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60 yard Dash

For a number of sports acceleration and speed over a short distance is very important e.g. American Football, Basket Ball, Baseball, Cricket, Field Hockey, Rugby, Soccer etc.

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.

Preparation work

What time do I have available for training?

  • how long before I have to put my improved acceleration & speed to the test
  • how many days each week can I train
  • how many times a day can I train

What facilities do I need?

  • Somewhere to run - an Athletics Track or sports field
  • Somewhere to do exercises - gymnasium
  • Somewhere to do strength training - weight training room

What equipment do I need or have access to?

  • Appropriate clothing for training in
  • Exercises mat
  • Free weights for weight training

The preparation of any training program is explained in more detail on the Planning page.

Training Plan Phases

Split the available training time into two equal periods (phases). If there are 16 weeks available for training then we have 8 weeks for Phase One and 8 weeks for Phase Two. This would allow for two four week cycles in each phase.

Phase One

The objectives of phase one are to develop general strength and general endurance. The workload in the first three weeks of the example plan below increase each week (easy, medium and hard) and the 4th week comprises of active recovery and tests to monitor training progress. The aim of the 4 week cycle is to build you 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 training program 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.

The pace for each of the running endurance sessions should be between 15 and 20 seconds per 100 metres.

Each session should include an appropriate warm up and cool down program.

Week One

Mon (am) Strength Training General - (pm) 5 km steady run
Tue Endurance - 2 x 4 x 150 metres with a recovery of 2 minutes/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Wed Strength Training General
Thu Endurance - 2 x 3 x 200 metres with a recovery of 2 minutes/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Fri (am) Strength Training General - (pm) 5 km steady run
Sat Endurance - 2 x 3 x 250 with a recovery of 2 minutes/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Sun Rest

Week 2

Mon (am) Strength Training General - (pm) 5 km steady run
Tue Endurance - 2 x 4 x 200 metres with a recovery of 2 minutes/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Wed Strength Training General
Thu Endurance - 2 x 3 x 250 metres with a recovery of 2 minutes/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Fri (am) Strength Training General - (pm) 5 km steady run
Sat Endurance - 2 x 3 x 300 with a recovery of 2 minutes/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Sun Rest

Week 3

Mon (am) Strength Training General - (pm) 5 km steady run
Tue Endurance - 2 x 4 x 250 metres with a recovery of 2 minutes/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Wed Strength Training General
Thu Endurance - 2 x 3 x 300 metres with a recovery of 2 minutes/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Fri (am) Strength Training General - (pm) 5 km steady run
Sat Endurance - 2 x 3 x 400 with a recovery of 2 minutes/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Sun Rest

Week 4

Mon Strength Training General
Tue Cooper Test or Multistage Fitness test
Wed Strength Training General
Thu 400 metres drop off test
Fri Strength Training General
Sat Quadrathlon
Sun Rest

Strength Training

Examples of general strength training are:

For young athletes, <17 years of age, I would recommend circuit training in place of the weight training.

Phase 2

The objectives of phase two are to develop specific strength, specific endurance and speed. The workload in the first three weeks of the example plan below increase each week (easy, medium and hard) and the 4th week comprises of active recovery and tests to monitor training progress. The aim of the 4 week cycle is to build you 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 training program 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.

The pace for each of the running endurance sessions should be between 15 and 20 seconds per 100 metres.

Each session should include an appropriate warm up and cool down program.

Week 1

Mon Strength Training Specific
Tue Endurance Specific - 3 x 3 x 60 metres @ 90% effort
Recovery of 90 second/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Wed Strength Training Specific
Thu Speed - 2 x 3 x 50 metres @ 100% effort
Recovery of 5 minutes/repetition & 10 minutes/set
Fri Strength Training Specific
Sat Speed - 3 x 3 x 60 metres (20 metres @ 100% + 20 metres @ 90% + 20 metres @ 100%)
Recovery of 5 minutes/repetition & 10 minutes/set
Sun Rest

