Managing Muscle Tightness for Sprinting

July 29, 2019 by Angela Coon
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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Speed and Power Coach speaks about Coach Charlie Francis

July 28, 2017 by Angela Coon

Coaching a high school track program as been a great deal of fun and created a lot of excitement for me and the kids I am working with. 

Seeing athletes I used to train with and compete with has also been an enjoyable experience. 

Sport as been a huge amount of fun throughout my entire life and it's rewarding to get notes from people across the globe that have been inspired by myself or the work Charlie and I did to create 

Thanks for reading. 

You may also enjoy reading this blog. 



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" LIKE " it or " DON'T LIKE " it ?

July 07, 2014 by Angela Coon

"LIKE"  it?

"DON"T LIKE"  it?

I grew up not just "LIKING"  track and field .I loved it.

I have told many people : Track has brought me some of the very best things in my life.

Historically I have not "LIKED"  some aspects of track and field. 

In the past 26 years I have endured some of the most difficult events in track and field history and thankfully I "LIKE" track again. I think I might even say " I LOVE IT". 

What I don't get is why people like to steal other people's stuff and publish it. 

I don't " LIKE " when people do this sort of thing.  

I guess some people" LIKE" my stuff so much they want to give it to everyone. I am sure they must be a great people everyone " LIKES". They  are just so generous don't you think?  

I tried sending these people a note saying I don't "LIKE" that you have stolen my copyright protected material and you are not supposed to publish it without my permission. 

I am wondering if the conclusion I have is correct. 

Do these people "LIKE" the work of my late husband Coach Charlie Francis? 

I wonder if they know I might not "LIKE" what they are doing. 

I wonder if they think I am dead. I don't think they know I am alive and make my livelihood from selling my material. I don't "LIKE " that but I guess I need to wake up, get off my sprinters butt and do more about this sort of thing. GEE Whiz. I better get busy.

Good luck with your training and make sure you are taking care of you.







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Sprint and Speed Diaries by Angela Coon May 1st 1992 Woman's 100 meter hurdles

May 01, 2014 by Angela Coon

Training Diaries

I am sharing some of my speed and sprinting workouts with people interested in seeing methods discussed on our forums here since 2000.  

I am thankful and happy I wrote so much down. I encourage anyone to keep a journal no matter what it is you do. It helps you reflect, it provides information to repeat or change and it’s a record you may want some day.

I think it might help people to see workouts performed while also learning methods of training they are able to further research through books like “ Speed Trap” and or “ The Charlie Francis Training System”

The workout below was done while Charlie was doing some work with the Detroit Lions. This video was posted by the head strength and conditioning coach who hired Charlie at the time.

Friday May 1st 1992 ( 2 workouts today one in am and one at 5:30pm – I think the workout  was meant to be earlier but sometimes things don’t work out that way when your primary objective at that time was my husband’s work )

Bed 1:30am / Wake 8:15am ( we would have been in Detroit at a hotel)

-         Short hot and cold

-         9am breakfast oatmeal , milk and water ( supplements multivitamin ,boron, zinc, primrose oil, ginseng, calcium)

-         10am treadmill 6 to 7 minutes

-         Few sit ups and pushups

-         4 x 10  - 15meters A skip, B skip, Running A’s , Tripling

-         4 x 8 hamstring curls ( Nautilus machines  60lbs, did not like this equipment but CF hated it as well and it bothered my knees while doing it

-         2 x 45lbs bench ( I must have done 2 sets of 10 to warm up not 2 reps only).

-         1 @ 65lbs

-         1 @ 75lbs

-         =====================================


-         11:30 am 3 egg omelette / cheese and mushroom / water

-         Got back to hotel room, had a short 10 minute nap/ cleaning lady come to clean room so I  went to hot tub/ then showered

-         1pm = had one hour nap

-         Snack before training club house sandwich  3 pieces

( I remember always being hungry and always having trouble feeling like I was not eating enough. Looking back now I see how incomplete and unscientific my eating was. My training was 10 out of 10 and my eating was about 6 or 7 out of 10 IMO).

4pm = more supplements before training. ( I really got sick of taking supplements but they really helped me as well. It’s  a game . You need to figure out what works best and figure out what does not work and this takes a lot of time and energy and we got a ton of supplements for free which was very helpful. ( supplements = *carnitine musashi,  calcium, sublingual glutamine, ginseng, zinc, primrose oil, licithine, amino acids, * green musashi  )

5:30 pm  = Warm up = 2 laps around track

-Sit ups and medicine ball throws

-6 x 15 meter drills Askip, B skip, bumkicks, Running A’s.

