Acceleration dilemna please help!

I dont know when we lost it or if we even had it but my training partner and I are running so slow over 60m.

Pb for 60m is 7.09, a few weeks ago I ran 7.4! This corresponds with a 100m of 11.4 so obviously we are running terribly :confused:

we have until the first week of February to fix this (if we can).

We are doing three speed session per week generally doing top speed flying 20m runs one day with one or two 80m sprints to finish. The second day is block starts over 30-60m and the third day is 300m special endurance runs.

We seriously need to fix this crap acceleration…it was going very well for a while, but it seems to have just dried up completely and gone backwards by METRES!

Should we do two days of acceleration and drop the special endurance runs? Should we do some more sled work? Should we do block starts on all days in less volume say 100-200 meteres and then finish with a flat out 200m?

I had five/six days off last week to get rid of any overtraining and rest up a little and am accumulating volume this week into a full training week the following.

Need your opinions urgently!

If you want to run a fast 100 meters there is no reason for 300m special endurance. I don’t even see the point of a 200m runner doing anything longer than 250m sprint wise. I would get rid of the 300m spec end.
**. 9 block starts per weak would seem a good number to me. That would either be 3 starts per session, or 4 one session- 5 the next, with none in the other session.

I think you should include 20m fly-ins in two of the sprint sessions.

If you are not competing in the 200meters then how about this;

Day 1. 20m fly-ins. + block starts x 4.

Day 3. 20m fly-ins + 60, 80, 100, & 120m sprint.(standing start)

Day 5. Block starts x 5. + 60, 80, 100 & 120m sprint.

Side note; don’t do more than 3 sets of fly-ins per session. If you are not fresh then the first thing to drop would be one of the longer sprints on day 3 or 5.

Why did your speed drop?
When did you itroduce spec end in to your training?
Have there been any dramatc changes in your gym routine or plyo’s etc…?
Did you increase the density and therefor decrease the intensity of your sprint sessions? (need a lot of rest between fast sprints for max developement over short distances as you know. Being out in Australia weather u sure can afford a lot of rest between reps.)
Nutrition dramatically change lately?

If u cannot answer any of the above it doesn’t matter so much as start doing something differant! :slight_smile:

Something that I have learned from Charlie - The best way to TRAIN speed, is to DO speed … therefore, if you want to run fast, train fast!

I don’t agree fully with the recommendations of Goose 2 - when one follows a “short to long” training, I would rather concentrate on SPEED in a session, and not a mixture of Speed and Speed Endurance in one session.

To improve your speed over 60m with February '04 in mind, you have to develop speed NOW. I would recommend 2 x Speed sessions per week (up to 60m!), and leave the Speed Endurance sessions until you get to the Pre-Competition phase.

Good luck with the training!

I’ve never claimed to know the best methods of training, but I do remember on, there used to be a training log (2000 season) and there were days where they did 300m runs.

Ok well I did some starts last night and had a few members here check out what I was doing.

Its seems my hips were too high and my feet to close. One suggestion was to get the same sort of start angles as that done in a staring start.

The reason that the boys suggested I change my angles was because it looked like I was just artificially leaning over to accelerate and not pushing and no real extention, I was just too high in set.

Anyway, we brought the leg down to 90 degrees and for the first 10m suddenly I was having to use my arms to keep from falling on my face and I had more extention and instead of trying to accelerate and tightening up I could just let gravity help me accelerate and stay relaxed and it seemed to work better.

I am videoing my starts on saturday and with the help of a few of you kind blokes I will try and post one or two of them up. It does seem to be this part of my race, I know I am strong and fit enough to run quick, and I do think its technical (or at least hope it is and can be fixed quickly!).

What do you guys think about that?

In an attempt to fix this is it a good idea I do starts every session?

I did about 400m (accumulating week from a week off) of speed which was made up of a few runs from the ground over 30m, then about 8 starts over 30 and 4 starts over 10m just to get the position happening.

So if I have one day of starts up to 60m,

one day of a few starts say 4x30 then 80, 100, 120

then the last day should I do the flying 20s with some starts?

Is there a way to calculate 55 or 60 meter time from a 40yd dash time?

