For sprint work in groups (5+ athletes), how many athletes run during each rep? e.g. all 5, pair them by speed, each athletes runs alone? I’m specifically interested in a youth (High school) athlete.
Depends on how many lanes you have and the type of work you are doing.
I have 20 athletes, and I like as many as it is practical going down the track in 60m or 80m trials. If that is 8, then so be it. However 6 is probably a better number to manage.
For ‘flying 50’ technique work, I prefer a max. of 2 at a time so I can watch both closely for obvious flaws. Solo is probably better, but 2 together is OK.
For tempo work around the bends, I think 2 abreast is enough with the pairs running behind each other. The pair of athletes can alternate the inside lane. eg: we had some 200’s yesterday at 75% and I had 10 athletes going around in 5 pairs of 2, about 5m apart.
I run everyone individually for anything of 300m or less because I want them to focus on their own execution rather than “winning”. For longer runs and tempo it can help to have others there to push you on.
I have been involved in both sets ups, TC’c and Youngy’s. Youngy’s as a athlete and as i became a coach, i have steadidly over the yrs converted to what TC says and for the reasons TC says.
For 800m runners its good to have group runs as your often running over 300m reps. Even handicaping the runs with the slow guys running less and faster guys running further.
Having worked with younger school aged (High school 13-17yo) I would combo some of both of the above. For the top speed, faster reps of 40-60m on their own to concentrate on technique. But then for the longer reps or blocks with a gun in groups with like speed adds a competitive and fun nature to the sessions.
As a race requires you to concentrate on yourself, then to mimick this in training, as Youngy does could be a good way to help particualr athletes focus only on themeselves. When thinking of this I recal the Chariots of Fire movie where the 100m runner looks down his lane with blinkers on…!