Despite popular belief pole vaulters cannot train like sprinters. There have been many pole vaulters from my club who have gone on to colleges where they would do sprint workouts and lifting sessions on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays, and the pole vault sessions were relegated to Tuesdays and Thursdays which essentially should be recovery days. In the long run this will cause little improvement in the vaulter’s technique, max efforts in grip, push, and pole stiffness, and most importantly lead to run throughs. Below I have outlined a typical Pre or early season workout schedule that focuses on volume. But ultimately as the season goes on any jumping, sprinting, and lifting should be lower volume and higher intensity.
A word on intensity level in pole vault. The way a coach can manage intensity and volume is by the approaches you have athletes take in practice. When in early season make sure to keep the intensity low with 1,2,3,4, and for the advanced 5 left approaches. At these length approaches athletes will not be hitting top end speed and you can prevent central nervous system fatigue, while being able to do a higher volume of jumps 20-30 jumps in a session working out technical issues. I have even seen very fit athletic athletes take over 40 jumps in a session.
Once you are peaking later in the season you can use 6,7,8,9 or 10 lefts approaches and most athletes will take 7-20 jumps at most. These jumps would have a higher demand on the central nervous system, but certainly the volume must be taken down. These jump sessions must be followed with at least three days of active rest before attempting to vault again from a full approach in order to allow the central nervous system time for a full recovery.
Early season phase.
On a Monday Wednesday Friday split athletes can do the following.
Mondays and Fridays which both have two and three days rest between can be your major jump days.
Mondays and Fridays
Warm up jug focused on open strides
High knee but kicks
2’ apart walks
4’, 5’, 6’ apart runs
I sometime throw in a 4 step jumping drill without a pole to teach athlete how to jump up properly with a penultimate step.
Planting drills and Pole Runs