I wrote at the top of my previous post “If you want to run a fast 100m”

I did not write “If u want to run a fast 60m”

As he is Australian I thought he would be training for the 100meters
even at this stage of the year and not the 60 meters. Remember thier weather is very hot so they have a VERY early season, they probably have 2 outdoor seasons.
My recommendations were for 100m preperation, not 60m preperation.

I find giving a diagnosis from close by is difficult, much less based solely on internet contact. With that in mind, here are my 2 cents:

  1. The first culprit with slow 40m - 60m times can be inadequate strength and a low RDF. Possibly if you examine your training logs going back a month or three you might find that you have made very little weightroom progression. Is there a strength deficit compared to the period when you were running 7.1s? Are any lifts e.g. squats or cleans, suspiciously low in comparison?

  2. Another possibility is poor running mechanics. Your mechanics can get screwed up after a layoff due to injury, for instance.

  3. I don’t know how to put this scientifically, but rhythm can be a problem. If you run repeat after repeat over certain distances during training then the possibility exists that you can “lock in” at a particular speed. This can become a problem for instance if you do all your intensive work over 20m-40m over a period of a few months.
    You start early in the training season by running intensive 30ms at 60m/7.4 pace, and this pace “locks in”. A couple of months later you are stronger and fitter, but you still run at the 60m/7.4 rhythm. I have no experience with sub 10.50 athletes, but it is a common problem with athletes I have seen/trained/trained with in the 10.50 - 11.50 range. If you are prone to this kind of problem you might consider basing your program on a long-to-short approach. Playing with pace and distance helps, like incorporating maximal runs over distances up to 180m, ins-outs-ins, or gradual acceleration runs. You need at least a month of total departure from your old program to break the “lock”.

Hope this helps.

Random things…

  1. Flexibility how is it? Regular therapy happening? Any psoas, lower back tightness etc.?

  2. How long have you been doing the flying 20s? I think that they are good for technique development but a good way to lock yourself into a slower top speed if done for too long in the same way.

  3. Is this the time you want to be running at your fastest? Remember you can’t be at your fastest all the time. If you ever want to progress. Sometimes you just have to accept that will be slower for a few weeks.

  4. Are you doing lots of plyo? Short term speed killer 1.

  5. Are you doing lots of heavy weight? Short term speed killer 2.

  6. How many 300m reps are you doing in the special endurance? What is your turn technique like? Most people collapse on their left leg and this shows up in the left lower back area and you’ll feel twisted and crap when doing pure speed.

  7. Do you have your 30-60 split in the 60m? It can give a good indicator of what’s happening. At balanced 7.40FAT performance would be about 3.10

  8. 7.4 / 11.4 suggests a problem with acceleration/transition. If the last 40 is in 4 flat then you have no endurance problems because you’d be holding your max speed for the whole race.

  9. How long have you been doing the same routine? I agree with Snel that it is very easy to get rhythm locked.

brad post your routine for the past few weeks,it will show us what the problem point in guessing what your problem could be,start with your schedules!

Ok so many good points. I have been trying to deal with them one by one. I am stronger now then when I ran 7.1.

In response to DCW:

  1. My hips are always tight, I get a massage once per week to adress that and try to stretch a fair bit too. Lower back is fine, but I have a tight TFL on the left leg. My main problem spot is my left adductor which when loosened loosens up my whole pelvis!!!

I didnt do any flying 20s coming into the four competitions over the last few weeks.

I went into a 4 weeks maintenance schedule from a 3-1-3 strength program. I also increased the sprints volume from around 450-500 upto 600 (as shown below) over a three week progression as requested by charlie, then dropped it off the last few weeks. Weights went to maintenance levels in the gym, from 6x3 in strength weeks to 3x3 wk1-3 of the maintenance weeks to 3x2 for the comp weeks. I upped my plyos from 20 contacts in strength weeks to about 80 contacts per session in the maintenance and comp phase which I would decrease if I was flat.

I dont want to be running my fastest now, but I thought with a lift of the weights volume I would attempt to intensify for a comp but it didnt happen.

The 300m reps stopped when we moved into the competition phase from the maintenance phase. I was just doing 1-2. Oh hang on in two of the comps I ran 300m of the 400m races that were on. In the second one (wk 3 of comp schedule) I ran 36.3 which is a season best (but still a long way off 34.5 I have run before…though I am not overly worried about that, and ran the first 200m in 24s so way too slow to run a good 300m).

