how do you recognize max speed

I do not have access to fancy gadgets so please don’t go there.

How do we know as coaches when runner has hit MV or when they have stopped accelerating?

IS there something to go by. I have just always used my naked eye and have done pretty well or gauged them against different sprinters in a race. That is not reliable though.
Are there some time tables that could help gauge this?

Well, not to put too fine a point on it, they’ve reached max speed just before you see them slowing down!
Perhaps Pierrejean can create a table of distances based on split times but the faster the 100 time the farther into the race the accel is likely to occur (assuming max accel capacity is being used)
So someone running 11 sec might reach top speed at 35m - 10.5- 40 to 45m and 10.0 50m or slightly beyond. This will vary slightly depending on build type and accel capacity- or even the training program used

Such a table is something I’d love to see. I was proposing this in a thread here a few years ago but without the means/methods to do so.

It would be very useful towards establishing an intensity limit(on an individual basis) for the early spp sprint work done with incomplete recoveries.

Well the way i do it is get a video camera. Mark out 5m sections on the track. Video the athlete from a stand, 3pt (or blocks or whatever you use). Play it back in dartfish or quintic player and get the split times for the 5m segments. At 50fps (delaced video) you can get a good idea of when each athlete stops accelerating and charlie’s estimates are pretty accurate based on the work i have done with my athletes. From these acceleration limits I then adjust the intensity limits in my short to long programme (see VAN’04 DVD) to each individual athlete because a 50m intensity limit for a 11.0 athlete is pointless as they stopped accelerating at 35m!

first of all, what is an intensity limit (in laymen’s terms)

So does it makes sense to have a 12.5 second HS girl or 11.2 boy do anything longer than 20-30m for buildup speed for 20-30m flys??

I am using S-L approach specifically for my 100 kids this year, so the quest would be…
Do I need to work MV and accel together? If they are only accel out to 30m roughly, the only reason they would accel out further is if they had a higher MV to get to. If their max is only, lets say 9.5m ps, then why not approach the MV first?
In other words, will a higher MV affect the distance out at which they accel moreso than departure angles and velocity from the blocks?

Just trying to sort it out. Thanks for the help. I may not be able to reply until Monday )(hopefully Sat

From my data base, Elite sprinters (mean performance 10.00) hit their best 10m split time in the 60-70m section, while Youth (sub18 years old) sprinters (mean performance 11.30) have their best in the 40-50m section.

Laser gun records instantaneous speeds and results show that max velocity occurs ar around 55-60m for the fastest men on earth, while 10.50-11.00 sprinters hit it at around 45-50m.

The main thing to remember is that the fastest the 100m performance, the farthest the max speed occurs, and the longest the highest percentage of it is maintained.

Intensity limit in CF’s spp occurs during the incomplete recovery sprints. This means the max distance the athlete should accelerate to with the remaining distance of the total 60m being maintained. Example in early week(s) of this type of work that athlete would accelerate maximally to 20m with the remaining 40m maintaining the speed accumulated in the first 20m.(acc max. to 20m+ 40m speed maintenance)

Over the ensuing weeks, the athlete would be able to accelerate further say 25m, 30m and so on before maintaining the speed. Over time, the recovery times actually go up and the athlete is able to accelerate further into the 60m. The athlete becomes faster(due to the overall program) and has more time to recover allowing faster speeds in the reps.

So basically:

-You can run 60’s in the SPP
-At first, the younger/slower athletes may only accelerate up to 20m before hitting MaxV.
-Over time, top speed increases - allowing longer acceleration distances
-Athlete’s recovery ability increases
-Speed of reps increase due to better recovery

Right or totally wrong?

Well not entirely. Top speed is not challenged early in the phase as the breaks are still short (in other words they could accelerate to a higher speed than the limits of distance used)
You are right about athletes accelerating farther as they get faster.
While recovery improves, the change in rests given is always greater than the change in recovery ability, allowing speed to go up unobstructed by fatigue as the Phase progresses.

thaks for clearing that up Charlie!

Just to clarify, I believe that the progressive intensity limit also applies in a general sense to the speed sessions during the SPP (not just the incomplete recovery split runs). The intensity in the speed typically proceeds the intensity in the split endurance runs.

u r correct…

Yes, I should have pointed that out as well. I was just thinking in terms of one aspect of the spp to make an example. It’s good that you helped to make that clear by bringing that up.

SOrry, but the weekend was good to me.
THis all helps a lot. I am using the above stated progressions right now for the kids. NOw I just understand it much more. Thanks again for addressing my question fellas :cool:

okay, let’s say I have a sprinter that reaches top speed at about 30-35 meters, is it logical to think they are tapping into Speed end earlier than an elite athlete? Even then could they be using some sliver of Spec end? I know what the time values are and how they correlate to which energy system is being used, but at what point does actual depletion of a specific energy source take precedence?
I am having trouble clarifying this question so bear with me. :confused:


Sonicboom, i think i understand your Q. but, i may be off, so ill try to rephrase if i can.

A elite guy who accelerates out to 60m before he tappers off, may have to run a longer effort to tax his special endurance as verses a guy who can only acc out to 30m, as the 30m guy is already running at His max velocity for 30m,(at the 60m point), he should reach his required special endurance at least 30m sooner!

So, at what point of the special endurance curve does a guy who can only acc out to 30m finnish his reps?

Is that what your asking Sonic…?

That is right on three fronts. SE is More important (or at least an equivalent means of addressing fitness, depending on level) when speed peaks earlier because:
1: Deceleration begins right after the peak is reached.
2: Because the speed is lower, the race takes longer.
3: Because the speed is slower, ground contact (main working time) is much greater over the already longer racing time.

Charlie, does that mean tha traditional strong starters need to conserve energy at the start and try to gradually accelarate therefore prolonging the onset of deceleration??

With that, wouldn’t the structuring of sprint training for lower level athletes be defined a bit differently as well in similar phases? During a phase where an elite might be going out as far as say 30m, would it be advisable for a lower level athlete to be limited to only 20-25m of full speed(or nearly so) work and so on? I suppose the intensity limits could be used with the same distances with the lower level athletes running to 20+10 and the elite sprinting full speed the full 30m.

Are you referring to intensity limits or rep training distance? With a lower level athlete both could be changed. The 30+m intensity limit is to acheive a specific intensity against what the athlete is capable of at that stage in the training. A lower level athlete may not be even capable of accelerating to 30m. Accordingly at a similar stage in intensification the lower level athlete may be using 20+m (example only). With a young child who runs 60m in 8 or 9 seconds: and 10 seconds with 15+m, would this be purely alactic speed work? I’d probably reduce the training run distance in this scenario from 60m. Can the lower level athlete even maintain technique to 60m? Depends on the athlete/intent behind the training.