Older Beginner and have no idea where to start

Hi guys,

I’m 26 years old and looking to start training for the 100 meter dash. I want to be ready to compete in races by this time next year. Last time I timed myself in the 100 meter dash I clocked in at 16.2 seconds. Obviously, I’m not that fast but I still want to train for the 100 meter dash to see how good I can get. I looked online for coaches and they are pretty expensive… I can only afford to go to a coach once every two weeks at most. When I was in high school people made comments about how I ran. On one occasion a person said that I had “lazy feet”… And on another ocassion someone said that I run like the people on Scooby Doo. I still don’t know what they meant by that… Have any of you guys heard those expressions before and can you guess what they meant?

I don’t know where to start guys. Does anybody know of a 100 meter dash program I can follow? Please don’t recommend me books with all the technical terminology where I have to try to decipher different things and make my own program because I won’t be able to do it. I’m not that bright. Also do you think going to a coach is worth it even if I can only see him once every two weeks? If so, how should I use the coach? I want to be the best that I can be… help me get there!

What kind of training background do you have? Any previous sports? Could you post a video of yourself running?

Your question is very general, have you been doing any training lately ? how are your fitness levels?

I’m in the same boat as dadmonson. Except I’m 35 and have never sprinted competitively. I played basketball, football and baseball from youth through high school, but never trained in track. I just like the idea of sprinting faster. I’m currently a fitness coach and want to incorporate some sprinting drills into my semi-personal sessions. Maybe I should work on my GPP ( I think I have that terminology correct).

Starting from scratch here, and any help would be appreciated.

One of my distance coaching clients is similar to you. A full time professional with some athletic background but not in T&F. I put him on a 2 high/2 low day a week L-S to program and he tolerated it very well. We got through a GPP and SPP 1 (heavily based off of Charlie’s work) at which point he was invited to compete for a football club (soccer) so we then switched gears and that’s what he prepares for now.

why not try doing some tempo work on grass. 10x100 with walk back recovery. the reason why im saying this is because its low impact, risk of pulling something is minimal and your learning how to run while staying relaxed. thoughts?

I’m nearly always more inclined to suggest drills, hill work, sled work, or isorobic/exergenie sprints over tempo for his purposes as all of them exceed tempo with respect to transference/teaching/learning (indirect or direct). As one example, the running A is very useful in a L-S or S-L scheme in that, similar to special endurance, when you perform the running A for +50m the relaxation component is built in because the body seeks efficiency for the duration of the task and the muscles exercised via that movement (when performed properly) serve to improve both the awareness of arm action, knees through, stepping down as well as the anatomical support structures for sprinting.

In addition to what everyone else has suggested, taking a look at the advanced technical model as outlined by Seagrave and Mann provide sound basis for effective drilling.

Hello Booker,

Have you read any of books on sprinting? Speed Trap is one book sold here and on Amazon and it’s a very easy read and not a large financial obligation if you wish to begin any type of sprinting. While the story is told from the perspective a specific incident at the Olympics in 1988 in Seoul, it’s also the story about the life of a world class sprinter , how he developed, the mistatkes he made and it’s also a story about building a track club from nothing with athletes who had never run track and many of the participants became nationally ranked and world leaders in the sprints. The ideas and principles are all outlined and it’s not complicated or confusing.

You have a great deal of experience but now you need some specific experience running fast, doing drills and adapting to an individual sport.

Are you planning on using this information for work or for you personally or both?

honestly im kind of in the same situation as the original poster. now ive run track for years but quit for 8years + but slowly getting back into it. im doing tempo 2-3 times a week just to start back easy. its low impact, teaching me how to relax when I run and great for my fitness. I spend 30mins warming up as per ange stated in her blog weeks ago.

at this moment in time im preparing for GPP. hills will be on the agenda but im taking my time and want to be ready for GPP. I would seriously advice dadmonson to read wha im saying. no point in doing hills if your not ready. hills alone are tough and carry risk if not prepared and also sprinting alone carries its risks if not prepared. start slow and risk free rather than going head on and risking hurting yourselve.

this is only my personal opinion but please take it on board, stay injury free and have fun!


For this situation, would you recommend weights based strength training in addition to the higher intensity hill/sled sessions. Or is hi intensity overload a risk if there is only time for 2 hi sessions per week. Alternatively, is there an argument for use of lower intensity whole body strength work via body weight exercises, kettle bell, light dumbells etc.


