How much can you improve in 1 season?

I attended a seminar by the number one sprints coach in our country who stated that an athlete can’t really improve more than 0.7 seconds on a 100m per year.

I however have an 14 year old girl who has already gone down from a 12.7 to a 11.9, and its only our first comp phase of the year, the main peak is only in April next year. We follow the CF program as outlined in the CFTS.

What do you guys think is the biggest amount of time over 100m an athlete can drop in one season?

It is hugely dependent on where they start from and history, ie someone who has never trained and runs 15 seconds has a much better chance of a big reduction than someone who has years of training and can run 10.5 for example. Also someone who has had a season off due to injury and grows in that time can make huge gains, I know a 14 year old who that happened to and first race up he ran a PB into a 3.4 headwind :eek:

That said your case is very impressive, would be interesting to see where she finishes the season at. How does 11.9 place her ranking wise? I’m guessing pretty high.

I pr’d in the 100m by .87FAT in 1 year after 6 yrs in track and field. However I do not believe this is anywhere near normal.

If someone is very new to correct sprint training, but has a good base of strength training and plyos I would say this is one of the few instances where this could happen with someone who is not completely new to the sport.

Obviously if your running like 14-17 in the 100 because it is your first time on the track then in a year it would definately be possible to drop a second.

I think when an athlete drops time like that it is very important to monitor her as I would hypothesize injury becomes exponentially more likely when the body is not used to handling these types of conditions.

also maybe the timing could affect this? it looks like handtiming so it could me more or less of an improvement.

dropped my time 14.10ht to 12.28 handtimed in one year. Coach timed all of them

What level of athlete?? The change for beginners can be much greater and for the top- well if you get .7sec, it would be amazing!

kool man, big improvement.
what did you put that down to,
loosing weight?
gaining strength?
increasing range of motion?
better running mechanics?
increased fitness?

yeah, what the hell did you do? :confused:

A 11.9 would put her top three in the country at under 18 level. I’ve that is possible I’d be the happiest person alive.

She is a 14 year old girl, so still youth. She has a great training history as she trained with one of the best coaches in our country since the age of 6 and she has trained with senior athletes all her life. She did longer events like 200m hurdles. She joined my group at the beginning of the year and has been on the CFTS since then. I trimmed the volumes down to about 60% which I think works well. She has been totally injury free and has run a faster time every time she go on the track.

i just went 3x a week to practice and did what he told me to do. That was it i did very little weight training prior but my best at that time was 185x5 for the squat, i didnt know about fast twitch or west side methods. only 5x5 on everthing but made no great strength improvement. My biggest was after the 1st season when i had already ran 12.28ht. I didnt lose weight i am 172.5 cm tall and weigh 78kilos, about 170-172. I was consistenly running in my fat body the whole year, i had 22% bf when i ran 12.28ht. When i ran my current PB i had 17% give or take bf.

First season was all about technique and running mechanics, but i still ran 14.10 in february. From february to august is where i went from 14.10 to 12.28.

it sounds like you were using the 110h starting line then switched to the correct line. :smiley:

heheeheh, yeah i should check back maybe i thought it always started at the numbers hehehehe.

Sounds good, this is along what i am doing. Hope she does well with you. Remember not to push her too much!

Thanks, I like to wrap the young girls in cotton wool. My main focus with them is recovery. They all have massages once a week and chiropractor check-ups and adjustments once every two weeks. I also monitor them weekly for overtraining through a training journal they have to keep. The weights they do are mostly core work with medicine balls, no heavy stuff. With regard pushing her to hard, we’ve set our goal to only making it the national champs, which is still 5 months away. Hopefully her times will then be better or the same, which will mean we can readjust and start thinking about winning medals and World Youths.

Who is the ‘number 1’ sprints coach in your country? Who does he/she coach - senior/junior athletes?

The 12.7 and 11.9 - HT?? Done in a meet?

Be VERY careful. History will tell of MANY 14 year olds with IMPRESSIVE times … and NEVER made it to senior level … when it COUNTS!!!

Good luck!!

I heard of a 15-y-o boy (obviously) who ran 200 in 21.5. Now he is 19 and has run 21.5 at best each of those ensuing years.

(so the coach is being pressured to switch the lad to hurdles, rather than look at the sources of this stagnation and address them.)

As for dropping 100m time in one season, so much depends on where the athlete has come from. If s/he has been poorly coached, or has switched events, or has trained sparingly or in another event or even another sport, obviously there is plenty of room for improvement.

The person who in my opinion is the number one coach does coach elite athletes and have coaches 700 national champions in various events. He is semi-retired but still has athletes on the international circuit. In his squad he has loads of kids as well some as young as 7 years old. I still have to speak to Magda Botha about this, she is the official number one coach as she is the national sprints coach to the athletics governing body (ASA).

The times are hand times taken in meets, we had 11 meets this past month.

That is the reason why I will never make ‘rules’ regarding improvement - it will differ from one athlete to another. Furthermore for seniors at a level of 10,2 - 10,3 (electronic), improving 0,05 will be BIG … in comparison with a junior improving with bigger margins.

Thus my question regarding the ‘no 1 coach’. His remark must be seen from his background of coaching - sub juniors, youth, juniors or seniors.

Evaluate each of your athletes individually at the end of the season.

My message remain - ‘save’ your athletes for ‘big time’, when they are seniors. Take care!

Hi ya sprint coach,

The comment was made about youth and junior athletes. You touch on a great point about saving young athletes. In South Africa we always end up talking about this when we talk about athletics. Why we can’t take our excellent juniors, of which we have loads, through to senior level. There are off course various reasons for that, one definitely being that young athletes are simply pushed to hard.