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Coach Ange's Blog

10 Best Gifts for Sprinters (Updated August 21st 2019)

Here is a short list for anyone looking to buy a gift or gifts for your favorite sprinter in your life. Hey, that person might just be you!



1. Blender

a) General Blender:  Magic Bullet that is small, compact and does the job making simple 2 or 3 ingredient smoothies such as fruit and yogurt. I tried it and did not like it as it took up space in my kitchen and did not allow me to expand what I wanted to add to my shake. But the MB is cost effective for simple shakes. 

b) Premium Blender: both Vitamix or Blentec will grind seeds, dark greens like broccoli or kale , flax and pumpkin seeds as well and whole frozen fruits like strawberries. ( My gift to myself this past holiday season was a Vitamix and it is hands down the best of all blenders I've used, bought and tried. I had Blendex thinking it was saving me 200 dollars. It was saving me money but as my knowledge has grown in nutrituion so too have my tastes. Vitamix a professional blender designed to crush almsot anything. It's durable, guaranteed quality and it's larger volume than anything I've had in the past. I can't say enough good about Vitamix. 

Coach Ange's favorite Protein Shake of the moment 

1. *home made almond milk one cup

2. one cup ice filtered water

3. 1/2 frozen banana

4. 1/2 cup fresh cut pineapple ( I cut my own now as it's fresher and better value) 

5. 1 cup spinach loosely packed 

6. 1/2 cup kale ( sometimes I add one or the other and not always both) 

7. 2 to 4 TAB of whole flax seeds

8. 1 TAB of MCT Brain Octane BULLETPROOF (TM)

9. 1 scoop of my favorite protein right now 


2. Athletics Tights for training

 a) Tights for all occasions = can be purchased inexpensively at retailers, which include Costco, Wal-Mart, Sears, TJ Max. Reasonably priced tights are perfect for layering in colder weather when one pair won’t do and baggy sweats or rain gear interferes with training. 

b) Premium Athletic tights = Sometimes you get what you pay for. I don't like buying tights that fall apart quickly but I also don't like spending a lot of money on tights and having small or large issues with them. I like to understand the return policies of items prior to the purchase. How long do I have to return them? How careful do I have to be washing them? Spending more money on tights does not guarantee quality. Many brands now have multiple levels of quality. Middle range might be a good idea for a gift. You can almost spend any amount of money on tights. Under Armour, Addidas, Puma, Nike are all really good at providing multiple levels of brands of tights. I'm somewhat done buying expensive tights. IMO, If it's a gift you want to ensure they can be returned and have some kind of quality guarantee should anything go wrong. 


3. Water bottle

I like Nalgene water bottles because they are safe to drink from, they do not leak, they are easy to clean, durable and you can freeze them and they last. I personally do not like drinking from metal. I love the wide mouth but they also have bottle size opening to drink from. There are so many water bottles now but the reusable ones make so much sense for the active athlete who trains often. Water bottles for sale as of 2019 can be priced as high as $50 dollars. It's a personal thing because you are usually drinking from the bottle opposed to just storing water in it. 


4. Protein

Protein for smoothies and protein shakes = Sun-warrior protein is a premium vegan based brown rice powder. It comes plain, flavored vanilla and chocolate. You can also try premium Whey Proteins from New Zealand. The biggest factor in my experience for protein is taste and ease of blending. The more I read and learn the more I believe most of our food needs to come from real food due to existing enzymes and minerals naturally occurring in foods . Having said that, I find it difficult to live a modern day life filled with demands of work, raising a family, being  extremely active and feel great while living my life without supplementation. Buying a top end protein powder as a gift for someone you care about might be a real treat. The range of proteins for sale is large and can be confusing. 


5. Subscription to a Top Nutritional Journal

Understanding more about nutrition is one of the easiest ways to enhance a sprinters ability to get the most out of his or her training. As of 2019, there are multitudes of free subscriptions to Functional Nutrition advocates, many whom are medically certified. Top notch nutrition is the most powerful performance tool any athlete and sprinter will legally be able to tap into. Here are the links to a few of my favorite, knowledgeable and very interesting individuals I follow online. PeterAttiaMD, Dave Asprey, ChristianaNorthrupMD, ChrisKresser.  


