A group of six Welsh coaches attended the recent European Coaches Conference held in Oslo, Norway; Phil Banning, Arwyn Davies, James Thie, Andy Walling, Darren Mcatee and physiologist at Sport Wales,Laurence Birdsey who helps monitor the Welsh elite endurance athletes and assists their coaches.
The Conference started on the Friday night with presentations on’Burn out among coaches’, ‘Running injuries and their prevention’, and ‘Sifan Hassan’s development as a runner’. This was presented by her coach Honore Hoedt who gave us further insight.
On the Saturday, there was a variety of topics being delivered including ‘800m training for champions’ and ‘Seiler’s Hierarchy of Endurance Training Need’- this was delivered by USA’s Stephen Seiler who has studied a myriad of aspects of Endurance Training and was very enlightening for most attendees. There were also sessions on ‘The making of world class distance runner’ and ‘The Healthy Athlete’.
After lunch the coaches could opt for different topics known as “Café Dialogues” where there were informal chats on various aspects of endurance.
This was followed by a short drive to the relatively new indoor arena for some practical presentations on strength training and running drills. The massive arena was perfect for such demonstrations and yet again there was plenty for the Welsh coaches to take away and store in their bank of coaching knowledge.
Sunday was yet another day of varying topics from ‘Training Volume and Intensity amongst International Distance Runners’ to ‘Training strategies and physical dispositions in Kenyan runners’ which was given by world authority Henrik Larsen.
However, the one that most attendees were interested in was ‘Team Ingebrigtsen’ which was delivered by Gjert Ingebrigtsen. This was the story of a family who have taken the endurance world by storm with three of the five children becoming world class athletes under the guidance of dad Gjert, with the rest of the family helping in the background to ensure that the three boys are able to aim for the very top in the sport.
The consensus of opinion from the Welsh Contingent was that it was well worth attending and we would all like to thank Chris Jones (Head of Endurance) and Welsh Athletics for their support and help in attending.
Chris Jones, Head of Endurance said,
“I am delighted to have supported five coaches attend this year’s conference as well as our lead physiologist from Sports Wales.
The European endurance coaching conference offers coaches a huge insight in to how the very best coaches are running national training programmes as well as working with world class individual athletes.
Welsh athletics recognise the importance of investing in our event coaching structures, if we are to develop a sustainable coaching programme we need to be identifying coaches for the future in Wales.
The European endurance conference is a good opportunity for some of our new regional coaches to gain experience and be exposed to a less formative way of learning. This will then add further value to our in-house coaching development programme that is on-going within our event specific areas.”