Long to Short 3rd speed day

Hi guys, I have a question about the 12-week long to short program that Charlie made a graph for 2 decades ago. The two speed endurance days shown make sense (starting with 300s one day, and 600s on the other day, and working down in intensity). And I assume you would fit some tempo workouts around those on either side, too. However, if you are in a position to train every day, wouldn’t you want to do a third speed workout in each training week? And if so, what would you do on that third speed day? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.

When you say speed days , do you mean max speed work or acceleration work ?

Hello Jake,

Why don’t you post the graphs you are referring to?

Tempo is important as it facilitates circulation and active recovery and yes, in it’s many forms he used, we have used a lot of tempo when speed work was not on the daily schedule.

Elite athletes tend to train every day or 5 to 6 days a week. That’s not to say each day is the same or a grind or the same each day of the year. Time of year training varies a great deal as I am sure you know .

How often speed is performed depends on the individual but also the method of training. Initially Charlie did all the therapy with each of his athletes for a good part of his and their career as athletes. He ran the group as a business as he was the primary finance person in the beginning. More speed is not always better. QUALITY work is what gets a result.

I recently read a facebook post from a well known coach assuring readers that they could do speed work 6 days a week. Doing speed work vs making substantial and or consistent improvements in your speed over time for a long lived career is what elite sprinters are interested in.

Just because you are able to do something, does that mean you should? ( and does that make it ideal and or effective?)

Let’s quickly review what the speed components are.

  1. Speed = 7 seconds or less/ 95 to 100% best effort with full recovery ( ~ 1 min per 10 meters of speed work

  2. Speed endurance = 7 to 15 seconds

  3. Specific endurance = 15 seconds or above up to about 600m/ 100, 200m runners would not run 600m/ only 400m sprinters would do this volume, distance

  4. Special endurance = it has incomplete recovery ~ 150’s for 100 and 200m sprinters // 400m and 800m can do 200m repeats

nice to see you back and nice to see you and hope you are well Sharmer

Another answer relates to how I was trained.
I mostly did speed 3 x a week and had a lot of therapy but Charlie felt I needed more therapy as I had a large leg length discrepancy which created issues for the body to recover.
Often I started with short speed indoors, pre comp and during comp and or leading into comp. We even tried to do some kind of shorter speed or explosive work outside with med balls in the fall when track work was not happening post comp season in Toronto Canada. What you do or decide to do on speed days has to do with many factors.

Hi Angela,

I’m just curious to the pace of those tempos. Ive observed some females 100- 200m sprinters ( 12.0 pbs ) do tempo over 300s start at 55s and then drop to 60s, which is 3.20 pacer for 1 k. Its too slow at that effort.

how many 300’s are they doing? how old are these females? What level are they at?
Ultra low intensity can be helpful. If it’s not ultra low or low then it’s a waste of time and prevents the athlete from performing speed work.

5 reps, early 20s , state level sprinters. Australia has very low standard to qualify for national championships for females in the 100m. It is 12.25, so these girls would be in the 12.25-12.00 range.

Ultra low can be helpful but 20s per 100 is not much faster than good marathoners do there long runs.

I take it that you didn’t do any special endurance if you’re doing speed 3 days per week + tempo ?

that’s not true. You take what you can get on the track and make the most of what’s available at any given workout.
I developed into a strong 60m hurdler indoors. I was not ever able to fully capitalize on that development outdoors in 100mh. Pissed me off but hey… I did not too bad from where I started.
I am and or have been a classic frustrated former athlete and that’s been a driver for enjoying coaching.
Charlie used to say my special endurance wasn’t at the level as my speed. This may have had to do with starting formal training at 25 years of age.

The general principle of taking what you can get on the track or capitalizing on your strengths, it’s how I’ve been trained to think about training. This strategy has worked well for me and I’m grateful to have learned that from one of the best.

Here is a recipe for those ( most) who want to see what training might look like on paper. The reason CMF didn’t write things down is time, energy and he had it all in his head based on what he saw at any given moment at the track. This is not necessarily what was accomplished each day and it’s been done retroactively from memory. The Jane Project – Charlie Francis Archives

It’s always interesting why the 60m indoor speed doesn’t convert to the outdoor 100m with some athletes. Often the issue is thought of speed endurance related but can be related to other technical deficiency.

Starting earlier will definitely help .

Nelli Cooman is a good example of this.
If Charlie did not know something he would say " I don’t know" :wink:
I has a lot of issues feeling behind and not relaxed and had a large leg length discrepancy which wasn’t helpful. You have to relax and …no complaints as I loved having a chance at doing something I loved and I got to be with and love and be loved by a very cool and interesting human.

Just wondering with + 20 min recovery between sets , how do you avoid requiring the need to warm up again ? What happens during rest ? Feet up , walk around, massage ?

I think with some of the longer speed endurance runs, the intensity is so high that it can take a while to cool down. Especially in warmer weather. So a 20 minute recovery after a 250 meter run at near 100% intensity can go by seemingly quickly! I would think a couple of laps walking around the track and maybe some light stretching would be plenty to keep the athlete prepared for the next SE rep… again, especially in warm weather.

The fitter you are the longer you are able to hold onto and maintain your state of readiness.
I’ve said this before many times that people do not warm up properly.
The General Preparation Phase video GPP for all sports is a great overview of how you need to think about your warming up.
The warm up acts as a fitness builder in the early stages of one’s athletic journey and then the warm up over time acts as the needed prep to prepare and sustain longer training sessions with higher intensities.
What I was trained and taught to do after a run which required complete rest was to grab my water and my sweats and get off my feet and ideally put up my feet, shake my legs, time my rest and wait. If the rest interval is substantial you want to get up a few minutes and walk around and do some easy jumps or shaking and start to prepare for your next run and performance.