Sprint Training Ideas
100m , 200m & 400m
by Steve Bennett


Background

My Sprint Training Ideas have been influenced strongly by the Speed Dynamics Philosophy and have been developed further by communication with Loren Seagrave. I recommend the latest Edition of Sportspeed by Dintiman, Ward & Tellez. It is avilable from T&F News.  


Important Training Principles for Sprints

  • Pelvic stability is an area of strong focus from the start of any athletes career. The better their stability and posture the less problems they may have, the more effective they will be and the harder they can train.
  • Circuits for the trunk are performed about 2-3 times a week.
    2-3 sets of :
    10 Reverse Crunches hold at the top for count of 6 rest 30sec
    25 Crunches rest 30sec
    25 side crunches left( preferably in support machine)
    25 side crunches right( preferably in support machine) rest 30sec
    25 twisting crunches(10 each way) cannot be done in support machine) rest 30sec
    10 Reverse Crunches hold at the top for count of 6 rest 30sec
    30 back extensions rest 5min

    I also recommend Medicine Ball throwing and catching to help stabilize the trunk.

    Introductory Stability Program Exercises

    1/ On Right side on elbow use trunk to lift body straight - Hold it for 30seconds
    2/ On Left side on elbow use trunk to lift body straight - Hold it for 30seconds
    3/ On back on elbows use trunk to lift body straight- Hold it for 30seconds
    4/ On Front on elbows use trunk to lift body straight- Hold it for 30seconds
    5/ Legs up on a chair and straight as possible laying on back use hamstrings to lift body straight- move steadily up and down 5 times
    6/ On right leg squat as low as possible while maintaining a straight trunk hold for 15 seconds.
    7/ On left leg squat as low as possible while maintaining a straight trunk hold for 15 seconds
    8/Stand on right leg and balance but make it difficult by swinging your arms around in patterns. Use stabilizing muscles to maintain your position. Do this for 1min.
    9/Stand on right leg and balance but make it difficult by swinging your arms around in patterns. Use stabilizing muscles to maintain your position. Do this for 1min.

    Repeat once
     

  • They should also have regular flexibility assessment from a Physiotherapist and follow a structured stretching program to develop flexibility as well as another program to perform at the track. The stretching should include a variety of stretches both dynamic and static.
  • Speed Drills as promoted by Loren Seagrave of Speed Dynamics seem very effective at improving cadence and posture. I think it is also good in that it gives the sprinters an opportunity to practise being perfect. This is an attitude that needs to be valued. You can't do drills properly (and effectively) unless perfection is pursued. My athletes do speed drills as part of the warmup period at least once per week all year. The sprinters do them at least twice. Each drill is done 3-6 times for 4seconds. The video Drills for Speed is a must have if the drills are to be learned properly. To develop the skill seems to take at least 3 months of practise for most athletes to master.

  • The theory exists that it is better to develop maximum speed first then later in the season add endurance of that speed. Endurance work can be done but not work that involves all out efforts that could result in the athlete practising  poor form. Any kind of speed endurance work can especially as it becomes more intense result in decreased efficiency and maximum speed.

    To develop maximum speed short distances are used ( usually involving an upper limit of  3-4s at maximum speed)
    eg. 40-60m from a standing start, Flying 30m runs off a 25m leadin or
    In & Outs& In eg.
    25m acceleration phase breathing in slowly
    10m at maximum effort breath held
    20m at high cadence less effort breathout and in as final approach to next zone occurs.
    10m at maximum effort breath held
    Ease out

    The athlete may build up to 12 runs in sets of 3-4 with minimum rest between being 3min and full recovery between sets.

    Once the athlete reaches a speed plateau and seems to have difficulty moving to a new higher level. Then something different needs to be done. To gain speed the athlete can look in these areas

    Lately I have structured most training weeks for a 100/200 athlete as
    Mon- Recovery day - Gym 
    Tue- Fast track session - eg Mixed warmup/ Drills/ strides/
    3 x 3 x 60m Set1 Weighted belt 3.3kg Set 2 towed Set 3 Normal
    Wed- Easier Day  Stability exercises Special stretching
    Thu- Endurance Track session maybe 6 x 200 rest 5min at 80% effort - No fading maybe with 3.3kg belt.
    Fri - Recovery day - Gym 
    Saturday- Faster track session  ( Like Tuesday)
    Sunday- Fitness work 3 x 3 x 300 at 75% effort / short rests - Not hard but in place of a slower aerobic run. Session to boost general fitness.    




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