Do you need SE for speed development

Hi there!

Does anyone have any insights or experience regarding the question as to whether SE work is required to develop maxV? I’m currently only interested in LJ and 60m, so don’t really need SE for my events. However, I’m wondering whether some SE work is required to maximise my maxV.

I’m pondering this question because doing SE on the track is similar to going to failure with weights. If you never go to or near failure with weights you probably don’t develop your full strength potential. Likewise, if you never go to a distance where you cannot maintain top speed anymore, will this prevent your body from receiving the required stimulus to maximise your speed potential?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and contributions,

I disagree with going to failure to develop your full strength potential. I would extend your training distances out to 90-120 and maybe even some 150’s. I really like doing 150’s because I feel they are the prefect training distance and give me a little bit of everything. For example -


Mon Accel - jump circuits - wts

Tue Short approach jumps - circuits

Wed Full approach jumps - bounding - wts

Thur Med ball or REST

Fri Speed 90-150’s OR 90-150’s FEF etc- depth jumps - wts

Sat Tempo

For the horz jumper I would recommend three different phases.

Accel phase:
Day 1: accel runs 10-30m
Day 2: contrast accel runs

Speed phase:
Day 1: accel runs 10-40m
Day 2: Speed 50-60, fef, flys

Speed end:
Day 1: accel runs
Day 2: Speed end 80-150, fef etc

Think of it from another view.

To improve your 60/jumps you need to really be at competition pace/effort/technical regularly, to be able to do it at that frequency you need to have the capacity to do so.

Repetition of your top end, itself is SE you don’t need to necessarily increase your rep distance to hit the training factors you require, simply adjust recovery vs repetitions

So in short my answer is, yes. Some SE that allows you the ability to “repeat” will aid your MaxV development. And of course depending on where you personally hit your MV can help you hold it until the end of the 60! remember only top elites will be hitting MV towards the end of the 60 the rest of us are there earlier

But on a personal note I agree with RB, upping the distance wont hurt and can aid some smoothing out of technique also

I would have similar approach to CF and separate days with higher intensites with SE runs just like Irving Boo Schexnayder is doing in his program.
On Wednesday he’s performing eight full long jump run-ups followed by two reps between 90-150m.

Re: strength, I wouldn’t worry about it too much as the strength is a secondary means to what’s happening on the track and if is going up steadily and progressively, you are doing a good job.

Thanks for your comments. I think I will work up to including a couple of 120s in my training once a week.

With regards to strength training, I’m not saying that I want to max out in the gym when my training goal is to improve my speed and long jump. I was just observing that you probably can’t reach your full strength potential if you never push yourself in weight training and asking whether this also applies to speed training. If you take 30 strides to complete a 60m run, for example, you have basically done a set of 15 reps on each leg. However, if we say that you can run up to 50 strides before your ability to exert force deteriorates significantly, you could say that running 60m is comparable to doing your 10 rep squat or bench max for only 6 reps, which may not be sufficient to reach your full squat or bench potential.

Also, quite a few of the very best horizontal jumpers have run world class 200m (Carl Lewis, Mike Conley, Larry Myricks) or even 400m times (Christian Taylor).

I talked to Jeremy Fischer who said that he has never run anything longer than 80m.

Interesting. Will Claye’s 200m indoor PB is 21.77, which would probably be a low 21 outdoors, but he has only run 200m a couple of times. He’s run the 100m regularly and his PB here is 10.64, which corresponds well to a low 21s 200m and, therefore, doesn’t suggest an SE deficit. Maybe they do split runs for SE without going over 80m?

Rules are made to be broken and followed. Both are true but you might not want to ignore patterns of success.

I am not sure you can successfully compare the 60m with a 10 rep squat.

We already know you need to prioritize speed training over lifting. Lifting heavy squats does not ensure running successfully in the 60m or the 100m. Lifting heavy squats might ensure lifting heavy squats more often and with heavier weights if and when you approach it with method.

We already know for sure that sprinting is unique.

We also know practice makes permanent.

We need to run fast to be fast.

We need to lift heavy things to get stronger.

A body builder lifts a certain way. If a sprinter lifted exactly as a body builder does it might interfere with his or her ability to perform high quality sprinting.

My take on this: A mapping of training methods to relative levels of benefits.

