Coaching Corners - LOUGHBOROUGH - 8 July

Some BMC Grand Prix meetings will feature coaching corners before the start of the track action. The aim of these is to provide both coaches and athletes informative workshops in a casual setting. By putting them before a meeting we are recognising how busy coaches are, and aiming to bring easy access to coach education without the need to travel to a separate event.

Coaching corners will start 1 hour before the scheduled start of the meeting and will last 45 minutes.

Entry is included in the price of admission to the meeting. All are welcome including athletes.

BMC Coaches will gain free entry to the meeting and the coaching corner on production of their membership card and coach license.

Grand Prix Four Loughborough 8 July
For Loughborough it is intend to run from 3.45pm-4.45pm in the Sir John Beckwith Building at Loughborough University. Panel attendees are Bill Foster who of course coaches at Loughborough University and who is a former Team GB international marathoner and Rob McKim, who has served as an England Athletics Area Coach Mentor. Both have coached athletes to international success.

Grand Prix Three Watford 24th June

Altitude and Attitude - 15:45-16:45
A panel including international coaches George Gandy and Norman Poole join Olympic Medallist Wendy Sly and host Neville Taylor. All coaches and athletes are invited to meet up for a very exciting and informative 60 minutes.

Grand Prix Two Sport City 27th May

The development of 800m and 1500m athletes - 15:30
The panel will consist of three coaches who have great experience of bringing through 800m and 1500m athletes from a young age.
• Andy Carter was himself a 1.45.12 800m runner who came 6th in the Munich Olympics. Andy also ran a 2.18 1000m and 3.59 mile.
• Stan Taylor ran a 3.58.01 mile on the cinders of White City, he has wide ranging coaching experience.
• Neville Taylor who will host the session, has taken athletes from grass roots to international level including coaching Wendy Sly to an Olympic silver medal.
The coaching corner will take place from 3:30 in the Sport City indoor arena.

Grand Prix One Solihull 13th May

Steeplechase Coaching Corner - 15:30
Please check at registration desk for location

Rio Olympian Sara Treacy will be our star guest at a Q and A session facilitated by BMC News Editor Matt Long. She will be joined on the panel by 3 coaches with distinguished experience working with chasers - namely Bashir Hussain, Stella Bandu and Geoff James

Luke Gunn and Spencer Duval provide BMC News Editor Matt Long with the inside track.
Some of you reading this will perhaps being attempting our 2000m races this afternoon which demand 5 laps of 18 hurdles and 5 water jumps. Let’s warm up with four time national steeplechase champion, Luke Gunn and Atlanta Olympic chaser, Spencer Duval who have six key tips for you.

Tip 1: Learn to take the load.
Three time Commonwealth Games representative Gunn, points out that boys have to cope with the water jump drop and resulting impact from their hips being at around 6 feet in the air, with girls dropping from hips being between 4-5 feet in the air. The Head of Athletics at Birmingham University points out that, “Jumps inevitably involve tendon loading and should be performed when you are fresh rather than fatigued, to start off with. So, the golden rule is to acquire the skill first and before training when under stress and fatigue”.

Tip 2: Work on Foundationals and Fundamentals before event specificity.
Gunn elaborates that, “Physical preparation for the chase has to be underpinned by the development of elasticity, robustness and mobility. Concentrate on general conditioning and physical preparation over a period of months, before moving on to more event specific work such as run overs and strides. Calf raises, squats, lunges and bridges were all part of my regime in the early phases of my periodization cycle and I then progressed on to bunny hops, squat jumps, split squats and step drops. When progressing on to box drops, the golden rule of skill acquisition is to move from double leg to single leg landings”.

Tip 3: Technical competency and simulation
Gunn continues that, “Once you able to hurdle efficiently, you should still continue to work on some general conditioning to limit the load on your body and this engrains good local, lower leg control. Technique can be engendered through the more event specific hurdle based sessions at a later phase in the periodization cycle”. National Coach Mentor Lead for Endurance- Spencer Duval- adds that, “You ideally need once weekly sessions for the novice run over hurdles rather than the more intimidating wooden barriers. When training, coaches can move hurdles into different lanes, place cones in front of barriers and even consider using their own bodies as mild obstructers by moving in front of hurdles during training. This obviously has to be appropriately risk assessed by the coach so as to avoid athlete injury but if done so appropriately the inherent physicality and unpredictability of racing can be simulated”.

Tip 4: Water jump
Luke explains, “Most people's apprehension for the water jump can be eased with adequate practise of placing the foot on the barrier. A good plant on the barrier almost always results in a safe landing the other side. Practise this wearing spikes (for the added grip) first at a walking pace on a lower barrier into a sandpit, then progress the approach speed as your confidence builds. You will find that the foot rarely slips and that as you increase your speed the action becomes easier and smoother. Once you believe this, all you then need to do is to accelerate into the water jump (and all other hurdles) to ensure a smooth, efficient clearance”.

Tip 5: It’s an endurance event
1995 National cross country champion, Duval, advises that, “A key session for a senior could be 3 x 1k over hurdles with 60 seconds and then 30 seconds recovery”, before adding that, “On occasions you should try active recoveries during repetitions with jumping squats being thrown in deliberately to induce the kind of “super-fatigue” in the quadriceps muscles in an attempt to simulate the tiredness that you will face in the latter stages of a race.

Tip 6: Tactics
Duval cautions that, “Many novice runners have an overwhelming desire to go the front of races in an attempt to ‘keep out of trouble’ but you simply must learn to run in the pack as a steeplechaser

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