Hi everyone!

What are everyone’s thoughts on using auto-regulation within sprint training sessions please, i.e. repeat sprints over a given distance until there is a noticeable drop in performance?

Is this a good way to determine how many repeats you should do? If not, how do you determine the optimum volume for a given athlete?

Thank you.

Not to bad but drop in performance should be measured by loss of time/ or RPE scale. Also depends on work capacity / ethic of athlete. If they are out of shape then drop in performance is not that significant , especially if in the off season.

Charlie taught me to work backwards from what I know for sure.
Practice makes permanent. ( not perfect)
What are you able to do to set yourself up to succeed?
First, most people don’t warm up properly or enough. I still use an hour warm up which I have talked about in detail on my blog and on the site. Warm ups are meant to be continuous and build fitness. The things I see most people and athletes do to begin serious training and not so serious training reinforces the need for great information and coaches who have learned from the best.
Next, you’ve got speed work, so where do you start? The idea behind short to long is you are beginning with the smallest increment of speed with say 10m and repeating the reps and sets over time. Then you might progress to 20m and then 30m and over time you will continue with 60m and longer distances.
I am looking now at some of my May 1992 training diaries. I would have just started to train seriously after quitting track late Sept 1988.
After warming up I did the following
2 sets of 4 x 10m starts ( this would have been starts from the blocks. Charlie used block starts sometimes to build block start proficiency but it’s also more intense which you need to be aware of.
2 x 20m was next ( a walk back but added rest as walking back might not be enough rest)
2 x 30m
1 x 80m
took 10minutes and then tried a 100m but groin was bothering me so we bailed and didnt do it.

I am not sure where you get this term auto regulation from.
Do you need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to speed training?
I get letters and notes from people from all over the world telling me they wish they knew about Charlie when they were young and had the resources we have been providing here since 2001.
I am sharing one workout at the earliest stage of my adventures into becoming a national team 100m hurdler.
Best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

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If my local gym is any indication ( and it is as I have lived in gyms for the past few decades or more :wink: the micro management of exercising has well meaning athletes and coaches wasting a lot of time.
I could not stop my burning desire to be something and track was my thing and I happened to meet the right guy at the right time to support me. Having said that I encountered a few road blocks that slowed me down which was good because conflict might test one’s moxie.
Anyway, who cares as it’s ancient history.
What I do care about is repeating the message of how important fitness is before, during and alongside SPEED training. #speed #generalpreparation #sprinting
take a look at the GPP video. We spent a lot of money and time making that video happen. So yes, Sharmer is right about geting yourself into shape and yes it’s boring and yes the phone needs to be put down for hours and yes you have to slow yourself down enough to study from those who’ve come the closest to the top of the mountain. Sprinting is so much fun.

Thanks for the replies. By auto-regulation within a session I mean using performance to determine training volume. E.g. you do repeat 60m sprints for as long as you can run them at say 98% of the first one. Once performance drops you stop the session. E.g. 6.8, 6.8, 6.9, 6.8, 6.9, 7.0 - end session here, as performance has dropped and no more high quality reps are possible.

Auto-regulation between sessions would be to skip a session or do an easy one if you don’t feel you’ve recovered from the last session, for example.

This type of auto-regulated session could be done every week or maybe just once a month or so as a test of the athlete’s work capacity.

I guess what you are looking for is a method to determine volume based on quality?
In my opinion the trial and error method is a risk and why use risk in any aspect of training as the trial is not necessay as we have periodized plans and the risk might not ever be recovered full in the case of a bad pull or other injury.
More sprinting gives you more but if you are looking to progress your speed over time and make the most of your training, again I suggest a proper dose according to age, experience, conditions and overall plan. More sprinting done without the time and progression to get to these volumes which you suggest does not equate to quality sprinting.
Maybe using 10m falling starts to see how your athlete responds but again, why would anyone be using this sort of experiment with an athlete? Athletes are not guinea pigs.
I’ve kept this forum around to support general info for speed training.
I’ve also kept the site up and running for over 13 years to offer products with great details about training.
I hope you will use this generous offering as a resource to support your quest to understand why Charlie coached as he did.

Thank you for your time and feedback. I’m quite familiar with the CF training system and have been following it in my own training for many years. I used to be quite active on this forum until about 10 years ago.

While I’m thus largely sold on the CF training system, different athletes can handle different amounts of volume, and this capacity also changes over time. I was thus asking whether auto-regulation may be one useful empirical way of determining what amount of volume is appropriate for a given athlete at a certain point in their development.

I might follow a program similar to what is shown in the GPP and SPP graphs, for example, but not be able to handle the listed volume of high intensity work (mostly around 600m per session if I remember correctly). I could simply take a guess and do half the volume, or 2/3 of it, or I could try to use a more objective method to determine empirically how much volume is appropriate.

My question was whether auto-regulation could be a useful way to make such a determination. For example, if I notice that I start slowing down after five 60m repeats, does this suggest that I should be training in that range (total of about 300m of sprint work per session) for at least the next few weeks?

Sprinting, as I have been trained to practice it, is about doing all things needed and leaving no stone unturned to practice QUALITY.
Now that I am over 1 million years old, practicing quality remains a challenge.
I love sprinting.
Masters pursuits are cool.
I am grateful to have had the time and chance to practice sprinting with someone who thought in absolute terms regarding his craft.
Anyone is free to train and coach however they wish.
If we don’t practice quality, what are practicing? Guessing?

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Charlie was prepared to be wrong unless he’d taken the time, energy and personal research to change something that worked.
I have studied others work?
Well, I have learned from my own time delaying mistakes… I lost of decade of organzied training that otherwise might of, should of… ancient history… Charlie had to quit before he was 25 because all he did was speed training and had so much scar tissue he could not run or compete. This is what drove him to different.
I have been lucky to learn from him and surrounded by top performances and learn also from those he respected.
Recipes for baking are different than recipes for cooking prime rib yet you still need to respect temperatures and time lines etc…You can be as creative with baking some items the same way you might be creative with cooking meals that allow more flexibility.
As I have said before Charlie hated recipes. Templates are helpful but your eye needs to determine volumes and choices of exercises and as a coach of anyone ( masters or beginners) you need to be prepared to adjust, alter and gather the nuanced data you collect over time.
My guess is you want a recipe for someone or a group.
Keep in mind elite sprinting is what this site has been about and been based on so if my thoughts or feedback is not what you are looking for so what.
People like to sprint. It is a very cool thing to do.
I am looking to direct people to how best to achieve the quality needed to improve and I am providing a lot of content to support one’s journey.