Level 1 Training : Essential for all sprinters. Very high correlation between these methods and sprinting success. At absolute (elite level) and relative (age grouping etc).
Max V

Level 2 Training. High correlation to sprinting success. But not used by all successful sprinters.
Bounding, jumping, plyo type movements

Level 3 Training. Correlation to sprinting success. Some sprinters are successful without doing any/much of this.
Circuits, bike, swim etc.

Note that level 3 may become more valid for longer sprinters.
May not be optimum for health or body composition.

Love your summary.

Ange Coon needed or think she needed Coach Charlie Francis to realize her talents? True or False?

Ben Johnson was going to be world champion and Olympic champion no matter who coached him? True or False?

Angella Issajenko could out work 10 athletes no matter what she did. Did this help or hurt her ultimate results? Maybe John Smith might have been a better coach for her than her own coach.

Charlie Francis had zero impact on the athletic career of gold medal winner Mark McKoy who won 110mh at the Olympics 1992. He was a world champion athlete long before 1988. He should have had a bronze medal in 1988.

Charlie Francis was once ranked 5th in the world because his training was awesome.

What do others think of the use of SE1 (8-15s) SE2 (15s+) for sprint hurdlers?

It seems that many top 110m hurdles are running 300s (famously David Oliver who ran a 8+x300m workout regularly).

My thoughts:
1- 300s (SE2) is useful because it increases the lactic capacity which helps for the developing hurdler at the end of the race (just as developing sprinters need more SE rather than Speed for better 100m performance). Setting up a 30H with 10yard spacing clearly wouldn’t work so perhaps the SE work is deferred to 300m runs as it is fact much easier to set up and execute. The furthest I have seen hurdlers go is 12H (more like SE1 than SE2). I see 300s winning out the 12H as the speed necessary to do the 12H must be very high. The 300m can be done earlier and allows for big changes to the lactic capacity.

2- What about SE1 without hurdles? If we could use hurdle runs, 8H-12H, would we need to do 80-150m sprints? Those runs could be useful as they can accomplish a lot of intense CNS work, without requiring a large number of runs for the hurdler. However, if speed is best developed using shorter rep distances (50-60m), and the hurdler’s more specific endurance distances are accomplished using 8-12H, there shouldn’t be a need for bringing in an element that is just as intense and competes directly against the specific runs. What is the place for SE in the hurdler’s training?

I go out as far as 250m on occasion with my best 110mH though his occasional secondary event is also 200m. If the athlete does not run 200m I’d probably restrict the training to about 150m though maybe a bit farther. I believe Oliver was running those at probably an intensive tempo pace so not really SE II speeds. I’m not sure if we’ll go out that far this year, not really planning on any 200m races.

Some long hills (80-120m) ala Tony Wells can be a good way to establish a strength endurance foundation for longer rhythm endurance work over hurdles. I’ve gone out as far as 14H but some years (started at 3 reps of 8H to 90m recently) based upon what time was available in preparation only to 12H.

From training residuals research (I think from Issurin) the fastest quality to erode is speed (5+/-3 days) which most advocates of Charlie’s training would agree with. The second fastest quality to erode is strength endurance 15 +/- 5 days so I usually program in a few longer hills every 2-3 weeks. While general strength endurance can be achieved through higher rep weight work that’s best reserved, in my opinion, for GPP and higher volume weights later in prep will just suppress speed qualities for potentially longer periods of time than would be useful in SPP or comp. prep.

Great answer Pioneer.

That brings me to asking about the 8H-12H / 90-150m type work. How are you doing this? With 8H, is it too close to pure hurdle speed (a type of training with great CNS demand IMO) that it would detract from the athlete’s ability to do pure speed work? Is your 150m all-out; would you do it on speed or endurance days?

Suppose we use the Charlie M-W-F micro schedule, with MF as pure speed days, and W as special endurance day. I would have athletes do 250m + hurdle endurance work on Wednesday.
My ideal plan would look like: MF mixture of 60-80m, and 5-7H with W as 250-300m / 12H.

Also—how do you run these 250s? Is it the same as running a 200… all-out full burn from 0m?
Do you ever set down acceleration limits for these longer runs or do you feel that the long distance controls the intensity by itself?

