Best way to improve maximum velocity

What is the best way- sprinting, weight room, drills combined to develop maximum velocity? This may seem a bit bizarre but I have noticed as my acceleration becomes more efficient that may maximum velocity efficiency falls off. I have also noticed this trend with the sprinters I work with.

An Example-Yesterday I was doing a short speed/ acceleration day. That being said I haven’t really ran much other than light tempo and 40m hills in the past few weeks. As expected I was a bit slower and heavier than just a month ago, but it is the off season. The workout was 2x20- 2x30-2x40 then hit the weight room.

Times were off of a touch pad then into laser gates.

1st 20m- 2.79 2nd 20m- 2.79
1st 30m- 3.84 2nd 30m- 3.79
1st 40m- 4.77 2nd 40m- 4.81

I didn’t record all the splits for the 40m- I did have the gates set up at the 20,30,and the 40m marks though. The primary thing I noticed once again that when my first 20m splits were at their fastest the 30 or 40 were at their slowest and the opposite was true when the first 20 was a bit slower.

Example- 40m #1 was 4.77
0-20= 2.81
20-30= .99
30-40= .97

         40m #2 was 4.81
         0-20=   2.79
         20-30=  1.01
         30-40=  1.01

Again this is a bad example because I am simply in an off season phase but earlier this year the times were different but the distribution percentages were very similar. My fastest 40m and 60m run’s were off of my slower 20m starts.

Also shouldn’t my 40m be faster at the 30-40m compared to the 20-30m mark then what it is. I wish I kept better records back in 06-08 to compare. Thoughts on how to improve maximum velocity? My best 40’s and 60’s this season back in early June were 4.63 and 4.65 and 6.48 and 6.52 but my maximum velocity from what I can tell hasn’t hit faster than .91’s to .92’s. Thoughts? Thanks

Shawn Crawford from 2008 (FAT; USATF quarterfinal #3);


There might not, really, be anything wrong (other than your SE in the offseason).

Most people in your performance range need 40-50m to reach MaxV. If you do 30m flys with a more gradual 40-45m leadin, you might get different results.

The fact that you seem to be running the same splits for 30-40 as 50-60 or 60-70, though, suggests that you might look into either your transition phase (coming up too quickly over 20-40 or 20-30, losing momentum and not getting it back?) or your SE for next season.