Greyhounds Masters Track Weekly Workouts

Sprint Training with Harold


Year Round Program

A few years ago, Harold wrote up his ideas on year round training for sprinters. In Part 1, he outlines the components of sprint training; in Part 2, he gives examples of workouts for each component; and, in Part 3, he offers an overview of the structure of a year round sprint training program.  


2005 World Masters Edmonton.jpg

Harold competes in 100m at 2005 World Masters Games in Edmonton

 

Introduction

For sprinters running 100 metres, 200 metres or even 400 metres, it’s important not only  to have speed, but also how to control it. When a sprinter thinks that the 100 metres is a short sprint, it tempts the sprinter to try too hard to keep running faster, especially in the last half of the race. But even this shortest (100 metres) of the sprint races, it is too far to run full blast without breaking down or losing form. As unlikely as it seems in this short distance, relaxation and patience are very important to be a good sprinter. In the longer sprints it becomes even more important to maintain relaxation in order to maintain speed and conserve energy.

 

At the start of the sprint there is a rapid acceleration to maximum speed. But after only one or two seconds at maximum speed, the sprinter begins to decelerate. The object of the race now becomes to try to maintain as much speed as possible without decelerating too much. The secret to accomplish this is not to try harder, but to relax.

 

The great sprinter and long jumper Carl Lewis explains, “In the hundred meters you can’t try to go full speed again after you enter the deceleration period....It’s not going to happen.  You run to a certain point and then relax. My main objective is to keep smooth and relax.  It’s amazing how much distance you can make up.’

 

Jim Bush, the sprint coach of UCLA, said, “How many times have you seen a one hundred (metres race) where all the runners are together at about eighty metres and all of a sudden someone just pulls out in front. Everybody says, ‘look at that burst of speed.’


The winner’s coach is interviewed afterwards and he says, ‘Yes, I taught my sprinter to do that, how to put on that burst.’ That’s so ridiculous! Nobody can put on a burst of that speed at that point in a race. What happened is the other guys tried to pour it on instead of just keeping what they had, and they tied up. The one who appeared to pull ahead just kept his form while everyone else was applying the brakes.... That’s why a great sprinter is not worried when he sees a man ahead of him. He knows his best chance to win is to (maintain) his proper stride and running pattern.”

 

Learning a proper stride and running pattern is the whole point of a runner’s training. The runner must learn not only how to develop speed, but also how to control it. Bush says  “No one can relax in the 100 meters until he’s found a strong, efficient stride to relax in. It can take a sprinter three weeks, three months, or three years to find his stride. I can see it when it happens, and the sprinter can feel it. He never forgets it, either. It’s like riding a bicycle”


The pattern of the sprinter’s training develops the pattern of the sprinter’s race. The early base training of longer total-distance training at a tempo pace develops general endurance.  Running up hills, lifting weights and doing resistance work develops strength. This strength produces powerful strides at the start of the race while the sprinter is accelerating.  The sprint drills isolates each part of the runner’s stride. Drills such as the high, rapid knee lifts, the leg extension and pull back, and the butt-kick drills, contribute to the full execution of each stride. Running at 100% for a very short distance with maximum rest between repetitions develops speed. Running 3-5 repetitions at 90-95% over a distance of no more than 300 metres with lots of rest develops speed endurance. Speed endurance repetitions can be done over a shorter distance (50m-150m for the 100m/200m runner,  or 150m-300m for the 200m/400m runners. Developing speed endurance will allow the sprinter to carry his speed to the finish line. Static and dynamic stretches/warmups will develop flexibility in the muscles and joints. Increased flexibility improves stride length and reduces the chance of injury. Incorporating a complete training program, the sprinter should know the feeling of running at top speed, and without exerting too much effort.


For the full text of YEAR ROUND SPRINT TRAINING, see the sections below. 


PART 1: COMPONENTS OF SPRINT TRAINING

  1. GENERAL ENDURANCE OR TEMPO
  2. TEMPO ENDURANCE
  3. SPEED
  4. SHORT SPEED ENDURANCE
  5. LONG SPEED ENDURANCE
  6. SPECIAL ENDURANCE
  7. STRENGTH
  8. STRENGTH ENDURANCE
  9. POWER (POWER SPEED)


PART 2: SPRINT WORKOUTS

  1. GENERAL ENDURANCE OR TEMPO
  2. TEMPO ENDURANCE
  3. SPEED
  4. SHORT SPEED ENDURANCE
  5. LONG SPEED ENDURANCE
  6. SPECIAL ENDURANCE


PART 3: SPRINT PROGRAM STRUCTURE

  1. SPRINT PROGRAM STRUCTURE

 


 



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