Sample speed workout for Short to Long Speed Training

March 22, 2017 by Angela Coon

I think there is a great deal of confusion for many coaches and athletes about what actual speed training looks like. To be fast you must run fast. To run fast you must set yourself up to succeed. You will not run fast if you are tired and tight as one example. You will not run fast if you are not able to give 95 percent effort. DON’T repeat runs for speed training if you are not feeling 95percent effort is possible. The reason you don’t want to do perform speed tired or tight is you will repeat runs performed poorly. Otherwise it’s likely you are practicing running that is not fast or technically sound. It’s essential you show up to practice each day and each workout feeling great, rested and ready to grab anything you are able to from each training session.

Below is a simple question asked by an interested person who saw an interview I did on the performance of life, rest and regeneration.
 

Forum Member Question

Hi Angela,
I listened to you recently in an interview online.    Could you give an example of a high intensity workout for speed?  Thanks Roy

Coach Ange’s Answer

Thanks for your note Roy. An example of a high intensity speed workout might be the following in a short to long method of speed training.

  1. 4 x 10 meters from crouch start or from blocks (volume is 40m of speed) Rest between each 10 meters would be slow walk back / slightly more rest if you use blocks. ( rest between sets might be 2 to 3 minutes / sitting , shaking your legs)

  2. 2 x 20 meters from crouch start. Rest between each run ~ 2 m/ rest between sets 3 to 3.5 min) (volume is 40m speed)

  3. 3 x 30 meter from crouch start Rest between each run 3 to 3. 5m /rest between next set 3.5 to 4 /5 min (volume is 90m speed)

  4. 1 x 60 m crouch start (volume is 60m) (v= 60) (if you did another 60 m rest might be 6 min maybe a bit more) . Total v = 230m

Above is one example of a speed workout for a beginner without much background in sprinting and without a developed Central Nervous System CNS. The workout shown above would be preceded by proper warm up. For more info checkout this blog post Warming Up for Sprinting in Track and Field

 

Important Definitions for Speed Training
  1. Speed / pure speed:
    runs that are 7seconds or less performed at approximately at 95 percent / slightly less with full recovery.

    What is full recovery?
    Generally speaking you use 1 min of rest per 10 meters of speed work. If you had a hurdle in the way that won’t be pure speed because by definition It’s difficult to perform you max 93 to 95% with a hurdle in the way. Therefor true speed must be done in absence of hurdles and before hurdles are practiced. Rest between reps will be slightly different than rest between sets. Depending on the fitness of an individual will 

  2. Speed Endurance:
    7 to 15 seconds of running with full recovery between runs. One example of SE would be 60m and above for most including 100m.

  3. Specific Endurance:
    15 seconds or above up to about 600 meters / 100m or 200m runners would not be running 600m but 400 meter runners would (As a 100mh I did a lot of 300m repeats (7x300m) in fall and spring for strong fitness base) 

  4. Special Endurance:
    15 seconds or above with incomplete recovery (note/ most people will not maximally benefit from doing high quality Speed Endurance because “ practice makes permanent”. For that reason performing Specific endurance combined with pure speed in the initial phases of running makes a ton more sense until the technical aspects of an athletes development can be solidified over time.

Running fast is fun. Learning to run fast is fun too but it’s hard work. It takes time, lots of energy and lots of practice and knowledge. Sprinting requires skill and often our skills have been learned the wrong way. Children know how to run and well meaning parents and coaches believe they know a great deal about skill when often they don’t.  It might help some of you to think back to when you used to race your friends in the playground. What did you do? Likely every one would line up and race a reasonable distance. Likely the younger you were the shorter the initial distance. The other thing that would happen is you might race until you were tired. There is an actual feeling to running fast and once you have run fast and well remembering what the feeling is and how to best repeat it can be an incredible asset in how you perfect the skill of learning how to sprint fast.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

Angé

 

Comments

Reginald Jackson

Reginald Jackson said:

Hello,

My son plays high school baseball. He has to run a 60yard dash. The time he has to run it is at least 7.0 or preferably under in order to catch the eye of a college coach. He is running a 7.2 . What can he do to cut his time down?

