Author Archives: Dr. Dave

Spring Break Workouts

The following workout plan is a good framework to implement while away from school/coach. Adjust as needed.

M – Speed day. The goal of this day is to push the body near its limits, training both the central nervous system and the muscles. Keep the workout to about 300-400m total. Make sure to do a full warm-up. Possible sprint workouts:

  • 6x60m from a three-point stance
  • 10x30m from a three-point stance
  • 8x30m flys

Additionally, do plyometrics (if you have access to a weight room, you can do our standard Cleans and Deadlift routine) Start with Rudiment and add our skip/bound routine. This youtube video is very similar to ours…go with it

T – Capacity Day. “200 Tuesdays!” Can’t break tradition…keep them up! 6×200 with 2m rest (8x200m for stronger folks).
Additionally, do pedestal and a good post-workout stretch routine.

W – 20-30 min job. We don’t do much aerobic, so let’s get a little in while on break.

Th – Speed day. Repeat of Monday (with weights or plyometrics). Focus on acceleration phases. Blocks if you have them.

F – Capacity Day #2 — Mix it up. Sometimes do some longer work with more rest. Focus on 400m race model. Examples,

  • 3x Split 400s (300m hard, rest 1 min, then 100m as fast as possible, holding form
  • 500m, 300m, 200m — rest 15min betwee
  • 3x300m, walk 100m rest

Sat/Sun — active rest. Hike, ride, or jog — at least 30mins. Or find a short, very gradual hill with a bike and do 8x30s sprints.

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Long Lost Dan Pfaff workouts — FOUND!!!

I thought that title might lure you in. Yes, they are long lost workouts, but only to me. I’m sure there are lots of other copies out there ūüôā

But still, very cool. I found the a folder that Dan gave me back in ’95 when I briefly trained under him.

It’s interesting to see the similarities between these workouts and Trey Hardee’s workouts¬†done under Mario Sategna (one of Dan’s former athletes). Not sure if the similarities are due to¬†Dan’s influence or University of Texas protocols…but interesting non-the-less. Continue reading

Categories: Coaching, Dan Pfaff, Decathlon, Sprinting | 3 Comments

The best coach you’ve never heard of: Oliver Hanf, CSU Chico

When you think of DII Track and Field, you probably think of St. Augustine’s or Abilene Christian (if you think of anything at all).  Those two universities combined have all but one of the Men DII championship titles in the last 30 years.

Of the 168 DII scholarship schools, my Alma Matter¬†CSU Chico ¬†has never won a DII title (I also ran for CSU Northridge and was lucky enough to be a part of the runner-up team in 1990). ¬†But in recent years, CSU Chico has started to make waves in several events…one being my favorite, the Decathlon. ¬†Here’s a quick look at some recent results:

chico_dec_x41999: Trevor Papp: 3rd
2000: Trevor Papp — had best score in nation, but missed nationals due to an injury
2001: J.J. Nobel: 1st,  Erick Knight: 6th
2010: Talor Fulfer: 4th
2011: Talor Fulfer: 5th
2012: J Patrick Smith: 1st, John Brunk: 4th
2013: J Patrick Smith: 1st, Theodore Elsenbaumer: No height in PV cost him 2nd.
*Moreover, J Patrick Smith, Theodore Elsenbaumer, John Brunk, and Adam Nikssaria (who qualified provisionally, but missed going by 25 points) are all returning this year.

In January, I caught up with the driving force behind this success: Oliver Hanf (affectionately known as Coach O). ¬†Joining us for a quick 45 minute chat (we could have talked for many more hours) was John Brunk to lend the athlete’s perspective. ¬†Here are some paraphrased excerpts that you might find interesting.

What’s special about Chico Track & Field?

One thing that Kirk Freitas has always done is endeavored to create a “team” in an individual sport. ¬†In our sport, there’s such differences “of events” and therefore often times personalities, it’s tricky to “mesh it”. ¬†So you try to come up with ways to do that. One thing we do is have athletes occasionally warm up with different groups. ¬†In two weeks from now, we’re going to have a 140 person game of duck-duck-goose; six circles of 20+ random athletes….and the runner has to change circles. ¬†It’s team building. ¬†The very next day, we have our inter-squad Cardinal and White meet. ¬†There’s always a theme and this year it “Animal Kingdom”. ¬†Last year it was “Superheroes and Villians”. ¬†Everyone has to dress up. ¬†We photograph all that stuff, we post it to Facebook. ¬†The idea is to connect.

I ask this tongue in cheek, because we know there is no such thing, but what is your secret?  A special workout or weight program?  Something that you do that you think others might not.

The one hour decathlon. ¬†It’s gives us something to latch onto in the fall. ¬†We’re working towards May, but it’s a little stepping stone. ¬†It’s something you have to gear up for a little bit. ¬†It’s right after Thanksgiving. ¬†I’ve wanted to do it for years…the guy that told me you “just do it” was Kip Janvrin. Continue reading

Categories: Coaching, Decathlon, Heptathlon | Leave a comment

M40 Decathlon Title = Awesome, but Score…ah, not so much.

gold1Last weekend I competed in the USATF Masters Decathlon Championship. ¬†I scored “okay” and was able to take the M40 title, but I failed to reach the score I was gunning for. ¬†My goal going into the competition was to break into the top 10 all-time m40 decathletes (World, not US). ¬†Kip Janvrin, one of the best decathletes of all time, owns the M40 World Record by a country mile, so there was no chance of getting close to that. ¬†Compared to the extremely thinly competed Indoor Heptathlon in which I set the¬†American Record¬†back in Feb,¬†Outdoor Decathlons are common, so the number of high quality athletes who have competed in them is high.

