John Smith Planification


Can you give us some detail of what you saw.

The key is always to be the last one to report and NEVER the first. The most experienced only report in after they have been warned that they will be expelled for the third and final time- or placed on double secret probation or whatever!!

I’ve had people come back and report that, after meeting with John, the key to John’s success was Deer Antler Fuzz. Believe what you see (as much as you’re allowed to see, that is) and not what you hear.

Deer antler is key

Couple that with some b-complex vitamins that Bondarchuk says will add 2 meters to a throw and you’re all set.

Thats the truth.
At Youth Nationals I showed up 20 minutes late to the staging area and ran a pr by 2 seconds in the 800m. At Nike Outdoor they were about to start the race and my team was on the otherside of the track so they had to wait for us and I ran a relay pr by 4 seconds in the 800m. At one of the more local meets I was one of the first to report and ran 2 seconds slower than my pr in the 800.

I’m sure there are other factors to your success but certainly the less time you can spend in there the better!

Nanny, Ikh or others Smithsonians,is the DVD sold on another site a good resource on his training, or has it changed too much?

I am not aware of this DVD, so can’t comment. What I can say, at least as far as it pertains to pure sprinters, is the John Smith does not want his specific training posted away from the track–and HSI does have a legal staff to enforce what they decide they need to enforce–so I don’t list specifics, and I suspect that any “HSI” training plan that is more than just a couple of example weeks is not genuine. What you can find if you can’t go to workouts is the videos on youtube and the presentations from the USATF prodium project which can be found under “for coaches.”

Below is lecture notes from a USATF seminar that John Smith gave. This is some years old, but at least you can get some feel for the type of workouts and the type of structure (I’ll point out though, that I have not actually seen the true pure speed workouts–flying runs–actually used in workouts. This does not necessarily mean that they aren’t ever used, but I have not seen them in any HSI workouts. I also bolded the portion where it talks about running at least 3pt stance in all workouts):

Notes from John Smith’s lecture at USATF Clinic ~ December 1999

Came from a 400m training/competition background so that influenced his training towards the other events – in the 400m you must have a plan and expend your energy accordingly or you will be adversely affected. The same holds true for the 100m dash.

One of the big differences is that the 100m sprinter must have SUPREME CONFIDENCE (felt Carl Lewis was a very good example).

John Smith’s 100m model (heavily influence by Tellez/SMTC runners)
I. Reaction Time

II. Block Clearance – ideally right underneath you

III. Drive Phase – must feel when to shift. Too soon or too late can ruin the race.

IV. Transition – one of the most important parts of race

V. Maximum Velocity -

VI. Maintenance – takes DISCIPLINE, sometimes must sacrifice for this phase (see below)

VII Negative Acceleration

His goal is to ELIMINATE the Negative Acceleration Phase
Smart Work is more important than work itself.

Re: Maintenance – instead of Maurice shooting for fastest split ever (e.g., .82) felt it was more important to “just run well here” and sustain at that speed or close to it.

He cited Maurice’s Seville race as good example:
Interval Velocity (m/s) % of max
50-60m .84 11.90 100
60-70m .85 11.76 98.8
70-80m .85 11.76 98.8
80-90m .85 11.76 98.8
90-100m .86 11.63 97.7

It’s important to OPEN YOUR MIND. Don’t set limits on your athletes.
Wind was -0.1. A wind of 2.0 would have put them around 9.69 so there’s no reason to look at that time as not possible.

Sprinting wreaks havoc on your nervous system, so rest and recovery are crucial.

When Maurice ran 9.79 he thought it was okay but felt that it was more important for him to then become a 9.8 sprinter which he did this summer.

Patience in the race is important. When Maurice wasn’t out first in Seville and Bruny jumped him he just ran his race and didn’t try to get it all back at once. While John Smith was going crazy worrying in the stands Maurice just ran his race.

Practice Set-up
Don’t let them do it wrong. If it’s not going well or not accomplishing what you want – STOP THE PRACTICE. Don’t feed your own ego.

Thinking vs. Automatic
It’s important to think in practice and it’s also impt to just let go. So they’ll do runs where they focus on one or two thing and then come back and do the same with a “blank mind.”


