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London 2017 Post Mortem

This topic contains 131 replies, has 30 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of biggut Biggut 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 25 posts - 51 through 75 (of 132 total)
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  • #68059
    Profile photo of ladyloz
    Ladyloz
    Participant

    I would think that the injury Laura suffered in June causing her to miss a few weeks training was a bigger factor on her performance in London than indoor races run 6 Months earlier.

    #68060
    Profile photo of stevek26
    SteveK26
    Participant

    I would think that the injury Laura suffered in June causing her to miss a few weeks training was a bigger factor on her performance in London than indoor races run 6 Months earlier.

    Quite possibly.

    But it was an unusually hard schedule she set herself in the Euro indoors. I would have thought it took quite a lot out of her.

    #68075
    Profile photo of sovietvest
    sovietvest
    Participant

    The heavy racing schedule (and the intensity of training leading up to it must surely have contributed to the injury).
    No athlete can achieve two, true peaks in a year. Laura was simply sensational indoors. That was her peak this year and I still believe Steve called it right back in March!
    She’s got a great – but inexperienced coach – and they got the 2016 peak wrong, too. I’m convinced tough they’ll nail it in 2020 if not sooner.

    #68149
    Profile photo of larkim
    larkim
    Participant

    Is there any science to back up the statement that no athlete can achieve two true peaks in a year? What’s so special about a 12 month window that a 6 month window can’t replicate? Agreed its challenging, physically (and particularly mentally, to maintain the intensity of training), but that’s not the same as saying it can’t be done (and for the right individual, could and should be done).

    #68150
    Profile photo of sovietvest
    sovietvest
    Participant

    No scientific evidence. Fair enough that you pick me up on this but I can’t think of any athlete who has successfully done it and lots of examples of athletes who have failed to peak at two champs in a year. Even the Euro / CG double peak has proved tricky for our athletes whenever they have been spaced apart.

    #68151
    Profile photo of justrunfast
    justrunfast
    Participant

    Is there any science to back up the statement that no athlete can achieve two true peaks in a year? What’s so special about a 12 month window that a 6 month window can’t replicate? Agreed its challenging, physically (and particularly mentally, to maintain the intensity of training), but that’s not the same as saying it can’t be done (and for the right individual, could and should be done).

    There is no evidence whatsoever to support it, there are lots of “Theories” but athletes break this myth year in year out. NCAA college athletes do it year in year out some even have triple peaks.

    It can be done but needs to be planned very carefully in respect to, what the athlete wants to achieve, also their SEASONS BEST from the year before and the level they are actually at.

    Lets not undermine Laura’s coach, they probably planned for a double peak with a periodised plan and the intensity in terms of micro and mesocyles. The spanner in the works in my opinion for Laura and her team was she absolutely went above and beyond I reckon what they expected her to run indoors, not only this we are talking about working at level she has never gone to not many ever have. Maybe not by much possibly 1 or 2% but that 2% needs more rest and recovery. Also the other spanner in the works was her getting hurt where it seemed she came back and everthing was a bit rushed. I expect Laura to have an even better year next year (No injuries pending!)

    Also on this note the idea of a “Peak” gives people a false idea of intensity and how far the body can go, in my opinion a lot of GB athletes worry about a peak too much and therefore undercook their season! Not enough races not enough intensity in crucial periods during the season hence get to a champs and underperform.

    People need to remember it’s very easy to run faster after running a Personal best or a very fast time early in the season, rest and recover until the body is back to where it needs to be. It is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get close to a seasons best or personal best at a champs if you have been running at a lower intensity or sub standard all year.

    #68152
    Profile photo of justrunfast
    justrunfast
    Participant

    To sum up double and triple peaks can be accomplished and it has been shown it can be done many times BUT you have to know how to put an absolutely outstanding programme together and know the athlete inside out!

    #68155
    Profile photo of mrme
    MrMe
    Participant

    At the end of the day Laura has won 2 European titles this year.

    She could have skipped indoors and still come away medal-less at the worlds. Then she would have ended the season with nothing to show for it. It’s all part of her progression and I doubt a similar strategy will be used in future.

    She is skipping the commonwealths next year, so I guess she will run a single event at indoors and then focus on Europeans.

    #68158
    Profile photo of ursus
    Ursus
    Participant

    To sum up double and triple peaks can be accomplished and it has been shown it can be done many times BUT you have to know how to put an absolutely outstanding programme together and know the athlete inside out!

