Glen Mills & Bolt training methods

Fasuba hasn’t consistently run 9.8s, but he has consistently run around 6.5 indoors and he has a major title. He is fast, don’t get me wrong, but I think he needs to back that 9.8 up!

Now that Yohan Blake have reach an outstanding time of 19,26 in the 200m, my only conclusion Is that he must do something right in his training.

"On a short-to-long plan, I like the short speed sessions on Monday, as it can trash your CNS where you need up to 72 hours to recover. On a long-to-short plan, the speed and special endurance are early in the week, with the short speed on Friday (and 2 days rest on the weekend!).

For my athletes, they key numbers for workouts in seconds are 3-7, 15, and 40 seconds. Usually, those numbers translate to 30-60m, 150m, and 325m. So generally, those are the key distance I like to work with.

Speed endurance and pure speed have to work hand in hand. People tend to separate them and do speed endurance as a single component and then do explosive speed training as a single component. A lot of time we hear sprinters say that they have not started speed work yet, which means that they have been doing speed endurance work.

My philosophy is that the two should run concurrently and that coaches should try to develop a balance. To keep the athlete fresh and explosive, the load has to be slightly reduced as you go to high velocity and high quality performance in training, the work that is done in the last part of the competitive period leading up to the major completion.

A greater degree of rest is required for recovery and explosive training must be greatly reduced to maybe once or twice per week and a recovery should not be less than 36 hours, 48 hours would be even better. A lot of coaches feel that if you reduce the workload too much in terms of training time the athlete will lose something, but that is not my experience.

You probably got that quote from

It refers to an interview with Mills in News Studies in Athletics. To read the entire interview access the NSA archive at and search for 2009. It’ll be around the 15th position in the list of results.

I can’t reproduce it here for copyright reasons.

thank you martijn! got It!

One thing that Mills said during the interview Is that top speed can be “only” maintained for about 50-60m.


I have always preferred flying 20s because that’s the longest most people can ever hold a true max speed and I want to stay out of a fatigue state for as many quality reps as possible. I always wondered why flying 30s were so popular. CF

A change In top speed drills???

I think Mills was talking about maintaining speed for 50-60 in a race rather than a workout. But clearly Mills and Charlie believe in 30-60 as a training emphasis, and Franno believes in maintaining short work (short sleds in particular) to 30m throughout the season. I haven’t seen Mills specifically mention flying sprints. But I have learned that following a period where the speed is 30-60 as Mills mentioned, and topping that off with 2-3 sessions of flying 30’s during taper works very well.

for now my next season planif Is like that ( for top speed only)

block #1- 2x3(20E/20F/20E)
block #2- 2X3(40E/20F)
block #3- 4X60m

never tried flying after the full distance to taper…

Would It be possible that their strategy for the 200m would be any different from the others?

Somebody posted that charlie’s theorie was 30m all out from the block + maintain.

Others go for 90-95% intensity and all out from the straight.

The splits say he didn’t go all out in the first 100. Blake or mills have said that due to past injury Blake doesn’t smoke the turn.

Intuitively I would say control the curve, and smoke the straight! Just like they did!

As Mills looks to ‘turn up the volume’…Bolt, Blake set to go faster
Published: Thursday | September 29, 2011

Leighton Levy, Gleaner Writer

Now that he has two of the fastest men on the planet under his care, veteran coach Glen Mills doesn’t foresee much changing as World and Olympic champion Usain Bolt and World Champion Yohan Blake begin preparations in a few weeks’ time for the London Olympics in 2012.

Bolt and Blake have been training together for the past three years in a set-up that has seen both reap tremendous success.

In 2008 and 2009 Bolt became triple Olympic champion and triple world champion, respectively. He successfully defended his 200-metre world title in Daegu, South Korea, but relinquished his 100-metre crown to Blake.

Blake, who at age 21 years and 244 days became the youngest 100-metre sprint champion since the World Championships began in 1983 this past summer, then went on to unleash a time that threatened Bolt’s 200-metre world record in Brussels in mid-September.

The 19.26-second clocking makes him the second fastest man in history in the event, and puts him at the forefront of Bolt’s challengers for London next year.

Similar but not the same

But does this really change anything in the camp for the Bolt and the Beast?

According to Coach Mills, not much.

“They don’t do everything together. Their programmes are similar but not the same, there are areas of difference,” he says, declining to expound.

Mills believes Bolt, the senior man of the fantastic duo, recognises and respects Blake’s potential and will respond accordingly.