I experience a similar transition to speed work as yourself, but for a different reason. I run road/x country in the winter and track in the summer so need a transition each year. I find 100m / 200m tempo a good way to transition to faster track speeds and technique. I also use sub max sprints of about 50m. Faster than tempo but not true 95% hi intensity work. Focus is on technique and almost sprinting fast. It sounds like the slightly criticised medium intensity work but hope you see the difference. 5x50m as part of a tempo session quickens me up.
By the way James`proposal above for initiating hills/sleds etc are valid in my opinion. This seems like a question of whether tempo + sub max speed is a starting point.

Hi, Angela. I’ll get Speed Trap. Sounds like it’s right up my alley. I plan on using the information personally at first, then seeing if any of the drills might work in my facility for others.

Currently, I’ll hit a hill in my neighborhood that’s about a 45 degree angle 7-10 times a session. The hill is about 50 yards in length. I’ll walk back in between sprints and charge back up. Probably about two, two and a half minutes in between sprints. I try to get in two sessions a week.

Thanks, everyone, for all the replies.

Lose the idea of being ready for something and just go do it.

Think about how to modify aspects of the program when you are starting out.

Go do hills but keep the warm up extensive, add onto it with med ball and longer distances of drills and then do very short 10 meters up a reasonable hill to begin. Each week over time add to the distance. Most of you should be able to tell how fast or not you are running up a 10 meter grade. If 10 meters is too long ( lol) then shorten it to 5 meters. I am serious.

I’ve seen Charlie do this, I have done it and I have given this work to others. You won’t stay at this distance for long and as you get fitter and stronger you will improve quickly.

It’s this exact same principle that we use when or if someone is injured.

You don’t automatically say, I can’t do anything. Bull shit. There are countless things that you can work around and you start where you start.

I still do a 5 or 10 or 15 and 20 meter hills okay. But I know instinctively from my experience that I am feeling rock solid at 10 meters. Right now that might be it. I don’t want to get into the habit of running up the hill unless I feel what I know I need to feel. I need to feel the acceleration as I am not having anyone watch me any longer. But a few sets of 3 or 4 or 6 x 10 meters up the hill after a complete 40 to 45 min warm up is enough for a beginner. Tack onto this some lifts with sets of 8 or maybe less depending on where you are at in the season and you are good to go. This is a very casual planning but you get the idea.

Don’t forget.

One of the reasons I feel the drill of laying flat on the ground and scrambling to 5 or 10 meters is :

EVERYONE needs to have felt what proper running FEELS like.

this is a problem ( that can be solved) for those people who don’t have a coach or don’t think their coach is helping them or for those people who are trying to learn something about sprinting.

Would you recommend spikes/cleats for this? Or just regular shod or barefoot? I have done them all and obviously it makes it easier to have the extra traction. I think that the scrambling starts work best without spikes, I feel myself slip more but then you adjust. I don’t really get that scrambling sensation when I wear spikes. Thoughts?

If you are slipping you are trying to hard or not relaxed. Depending on the surface you need to learn to adjust. The softer the surface the more you need to relax and let it happen. If and when you have a hard surface you also need to relax more or it will kick you with the cost of the runs. But, you won’t slip so easily on wet grass or grass or softer surfaces.

If possible, spikes are great. Spikes allow you to exert yourself more effectively in my opinion. I feel like a clown when I do hills with flats but I still feel it’s very effective without flats. I will never feel or be as fast with flats as I am with spikes. Don’t you agree?

That makes a lot of sense. And I usually run on soft grass anyways. Thank you for the helpful input, as always!

Keep in mind the difference in that you already have a track/sprint background and, for that reason, you already have competent sprint mechanics engrained in your system. This is why tempo, even alone, may be beneficial for you yet not for someone who does not already have competent sprint mechanics.

The athlete I mentioned performs upper body weights on his tempo days and lower body weights on his speed days. I had him keep the weights very general, beginning sub-maximal, and of his choosing according to a scheme I developed some years ago. He had years of weight training experience so there was no need to spend time on calisthenics alone. Clearly this is a case by case scenario.

I agree 100%…

1: Long warmups
2: Ext tempo
3: Mb work
4: Body wt movements and Gs circuits
5: Cont runs - jog 30sec/walk 60sec

For 6-8 weeks before starting hills etc.