80-metres instead of 60-metres

If most sprinters need 60m to reach top velocity, why do they stop there in training?

Having worked so hard to get to max speed, why not stay in the zone for another 2sec and end the rep at 80m?

I think one explanation would be due to lack of facilities. A lot of people train indoors where the distance is often limited to 60 meters.

A second guess would be the nature of ATP as a limited source of energy. It’s easier to stay fresh doing for example 6x60m than 6x80m.

I would say the second guess is important when we’re talking about developing and “non-perfect” sprinters. Ofcourse if you’re perfect (in theory) one 100m at 100% would almost be enough. But when talking about the rest of us (kind of means all of us) there is a need for practise. And while practising, it’s easier to maintain good form, style, relaxation etc. when you feel fresher, which in turn will have an increasing effect on speed.

In Scandinavia it has been common practice to use volumes of 60m in the fall while preparing for the indoors. In the spring 80m is standard alactic anaerobic distans for many sprinters. I’ve been told that Mennea switched to 80m when he felt that repetitive 60m was to easy for him…

All the best

Thanks DC and all - that sets me straight -
I had always used 20’s to concentrate of different aspects according to what I felt I needed to do . Usually at sub max to straighten out the problem , then with reps at a higher speed when I felt I was ready .
I stopped self timing a while back too ; to concentrate on running relaxed and remove any pressure or forcing it - I should find out next week what the results are .

I got an idea, it may be a bit too specific though. Instead if going at a certain distance, how bout going for a certain time. a. alactic last for about 6 sec right?, plus or minus a little bit. So lets say you got a sprinter who runs 10.6 & another who runs 11.1. More than likely the 10.6 guy will go farther in 6 sec than the 11.1 guy. Although it wouldn’t really be that much of a difference, you can say that 55-60m for the 10.6 guy would be fine. While the 11.1 guy would be fine at 50-55m. From there you can add the extra 2 sec that Kit Kat suggested. Maybe it’s a bit to specific like I said, or tedious. But wouldn’t it be easier for a coach to set up or even make up new work outs if they understood this.

Hmm… maybe a bit too specific. Keep in mind there is also a variety between 95% and 100% speed, so you’d had to recalculate the distances with the speed in mind, and also at the same time make sure the two different athletes really follow the given intensity range.
And even then, you really can’t be sure the parameters are the correct ones, not to speak about the difference between a good and a bad day.

Remember why you do a specific training, I would rather be on the safe side and keep the distinction between acceleration, max speed and speed endurance as clear as possible. For example, if you do acceleration work (30-50m) there is no need to challenge the ATP capabilities and blur the goals for that specific workout.

The posts are all interesting …

I raised the issue I suppose because I see 80m as a cross-over between speed-development and special speed endurance. Or, put another way, endurance at top speed.

Once you reach top speed at, say, 60m, why stop there when you can benefit from time in that rare and highly specific speed band.

I only use 80m the day after a rest day.

A typical session would be 2x2 “ins-and-outs” (35m acceleration zone, 15m-20m zone at 100%, and then a 20m exit zone for velocity maintenance “without effort”).

Then we’ll do 2 x 2 x 80m (standing or rolling starts).

End of session.

Too much at that intensity?


I think something to keep in mind is at what phase of the year you are doing this?

At some stage, you have to put it all together to get the rhythm of your race.

What I mean is, if you only go to 60m from blocks in one session and then do a speed endurance session from a standing or rolling start, you are working two parts of your repertoire but you aren’t bringing them together.

When you finally bring them together in a race, it may well feel very foreign.

Just some food for thought.

This is why I think that an acceleration workout should be extended over 60m as we move into the competition phase.

Of course a lot depends on the athlete/event etc.

[quote]Originally posted by dcw23
I think something to keep in mind is at what phase of the year you are doing this?
dcw23 hi,
Maybe it depends equally on how your training program is structured. When you run to 80m, of course you are initially working on acceleration. The next segment through to 80 is working on other things.

If you have two rest days, you can have a very high velocity day to follow each. And the day after that you can work on less intense endurance runs.

That can be followed any time of year, depending of course on your objectives. I work like that in many sessions during our winter and the program thereby permits the development of various threads of performance concurrently.

kitkat - I was thinking the same thing in reference to flying 20’s
If flying 20’s are meant to be at 100% - how can they be at 100% unless you’ve done a maximum accelleration to reach that 20 ?
I’m taking accellerations out to about 40m at present - it seems maybe I’d be better off using that accelleration to set up a 100% end 20m -
I’m sure I’m missing the point - is it to do with what Charlie said about a more controlled entry to the flying zone ensuring you have good form for the 20 ?

I’m not sure this is completely relevant to your discussion but I do recall Charlie saying the vast majority of velocity/fly in work should be sub. maximal with an emphasis more on the proper technique than the speed of execution though the work is certainly fast. Sorry if this is not where you guys were headed.

I remember Charlie mentioning that point, but I don’t remember his explanation.

Ur probably right Pio -
I’m not exactly sure where I’m getting the 100% from maybe it was never meant in connection with flying 20’s .

Look at the distances and systems, not just the figures which have been put up. A 35m accelleration phase will not allow the allow the athlete to hit 100%, this is why in several posts Charlie recomends starting flying 20’s from a 20m approach for a begginer .

Even if the two theories flew in the face of eachother, it’s worth listening to both.

I believe that the reason that the work is sub. max is because at max many people do not step over much or at least completely. By reducing the speed slightly you are able to execute certain technical aspects better without the higher intensity exposing or displaying inferior technique. For example accidently leaning too forward in a squat or pulling a snatch or clean too far from the body at 85% of your 1rm can more easily overcome but the same mistake at 95% becomes magnified and multiplied in its negative effect on performance. Certainly, Charlie, if he’s around, could answer this much better than I could hope to. It’s better, easier to learn or change techniques at lower speeds and then progressively try to take the refined technique up to higher speeds.

Originally posted by gloopzilla
kitkat - I was thinking the same thing in reference to flying 20’s
If flying 20’s are meant to be at 100% - how can they be at 100% unless you’ve done a maximum accelleration to reach that 20 ?

The intensity of the flying 20 depends on how much acceleration you take into it. That’s it really. When you hit the cone marker you should not be trying to run any faster, just maintaining the speed that you have reached from the work that you have performed in the prior acceleration and transition periods.

Limiting the acceleration period to 20m means that your velocity will be sub max therefore the flying 20 cannot be done at 100%. Gradually increasing the acceleration period as you progress through your training phases will mean that you carry more speed into the flying zone and gradually build on the qualities of acceleration and speed.

I agree with dcw. Flying sprints (regardless of distance) are really just standing start sprints with an extra 10 or so meters of acceleration. This allows you to save energy at the beginning and put more effort into the later part of the sprint. Therefore, a flying 20 with a 20m buildup is roughly equivalent to a 30m sprint but with less effort at the start. A flying 20 with a 50m buildup is about the same as a 60m sprint, again with an easier start to save more energy for the top end speed. You can actually think of flying 20s with a long buildup (50m) as a form of overspeed training, since they allow you to reach a higher top end speed than if you burn more energy with a maximum start.