  1. 3 x 60, 80, 100 (walk back btw/6 mins btw sets) this one is more for technique – so the speed of the run is not of paramount importance

  2. Sprint Breakdown – 100, 80, 60, 40, 20 (all from blocks w/6-8 mins btw)
    This was taken from watching Tellez/SMTC athletes. Looks easy he said but is very taxing. Burrell was in the audience and concurred.

uses at least 3 pt stance in all workouts (even tempo). He feels it allows you to get comfortable and rehearse the start.

Excellent Technique allows you to run fast at will. So that even when you’re not really pushing for speed it will be there – e.g., workout #1 listed above.

Maximum Velocity Work ~ more technical in nature

  1. 3 x 3 x 60m (3-4 mins/6 mins btw sets)
  2. 4 x 60, 80 (walkback btw)

Real Maximum Velocity Work

  1. 5 x flying 30m (4 mins btw)
  2. 3 x 2 x flying 30m (3 mins btw/6-8 mins btw)
  3. 3 x 3 x flying 30m (3-4 mins/5-6 mins

they will lay down with feet up btw sets to relax the nervous system

Maintenance & Negative Acceleration Work

  1. 6 x 120m (6 mins btw)
  2. 5 x 150m (6 mins btw)
  3. 60-150-80-150-80 or 60 (6-7 mins btw)

in all of the runs will time the last 30-50m. They don’t push for more speed at the end of these runs. Wants a technical emphasis. The purpose of these workouts are to correct mechanical problems or reinforce technique.

Drive & Transitions Phase

  1. Starts - 5-7 over 30m (will often let athletes do these by themselves)
  2. Starts - 5 x 10m, 4 x 20m, 3 x 30m, 2 x 40m (3-4 mins btw) – they’ll do these together

Not necessarily looking at times but, rather, body positions.

Great notes!

I think the starts mentioned were shown in the HSI videos, although they timed the winner at least.

Interesting the Maximum Velocity Work

  1. 3 x 3 x 60m (3-4 mins/6 mins btw sets)
  2. 4 x 60, 80 (walkback btw)

This seems more like Charlie’s speed endurance split run sequence. Maybe a play on words?

I would classify that as Speed End as you suggest.

Any update? Did you ask him?

We might conclude that there is no acceleration work in GPP for HSI. At least this year.

Wow…I agree with John’s thinking vs. automatic.

I think so much on form and technique during practice but I just let go during my meets. It’s automatic.

the notes posted above are actually a copy of my notes from his 1999 Seminar in Orlando at the USATF Covention. I have spoken to John several times since then.

I don’t believe that his general philosophy has changed much, but he has evolved and grown as a coach, as well must.

Are they still training at drake stadium?

I think that Smith’s was forced to relocate to the Home Depot Center due to insurance concerns at UCLA.

A few years ago, I watched them train at a small college in Los Angeles (West LA College). At that time, it was their regular training site. I don’t know if they are now at the Carson, CA site.

I had heard that they were at Home Depot in 07-08, but I can’t say for sure. Conjecture? I know that after they were kicked off of UCLA’s track they bounced around for a while. There are 4-5 very nice track in West LA that could host a training group. I’m sure that someone here has a current and more definitive answer.


The GPP schedule Nanny posted is the type of thing one sees from JS in the early prep (4 days of work with Wednesdays off, but this changes later). But John Smith actually has an offseason training program that includes a wide variety of things (including beach runs and hills) that aren’t really done during normal training. This offseason program occurs in October. You might call it GPP(I), and the main GPP(II) starts in November, as it does for Bobby Kersee.[/QUOTE]

Is now time to restart…durign this gpp (I)…are circutis included or only weight room work?
2 days of hiills( 1 long , 1 short), 2 of track work…( 1 long like 300s, and 1 shor like 10x100 steady opace?)

Is now time to restart…durign this gpp (I)…are circutis included or only weight room work?
2 days of hiills( 1 long , 1 short), 2 of track work…( 1 long like 300s, and 1 shor like 10x100 steady opace?)[/QUOTE]

I’m sure what you call off season would be for those whose season has shut down before the main top athletes like Jeter who just finished her meets recently. Something basic would allow that group not to lose too much fitness before meeting up as a full group. thoughts?

My athletes finished on 26 of september…
It makes sense to have that kind of work while waiting for the top dawgs…