“They’re very close to each other and Usain understands that Blake will get better. Usain himself has proclaimed that Blake is the next great one; several times, because he knows, as he trains with him. So Usain will realise that he has to train harder and, maybe for the first time, train like Usain can train,” Mills said.

He said that, despite Blake’s incredible talent and significant room for improvement, it will not be easy for him to supplant Bolt as the world’s fastest man, at least not yet.

Blake’s personal bests - 9.82 and 19.26 are close enough to Bolt’s 9.58 and 19.19. That gap is not easily overcome, especially considering that both are still very young.

“Blake is 21 going on 22. There is always, at that age, room for tremendous overnight improvement, but Bolt is still very young; and if he puts in the work, he is not going to be somebody you move out of the way as you have a mind,” Mills opined. “He is still capable of running the times he has run already, so it will make for good competition and good excitement.”

[b]As for Bolt’s programme next season, Mills reveals that he is going to be turning up the intensity in his preparations as he gets ready to defend his Olympic titles.

For the past two years, Bolt’s training regimen had been scaled down to allow his body time to recover from two successive seasons of high-level performances. All that will now come to an end.

“We’re going to have to turn up the volume, turn up the intensity, he is definitely going to have to work harder,” Mills said. “Some of the things we did with less intensity at maybe 75 or 80 per cent, we may have a longer cycle of 85 to 90 per cent. We tend to train the speed and then stretch it out, so we will go back to getting fast early like we did in 2008 and 2009 and then take it from there.”[/b]

At the end of last season, Bolt was affected by a few injuries. Back spasms and an Achilles tendon injury ended Bolt’s season in 2010 after he lost to Tyson Gay in Stockholm, but Mills says those injuries and a couple more that affected his training early this past season are now behind him.

“Well, he completed this season so he is okay. At the beginning of our competitive preparation he strained his hamstring and he had a toe problem, but those are behind him now, so it’s just a matter of him staying healthy,” said Mills. “We are pretty optimistic that he will be alright.”

“We’re going to have to turn up the volume, turn up the intensity, he is definitely going to have to work harder,” Mills said. “Some of the things we did with less intensity at maybe 75 or 80 per cent, we may have a longer cycle of 85 to 90 per cent. We tend to train the speed and then stretch it out, so we will go back to getting fast early like we did in 2008 and 2009 and then take it from there.”

From my understanding, this Is SHORT TO LONG with special end I-II that will increase In intensity from 75-80% to more 85-90% work

It is short to long, but 75-80% is tempo, not special endurance. In the IAAF article linked earlier, Mills talks about training (one of the 3 zones) in a 40 second/325 meter zone, which would be specifically intensive tempo. I take it he’s now talking about running the long part of short-long harder, as you are certainly not going to be running 60s at 80% and consider it speed.

Turning up the volume AND intensity for an athlete that has been injured the last 2 years? hmmmmm.

Anybody know when in the course of a season that Mills starts training speed? Talking about 50-80m, not 30 meter starts or sleds.

That part of that quote was jimson lee not mills.

Many coaches start with ext tempo and progress through int tempo down to speed end.

The part talking about 75-80% is Mills and it implies that he will be taking that to 90% (which would be SE1) for a longer period. But the part I’m interested in is:

so we will go back to getting fast early like we did in 2008 and 2009 and then take it from there

From the seminar notes on here, we know that Franno does just IT, hill sprints, and sleds until January, at which point he replaces much of the IT with SE (not SE1).

Now for Mills, how early is “getting fast early”? Is this right out of the gate? Is it after hills/sleds for a while?

I know that was mills, not what I wa referring to.

lkh- I was meaning his special endurance progression, not that the actual intensity was the definition of special endurance type workout, It is not. Sorry for the confusion

The 6X180m with 6 minute recovery, these types of distance and nature are intensive tempo, it said they were doing them around july of 09. They both run about 17.1X-17.2X for 180m in peak 200m races. They’d probably progress from around 22.5 seconds over 180m, to 19.1 seconds over 180m, pretty quick and stay there for longer period. That’s basically from 75% to 90%. Some coach believe to not do intensive tempo too long but to use it as a lead-in into faster speed endurance. But if it’s tough and u can stay doing these workouts longer why not, since their 400m nature workouts.

Haven’t had a good look yet

All the information has been posted on this site.

“In terms of overspeed training, it is done on a gentle slope. He also dislikes the use of parachutes as they
fly all over the place.”