Operating Concepts

The photo you see below is of Janeth Caisalitin Alder an incredible athlete who has a wealth of running experience. When she was a little girl growing up in the small town of Pastocalle, Ecuador she dreamed of going to the Olympics and representing her country (which she did at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics for Ecuador).

Janeth’s journey was not always easy and what she has learned along the way is the foundation of what we do at Franklin Elite Athletics Track Club.

Janeth Caisalitin Alder

What follows are the principles of our operating concept.

Principle 1: Speed is the Master Principle

We practice a non-linear periodization scheme, which is a fancy way of a saying that we don’t just focus on one thing at a time, but we cover a spectrum of training (both speed and strength) during a two week micro cycle.

One of the two weeks of the micro cycle is a ‘speed week.’ This means that in a 30 day time period we are focused on speed half of the time. Speed in our minds is the master principle of running and in a later article we will describe in detail what specific workouts are included in our speed weeks, but for now understand that we are big proponents of year round, constant speed training.

Principle 2: Strength is Speed’s Best Friend

After speed the concept of strength comes in a close second. Strength in this case does not mean muscular strength in terms of lifting or moving weight, but in running strong. Running strong means being able to run strong enough to allow your speed to be useful.

To unpack this principle a little more, if you are fast, but you are not able to stay close to the leaders or lead yourself during a race then your speed is not ‘useful’ and therefore you need to run strong to bring your speed into play.
To compliment the speed week in our two week cycles we include a strength week. This means that each micro cycle has a speed week and strength week so two weeks out of the month we are focused on speed and for two weeks we are focused on strength.

Principle 3: Proper Programming and Recovery

Running successfully requires speed, strength, and the proper application of rest/recovery. If you were to run hard everyday eventually you will not make any progress. Those athletes that make the incredible mistake to run hard every day plateau quickly or get injured and they find themselves tired and frustrated.

With good programming that applies the principles of speed, strength, and recovery it is possible to achieve your goals as long as you are mentally able to compete well.

Another key aspect to successful programming is understanding the principles of adaptation and specification. Adaptation basically means that your body will adapt to higher stresses placed upon it (like keeping a faster pace) over time. If you don’t continue to stress it after a while you loose the adaptation or if you don’t give yourself enough time to adapt you can overtrain so it is a delicate art to know how to manage adaptation.

Specification means that you will adapt to specifically what you train. If you train for a specific pace over a specific distance then you will adapt to that specificity.

Principle 4: Competitive Mindset

All of the best training in the world without a competitive mindset will not allow you to be successful as an athlete. To compliment the physical training and programming a competitive mindset gives an athlete a platform for continued progress and the ability to learn and grow as a competitor.

To have a competitive mindset requires a good amount of self awareness, intelligence, and tenacity. It is the X factor of being successful because being mentally competitive doesn’t play by the same rules as physical factors.

Principle 5: Proper Nutrition and Hydration

Proper nutrition and hydration are often neglected, but represent extremely high pay off activities that are invaluable to an athlete’s success. In our Track Club we put a premium on paying attention to your hydration plan before and after workouts/competitions and make it a deliberate part of our training plan. The same can be said of proper nutrition. We accept that there are a lot of theories on proper fueling, but the best fueling plan is the one that works for you despite what works for the masses. In short we personalize our fueling/nutrition plan to the needs and specificities to each individual athlete.


At Franklin Elite Athletics we strive to develop the best athletes in the world by working hard and smart. Please join us in this quest!

1 thought on “Operating Concepts

  1. Hi … Our kids are home schooled and teens, so finding athletic programs for them at their age is difficult. Two of our kids (15 son and 14 daughter) would love to do distance running — our 14 year old daughter participated in the Healthy Kids Races at Rassie Wicker Park last year and loved it. Are we too late to jump in? And if not, what do we need to do besides pay for a USATF membership? I’m wondering if they would just show up? And what the schedule looks like? My husband was a collegiate track and field coach for several years, so this is kind of a love that runs in our family :). We were so excited to hear about this program and the possibility of it meeting a desire our kids have shown. Thank you so much…

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