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.
View article »

Overspeed? Are you sprinting into trouble?

November 22, 2018 by Angela Coon

Overspeed. Decide for yourself.

Does overspeed make sense? ( refer to "Running into the trouble" diagram) 

Is there a need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to safe, proven methods that can be repeated with grand successes?

Is the risk worth an alleged return?

Running into Trouble

Why didn't Charlie use overspeed to develop some of the most most repeatable methods for speed training to date?

( because he didn't need to..., an idea the may be too simple for most?)  

Keep in mind this. If you get injured, you may never be capable of returning to the same abilities as before. You would not be the first to have this happen or the last. ( this idea was a main idea Coon/Francis used to navigate daily training for a combined time of over 50 years) 

My mission after losing Charlie to a 5 year fight with Stage 4 NHL was to maintain the content he spent his life creating and experimenting with in order to achieve significant and repeatable results in sprinting.

More often than not I see examples in the gyms and training environments where someone feels the need to reinvent speed training. Why? 

In the face of many political sport hurdles, Charlie and I made it our primary goal to share our content with sprinters, coaches, athletes and students who were passionate about speed training.  

I encourage you to study some or all of the massive archive of content at  The forum review of 2002 as well as 2009 offers some of the best content from the website’s world class forum to which Charlie contributed over 10,000 posts himself from 2000 to 2010.

Take a look at our Weights for Speed bundle here  to learn why lifting weights and building strength are critical but study why Coach Francis and Coach Ange Coon prioritized speed training followed by lifting weights.

This is a list of lifts Francis and Coon used and Coon continues to use while coaching sprinting at the highest developmental levels.

Lastly, the best context for a full understanding of why Francis became a world class sprint coach is inside his book "Speed Trap". The story revolves around the events of 1988, but for me the most interesting part is how Francis discusses many of his ideas and how he came to them and why.  For passionate athletes looking for more in their training this book might help you find it.

Sprinting your own race requires a recipe only you the reader can decide and experiment with.  I trust this information will become content you find useful and enjoyable for your speed, sprinting and power sport pursuits.

"Sprint your own life"











View article »

What is the story with Weights for Speed?

November 27, 2012 by Angela Coon

I am not a super ,genius ,weight lifter  of the world. Never was and never wanted to be.   I did get very fast and plenty strong but I  began  as a little girl who wanted to run at the Olympics.  At 13 years old that goal guided me to where I am today. The lessons I learned in the process shaped the extraordinary life I have been blessed with . 

Many people have asked how to apply weights for their  training, specifically speed training.  I was wondering if a few examples of how I trained might help some of you. 

This blog was inspired by Mike asking the question “ what were the weight percentages I used in my training” ?

Before I touched a weight in any organized way I spent roughly 2 years doing extensive medicine ball work , speed drills and other exercises using my own body weight. In general , my speed work was always performed after an extensive warm up and med ball might have been part of the warm up, the main body of the workout or perhaps , explosive medball drills were taking the place of weights at that time.

When this foundation was completed my first lifting consisted of 1 block of 6 weeks called the Anatomical Adaptation Phase ( see below)  1 block of 4 weeks , called the Maximum Strength Phase 1, ( see below)   followed by last block of 6 weeks called Maximum Strength Phase 2.   My previous blog outlines a rough idea of the lifts I used in my first 6 week phase of the Anatomical Adaptation Phase. Squats for me were first with vertical row and or arm pulls, then leg curls and incline bench and Reverse Leg Press ( RLP)  or Russian Dead Lifts ( RDL)  when I got stronger and more experienced. 

1. Anatomical Adaptation Phase = 6 weeks = a few examples from Angela Coon weight training (* Squats = quarter or half.. mine were more in-between a quarter and half )

Week 1 = Monday , Wednesday, Friday ( MWF)  = 3 sets of 12/40%  ( the examples below are only for squats )

Week 5 & 6 = MWF = 3 sets of 10/60 % ( I was lifting 135lbs at this time)

NOTE = This weight training was after 1hour warm up, then a sprint / speed workout/ then followed by weights if I was able . Priority was usually given to the weights first on the list. ( Squats ) . IF my legs were toast due to a fast speed session I might only do arm pulls or leg curls with bench press . It was no big deal to scrap the weights all together especially if I had a personal best in training in a key area of speed. ( 10 meters, 20 meters, 30 meters were the base distances most of my speed took place early on in my training years)

2.  Max Strength Phase 1 =  4 weeks 

Week 1 = MWF = 1 set 8/60%, 2 sets of 8/70% and 1 set of 6/80%

Week 2 = MWF = 1 set of 7/70%, and 3 sets of 5/80%

Week 4 = MWF = Regeneration week before moving into Max S.P 2 = 2 sets of 8/60% ( speed work volume and intensity would be similar before next training phase) 

3.  Max Strength Phase 2 = MWF = 6 weeks

Week 2 = 3 sets of 6/80%  and 1 set of 4/90% ( My 90% at that time was 205lbs)

Week 3 = 2 sets of 4/90% and 2 sets of 2 or 3/ 95%

Week 6 = 3 sets of 4/90% and 3 sets of 2 or 3/95%


*Squats for me were tricky because I have almost 1 inch discrepancy between my two legs with the greats difference between my hip and knee. Often, I used a 2.5lb weight plate under my shorter leg ( a very gentle way to compensate) to make up the difference. Tudor Bompa was not a huge fan of how I first looked doing my squats as these progressions were originally designed by him as requested by Charlie. Liberties were taken often with this program once I finished these 3 blocks of base lifting but I believe everyone who wants to be a serious athlete greatly benefits from a proper base of training before lifting occurs and a template of exercises as the next step for weights that will be a part of your main sport. 

 Note = I have on purpose not provided every single week with every single progression with every exercise. These are sample weeks only but maybe people are looking more to fill in the blanks to see what one person did. I would love to hear what you think about this example and if others might find value in my providing a more complete picture of the weights I just gave examples of.

Thank - you for reading. AC

View article »