- 4 x 150 meters with 6.5 to 9 minutes rest between sets

  1. 18.09
  2. 17.9
  3. 18.09
  4. 18.42


= Warm down = 8 x back and forths over 100 meters shaking very easy

Dinner = Veal marsala, soup , water, milk

Did another hot and cold, massage and slept very well.


NOTES : The worst part of my training were runs like the ones I did on this day. I never felt good or great doing them. I always felt it was a  task. I loved doing speed , I loved lifting weights and I also loved training hard. It was Charlie's opinion that I lacked the time and or background doing longer work/ speed endurance because I was out of the sport for so long at the age I needed to be doing differently. Having said that you have what you have and as a coach you need to try and find ways to accomplish the different variables of your event while not forgetting the individual. 



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Speed Trap review from 1991 by Joe Horrigan of Soft Tissue Center in LA

June 21, 2012 by Angela Coon


Soft Tissue Center
6222 Wilshire Boulevard • Suite 313 • Los Angeles, California 90048 • (213) 932-1855
Review by Joseph M. Horrigan
Speed Trap gives you a front-row seat for one of the most revealing and explosive shake-ups in sports history—the story of Ben Johnson, the track and field athlete who tested positive for anabolic steroids at the '88 Olympic Games and then was banned from international competition for two years. This book places you right in the action and captures all of the feelings of determination, experience, jubilation, fear, anxiety, frustration and resolution.
Charlie Francis takes the reader from his own Olympic competition experience (Munich '72) through his early coaching days with the athletes that he would ultimately mold into national and world champions. His successes become even more impressive after you read his insightful comments on the training facilities and funding that Western athletes have to work with, such as those in his own Canada, as compared to those of the Eastern bloc countries. This emphasizes the over-whelming odds that the independent Western athlete must overcome. One Polish coach whom Francis admired, Gerard Mach, was appalled at the lack of facilities and funding that the world-class Canadian athletes faced.
To help even the odds, Francis began utilizing new training ideas regarding a theory that exercise physiologists are examining today. The theory revolves around the idea of central nervous system fatigue in high-intensity training. Scientists are not sure where this fatigue actually occurs, but. Charlie said, "It doesn't matter if you are dealing with fatigue theory A or fatigue theory B. If you exceed certain intensity [velocity], then you change the training, and you
need to change the recovery, which may add up to 10 days."
Francis was unable to delve too deeply in this book into the exact specificity of his training methods. There is simply too much material. A follow-up training manual is in progress and will be available in the near future. Those readers who would like to know something about his training ideas may refer to his exclusive inter-
view that appeared in the June '90 IRONMAN.
In this book Francis eloquently covers the progression of the coaching, the growing success of his track club, the steady rise of Ben Johnson from mere participant to superstar and the eventual showdown with perennial champion Carl Lewis. Even those who are not die-hard sports enthusiasts will enjoy the saga.
The politics of testing, the multimillion-dollar inquiry in Canada and the testimonials that occurred in the Dubin inquiry concerning the Ben Johnson incident rocked the sports
world, not so much for the information itself, but because of the fact that the unspoken truths of world-class sport were being brought forward. Many readers may not have any idea of the complexity and the power of the sports political hierarchy. Reading this book may change how you view sports forever.
Speed Trap concludes with a description of the changes that have occurred in the Olympic Games because of the tremendous fees that are paid by the networks and corporate sponsors and the influences that are stated and also assumed. These developments do not always fit into the reality of superior performance.
Francis also presents the evidence of the various dangers in other sports: "An Austrian downhill skier was recently killed in competition, and the dangers of boxing are well established." The book states, "We permit adolescent girls to attempt dangerous maneuvers or to arch their backs to the point where they grind down and permanently deform soft, young vertebrae. There is no official outcry against these demonstrated health hazards. They are deemed part of the athletic territory—a crowd-pleasing ingredient of the show."
Regardless of your individual point of view, you will find this a most revealing and exciting sports book. Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus Reviews have given the book great notices already. I most certainly agree. Prepare yourself for a front-row seat.
Editor's note: Speed Trap, by Charlie Francis With Jeff Coplon, is published by St. Martin's Press, New York, 1990 and is available at better book stores.
66 IRONMAN November 1991

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