    That’s partly down to the athlete but mainly the coach

    She’s got a great – but inexperienced coach – and they got the 2016 peak wrong, too.

    And there’s the rub.

    As part of a wider intended post about our throwers, I was going to highlight Merv Luckwell, someone who many thought had the physical attributes for 90+ but maxed out at 83. His named coach was someone who’d only come into the sport a few years earlier when his daughter started throwing at club level, openly confessing on forums that he was very raw. Now he may have had back up from seasoned hands, I don’t know. But what I do know is that you don’t get Harry Redknapp to coach Ronaldo or Messi.

    I know nothing about Laura’s coach, so can’t comment specifically, but the principle holds good and I’m convinced that’s a principle failing of our system, especially in the technical events. Is it an accident that Poland has so many outstanding field eventers? Or that the Czech Republic with a population one sixth the size of ours waltzed off with half the javelin medals?

    #68159
    Profile photo of larkim
    larkim
    Participant

    A put a few minutes aside to compare the squad with the podium / relay / potential funding on this spreadsheet.

    Not sure what it really tells us – it includes all those funded (and whether they were selected or not) and all those selected who weren’t funded. Where their natural event for selection is a grey area I’ve included the most likely (I think).

    I suppose the vast numbers of those funded on relay packages vs the actual selections is one of the standouts.

    E&OE!!

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1L5elaihxLlP5djYjft336isL08OoNVLyGUhi_CPhUTk/edit?usp=sharing

    #68160
    Profile photo of stevek26
    SteveK26
    Participant

    Ursus

    You will know way more about this than me, and you touched on it in your above post.

    It seems that Poland can produce thrower after thrower, male and female. So the question I would ask is simple. Do UK Athletics invest any money in sending our throws coaches to Eastern Europe to learn their secrets? Or at least get a grip on what they do so well that we don’t ?

    Or is it just a cultural thing that they have more raw material to work with? (no drawing away of talent to rugby, for example).

    #68161
    Profile photo of larkim
    larkim
    Participant

    I’d be inclined to suggest towards the cultural thing. And not overplay the lure of other sports drawing them away (whilst a few top throwers have left to pursue riches elsewhere, most powerful young athletes probably never start with the throws in the first place, they just naturally gravitate towards sports like rubgy anyway).

    Whilst we have some highlights in our traditions in the throws which even a throw-ambivalent person like me can appreciate (Sanderson, Whitbread, Backley, Capes etc) it doesn’t feel like we’ve ever had anything other than the odd flash in the pan of supreme talent compared to the depth in certain other countries which, for one reason or another, find the throws fitting with their cultures better.

    Of course, add into that that it creates a paucity of coaching talent geographically close to young potential athletes growing up and you end up with very few truly top class throwers.

    #68163
    Profile photo of ursus
    Ursus
    Participant

    Or is it just a cultural thing that they have more raw material to work with? (no drawing away of talent to rugby, for example).

    My guess is that it’s more structural than anything else, followed by cultural. The rugby thing is largely a red herring and, even if you accept it, how does that explain the women’s side?

    I think we produce sufficient talent. Goldie was good, Kelly Morgan could’ve been better. Morse was good, should’ve been better. Okoye was potential WR material, yes that good. Miller and Sophie are regular global finalists. Lally (53m yesterday….) has an international class PB if not temprament. Luckwell as mentioned should’ve thrown a lot further. But what happens to excellent youngsters like Dan Pembroke, Izzy Jeffs, Freya Jones, Sophie McKinna etc. Even Alex Smith, an Olympic finalist in 2012 has fallen off the radar years prematurely.

    The very least we can offer our athletes is the opportunity to keep improving – doing otherwise will see them leave the sport in droves. And you can’t offer that without a good coaching structure.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Profile photo of ursus ursus.
    #68165
    Profile photo of sovietvest
    sovietvest
    Participant

    JRF,
    You used the example of athletes in the collegiate system to show that two peaks in the season are possible. Are there really ‘lots’ of examples?? It seems to me that very few reproduce their collegiate form. Kerley and Korir are great examples this year who left their best form stateside. I’d also argue that the Christian Coleman that ran the NCAAs could have won either the 100 or 200 in London. Even notable Olympic Champs like Ereng and Wariner were in steep upward curves and I would argue hit a far higher peaks in Seoul/Athens than during their collegiate seasons.
    And to be clear – I’m not arguing coaches can’t schedule training to perform well at two major champs in a year, I’m arguing they almost never hit the same standards twice in a year.

