pursuing his passions-a trait he passed on to me. My mother was a Maryland-born teacher, the daughter of the 19 history chairman at the U. Naval Academy at Annapolis. From her I inherited a love of reading and the high-strung temperament that is part of every sprinter's makeup. In high school I won every yard dash I entered.

For summer competition I joined the Don Mills Track Club in Toronto in , when I was 15, and, though the coaches there knew little about the finer points of sprinting, I continued to improve. I won five national age-class championships and set a Canadian juvenile under 18 record of 9. Though I'd also won titles in the , the was always my favourite event-the blue-ribbon competition, the one which told who was fastest.

The metre champion rules the most elemental of contests, the truest test for sheer speed. In the very first Olympics, held in ancient Greece in B.

The event is seemingly if deceptively simple and literally straightforward. It crosses cultural lines like no other, and is by far the most competitive-and the most glamorous-Olympic endeavour.

More than nations contested the in , as compared to about 80 in swimming and 30 in gymnastics. From Europe to South America and almost everywhere in between, hundreds of millions of children line up in schoolyards and run, to see who will finish first. The losers switch to other sports or become milers or marathoners, milieus where gamesmanship and grinding effort can compensate for more limited physical gifts.

The winners race on, in ever narrowing fields. They start in local clubs, then move on to provincial and national meets. A few might make their national teams and enter international competition, ranging from two-country dual meets to the Olympics. Only the very best will make it to the Olympic final of the metres, and then one man will stand alone. The world's fastest human belongs to everyone-and when I was 15 years old, no other title seemed quite so royal.

Running became my obsession. I followed the career of the American Bob Hayes-the fastest human of that day, and the Olympic gold medallist in the way other teenagers followed Bobby Hull or Willie Mays.

My great thrill came in , at the Canadian national championships in Edmonton, where I met one of my boyhood heroes: Harry Jerome, the fastest man in Canada. Jerome was a freak of nature, an aberration.

You could say he was the greatest sprinter Canada had yet produced, except that Canada had nothing to do with it. He competed years before Sport Canada was established, at a time when his country provided its athletes with neither financial help nor technical support.

The son of a Saskatchewan railway porter, Jerome showed just how far a fast man could go it alone. Jerome was unknown outside Canada when he tied the world record at flat for the metres in , as a freshman at the University of Oregon.

He was an inexperienced kid, not nearly ready to face the best veteran sprinters in the world.

But the press anointed him as the nation's great hope to win a gold medal at the Olympics in Rome. He was sent there in September, after a summer in Canada without coaching or high-level competition. But Jerome was good, and too young to know his limits. He was leading his semi-final when his lack of preparation betrayed him; he pulled a hamstring and limped to a stop.

Jerome discovered that a star disappoints the Canadian public at his peril. Long after Rome, he was dogged by the press as a "choke.

He also became one of only two men ever to beat the brilliant Hayes in the In the fall of , after another wasted summer in Canada, Jerome travelled to the Commonwealth Games at Perth, Australia.

He was moving full-bore in the yards when his spikes ripped away from his shoe. He hyperextended his leg and ruptured his quadriceps, the set of long muscles at the front of the thigh; a tendon was torn from the knee joint.

Jerome landed in surgery and was still in the hospital when he came across a Vancouver newspaper. He was reduced to tears by a banner headline: "Jerome Quits Again. Though he would never run as powerfully again, he improved his start and worked his way back to the top: the bronze medal in the metres in the Olympics; the gold in the Commonwealth Games of and the Pan Ams of ; yet another world record for the yards.

He remained world-ranked from through , a rare feat of longevity. For all of his accomplishments, however, Jerome remained a voice in the wilderness. By advocating public financing for athletes, he alienated a sports establishment content to emulate Britain's upper-class amateur tradition. By the time the country came to accept his ideas, Jerome was a sick man; he died of a brain lesion at the age of Stanford As I approached the end of high school, I knew my destiny pointed south, to the United States.

The Canadian universities had litfie in the way of indoor training facilities and virtually no track scholarships. America represented adventure and opportunity, and I wanted to be part of it. When Stanford began recruiting me, it all sounded promising: the California climate, the best competition, and not least the school's head coach, Payton Jordan, who had developed Larry Questad into the National Collegiate Athletic Association yard champion.


