Former sprinter with questions

I’m 24, 5’10, 195, 11 or 12%BF (estimate) and trying to get back into shape. I sprinted for my 4 years of high school…bests of 11.0 in the 100, 23.2 in the 200, 52.0 in the anchor leg of the 4x400. Anyway, today I went over to my high school and hit the track. I did four 200’s (walked 200 back for rest), starting pretty easy on the first couple and trying to nail the last 2 pretty hard, then did four 60’s with 30 seconds rest between. I didn’t want go too hard on my first time out being that my only sprinting has been the occasional day of 10 on/30 off intervals.

Anywho, I have a few questions. I’ve been lurking, reading, and searching the archives. I can’t find anything that really explains the different types of training that I see mentioned (tempo, special endurance, etc). Also, there are ALOT of types of exercises that are done that were never done on my track team…flying 20’s, etc. We did alot of speed work, 100-500m pyramids, etc. No strength training at all. Can anyone explain what tempo, special endurance, etc mean?

I’m not training for anything in particular. I’m just trying to get back some of my speed and endurance. Aerobically, I have better endurance and my recovery is better as well (for instance, that 200m walk back senior year wouldn’t have been enough, today 100m and I was prepared to go again). But running those 200’s was killing me by about 150m whereas I used to be able to pull all the way through. I understand strength training (do mainly powerlifting…I follow CrossFit mostly) and it’s benefits as well as nutrition 1000x better than I did then…my diet back then was bad at best.

Also, what kind of things should I be doing as GPP? I’ll have a 2 or 3 days a week, maybe 45-60 minutes/day to run. I’m starting back to school at the beginning of June and will be working my arse off towards my MBA for a year.

Any help is appreciated. Wishing I had today’s resources back then.

A greatttttttt help to you besides searching this site would be to buy a copy of CFTS. It is available in Ebook format on this site or if you prefer the hard version as do i go to That is the best resource for sprinting you can have period! It will explain everything starting with the basics. Then if you need mopre specific info. Search this site, ask questions, and buy the other materials offered.

Thanks Quik…is that Training for Speed by Charlie Francis that you’re referring to?

On a side note, I am feeling good today. Slight tiredness in the legs (I told you I’ve been out of this for a long time) and my upper obliques (I guess that’s what they would be…where the abs connect to the ribs) are slightly sore too. I now realize why I loved track so much.

Get the GPP DVD that way you can see some of the base building exercises in action!

I went through the same thing you are about one year ago.

Here is some advice so you dont get injured :slight_smile:

Get a really good base. For the first year I would look at doing extended GPP/SPP work. Dont even think about competing until you have been training consistently for about 8 weeks. When you do compete treat them as training days and watch your recovery carefully afterwards.

Carefully watch the volume of running and weights. I am 30 years old and have found I can no longer handle squats when I do 3 CNS intensive workouts a week. I have subbed in stepups and lunges to compensate

Watch your recovery closely. Look at doing at least 1 one of your CNS workouts on grass a week. (Hills, plyos or circuits)

Tempo should always be on grass and the pool is your friend as well.

I came back after a long layoff and proceeded to race after about 3 weeks of work. Ended up running 12.00 FAT and tore my ham up by the attachment point in my glute. I have been recovering for about a year and it still isnt perfect. (I used to be a 10.8-11.1 100m runner consistently in my early 20s)

I am getting in much better shape (I think mid 11’s FAT and 23FAT for 200 will be possible this year)

Here is the basic plan I have been following since coming back off injury:

m - REST
t - Long speed (3 x 200 @90%, 3 x 80@95%) weights
w - Tempo - 4 x 4 x 100m on grass or REST
th - Short speed - 4 x 60, 3 x 80 Weights
f - REST
sa - REST
su - Circuits or hills (two giant sets circuits bodyweight or 2 x 6 x 40m steep hills and plyos)

Good luck the site is full of great resources!

I used to do a ton of short speed, plyos and heavy weights but ended up burning out and injuring myself. The above has worked WAY better for me.



Just out of curiosity, how was your speed training with the short speed plyos and weights? did you feel faster training the old way or the new way?

I haven’t run a race yet so I can’t really say. I know my 200m is significantly faster now than before based on my repeat times. 100m is hard to tell. I have been running longer “short” speed workouts to save my hamstring. 60 meter is the shortest I am going now.

I think that someone that is already in great shape would benefit alot from short to long. That is one of the main factors in short to long is that the base is already in place. The athlete needs to be quite advanced and has access to good recovery aids. (Massage, lots of sleep, etc)

For me I need to get my base in place before I can even attempt a short to long program, especially one with heavy weights.

I think Charlies methods are fantastic dont get me wrong. It’s just that I am not in good enough shape to take advantage of it yet :slight_smile:

I am also fairly strong in the weight room (340 buried RAW squat, 265 bench, 425 deadlift) but can’t combine the sprint work with the weight work without killing my CNS and also without forcing much longer recovery between sessions. The strength side of the curve isn’t my issue, its the other side :slight_smile:


ps- one thing that Charlie said that stuck in my mind was that beginning/intermediate athletes can improve by seconds in the 100/200 with greater fitness and speed endurance versus going for a few hundredths or tenths concentrating on short speed/weights.