DavidG's Sprint Training Log

Just keep in mind that though the footage is great in this slo-mo of Bolt, this was one of Bolt’s worst races of the season- he barely comes back to beat Nesta Carter in the final few strides. You can still clearly see that the focus is on pulling down with the arms, and not back like you see at the sub-elite level.

Very interesting that you mentioned that. Now watching the video back with that in mind it’s actually really obvious from the way the shoulder moves that the arm is being pulled down hard, but is only swinging back because of the momentum it already has.

I use a cue for my guys of simply trying to hammer a table in front n then let swing naturally

It’s very interesting- I have recently picked up an athlete that formerly played pro hockey at the AHL level. He has no concept of the correct use of arms in sprinting, and being a hockey player, tries to muscle everything!

It’s been neat working on his technique. I’m still trying to figure out how to coach the arms with a “minimum of verbal cues” as Charlie suggests. What does everyone feel the most effective drills for teaching arm technique are?

I’ve mostly been trying to get his arms working right in the A-Skip and B-Skip for the time being.

Below is a slow motion look at US 2012 Trials in the 100m. I found this interesting- I’ve been coached down south, and a LOT of US coaches advise the full straightening of the arm on the downswing to gain “maximal hip extension”- I’ve been taught this by a Pfaff acolyte, and I think Seagrave teaches this as well, and my understanding is that this is prevailing USATF orthodoxy.

As you can see, Gatlin seems to use this technique but I feel like it could create excessive backside swing with the arms. What are everyone else’s thoughts on technique differences between Mills / Francis groups and USATF coaching? I find the Jamaican technique perhaps a little conservative yet very sensible- in other words very similar to CF’s.


Monday 29th April
1 lap slow jog
20 mins warm-up and stretches/exercises over 7 hurdles
2 x acceleration runs
3 sets of 4 x 60m @ 95-100%
2 minutes between runs and 10 minutes between sets

Do you have times on those 60s? I have been following your journal and I understand that “95-100%” refers to effort, not to actual percentage of best time (which is the standard CF method). Do you know what percentage of your 7.00 60 meter best these runs were at?

I’m not asking to criticize you - there’s obviously a multiplicity of ways to skin the sprinting cat - I’m genuinely curious. 2 minutes is just a little more than an immediate walk-back and set back up for me. I would guess that if my 60 best is in the 7.1-7.2 area (I really don’t know), I probably would have a hard time break 8 seconds by the end of the workout. You?

Nothing accurate, on the second run of the second set I was manually timed at 7 seconds. So I guess it would have been low 7s assuming the timing wasn’t way off? But yes the percentages are effort not % of PB.

The 2 minutes between runs was enough to finish the run, slow down in my own time, take a leisurely walk back to the start and then catch my breath before the next run. So I was able to maintain a good pace throughout the session.

I imagine the last set was probably getting toward the top end of 7 seconds as my form was dropping off a bit on the last couple of runs.

Thanks for sharing.
This looks like the sort of workout I’ll be starting my SPP with next season, per CF’s “Inside the SPP,” so I’m interested by what the performances feel and look like.

Had my first BAL match as a higher claim athlete for Southampton AC today.

I ran 10.98 and 21.90, which aren’t great times, but then the conditions weren’t great either, especially in the 200m where there was quite a strong headwind on the bend. We did break the 4x100 club record though which was good!

Definitely a different experience to SAL matches though, you really have to be on top form to be competitive at these matches, those times put me third in both events, although we won the relay by miles.

Certainly plenty of room for improvement on the times, but I’m still much faster than I was this time last year which is promising.

It doesn’t look like your training is setup to run fast times in the 100m. I think with a few races your 400m PB would drop a bunch right now though.

Continuing from my above comment, here are the videos of my races on Saturday. The 100m and the relay went okay. But I felt like I really tied up at the end of the 200m, I think I was surprised to have someone coming up behind me at that point in the race and just lost form a bit. Plus there was a very strong headwind all the way round the bend, which wasn’t recorded on the results as that race ended up being manually timed as the electronics were playing up.




Had another league competition today at Milton Keynes.