Jordan secured his reputation in , when his yard relay team set a world record and Stanford placed a surprising second in the NCAA track and field championships. He'd already been named head coach for the U.

Olympic track team. I had my own Olympic dreams, and I hoped he would help me realize them. He would be my mentor, I thought, my first real coach. I left home for Stanford in the fall of Jordan had starred as a sprinter at the University of Southern California in the s, and he still cut an impressive figure: ruggedly handsome, ramrod straight, and terrifically fit for a man in his SOs. There was no question that he knew his stuff. But 23 24 Speed Trap it seemed to me that his heart was no longer in it; I found him inconsistent in his attentions and follow-up.

In the wake of his mid-sixties breakthroughs, he'd turned down the head coach's job at the University of Southern California, only to see his good work at Stanford rewarded by a crippling series of budget cuts. By the time I'd arrived, he was left with only three scholarships a year.

Derek Hansen: Eight Athlete Development Lessons from Charlie Francis

Jordan knew his team would never reprise its Cinderella story of , and thought longingly of USC's advantages, including an unlimited number of scholarships and an admissions department which could be flexible where athletes were concerned. Training time at Stanford was an organized riot.

Many athletes devised their own work-outs as they went along. The lazy ones did so little that they lacked the most basic conditioning. Others, like myself, ran themselves into the ground.

Overstressed and underprepared, I had one muscle strain after another through my sophomore and junior years. In fairness, the chaos in collegiate track was not unique to Stanford. The great majority of college coaches failed to produce a single high-performance athlete. But even the top programs weren't all that well organized; at USC, I knew runners on the same team who trained at different tracks.

In contrast to the situation in Europe, where the various national federations structured meticulous training plans to allow their athletes to peak at the most important meets, American collegians skimped on practice and relied instead on the most rigorous competitive schedule in the world.

They could simply run themselves into form at their competitionsbut only if they didn't kill themselves training in between. He adjusted the workouts to continue this approach.

His intent was to continue with work the athlete was familiar with and not introduce unfamiliar stresses during the transition period. Drastic changes could only result in soreness and a greater potential for injury. In another case, an athlete had a history of stress fractures from a previous coach and Charlie adjusted her program to distribute the volume of work in a manner that allowed for more complete recovery. As always, Charlie was considering the individual circumstances, costs and benefits, and making the best choice for success.

Click To Tweet 5. I remember one sports psychologist telling me that athletes needed to fight through those days when the weather was horrible, with the rain driving down and the wind blowing in your face. The days when the conditions are perfect, the sun is shining and the temperature is cozy, those are the days when you should take a day off training and go home!

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His approach was simple. They will be in a good state of mind and confident about their training. When they get into a competition scenario, they will feel less stress because they have already demonstrated their ability in training. There will be no surprises. In the case of Ben Johnson, the athlete preferred and responded better to shorter distance sprints and weight training.

Longer sprints made him feel lethargic and slow. Other athletes responded better to explosive medicine ball throws as opposed to heavy lifting. Some athletes excelled more with plyometric jumps as a high intensity stimulus, doing less maximum speed training and focusing on long sprints. Being a former world-class athlete himself, he knew that athletes responded better to activities they excelled at and where gains came easily.

This approach is no different than a head football coach who alters his game plan to fit the players that he has on his roster. You will likely not have a pass-focused offense if your quarterback is 5 feet 7 inches tall and can run a 4. Could we have done things better? If someone started to run faster than us, then we would have to look at different ways to get better.

He was always talking about how the East Germans made great gains with their female sprinters using unconventional techniques. When someone claimed they had copies of the East German weightlifting program, Charlie was quick to jump in and call them on it. In some cases, he took aspects of these training programs and incorporated them into his philosophy. In other cases, he simply observed and respected their training techniques, but chose not to adopt them for his own use.

Charlie always evaluated each individual training method and determined the science behind it and the suitability of that method within his training program and for the individuals he coached.