    #68174
    Profile photo of sidelined
    sidelined
    Participant

    When UKA imported a Finnish javelin coach some years ago to try and improve things, it didn’t work out. Perhaps someone on here knows why. One athlete he did advise was Laura Whittingham, who threw 60m and then was struck down with injury and never got close to that again. She said in an interview that when said coach visited her at Bath, he said, ‘Where are all the javelin throwers?’ Partly it’s a numbers game, as Larkim says. If there are very few coaches around to encourage young athletes to try the event and to develop good basic technique, then you’re not going to produce many decent javelin throwers. Even more worrying is the failure to develop them when they do miraculously, appear.

    How do you recruit, train and inspire new coaches in an event that’s failing?

    #68175
    Profile photo of leadleg
    LeadLeg
    Participant

    We have had considerable investment in coach development in recent years, first by the national coach development programme, and secondly by coaches like Dan Paff, Malcolm Arnold and others who had a part development role. This has all stopped granted but we should have some sort of legacy from this work that lasted for a good 5/6 years.

    The issue is more system related. Athletes tend to go on a journey with their club coach, and if this is accepted as the way, then we need more of a national coach (taking the athlete and coach on via mentoring type of role) to improve things. Alternatively the sport needs to develop a system where athletes freely move from coach to coach. This needs considerable funding and political manoeuvring, and this is the last thing that uka seem interested in.

    #68176
    Profile photo of justrunfast
    justrunfast
    Participant

    Sovietvest,

    College athletes go for a double peak, more often than not they replicate and beat there indoor bests at NCAA Outdoors. They have it way harder and consistently perform from March to June they run out of steam because World champs/olympics is a bonus for them. This technically would be considered a triple peak but if they don’t make their national team it doesn’t effect their scholarship and remember they receive ZERO prize money from nationals and worlds so more often than not it isn’t factored as a “peak” in a yearly plan.

    Triple peak is extremely difficult if anything it is easier to double peak for GB athletes and is something I think they should all be aiming for, I’d say even more so for Laura.

    Because of her quality and our selection policy Laura doesn’t ever have to worry about peaking for national outdoors or indoors championships,

    Two peaks Indoors, outdoor worlds that’s it Laura was on course but got injured.

    • This reply was modified 3 months, 3 weeks ago by Profile photo of justrunfast justrunfast.
    #68178
    Profile photo of justrunfast
    justrunfast
    Participant

    Also I really dislike the phrase “Inexperienced coach”

    How is a coach supposed to get experience of coaching at that level without being branded the term inexperienced???

    Grinds my gears even more because on the flip side if Laura medalled the coach would be getting hailed as amazing on here.

    Give coaches a chance to improve

    #68179
    Profile photo of larkim
    larkim
    Participant

    I went off to Po10 looking for some data, but came back surprised. I was expecting to see a dearth of young throwers with “respectable” distances, but this is instead what I found.

    Using the Po10s “UK 100” expectations, for U15 boys there are 92 boys who have the target for 800m and 89 for 1500m. For javelin there are 74, discus 76, shot 76 and hammer 82. So in volume terms (assuming the Po10 UK 100 targets are in any way reasonable in terms of a trajectory likely to lead to “good” senior performances, the volumes of successful throwers at young ages actually seems remarkably similar to the mainstay of middle distance running. I didn’t look too much further but glancing at U17M the picture seemed similar.

    Others more interested and expert in throws than me will know whether those UK100 targets are at all meaingful, but I know from experience with my own son (an “OK” middle distance runner) that the targets are generally quite stretching.

    #68180
    Profile photo of sovietvest
    sovietvest
    Participant

    Also I really dislike the phrase “Inexperienced coach”

    How is a coach supposed to get <span class=”vm-hook-outer vm-hook-default”><span class=”vm-hook” style=”border-color: transparent transparent rgb(0, 153, 0); color: rgb(0, 153, 0);”>experience</span><span class=”vm-hook-icon” style=”display: inline-block;”></span></span> of coaching at that level without being branded the term inexperienced???

    Grinds my gears even more because on the flip side if Laura medalled the coach would be getting hailed as amazing on here.

