How fast can I realistically get at this point in my life?


I would like to hear from experience about what realistic goals I can set for myself. I play a field sport, serious about getting faster for it, and have the time and equipment to train.

I’ve been following my first structured Charlie Francis GPP sprint program for the past 2-3 months, hills and tempo. My hand timed 100 M has improved from 12.9 to 12.7…its difficult to really say since its hand timed but I do feel faster. Is this normal improvement in 2-3 months?

I’m 31, played field sports from HS up, BW 190, 6’1, squat 310-320, deadlift 405, Power clean 195, clean 225.

What’s a realistic goal for me to shoot for in the next year? Thanks for any suggestions.


What is your plan for a SPP?

GPP is a great lead in to SPP. Flying sprints, FEF drills and accels will have a huge effect on performance.

It is not unusual to see large gains (0.5s) in a short period of time for beginners. Your goals will depend on time, energy and planning. But, you can definitely expect to be faster.

I’m going to redo week 5 to week 8 of GPP…didn’t do that too well due to some knee pain. Had to take some time off.

For SPP, I have the vancouver download and got some advice from a coach on here who has used Charlie’s program with his soccer players. going to keep the runs shorter (30 M) and focus on those I believe.

Thanks for the encouragement…I guess how much faster do you think I can shoot for a year from now? I have the time, equipment to train.


Sprint mechanics will also play a role. If you need a specific number, I would say that 12 low or flat wouldn’t be too unreasonable at that level. Maybe even 11 high, but since you’re cross training track for soccer, I would be a little more conservative.

Hello Xi Xia,

I am in a fairly similar position to you. I started training at 33 with zero background in track and field since grade school. I am 35 now, and just completed my second outdoor season.

My first season was last year, and I started out in October, and ended up running a SB of 8.46 indoors in the 60.

When I got outdoors, I ran a 12.61 (+0.0) in the 100m and a 25.41 (+2.0) in the 200m.

The improvement was pretty solid from indoor season to outdoor season.

This year, my goals were as follows:

60m: 7.96
100m: 12.3x
200m: 24.9x

I managed to run the following:

60m: 8.04
100m: 12.49w, 12.54 (+1.4)
200m: 25.04w, 25.15 (+1.0)

I had some problems in April and May which didn’t disrupt my speed training, but I missed a few tempo days.

With the reduction of work in the outdoor season, I didn’t control my diet enough, and I gained about 5 lbs that I didn’t need. I will learn from this next season, but I was pretty annoyed that I probably cost myself a bit of time due to lack of dietary discipline.

Also, I didn’t train through July and consequently stopped running meets in early July, so I may have been able to make further slight improvements, but that will have to wait until next year.

This is just my experience, but I got pretty close to my goals, so I was fairly pleased. I am not a gifted athlete, but the overall positive effects of sprinting have been literally too numerous to count.

Ahh, numbers. Thanks for sharing your experience! So, from this, it looks like going from 12.7 to 12.0 is a pretty big jump and just going to take a while.

You could possibly improve .2-.3 per season in the 100. You can improve by seconds in the 200.

I agree Jay,

The 200m is definitely easier to improve in. My first season I got some really lucky wind for my 25.41 (it measured at +2.0 but felt pretty illegal), so this year my 200 time could have came down into the 24’s if I had run meets deep into July and gave myself more chances to run in just the right conditions.

Sprinting is certainly not for those looking for a quick fix. Though I was pretty happy- last year I was running consistently around 12.80 except for my one 12.61, and this year I ran consistently in the 12.50 range, so overall not a bad season.