This approach served him well because every decision on training was carefully evaluated and implemented. Recovery Will Determine Training Objectives In his book, Speed Trap, Charlie documented the time when he was an athlete and showed up for a training session with his coach and mentor at the time, Percy Duncan. Coach Duncan gave Charlie a pre-workout massage to test the status of his muscles and then told Charlie he would not be training that day.

They are all tight and knotted. Go home! Not only would the results of the session be poor, but you would also be putting the athlete at serious risk for injury.

Training for Power and Strength in Speed (Key Concepts Book 2)

With his own athletes, Charlie was very hands-on in his approach. The information that Charlie received from his hands or the hands of his therapist would play an important role in how he prescribed work to his athletes each day. In reality, the recovery status of the athlete was the primary determinant of the type of work to be done that day. Training programs are often rigidly assembled, with specific types and intensities of work being prescribed for certain days.

Coaches and athletes get into a habit of completing this work regardless of how the athlete feels. However, when new information is introduced to the coach that confirms that conventional speed work cannot be adequately performed on a given day because the athlete has not recovered — whether centrally or peripherally — the plan must be altered.

Of course, this information can only be had by coaches if they an experienced therapist on hand, seeing the athletes on a regular basis to get a feel for their readiness status. Short of having a therapist present, coaches may have to get involved and gain some experience in hands-on evaluation. Charlie primarily used the medium of massage to determine recovery status. Other coaches can use other means of communication such as stretching routines to determine stiffness levels, foam rolling protocols to identify muscle soreness ratings and simple surveys to determine athlete recovery.

While nothing can replace the diagnostic value of hands-on techniques, coaches must make every effort to assess their athletes and then plan their future work accordingly.

This assertion also emphasizes the importance of having active strategies in place to hasten recovery and position your athletes in an area of ongoing readiness for optimal adaptation. Quality Begets Quality Quality of performance was the key measure that Charlie was looking to capture in every training session.

Whether it was assessed through a stopwatch, distance on a throw, the amount of weight lifted, the sound of foot contacts during a run or jump, or what he saw in terms of technical execution, Charlie was adamant that if the quality of performance in training was not high, you would be training to fail.

Practice makes permanent. Only perfect practice will make perfect! Low intensity work is designed to assist with recovery and the maintenance of a baseline of physical conditioning that props up and sustains the higher intensity elements of training. The low intensity work, however, is not haphazardly implemented, but strategically inserted around the more specific elements to synergistically generate greater levels of performance as the athlete approaches peak competitions.

Charlie was also adamant about taking adequate rest between bouts of exercise. Specifically, when he was working on speed, full recovery periods were necessary to ensure the quality of the runs were maintained. While full recovery to one coach may mean five to 10 minutes of rest, Charlie was sometimes taking as much as minutes between runs to provide the means to make each run as maximal as possible.

Charlie made a clear distinction between what comprises a maximal effort in sprinting. A sprinter who ran Every training element served a specific purpose and had a well thought out rationale behind its inclusion.

Conversely, many modern training approaches include long lists of exercises designed simply to provide variety, fill time and give the impression of completeness, but not serve a useful purpose.

When you go to a lower quality restaurant, you will typically find the menu is rather large with too many dishes of every variety. However, fine dining has a significantly smaller menu that has a much higher quality of food prepared with great care and attention. Training programs are much the same.Sign up for the Latest News and Offers Subscribe. He was sent there in September, after a summer in Canada without coaching or high-level competition.

Others, like myself, ran themselves into the ground. Beginning in February, they'd have two or three races every weekend, and by June they'd be flying. Tuesday, with Ben already gone, the IOC's Miche'le Verdier solemnly read a dry statement to a packed auditorium at the Olympic press centre: "The urine sample of Ben Johnson, Canada, athletics, metres, collected on Saturday, 24th September , was found to contain the metabolites of a banned substance, namely stanozolol, an anabolic steroid.

In track and field, the sprinter who can reach top speed at the right moment and sustain it for as long as possible will be the first one across the finish line.

Aside from forfeiting his medal, Ben would be suspended from international competition for anywhere from three months to two years, depending on the drug involved. He adjusted the workouts to continue this approach.