6. Books for Sprinters

Speed Trap and The Charlie Francis Training System are two easy to read and follow book that are available here on the site or at Amazon.com. Both will give the sprinter in your life an overview of the world of athletics and sprinting at the development and elite levels.


7. Medicine Ball

Dynamax medicine balls are made of leather and made in the USA. For the most premium brand go to www.togu.de . For some reason it’s difficult to find good medicine balls out of these two companies.


8. Massages

the best place to find quality therapy is through athletic injury clinics or from other coaches or athletes who may make personal recommendations. You can’t go wrong with gift certificates.


9.Rain Gear

It does not have to be Gortex but light weight rain gear can stop the wind and keep you warm and prevent the rain from getting you wet. Muscles perform best when they are dry and warm.


10.Personal timing device

 I have been wearing the Timex Indiglo watch for a long time and I love it. I time everything and log the results and use my watch in the water as well as its waterproof.

I hope this list of the 10 Best Gifts for Sprinters gives you some great ideas to buy your special someone a fabulous gift. 

 "Sprint your own race" 

Coach Angé Coon 

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Managing Muscle Tightness for Sprinting

Overtraining and lack of understanding of how to train properly are two factors which might contribute to muscle tightness. ( One example would be that we alternated high intensity sprinting with low or very low intensity training. Sometimes especially in my early days of training we might take more than one day to full super compensate from high level speed work) Constant muscle tightness is not normal for sprinters.  Ongoing muscle tightness is not desirable for sprinters and may put you at high risk for serious injury which may be difficult to bounce back from.  Tightness can indicate your muscles are working hard. Learning to run in a relaxed manner will help prevent injuries but relaxation during sprinting often comes with athletes who have greater knowledge and experience. We used to have a saying about training. "you can always add ( work) but you can't ( easily) take it ( the work)  away". Knowing when to stop working hard is one of the most difficult things to teach athletes and coaches and parents who all mean well but don't fully appreciate the cost and effects of small or large injuries in sprinting.

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Power Speed Drills in Track and Field

There may be some confusion about who should do drills for speed training and why performing power speed drills will help you sprint faster.

I guess the debate of how and why Power Speed Drills are good for sprinting will go on and on.

I was taught that there is not one magic bullet answer for sprinting well.

The pursuit to acquire the skill to improve your sprinting will be a worth while one in my opinion.

My advice would be to learn as much as you are able about all the complex and simple aspects of this specific skill.

Take a look below and see what you think. 




Question about Power/Speed Drills. I notice many times that in discussing power/speed many people leave out the “C” drill. I guess I have a twofold question:

  1. Can you clarify what the C drill is? I have seen two very different video variations as to what the drill is. I guess what I am looking for is how Mach intended this drill to be performed.
  2. Why is the drill not used more? I figure that maybe the answer to 1 may answer this, or I could be way off base and maybe it is used more often that I thought.

Thank You


Hello Jason,

Thank you for your questions.

 For as long as I have been in track and field I don’t recall ever doing or hearing about what a ‘C’ drill is. I started running track before 1980 and I have been competing, training and working in track ever since.

While living, training and working with Charlie from 1988 to 2010 I do not ever remember doing or hearing him talk about a ‘C’ drill.

I have reviewed Gerard Mach’s “Sprints and Hurdles” manual which is no longer in print. There is no mention what so ever to any drill called the C drill in Gerard’s 58 page book.

I did a search online based on your question to my blog. I found a few people who added a ‘C’ drill into Gerard’s Power speed drills despite Gerard not illustrating or discussing this drill in the manual.

The one diagram I found showing a ‘C’ drill resembles a drill I learned and performed extensively with Coach Charlie Francis called bum or butt kicks. We did bum kicks as part of our power speed drills which usually done daily on both tempo and speed days as part of our warm up.

To perform a bum kick you are essentially kicking your butt over and over again. We would usually do bum kicks over a 10 , 20 or 30 meter distance. ( or more depending on the purpose) in sets of 3 , 6 or 8 depending on the time of year. Larger volumes of drills in the spring and fall and smaller distances and volumes overall during pre comp and comp phases of our annual plan.


I hope I have answered your questions.



 Angela Coon 

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