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Sprint Training

The objective of this page is to provide some suggested programs for young or inexperienced athletes developing their technique and knowledge of the 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres and the sprint hurdle events.

Before You Start

Prior to starting any training, it is recommended you have a medical examination to ensure it is safe for you to do so. Any application of this training program is at the athlete's own discretion and risk.

Overview

The seasons training program is based on the six phases detailed on my Planning page where each phase comprises of a repeated four week plan. The workload in the first three weeks of the plan should increase each week (easy, medium, hard) and the 4th week comprise of active recovery and evaluation tests to monitor training progress. The aim of the 4 week cycle is to build the athlete up to a level of fitness (3 weeks), allow a recovery (1 week), build you up to higher level of fitness, allow a recovery and so on. Remember a plan is athlete specific and the results of the tests in the 4th week can be used to adjust the training in the next four week cycle to address any limitations.

Coaching Points

When coaching the sprints with young athletes focus on the following points:

  1. Running tall
  2. Arms (elbows) are driven back - not across the body
  3. Shoulders are relaxed
  4. Drive and land on the ball of the foot

Year Training Program

The plan is based on three training sessions per week with the major competition being in phase 5. The duration of each phase could be as follows:

  • Phase 1 - 16 weeks
  • Phase 2 - 8 weeks
  • Phase 3 - 8 weeks
  • Phase 4 - 8 weeks
  • Phase 5 - 8 weeks
  • Phase 6 - 4 weeks

The objective of each phase is as follows:

  • Phase 1 - General development of strength, mobility, endurance and basic technique
  • Phase 2 - Development of specific fitness and advanced technical skills
  • Phase 3 - Competition experience - achievement of qualification times for main competition
  • Phase 4 - Adjustment of technical model, preparation for the main competition
  • Phase 5 - Competition experience and achievement of outdoor objectives
  • Phase 6 - Active recovery - planning preparation for next season

Suggestions as to the sessions for each phase are detailed below. I leave the content of each four week cycle to you.

Key to notations and terms used

1-4 × 2-5 × 30-100m

  • 1 to 4 sets of 2 to 5 repetitions of a distance between 30 and 100 metres

Phase 1

Tuesday

Thursday

  • Special exercises - combining specific strength, mobility and coordination. 30-60 minutes
  • Repetition runs 1-3 x 3-5 x 100-150m, good running technique

Sunday

  • 2nd event technique
  • 20-30 minutes. special exercises for 2nd event
  • Repetition runs 1-2 x 3-6 x 200-300m

Notes

  • Hurdles are used in the technique runs and special exercises for hurdlers
  • 400m athletes - their repetition runs are 1-2 x 3-6 x 300-400m on Sunday
  • Each training session to include an appropriate warm up and cool down

Phase 2

Tuesday

  • Sprint speed 2-3 x 3-6 x 20-40m rolling start
    or Start technique 1-2 x 4-6 x 30-40m
    or Acceleration 1-2 x 3-4 x 50-80m
    or 1-2 x 3-4 x 30m accelerate, 30m decelerate, 30m accelerate
  • General strength - Circuit or Weight training

Thursday

  • Special exercises - combining specific strength, mobility and coordination. 30-60 minutes
  • Repetition runs 1-3 x 2-4 x 120-150m
    or 2-4 x (150m, 120m, 90m)
    or 2-4 x (120m, 90m, 60m)

Sunday

  • 2nd event technique
  • Sprint technique or 20 minutes special exercises for 2nd event
  • Repetition runs 1-2 x 2-4 x 200-300m
    or 100m, 200m, 300m, 200m, 100m
    or 300m, 250m, 200m, 150m, 100m

Notes

  • Hurdlers use hurdles wherever possible
  • 400m athletes
    • Thursday 2nd session. 1-3 x 3-5 x 120-200m
      or 3-5 x (180m, 150m, 120m)
      or 3-5 x (150m, 120m, 150m)
    • Sunday 3rd session. 2-3 x 2-4 x 300-500m
      or 250m, 350m, 450m, 350m, 250m
      or 600m, 500m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m
  • Hurdlers use runs over sections of the 'race' e.g. 200m hurdles and 300m hurdles for 400m hurdler; 3 hurdles, 5 hurdles, 7 hurdles for 'high' hurdler. These are built into repetition runs, technique runs or special exercises
  • Each training session to include an appropriate warm up and cool down