We have started back on the flying 20s now and after a week of rest out of the 6x20m runs (followed by 2x80m sprints) I did with 40m run in I ran 2.0 for two of them which is quicker then I have done to date…still its slow, and teh 80m I ran was very tired and in 9.1s.

I dont have the 30-60 split for the 60.

So with the “good” (haha) endurance I have should I just focus on top speed and moreso acceleration? As stated I was running well agaisnt known good starters up here but its slowly dropped off for whatever reason as as went into the maintenance phase.

As stated my routine from 3-1-3 changed to a maintenance phase but I increased the volume of sprints upto 600m (charlie recommended 700 but I didnt get there this time.) After the first race where I ran 11.4 and a 36.9 for the 300m in a 400m I only did one speed session the following week as got a real good massage. The following week I ran 11.17 (+2.6) and 22.44 (+1.6) so there was a slight improvement. However the next week we were back at 11.4 for both friday night and then the 7.4/11.4 on the sunday.

The routine I have been doing is acceleration one day for speed 30m and 60m runs and the other day I have been doing 80, 100, 120, 100, 80…at about 95%. The volume from strength to maintenance went from 400m speed volume per session to:

wk1 maint- 450m
wk2 maint- 500m
wk3 maint-550m
wk4 comp- 600m
wk5-comp-500m (only one speed session)
wk6-comp 450m
wk8- accumulate: 350m (this week).

I am doing some video tomorrow on my starts tomorrow hopefully, I am still sore from wednesdays speed and weights session!

So how do I change the rythmn of running slow,I know I can move sooooo much quicker then what is happening!

would some fast feet drills help with the rythmn over teh next few weeks…say 4x10m flat out…is it called ankling or something?

Also if I perform this drill, its not like a running a is it, you do a much smaller ROM and barely pick your ankles up, but move as fast as possible correct?

No, this is the wrong approach.

Ins and outs are great for this.
For example, you could try a 20/20/20 easy/hard/coast approach.
The idea behind it is that you are teaching yourself to accelerate from a faster base point than zero. There’s actually a rather nice example in the first clip that Charlie posted from his forthcoming DVD. Note how the girl in the clip switches mechanics into an accelerative position as she approaches the cone and her arm swing becomes more vigorous.

Just great. I just wrote a 20minute reply pressed Submit and the website lost my post. :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Haven’t got time to repost it now, but if you are videoing, get them to do a couple of 60s, set cones up at 0,30,60. Get the video guy to stand 40-50m infield in the middle of the 30-60 cones and then zoom in.

I will do DCW, thanks for your help.

Hopefully I will get your reply to my training ideas and the last few weeks another time.


That happened to me 3 times already. And it’s always a great post! I posted something in the planning and periodization section yesterday and I lost it when I tried to post it.

About the flying 20’s. I was at the track yesterday, and I saw a coach having his athletes do some fly in’s, I don’t know the distance exactly. But what I noticed and what I thought was odd, was that he only gave them a walk around the track for rest. And i’m not talkin about an outdoor 400m track. We were inside on a 160m track. Walking around the track at an easy pace takes about 2-3 min. So you can imagine how tired they were after about 3 or 4. Most of the time on speed work outs you wouldn’t have people lyin on the ground barely able to breathe. :rolleyes: And not only was the rest too little in my opinion, but the amount that they did was also odd. There was no set number. They just kept doing that for an hour.

A few more members from here have taken pity on me and given me a few pointers. My block settings are revised significantly and will post video here for comment when I can work out how to do it.

thanks guys.

We have started back on the flying 20s now and after a week of rest out of the 6x20m runs (followed by 2x80m sprints) I did with 40m run in I ran 2.0 for two…

…However the next week we were back at 11.4 for both friday night and then the 7.4/11.4 on the sunday.

2.0 is pretty much a 3.0 30-60m segment.
Multiple 3.0 * 3.8 and what do you get?

11.4 on a 2.0 20m fly eh?

ok time to pull the finger out and find some speed!

DCW23 so you think starts twice per week and another session with 20/20/20 and some more flying 20s with 40-50 run in is a good idea?