Focussing on the 200m

I coach a guy who has turned 16, pb 11.36/23.31 fat, has improved this year from 11.5/23.7. He has by his choice focussed more on the 100m earlier this season, but also because a hamstring injury in January ruled out 2 months of speed endurance work. I have recognised CF’s words of wisdom and kept him under 150m in training. He was desparate to achieve a schools championship qualifiyinhg time of 11.2 this season but following an early 11.3 ht he couldn’t improve. We have agreed to focus more on the 200m next season and I had aimed to increase his rep distances anyway this winter.

I know a lot of you guys use split runs to build up towards 300s etc, but as they are more intensive e.g. 2x2x150m as opposed to 2x300m, is it too early to use them in SPP1, are they better left to SPP2, and would I be better off just using a L-S programme for both SPP1 having a short GPP in January then commence SPP2 until April.

Why not S2L for short speed and L2S for speed endurance.

Short Speed: Hills in gpp moving towards FEF/EFE/Flys/60’s in spp.
SE: 4 weeks of ext tempo in gpp - moving towards int tempo (long hills - 4-5 weeks) - long special endurance 2x300 etc - short special endurance 2x200 or 200-180-150 etc.


For sure short speed might go like S2L and speed endurance more like L2S. I don’t think that there is just two ways to progress towards speed endurance like doing 2x300 (L2S) or split runs like 2x2x150 (S2L) making overall volume exactly 600m. I think there would be some place for intensive tempo during the end of GPP and the begining of SPP b/c you get speed from doing short speed sessions. Speed endurance sessions above 95% intensity would be run anyway during the last stage of preparation. I know Charlie didn’t advocate speeds below 95% or above 75%-80% but I think that there might be some place for intensive tempo. We know that there is no one way to Rome.

CF said if the athlete wanted to do int tempo it should be done for short periods of time 4-6 weeks max.

I don’t suggest for longer than 6 weeks. Like I said could be done in the end of GPP (1-2 weeks) and the beginning of SPP period (3-4 weeks) and you are still left with real speed endurance workouts for around 8 weeks wich is enough.

Interesting comments RB and Linas, I have been considering cuncurrent method, he has decent acceleration and I don’t want to move too far from that, although I would include 20m -30m reps before any longer reps regardless. Interesting thoughts on intensive tempo, I agree I wouldn’t like to maintain that for very long, but it might be a way of easing him into longer reps. Those who have seen my posts in the Running A’s thread in the Biomechanics section will see that I intend to use hills. I will start off with short reps 20-30m, but intend to include eventually a session of 80m -110m gradual grass gradient with Running A’s on the flat included. Thoughts anyone ?

“I would restrict any intensive tempo to the GPP and replace it with Special
Endurance in the SPP. I would also like to set specific limits on the duration of
such training within an extended GPP to ensure that no unfavourable fibre
conversion takes place. 3 to 4 weeks at most. The intensive tempo (if you use it)
would follow a period of extensive tempo”. (Key Concepts Elite)

I really wish to know about a possibility of unfavourable fibre conversion. I used different approuches to prepare for 400m. Two best seasons were when I did sessions of intensive tempo for more than two month and during the last stage of preparation, sessions were more like what we call speed endurance. For sure did short speed sessions as well. Other seasons were more like going from extensive (I just used very traditional aerobic training, some faltrek runs of 1-2min in duration) moving strait to special endurance and speed endurance sessions. It worked but times were a bit slower. However, the point is that when I tested my max speed in 30m fly-in , the times weren’t slower during the seasons when more intensive tempo was used. Maybe intensive tempo didn’t slow me down b/c I’m not very talented with speed having 200m PB of 22.51 and 400m 47.95. My best 30m fly is 3.03 and I ran same time in this test using different approaches. That is why I’m not sure about unfavourable fibre conversion.

If you wanna be picky Charlie’s split runs 4x4x60 or “control speed work” could be placed in the int tempo zone…

Mainly because the work isn’t fast enough - very similar to doing 10-15reps in the weightroom for long periods of time. I like Charlie’s control speed work concept instead of old school int tempo.

Old school int tempo: 6x200 rest 2mins
Control speed work: 4-6x200 rest 4-5mins

For sure intensive tempo might be understood and applied differently and often it might depend for what event athlete prepares. I group what I call intensive tempo sessions not just these traditional ones like 6-10x200m with 1-2min recovery at around 80% max or 6x300m with limited rest periods. Transitioning from extensive tempo to speed endurance running sessions could be whatever you want to call them, it’s a matter of the coach how he likes to call them like intensive tempo, “control speed” or simply running at certain speed and distance. A sprinter who prepares for 200m would generally work in the intensive zone easier looking at metabolic cost compared with a sprinter preparing for 400m. So let’s take that particular sprinter with 200m PB of 23.3. Let’s presume he would be able to run 300m in about 37.5 during the end of GPP while preparing for the next season with the focus on 200m. During certain period transitioning from extensive to speed endurance he simply does running workouts like for example: 3 x 300m in 40-41sec with rest of 4-6min or 4 x 250m in around 34-35sec with similar rest. Could be 5x200m in around 27sec with 3-4min. Such workouts could be called whatever, I just say distance and time

So, what are you recommending?

It’s just one of the ways doing that as you said like what Charlie called “control speed” workouts while transitioning from extensive tempo to speed endurance and I wouldn’t recommend these for still developing athletes whose main concern is to improve max speed. Higher level athletes who use program with more concentrated training phases (when athlete concentrates on no more than 1-2 qualities during certain training phase) might use such approach. Such “control speed workouts” would more or less fall during max strength phase. In my opinion, for higher level sprinters who would like to concentrate on heavy weights overall intensity would be too high too early if adding short speed and fast special endurance/speed endurance workouts in the same phase. Even short speed session during max strength phase doesn’t need to be run faster than 95% max except short acceleration work.

Thanks RB would the 200s be ran at about 90% and the 60’s a bit higher intensity, or are the 60’s the same as the S-L programme i.e. 95% governed by an acceleration limit of say 20m. ?

For the CSW - I say fast but controlled, the above session 4-6x200 would be done in trainers.

Thanks again RB, that type of work might bridge the gap between extensive tempo and special endurance, thoughts anyone.

I think 37.5 at the end of the GPP might be a tad ambitious, or am I being over cautious, thoughts folks please.

37.5 was more like imaginary b/c I gave sample workout like 3 x 300 in around 40-41 with such ability to see how much slower these “control speed” workouts might be run. If your guy would have an ability after GPP to run 38.5 so for him no chance to do 3 x 300m in 40, so with ability of 38.5 he could run in around 41.5-42. For sure he could jump straight to real special endurance workout like 2x300m running both at around 39 and under. But getting some more volume with these “control speed” workouts before real special endurance and speed endurance wouldn’t be a bad idea. During that period you wouldn’t worry about short speed workouts and weights too much in your program b/c these “control speed” workouts wouldn’t bring too much CNS fatique.