The 100m was a bit on the slow side considering the 2.0m/s tail wind (11.06), but I’ve realised that my hamstrings are too tight/lacking in flexibility and are limiting my top speed. So I need to add in some exercises to my warmup/training sessions that will correct that.

Having spent about 45 minutes purely warming up/stretching my hamstrings I finished the 200m in 21.58 (1.4m/s) which is okay, 0.19 off my PB, but still quicker than the 21.75 I ran this time last season (first sub 22 of that year) so I’m on the right track.

I then ran second leg in our 4x100m relay team who clocked 41.53 which was a new division, league and club record, so that was a good end to the day.

I now need to rest and try to recover before I compete at the Internationales Pfingstsportfest in Germany on Monday!

Well it was the Oxfordshire County Championships this weekend.

Bit disappointing for me as I was 2nd in both my events which doesn’t happen very often at county level! I’m still recovering from all the competitions I’ve been doing recently and as before, my hamstrings were hindering my top speed again.

I ran 10.88 in the 100m, which while technically a PB was run with a +2.1m/s tailwind so it doesn’t really count.

So having lost the 100m on Saturday I was fairly confident I could win the 200m today, however with my lack of top end speed and the fact the guy who won somehow managed to run a 0.56s PB (probably down to the +2.5m/s tailwind again). My 21.67 wasn’t quite enough. Which is annoying because if there was less wind, or even a headwind, it would have made my top end speed less important and my endurance probably would have pulled me through to 1st. But unfortunately races aren’t won with ‘ifs’

Given the wind assistance in both runs, I should have been faster over both events though, especially the 200m. So I’m just going to concentrate on recovery and trying to regain some of the hamstring flexibility I appear to have lost over the past couple of months in preparation for my next BAL match for Southampton.

I’m not overly bothered though as I’ve never been particularly quick at this stage in the season, I tend to build up to my PBs gradually and have always run my fastest times later in the season at bigger competitions like UK Championships and CAU Championships etc.

I suspect that the fact I got put in lane 1 today, which goes against the normal seeding procedure, was down to the fact I got into an argument with the officials yesterday about them messing up peoples entries and assigning incorrect numbers and then bullying the athletes into them thinking it was their fault.

That lil bit of wind means nothing. Your body just felt that 10.8 so I’m sure you will hit it again very soon

Back to proper training after giving myself the weekend off, I just felt like all the competitions were catching up with me a bit so I decided to just let myself recover properly and then hit it again hard as of this week.

I don’t know if it’s actually due to the rest or not, but the PNF stretching I’ve been doing seems to be doing wonders for my hamstrings. I felt like I was able to ‘open up’ into my stride a lot more during tonight’s session, which was as follows…

1 lap slow jog
20 minutes dynamic warmup and drills
20 minutes of various drills over a set of 6 hurdles

3 warmup runs/strides
2 sets of 4x80m @ 95-97% (basically just fast but not completely flat out)
3:30 between runs, 12 minutes between sets

So yesterday was my second Division 2 BAL match for Southampton.

First event of the day was a non-scoring 100m, came up far to early out of the blocks and lost some ground at the start. But I managed to make up some of the distance over the remainder of the race to finish in 10.96.

I could really feel my hamstrings tightening on every stride in that race, definitely going to have to go to a physio soon and just get them to check it’s not something else causing the tightness, as I’d really like to get that sorted before we get too far through the season.

I then had about a 4 hour wait until the A string 200m, I did a fairly extended warmup for this after my tightness in the 100m and was feeling much more limber this time. I had caught up the stagger after about 80m and held the lead until the finish clocking 21.69, and while the wind gauge showed a 1.2 tail wind, there was also a strong headwind most of the way round the bend that it didn’t pick up. So the time wasn’t too bad considering.

I can feel that the speed is there, and I’m sure once I get my flexibility issues sorted I’ll be running PB’s in no time, it’s just frustrating that I haven’t been able to get near the 21.45 indoor time I ran yet.

The 4x100m didn’t go too well however, I was running second leg against Adam Gemili, and in my eagerness to keep up with him down the back straight I ended up outrunning the 1st leg runner, which was doubly annoying as our team could easily have beaten the winning time of 42.8 had we got the baton round. But these things happen…

It sounds like you’re close to running some PBs if flexible and fresh.

Here are the videos of my races last weekend…