Coach Angé

Coach Angé said:

Hello RJ,

Here are some ideas to help your son cut his time down from running 7.2 to 7.0.

1. Prioritize doing dedicated short speed workouts one day away from baseball practice, or if possible perform some short speed training before the baseball practice. If you do speed before baseball, take care not to do too much so his baseball suffers.

2. An example of what you might do for short speed workout.

-Perform 5 min jog on grass, do some arm circles, kareoke, side skipping mixed with small numbers of sit ups, jumping jacks and push ups. Perform a few easy running drills. Spend about 15 min in the warm up.
- Stretch as needed
- 4 × 10 meter from laying down, face down, you clap him/ her to run over 10 m. Walk back, repeat. Take ~ 3 minutes before next set
- 4 × 20 meters also laying down. Walk back but take a bit more time to walk back. Also start laying face down with someone clapping to start.
( the purpose of laying down and having the athlete react to your clap is to avoid thinking too much. “Thinking” can kill well meaning efforts as sprinting is a hind brain activity. I know it seems too simple to work but it can be a very simple, easy to achieve method to put an athlete in the proper mechanical position)
2 – 3 × 30m = take up to 3 to 4 minutes rest before sprinting the 30m. Take more time between 30m. General rule for sprinting is to take 1 min rest/ per 10 m of pure speed. Be mindful of this rule. Set yourself up to succeed.

Only progress to 60 m depending on how athlete feels.

This is a simple, short speed workout performed over time, may help improve your son’s overall speed.

Ylexis

Ylexis said:

Hi so this year I was a walk on for a D1 program and I made the team. This is also my first year doing track(Im a sprinter). This summer I’m really trying to become more powerful, faster, stronger, etc. I’m trying to create and schedule a program for myself to follow while following Charlie Francis’s methods.Generally speaking , what type of running workouts should I do in the offseason? How should I schedule a weeks worth of training Of running drills?Also when should I include hill runs or sled work? My offseason is about 15 weeks. Sorry if this is a lot! I’m new to this sport and any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Coach Angé

Coach Angé said:

Hello Ylexis,

Congratulations on making your track team. Good for you for wanting to maximize obvious talent.

Thank you for your note.

Have you read “Speed Trap”? It’s a quick read. Jeff Coplon and Charlie wrote the book. Charlie’s words, Jeff’s writing but when I first read the book more than a decade after it was published it sounded like Charlie speaking.

The book begins to tell the story about Ben Johnson, Canadian Olympic Champion and world record holder from the 1988 Olympics. If Ben was a tennis or golf player, white and from the USA and any other country in the world there would be no book or story. ( research and find a way to see 9.79*. It’s a documentary by Daniel Gordon from the UK. He interviews each person from the men’s 100m final in 1988. The squirming in this film is priceless)

The book is filled with sprinting wisdom, ideas, training and general concepts you need to understand to be your best.

Once you have read and studied “Speed Trap”, move on to read “The Charlie Francis Training System”. This book never would have been written had the scandal not happened in 1988. I wanted Charlie and I to re write it but he simply ran out of time. This book in combination with “Speed Trap” is priceless for a sprinter or any athlete.

In general terms you need a general preparation phase which acts like a base for all other training. Generally, you want to do longer runs, hills, more reps of lifts with more sets and as the season begins quality rises and quantity is reduced. Check out the video General Preparation Phase for all sports. It’s a download with Master Coach Charlie narrating. I’m in it demonstrating med ball drills, sit ups and hurdle walkovers.

Let us know if you have further questions once you’ve had a chance to look through some of the material.

Continued success on your journey.

“Sprint your own race”

Coach Angé

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