Phase 3

Tuesday

  • Technique practices as required, including relays practice
  • Special endurance (Speed) 2-3 x full recovery runs over racing distance + 20% (100, 200 High Hurdles)
    or 3-4 x full recovery runs over 350m or 300m or 250m (400m and low/intermediate hurdles)
    or 2-3 x full recovery special task runs e.g. 300m at 70% racing pace - then as fast as possible for 150m (400m and 400 Hurdles)
    or 2-3 x full recovery sub-maximum runs over 300m (100, 200m athletes)
    or 500m (400m and 400 Hurdles athletes)

Thursday

  • Special exercises and drills for speed and elastic strength
  • Sprint speed 2-3 x 3-4 x 20-60m from blocks (100m, 200m, High Hurdles)
    or 2-3 x 3-4 x 20-40m rolling (100, 200m, High Hurdles)
    or 2-4 x 150-250m from blocks (400m and 400 Hurdles)

Sunday

  • Competition or
  • Technique practices as required
    or 6-12 x 150m stride, 250m walk recovery

Notes

  • Hurdlers will use hurdles in most sprint practices. When 'rolling start' work is used, the hurdles may be brought slightly closer to simulate the 'late race' situation in high hurdles. The 400m hurdler may work on stride change-downs on Tuesdays
  • Each training session to include an appropriate warm up and cool down

Phase 4

Tuesday

  • Sprint speed 2-3 x 3-6 x 20m-40m rolling start
    or Start technique 1-2 x 4-6 x 30m-40m
    or Acceleration 1-2 x 3-4 x 50m-80m
    or 1-2 x 3-4 x 30m accelerate, 30m decelerate, 30m accelerate
  • General strength - Circuit or Weight training

Thursday

  • Special exercises - combining specific strength, mobility and coordination. 30-60 minutes
  • Repetition runs 1-3 x 2-4 x 120m-150m
    or 2-4 x (150m, 120m, 90m)
    or 2-4 x (120m, 90m, 60m)

Sunday

  • 2nd event technique
  • Sprint technique or 20 minutes special exercises for 2nd event
  • Repetition runs 1-2 x 2-4 x 200-300m
    or 100m, 200m, 300m, 200m, 100m
    or 300m, 250m, 200m, 150m, 100m

Notes

  • Hurdlers use hurdles wherever possible
  • 400m athletes
    • Thursday 2nd session. 1-3 x 3-5 x 120-200m
      or 3-5 x (180-150-120m)
      or 3-5 x (150-120-150m)
    • Sunday 3rd session. 2-3 x 2-4 x 300-500m
      or 250m, 350m, 450m, 350m, 250m
      or 600m, 500m, 400m, 300m, 200m, 100m
  • Hurdlers use runs over sections of the 'race' e.g. 200m hurdles and 300m hurdles for 400m hurdler; 3 hurdles, 5 hurdles, 7 hurdles for 'high' hurdler. These are built into repetition runs, technique runs or special exercises
  • Each training session to include an appropriate warm up and cool down

Phase 5

Tuesday

  • Technique practices as required, including relays practice
  • Special endurance (Speed) 2-3 x full recovery runs over racing distance + 20% (100, 200 High Hurdles)
    or 3-4 x full recovery runs over 350m or 300m or 250m (400m and low/intermediate hurdles)
    or 2-3 x full recovery special task runs e.g. 300m at 70% racing pace - then as fast as possible for 150m (400m and 400 Hurdles)
    or 2-3 x full recovery sub-maximum runs over 300m (100, 200m)
    or 500m (400m and 400 Hurdles athletes)

Thursday

  • Special exercises and drills for speed and elastic strength
  • Sprint speed 2-3 x 3-4 x 20-60m from blocks (100m, 200m, High Hurdles)
    or 2-3 x 3-4 x 20-40m rolling (100, 200m, High Hurdles)
    or 2-4 x 150-250m from blocks (400m and 400 Hurdles)

Sunday

  • Competition or
  • Technique practices as required
    or 6-12 x 150m stride, 250m walk recovery

Notes

  • Hurdlers will use hurdles in most sprint practices. When 'rolling start' work is used, the hurdles may be brought slightly closer to simulate the 'late race' situation in high hurdles. The 400m hurdler may work on stride change-downs on Tuesdays
  • Each training session to include an appropriate warm up and cool down


Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2007) Sprint Training [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/tplans/sprint.htm [Accessed

Related Pages

The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic:

Associated Books

The following books provide more information related to this topic:

  • How to teach track events, Malcolm Arnold