Borsow Rest Times and Intensity

Hey there,
I read a lot of soviet sport science literature, also have a soviet Coach and there are so many big differences compared to the training that we usually see.
I recently went through an article by Borsow, who won 100m gold in Munich. His Trainer Petrovsky was a biologist and they used 1min30sec rest times between 60m reps. His trainer emphasized that working in a certain state of recovery can drastically change the resulting adaptation. 60m reps with 1.5-2min rest is apparently best to max build speed. Most coaches would heavily disagree and always emphasize full recovery.
Something else would be sprinting intensities, Russian sprinters would rarely do 90+% sprints. Again most western coaches would say that you need to run at around 95%.
What are your thoughts on this. The more I read about training in general, the more fundamental questions I have, how can training recommendations be so drastically different?

“The devil is in the details”

Valeriy Borzov ( born October 20th 1949 )

( Charlie competed in 1972 in the same Olympic games for Canada in Munich)

Charlie has written a book on Training as well as a chronicle of events as it had to what happened in Seoul in 1988. ( The Charlie Francis Training System and Speed Trap)

One result from one man is not going to be the same as many results from many people over decades of results by varied people. That is not to say that result is not valuable to study.

What was Borsov’s athletic background as a child and youth and young athlete?

Was he selected to excel in the sprints and training accordingly without say or choice which is often the case in communist countries?

If so, what does that mean for how he trained?

When people talk about their results, it’s important to understand the progression on how they got there.

I used to do repeat 60’s with walk back recovery of 60m walk but that was towards the very end of my athletic training and I did not start out being able to do 4 sets of (4 x 60m). First, my 60m times in training had to be fast enough to then be able to practice the repetition of those speeds with that volume and that rest interval. ( remember, practice makes permanent ( not perfect).

It is not shocking to me that Borsov was able to do this as a man who became Olympic champion.

How long did it take for him to have done that and at what age?

Did he always use that kind of rest or were rest intervals varied? ( likely yes )

Performance can be enhanced by many variables and adaptation can be forced. ( I was taught that forcing results compromises the longevity of and duration to continue improvement )

We need the John Smith’s and Bobby Kersee’s and the current Jamaican coaches and athletes to write books explaining and telling and sharing with us that they did, how they trained so it can be talked about, scrutinized and studied by all.

Is that going to happen? NO likely not.


Had Charlie not been the center of a scandal would he be sitting down writing out all the ways of how he did things? Maybe.

Or maybe he would have been capitalizing on the results and spending his time very differently. Maybe not.

Coaches and athlete’s tend not to be open and sharing unless why?

No person typically is going to share what they did and how they did it. We are talking about some of the most competitive people on the planet. Sharing allows others to come along and kick your ass. lol

The point is we don’t know unless we do and try and read and study and experiment and repeat and share.

Charlie has been able to have enough results with enough athletes of all ages and all backgrounds and it’s REPEATABLE. It’s as repeatable today as it was decades ago. Track’s are faster and Nike can make a stadium exactly as they wish and make the track as fast as they wish because it’s in their interest to have amazing results on their turf and control everything. (That’s called competition too and billions are at stake)

What we are seeing now is science is getting caught up to some of the results from the past

Make no mistake hard work is hard work and zero short cuts are available long term and we generally get what we deserve and back luck happens and karma is real. History also sorts out a bunch.