Week 2

Mon Strength Training Specific
Tue Endurance Specific - 3 x 3 x 70 metres @ 90% effort
Recovery of 90 second/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Wed Strength Training Specific
Thu Speed - 2 x 3 x 60 metres @ 100% effort
Recovery of 5 minutes/repetition & 10 minutes/set
Fri Strength Training Specific
Sat Speed - 3 x 3 x 90 metres (30 metres @ 100% + 30 metres @ 90% + 30 metres @ 100%)
Recovery of 5 minutes/repetition & 10 minutes/set
Sun Rest

Week 3

Mon Strength Training Specific
Tue Endurance Specific - 3 x 3 x 80 metres @ 90% effort
Recovery of 90 second/repetition & 5 minutes/set
Wed Strength Training Specific
Thu Speed - 2 x 3 x 70 metres @ 100% effort
Recovery of 5 minutes/repetition & 10 minutes/set
Fri Strength Training Specific
Sat Speed - 3 x 3 x 120 metres (40 metres @ 100% + 40 metres @ 90% + 40 metres @ 100%)
Recovery of 5 minutes/repetition & 10 minutes/set
Sun Rest

Week 4

Mon Strength Training Specific
Tue Lateral change of direction test and Leg elastic strength test
Wed Strength Training Specific
Thu Flying 30 metres Test
Fri Strength Training Specific
Sat Running-based Anaerobic Sprint Test (RAST)
Sun Rest

Strength Training

Examples of specific strength training are:

For young athletes, <17 years of age, I would recommend circuit training in place of the weight training. The exercises need to be specific to the demands of your sport or event.

Plyometrics

Plyometric drills can be incorporated into the warm up. Conduct 2 or 3 sets over a distance of 20 to 30 metres. Focus on quality and not quantity. Example of plyometric drills are:

  • Single leg hops over cones
  • Double leg hops over cones
  • Zig Zag hops (one legged lateral bounds)
  • Alternate Leg running bounds (up stairs)

Sprint Technique

Development of your sprint technique is just as important as the development of your strength and endurance. Guidance on the correct technique for each phase of the sprint is detailed on the sprint technique page and the sprint start page. To assist in the development of your technique see the information contained on the technique training page.

Technique Runs

As part of each track session include at the start of the session 6 x 50 metres:

  • 1st run only concentrate on running Tall
  • 2nd run only concentrate on a running Relaxed
  • 3rd run only concentrate on running Smoothly
  • 4th run only concentrate on the Drive action
  • 5th & 6th runs concentrate on them all

Explanation of Tall, Relaxed, Smooth and Drive is detailed on the sprint technique page.

Evaluation Tests

Evaluation tests are used to monitor progress and identify limitations. The following are examples of tests that could be conducted every four weeks during Phase One and Phase Two to monitor progress.

Phase 1

Phase 2

Sprint time predictions

From a 60 yard time it is possible to predict potential times for 60 metres, 100 metres and 200 metres. Enter the Time for 60 yards and then select the "Calculate" button.

60 yard time secs      
60m secs   100m secs   200m secs

Calculations are based on Dick (1987)[1] table of controls for 100/200m/400m athletes.

If "Error" is displayed then the entered time for the selected distance is outside the range of the algorithms used in the prediction process. The algorithms are based on an athlete running the 60 yards in under 7.5 seconds.

Free Calculator

The following are free Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that you can download and use on your computer.


References

  1. DICK, F. (1987) Sprints and Relays. 5th ed. London: BAAB, p. 22-23

Related References

The following references provide additional information on this topic:

  • PORCARI, J. et al. (1996) Effects of training in strength shoes on 40, yard dash time, jumping ability, and calf girth. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 10 (2), p. 120-123
  • MOORE, A. N. et al. (2007) Effect of competitiveness on forty-yard dash performance in college men and women. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 21 (2), p. 385-388
  • SMITH, M. J. and MELTON, P. (1981) Isokinetic versus isotonic variable-resistance training. The American journal of sports medicine, 9 (4), p. 275-279

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (1998) 60 yard Dash [WWW] Available from: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/dash60.htm [Accessed

Related Pages

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