Kevin Tylers training methods

In Canada in the last week we have had our national champion move to edmonton to start training with kevin. This is the latest of a long line now to the point were Tyler has the biggest stable of Canadian champions. I was wondering if anyone knows what type of coaching methods or workouts that he uses. He has produced some amazing results so it should be worth discussing.

Do you have Kevin’s results so all can have a peek?


Tyler Christopher - 400m - 44.44 canadian record
Adam Kunkel - 400mH - 48.77 canadian record
Brian Barnett - 200m - 20.70 - 2006 canadian champion
Nevil Wright - 100m - 10.55
Nicolas Macrozenaris - 100m -10. 03 - 2006 canadian champion

Also most of the 400m relay pool also trains there

He’s not a major playor on the world scene yet but he will be soon

He also coached Shane Neimi who was 44 point as well.

Yeah, its great because a lot of talent are all training together and hopefully they will help each other get better. I was hoping people knew what type of stuff they were doing.

Careful… Nevil and Brian B. train with Quin Sekulich at the same venue. BTW - Quin did come to the last Charlie Francis event I put on in Vancouver!

Do they train together as part of the same club or is it that they just trainon the same track, while doing two different things.

In the newspapers that I have read they list all of them training together, but on athletics canada it says that they have different coaches as well as what number2 said. I believe number2, i guess the papers assumed using the same track and training together are the same things.

From what I understand, separate groups, but a good working relationship – as everyone is there the get better and learn. If I was in Edmonton, I would do the same. It’s always nice to bounce ideas off others.

Do both groups use training methods similar to charlies?

Tyler trained with Charlie as far as I know in the 80’s

Three quick things…

  1. 400m relay pool isn’t there…unless you meant the 4x4 pool, which would correct.

  2. In VERY brief talks with Kevin T. I hear a blend of CF’s stuff and Dan P’s stuff.

  3. Not to be an a$$ hole but some have attributed Tyler C’s success to his previous coach?!? I don’t know people don’t always like to give credit when it’s due.

I can give you some comments delivered in a lecture from Kevin himself. He was helping a bunch of us rookie coaches in Edmonton at the 2006 annual conference, right at the track where Tyler trains at U of Alberta.

He was fascinating and personable, and really helpful with our gang of newer coaches.

His respect and reverance towards Charlie’s short-to-long approach, even for 400m guys, was obvious as he directly quoted or referred to him many times during the 4 days.

Some direct quotes of his, to us, in my notes:

“Tyler can seldom come back from an quality speed session in less than 72 hours-2 sessions per week”

“Have the balls to cut practices short-the majority do get cut short”

“For example, many of Tyler’s workouts involve a planned 4 x 120m with full recovery. Tyler then performs a marginal first one due to prior fatique, and I have to cut the practice short”. [now that’s good

“Always finish on a quality rep-don’t go for the EXTRA quality rep”

“300m-450m of speed is the MOST high quality work guys can fit into a session-for Masters cap it at 300m or less.”

“I like 4-6 x 200m special endurance sessions at race pace for Tyler”

“Tyler almost never goes over 300m in practice-maybe the occasional 350m”

“Tyler never runs 400m, 425m, or 600m stuff”

“Tyler can only do one 300m or 350m all-out in any given workout, so I fill out his volume with tempo”

“Tempo gets boring-manipulate the flush by varying each interval from 100m to 400m”

“Relaxation in the sprints is EVERYTHING”
[sound familiar?]

“A standard special endurance session for Tyler may also be 200m plus 200m with incomplete recovery”

“Most of Tyler’s annual 400m work is actually done on the straightaway, not the curves.”

“3 days before a 400m race, Tyler’s last workout is generally 4 x 30m, full rest, and a 150m.”

“Don’t try and run tempo on the balls of your feet with your hips high! It screws you up and tightens achilles! Heel-toe! Heel-toe!”

In the 400m, EASY acceleration right out of the blocks"

“Tight hamstrings? Stretching the psoas usually helps a lot”

“Keep that psoas stretched. It brings mechanics back to the front side where they belong with proper cueing from the coach”

In closing, I just have to say that Kevin likes to keep it simple, and seems to believe that less is usually more. He kept giving us examples of it, and we all learned a lot from him.

Hope this helps.

I think I said it above, but yes, Kevin said flat out that Charlie’s program forms the philosophical basis for his entire program with Tyler. Very humble guy and not afraid to give credit to the master.

Charlie, how did Ben do his tempo work-outs regarding foot contact? Was it a forefoot to midfoot strike or were they heel-toe as your former student prescribes them? I figured all running between 60% and 100% was a forefoot strike, but perhaps not. I remember seeing a video in the cbc archives of ben doing some stretches against the fence and then doing a slow tempo run that looked to be heel toe on the grass. But maybe it wasn’t a tempo run and perhaps just a warm-up jog/shuffle as i’ve seen hsi runners doing as well on video heel-toe.

From watching wariner doing a tempo run it seems he runs the same way as he does when he sprints the forefoot strike to midfoot strike
baylor 600 tempo:

We didn’t really think about it but easy tempo will end up heel to toe. Tempo is not the time to concentrate on technique

Don’t you think you could even work on step over and good arm positioning, especially with developing athletes? I know it’s totally different to 95%+ but I’ve found it useful to invite people to think about where the arms are and even cocking the big toe if they have a real issue.

I think it’s a bit tough because of the limited ROM at slower speeds. You can emphasize keeping the shoulders down and the back straight but I’d think that emphasis on the step over might accelerated you to a higher speed than you want. Anyway, I’d leave it to drills and sprints for technical work and only emphasize relaxation there (as well as everywhere else, of course!)
Would you separate types of tempo? Maybe more technique with 100m reps and less with longer reps?

Thank you for this excellent post. I am misunderstanding the above. If 300-450m of speed is the limit of what most sprinters can do in a workout, why does he assign Tyler 800-1200 meters in special endurance sessions? Is the coach referring to 300-350 meters at one time? Thank you!

Yes, this is a factor, i spend more time on shorter reps of tempo (100m reps with walk back often on track if it is wet or cold) during GPP to get the feeling for step over before moving into SPP where you can focus on this during the Speed/SE Sessions. During GPP we are on the grass for hills etc so it isn’t so much of an issue doing tempo on the track but during SPP tempo is always on grass.

Of course when they start getting tired the only thing you can really focus on is relaxation so as the tempo volumes build up I use it less.

if it is race pace it is going to be quite submaximal anyway over 200m (mj was at 90% during WR) so i guess he can increase the distance somewhat but a valid point none the less as it doesn’t make great sense the way it is written.