CFTS & Intensive Tempo

“Charlie’s training methods are a refinement of Gerard’s, the biggest refinement being the elimination of the intermediate intensity work (intensive tempo). When you read Gerard’s book, you can clearly see the roots of Charlie’s system.” (Flash)

While much is know about what BJ did in his later career, little is known about what Ben did in the early stage of his development in building the platform that would lift him to the top.

Charlie, this sparks two questions.

Firstly, at what stage of your coaching career did you eliminate intensive tempo from your programmes? Did BJ, Desai, Angela and other prominent members of your group undertake (and benifit from) intensive tempo before it was dropped from their programmes?

Secondly, and more generally, can a certain amount of this kind of work ever be justified before adopting CFTS exclusively? This has been debated already for 400m athletes, but what about sprinters in general?

Flash, Clemson, others please feel free to contribute. Thanks :wink:

Charlie has to answer your question about when he dropped intensive tempo (if he ever really used it). The first time I talked to him, I asked him what was his biggest deviation from Gerard and he told me eliminating the intermediate zone.

As far as when intensive tempo might be useful, I believe Clemson started a thread in the old forum about using occasional intensive tempo at certain points in the training cycle. Maybe he can supply you with the link.


For intermediate zone unloading training, what recoveries are you using between runs.


Thanks Flash.

That excellant thread is at:

where Clemson controversially (for this forum anyway) states:
“I do a few microcycles of this(intermediate speed work) in the 200. I do 2-3 microcycles more of this work in the 400m.”

But when did Charlie drop this from BJ et al.'s programmes? Did it play any part in their development?

I briefly experimented with some intermediate speed work in the spring of 1980 but was disappointed with the results. It caused interferance with the quality of special endurance runs and caused too much volume on the track, as intermediate runs were too fast to be done on the grass. I quickly reverted to a strict separation of speeds, using ever shortening breaks as the means to keep the training challange going.

Thanks for the clarification Charlie.

Clemson raises another issue. He is not really using intermediate speed work for training if it’s for UNLOADING because you’re not really training at that point. I’d call that an extreme drop in the intensity of the high int work. That should pose no problem at all.

Thanks Clemson. I thought that quote taken out of context might suck you in!

In terms of application its always nice for us plebs to have numbers to sink our teeth into! One intensive tempo session included in the off-loading week (3 on 1 off) to allow CNS regeneration is acceptable and provides the added benifit of “overloading and priming those substrate enzymes”.