Anyway, my quest for Top 10 failed miserably. ¬†I was barely able to break into the top 25…and in retrospect, it’s pretty obvious why.

Don’t get me wrong, it was still a great weekend of bonding with a bunch of old guys who are as crazy as I am to still be doing this. ūüôā

Competition is not Practice

I have lots of excuses I can pull from: ¬†Weather (90 degrees with 90% humidity), jet lag, sleeping in hotels, road trip food, headwind, 45min delays right before the 100m and 110H…but those are all standard things an athlete and coach must deal with. ¬†And, honestly, I think I planned and dealt with all those things pretty well. ¬†The real reason I scored below my expectations was a poor training plan (I’m not willing to say my expectations were too high, yet). ¬†And I should have expected it really, but I was lulled into thinking I was “okay” because of my practice results. Continue reading

Categories: Decathlon, Sprinting | 4 Comments

Running like RoboCop

As a Masters athlete, I typically workout by myself. ¬†This means I have no one to time me, no one to watch my technique…hell, I’ve got no one to even talk to. ¬† To help combat all these drawbacks, I have to suit up like RoboCop.

On my right arm: iPhone 5, streaming Pandora usually or using Cadence when running 1500 meter tempo work (set to 95+/-5 beats per second).

In both ears: Jaybird BlueBud X — (review to come on these awesome bluetooth headphones — here and on

On my left arm: SoloShot transmitter, which is sync’d with the SoloShot tripod for video capture (with a camera…but hopefully in the future an iPad running Coach’s Eye). ¬†I will be reviewing SoloShot for Track and Field in the near future (here and on

Around my waist: FreeLap, baby!  Read my review here.

Over my eyes: Nike Sunglasses (I wear these religiously…it may be a placebo for fighting back migraines). ¬†I like Nike because they are light and rest comfortably on my nose…but unlike the other products above, I’m not married to these.

Here’s a couple of my first test videos with the SoloShot.¬† These are pretty zoomed out…following the recommendations from SoloShot.¬† But I’ve been experimenting with getting closer.¬† Sometimes it works perfectly, sometimes I get in front or behind the frame…I can’t tell you how frustrating that is…especially when you do something good and want to watch it (like yesterday).¬† Still working out the kinks.

Categories: Coaching, Product Reviews | 1 Comment

Harry Marra Talks about Ashton Eaton‚Äôs training (video) Part 2

Here is the second video of Harry Marra at the ‚ÄúWorld‚Äôs Greatest Track & Field Clinic.‚Ä̬† This clinic was on Feb 3, 2013 at Westmont College.¬† The clinic benefited the ‚ÄúWomen‚Äôs Athletic Performance Foundation‚ÄĚ ‚Äst

They are always looking for donations, so if you like what you see, go to and donate.

In this video, Harry discusses

  1. Pole Vault technique
  2. Speed Weights
  3. Pool workouts
  4. Weights
  5. Training week
  6. And lots of stories.

Continue reading

Categories: Coaching, Decathlon, Pole Vault, Sprinting, Throwing | Leave a comment

It’s Official — well, kind of

My M40 Indoor Heptathlon record was finally posted to the USA Track & Field website…in a PENDING status. ¬†Here’s the link to the M40 page.

In celebration, here’s a few videos of an old man competing (me).

Also, later today I’ll post Part 2 of Harry Marra talks about Ashton Eaton’s training.

Continue reading

Categories: American Record, Decathlon, Heptathlon, Pole Vault | Leave a comment

Who the hell is Damian Warner (or watch out Ashton Eaton)

At the Sam Adams Decathlon/Heptathlon a few weekends ago, I was lucky enough watch and chat with Damian Warner. ¬†Below is the video of his 110H race against Ashton Eaton in which they ended in a dead heat, both running 13.64 into a slight headwind (sorry about the focus…it gets better at the end). ¬†More impressive was his stadium record 10.34 (1.2w) 100m performance on day one, running absolutely alone (2nd place was Gray Horn at 10.91). ¬†He also PR’d in the 400m with a 47.63 (trailing behind Ashton’s stadium and personal record setting run of 45.64). Continue reading

Categories: Decathlon | Leave a comment

Harry Marra Talks about Ashton Eaton’s training (video) Part 1

Here’s more from the “World’s Greatest Track & Field Clinic.”¬† This clinic was on Feb 3, 2013 at Westmont College.¬† The clinic benefited the “Women’s Athletic Performance Foundation” —¬†

They are always looking for donations, so if you like what you see, go to and donate. Continue reading

Categories: Coaching, Decathlon, Heptathlon | Leave a comment

John Prader — the newest member of the 18′ Club

In a day of many PRs at the Cal Poly/ Invitational, one stood out above the rest. ¬†Above Ashton Eaton’s Javelin PR (218-7.5), above Sharon Day’s long jump near-PR (20-1.5)…was John Prader’s 5.50 meter Pole Vault. ¬†Lesser known for sure, but this kid’s speed, power, and technique (reminiscent¬†of Scott Huffman without the roll) are just starting to pay off. ¬†Take a look at this vault…with room to spare! ¬†I’m proud to say I occasionally work out with this cat!


According to TFRRS, this ranks him #1 in Outdoor NCAA Track & Field.

Categories: Pole Vault | Leave a comment