Effect of Training on Grass

same here, IMHO speed work on grass in winter in those conditions would be counterproductive.

I would agree with you there. It would not be possible to get the firmness of contact. Perhaps in Canada or the Northern US, when the winter is more cold and crisp, than damp and wet, it is a different scenario. But if you run on grass here over the winter, it’s often waterlogged, and a boggy, muddy mess.

Without getting into detailed mechanics training on grass improves leg frequency. This is the one reason why Asfa and Bolt have phenomenal acceleration.

If it’s not too much of a bother, would you mind going into detailed mechanics on this topic? I’m probably missing something, but it’s not openly obvious to me why this would be the case.

Asafa does a ton of short hills. do we have details on Bolt? Sounds like S-to -L from the comment about not beginning 200m prep yet.
From seeing notes from Stephen Francis, Asafa is really in a S-to-L as well, regardless of how it’s described. 300s in 37 are not SE for him.

One of my athletes who has run the 40yd in a best of high 5.0 ran a 4.87 on track, the day after a fairly hard and demanding hill workout (don’t ask why this was tested).

The timer was a very reliable coach.

We have done all our sprint work on the field turf from November until now. Maybe some transfer similar to grass??

Softer surfaces requires the leg to be stiffer. This increased leg stiffness ^ leg freq.

I’ve seen multiple pictures of Bolt dragging a pretty heavy sled through some thick grass…





He doesn’t look to be wearing any spikes either.

I’d be sure to wear spike in aid of traction, especilly through acceleration.

There was a thread shortly after Bolt’s 9.76 in which Glen Mills stated he gets into speed right away, which may suggest it is a S-L approach.

What distance are the hills?? 10-40?

Ok, given that and the conditions here in the UK, would there be a benefit of doing late SPP and comp phase training on grass?? Perhaps not all, but some of the speed sessions??

Francis’ camp move onto the track around mid SPP from what I can gather, correct me if I am wrong, but due to the conditions here in the UK, where the weather does not permit speed work on the grass until at the earliest April/May time, although this year, much later, is there a benefit of getting on the gras closer to and during the season? Would you see the benefits of increased leg stiffness transfer to performance? Or is it likely to be detrimental to performance?

The positive I can see is that if you did say one speed session a week on grass, you are moving slightly away from the high intensity speed work on the track and the specificity of the actual races, perhaps gaining a super compensatory benefit?? I’d be interested to hear what you think, Sharmer.

I belive there are some brief references to the hill work in this thread. Might be wrong!!


The reference I was thinking of was just Francis shouting at Asafa to do 25 sprints up a hill for being an hour and 20 minutes late for training!

This year training with a new coach who trains his athletes mainly on a turf field up until jan or feb i found that it helped out a lot sprint wise. As Charlie mentioned I learned not to fight the ground and stay relaxed, which did help increase my turnover rate. The other part was that it helped keep my legs fresher as the pounding from the track would cause me to take longer to recover from sessions as my shins and knees would be sore. So I can definatly see the added benifit from keeping at least one session of grass work in during the year.