    Give coaches a chance to improve

    JRF,
    I used the term and in no way meant it in a pejorative sense. Anyone in the relatively early stages of their career could be termed inexperienced – it does not suggest poor performance or a lack of potential it merely recognises the fact they still have scope to learn and improve.
    That said, I’ll avoid the term in the future – do you think ‘developing’ would be more appropriate?
    Having read books by and about some of the greatest coaches – Wilson, Coe etc, I think it is clear that they learn the most from mistakes they make, whilst gaining experience. I guess that is a truism that can be applied to all walks of life

    #68181
    Profile photo of sovietvest
    sovietvest
    Participant

    Sovietvest,

    College athletes go for a double peak, more often than not they replicate and beat there indoor bests at NCAA Outdoors. They have it way harder and consistently perform from March to June they run out of steam because <span class=”vm-hook-outer vm-hook-default”><span class=”vm-hook” style=”border-color: transparent transparent rgb(0, 153, 0); color: rgb(0, 153, 0);”>World</span><span class=”vm-hook-icon” style=”display: inline-block;”></span></span> champs/olympics is a bonus for them. This technically would be considered a triple peak but if they don’t make their national team it doesn’t effect their scholarship and remember they receive ZERO prize money from nationals and worlds so more often than not it isn’t factored as a “peak” in a yearly plan.

    Triple peak is extremely difficult if anything it is easier to double peak for GB athletes and is something I think they should all be aiming for, I’d say even more so for Laura.

    Because of her quality and our selection policy Laura doesn’t ever have to worry about peaking for national outdoors or indoors championships,

    Two peaks Indoors, outdoor worlds that’s it Laura was on course but got injured.

    Thanks for your comments, JRF. I always thought that athletes competing indoors will not have been preparing in the same way for their indoor ‘peak’ as for their outdoor peak. I understood they’d have been doing generally more volume and less speedwork and would employ less of a taper. I remember reading descriptions of what Clyde Hart was doing with his collegiate quarter milers for example. Generally, I thought MD athletes, coming off cross country seasons were doing track work that involved longer reps and shorter recoveries than the track work they’d do later in the season for their outdoor peak.
    That said – happy to be wrong and very interested in what they are doing within the collegiate system. As an aging 800m runner I’d love to peak twice in the year if it is possible – you never know how many seasons you have left!

    #68184
    Profile photo of trackstyles
    trackstyles
    Participant

    … when said coach visited her at Bath, he said, ‘Where are all the javelin throwers?’

    One quick add to this, and something which I think may affect technical events in this country – don’t underestimate the impact for elite athletes of having a very strong training group around them. That doesn’t need to mean other world class athletes (for example think of JEH) but dedicated, strong ‘national’ or ‘b level international’ standard people for them to work off (and be supported by, physically and mentally).

    Which leads into one of my pet topics about making sure the sport does enough to incentivise those at that sub-elite level to stick with it…

    #68185
    Profile photo of ursus
    Ursus
    Participant

    One quick add to this, and something which I think may affect technical events in this country – don’t underestimate the impact for elite athletes of having a very strong training group around them. That doesn’t need to mean other world class athletes (for example think of JEH) but dedicated, strong ‘national’ or ‘b level international’ standard people for them to work off (and be supported by, physically and mentally).

    It’s counter intuitive that athletes train with competitors, but absolutely. If you want to maximise your chances of getting the best outcomes, concentrations of both athletic and coaching talent make perfect sense.

    Which leads into one of my pet topics about making sure the sport does enough to incentivise those at that sub-elite level to stick with it…

    A part of that is having good coaching available so that athletes keep improving and maximise whatever talent they have. Social / cultural changes are the huge problem though; how do you persuade people to troll 3 hours up the motorway to throw a B string discus? The club system is broken, terminally in my book.

    #68186
    Profile photo of justrunfast
    justrunfast
    Participant

    JRF,
    I used the term and in no way meant it in a pejorative sense. Anyone in the relatively early stages of their career could be termed inexperienced – it does not suggest poor performance or a lack of potential it merely recognises the fact they still have scope to learn and improve.
    That said, I’ll avoid the term in the future – do you think ‘developing’ would be more appropriate?
    Having read books by and about some of the greatest coaches – Wilson, Coe etc, I think it is clear that they learn the most from mistakes they make, whilst gaining experience. I guess that is a truism that can be applied to all walks of life

    wasn’t a dig at you! Was at commentators who analyse performance and seem to mention it at every occasion.Namely Denise, colin and Cram

    #68187
    Profile photo of justrunfast
    justrunfast
    Participant

    On the whole i think gb focus too much on peaking, Laura is first gb athlete I have seen in my lifetime who may
    have overcooked it.

    I feel our athletes underperform at champs because they don’t race enough going into champs far too undercooked then run super fast end of August

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