I usually start with 8H and every session add a hurdle and increase the total distance of the run so there is always a run in distance to close the rep. When no competitions are taking place these are done every two weeks. If the athlete goes to a meet and competes in a two or more rounds they probably don’t need this rhythm endurance training the next week-it would be short term redundant. We use the women’s spacing of 8.5m for the best male hurdler I work with and most females 7.5m. We still getting both flat and hurdle acceleration work on other days (up 4 hurdles at about 8.7m) and hurdle speed days (up to 7 hurdles same spacing) on other days though not necessarily in the same week.

I, personally, reserve separate special endurance days that don’t involve RE work though I often do as CF did in terms of including an acceleration component even on an SE I day even if the day’s theme is not acceleration. By 250-300m are you talking the total volume or the length of the runs? The longest RE day I’ve had this athlete do was 14H at 8.5m out to about 130m for 2-3 reps max.

The 250s we don’t do very often as it’s a short to long progression and it’s something we’d ordinarily do in comp. prep in the middle to late outdoor season but yes some are all out and others we regularly use an acceleration/intensity limit, accel to 20m+maintain, next rep accel to 25+ maintain and so on. I’ve also used to guide some of the limits CF’s intensity acceleration length chart as it relates to each event-world class 100m (approx. 60m), 150m (50m), 200m (40m) and so on. For the 90-150m range we use the sprint float sprint set up or use longer acceleration/intensity limits than we would for the longer SE I work.

In the use of hills I’ve cut down the volume over the years and the most we generally do is maybe 200-300m of volume. As CF use to do with longer SE work in the middle of the week since though it was intense it was less intensive than the acceleration work in a say a Monday session then a speed endurance session on Friday. The hills are really useful in the same way in that even done with great quality, effort they are easier to recover from to due to lowered impact stress, less intensive eccentrically.

I meant the length of the runs.

Just to pin down your thoughts: do you see 14H (or 12H) as Speed Endurance work, or Special Endurance work? Its categorical evaluation would tell me whether its more apt to put these type of runs on speed or special endurance/rhythm endurance days.

But the more general question I think is more appropriate to bring up: what is the CNS output of speed hurdling? How does it compare to speed running?

To me, 300m of sprint hurdling volume has hitherto been treated the same as 300m of sprint volume. Is this correct? The guidelines are there of course just to make sure you are keeping power levels high throughout reps, sessions, and not packing the sessions too close to each other. Can hurdling be done more frequently than sprinting (as it requires more muscular work), or should they be treated the same?—recovery cycles planted after PB efforts (and other phenomenon we treat sprinting/high intensity elements with).


That is why I am asking the questions of whether 14H is speed work or speed endurance work. I want to find out whether that long speed hurdling work is difficult to recover from (which seems to be the case for 7H work), so to see whether we needed to distribute the elements across the week to allow for more recovery. Not sure if I’m being clear but any observations about the CNS implications of speed hurdling vs speed running will be very helpful. Thanks!

It depends upon the level of athlete. I would not have a lower level athlete go out as far as 14H probably 10 or 11 maybe 12. 14H for a male using 8.5 (women’s spacing)=124.22 and then possibly a 5-8m run in to 132 but if I did that with an athlete I’d probably only do it one session per year. Last year I did not have my best hurdler go out past 12H though our season also ended very early due to illness.

With a lower level athlete 14H would probably be closer to SE I instead of hurdle rhythm endurance training (speed endurance for high hurdles) and thus not as useful as keeping the runs shorter.

14H is the limit I would go and it would have to be with an elite or emerging elite performer at the most.

I know some elite programs go out as far as 16H (Brooks Johnson for one) though that is less common.

Done correctly hurdle rhythm endurance should be speed endurance oriented and not special endurance. If it is run at a pace that would be more in line with special endurance it’s not going to tranfer well IMO. Doing them to the point where they are too far to match the current speed and speed endurance ability of the individual will not be the sort of rhythm a PR level high hurdle race will be run at. So for a very low level developmental athlete 8-9 hurdles might be enough for a few reps.

A common practice among elite males for RE training is to use 8.5m for males and around 7.5m (possibly 7.6/7) for women. For another example a 14.5 guy one might use 8.1/8.2m and so on.

For a high hurdler alone with no real secondary-longer event (such as 200m) I think 150m (200m max) is as as far as I’d take them in any long speed endurance/short SE I run-if out to 200m. Anything past that I dont believe would have much transfer.