Progressions into High Intensity Sprint Training

Ollie/RB34, and anyone else

There are a multitude of options for progressing into a sprint program from a position of no training history or a long lay-off (the latter being RB34’s case).

We understand that L-S, S-L, and Aggregate approaches are superb ways of getting there coming off of a season, however, when coming from no training history or a long lay-off we must make some obvious concessions.

Extensive tempo is a fine choice and the same thematic principles implicit in L-S, S-L, and Aggregate apply equally as well.

RB34, we’ve already established your exceptional speed/power qualities (as dormant as they might presently be), so in my judgement, you are wisest to stay “close to home” with respect to your re-introduction to sprint training.

My suggestion regarding the hill or sled (I would also add an isorobic/exergenie to the mix with a long rope) is to use either one as THE means of extensive tempo, then to use the same one for intensive tempo, then next in the order would be Charlie’s GPP on the hill or with a sled and onward from there.

For example:
Block 1 Extensive (hill or sled) tempo
Block 2 Intensive (hill or sled) tempo
Block 3 Charlie’s GPP on the hill or with a sled

By using my suggested 60-100m hill or 60-100m sled, consistent with what I wrote in Applied Sprint Training, the hill or the sled increases the duration of the working effort into the speed or special endurance zone (depending upon slope of hill, weight of sled, surface friction, and intensity of effort) and provides a unique opportunity to remain in a relevant distance commensurate with 100m preparation in particular.

The first block of extensive hill or sled tempo would be relaxed tempo efforts over the 60-100m length on the hill or with the sled. As for the grade of the hill or weight of the sled, I hasten to provide exact figures. The point is that the grade be mild enough or sled weight light enough so as to remain consistent with tempo guidelines

RB34, you mentioned you’ll be running regular 200m in competition so that certainly bodes well for the progression you suggested, however, given your stature/build and your exceptional speed/power ability (again, I still have the training video you sent me years ago) I must question whether the 200m races are as effective as you think for complimenting your 100m performance or if there was historically more that could have been done in the programming of pure speed and speed endurance. I state that in the context of the 100m being the race of primary interest. Whereas, if the 200 is equally as important to you then disregard what I’ve stated.

As for work off of the track, you mentioned some good ideas. I’d encourage you to consider your road to return as a microcosm of what the preparation looks like for a beginning junior (compressed over a period of training blocks as opposed to training years).

For example
Block 1- med ball exercises and calisthenics
Block 2- circuit training with weights
Block 3- station training with weights and onward

I suspect your road to return will be speedy with consistent and intelligent preparation.

1: Regarding the sled/hill ext tempo work, how much volume and rest times are we talking about?

2: I’ll give you my reasons for running the 200. Lower level runners like myself don’t have the opportunities to race into aug/sept etc… Without the additional races i need to be ready to run fast much earlier then most elite runners. By running the 100/200 every single week it allowed me to get high quality speed endurance work while working towards my main goal. When racing every week there’s not much time for training - most weeks were race - recovery - and do enough work to stay sharp. If i remember correctly after indoor season I only had 2-3 weeks to prepare for my first outdoor meet then only a handful of outdoors meets. I have decided when i start my prep work next spring - my goal will be to get to the longer work ASAP ( 4-6 weeks before indoors ill start some longer sprint work and carry it into indoors). Example - maybe one day of starts and 2-3x120-200 accel for 20-30 and maintain, one day of starts and 70-80’s, and one day of starts. I think that’s why alot of guys who came from int tempo programs ran a lot faster earlier in the season but late season i was healthier and beating most of them.

3: Maybe ill add that book to my xmas list, where can we get it from?

Just saw that you replied to this thread. Didn’t realize you had.

  1. It’s a matter of working backwards from the 1st week of the true GPP. So just as one example, let’s say you elected to perform 6 x 10, 6 x 20, 6 x 30 on the hill the first week of GPP. That amounts to 360m total so you’d then have the choice work long to short, short to long, or aggregate over the course of the extensive block and intensive tempo block.

L-S might work 1000m of total volume per session extensive (4 x 4 x 60m, or 2 x 5 x 100m, and so on, on the hill or sled), down to 500-600m per session intensive (2 x 5 x 50m or 2 x 5 x 60m and so on), down to the 360m week one of the GPP

  1. Understood and valid reasons. Again, since you like to run the 200m in meets I have no objections which is why I stated in that earlier reply that I’d encourage you to rethink the special endurance if you were focusing only on the 100m.

  2. Wish list…? I was under the impression that you were cleaning up with all the sports betting. You can get it on amazon or my website.

I’m trying to decide what type of running and how much I’m gonna do over the 5 month winter period. Won’t be able to get to the track until around 530, it’s gonna be dark and most likely cold. My primary focus will be the weight room but I think it would be smart to perform some type of sprinting to allow for a smooth transition to gpp…

If you won’t be competing in the indoor winter period I’d strongly advise you to consider the long to short example I gave. If you don’t have the hill access then go with an extensive sled tempo block, intensive sled tempo block, then into the GPP with a sled. If you do have the proper hills, then I’d go with the hills over a sled.

For all five months and are those sessions done 2-3 times a week?

If you’re not going to compete in indoor and plan on 5months prior to the official GPP, then consider:
Month 1 extensive tempo on the flat 400-600m per rep (pre select a total volume per session)
Month 2 extensive tempo on the flat 300-400m per rep (pre select a total volume per session)
Month 3 extensive tempo on the flat 100-200m per rep (pre select a total volume per session)
Month 4 extensive sled tempo
Month 5 intensive sled tempo
Then begin official GPP

feel free to contact me for formal consulting as this is what I’ve been doing full time since mid 2013 when I returned from Europe.

Interesting… My plans was the following.

Month 1-2: Hypertrophy in the weightroom. Track: day 1 60m buildups, day 2 and 3 ext tempo type of work.
Month 3-4: Max strength in the weightroom. Track: day 1 split 60’s (15-20m int limit), day 2 30m hills/sled, day 3 ext tempo
Month 5: Power in the weightroom. Track: day 1 acceleration, day 2 flys, day 3 60’s day 4 ext tempo

After month 5 I will perform field testing follow by 2 weeks of active/passive rest.

My reservations with the track work you’ve outlined are based upon the fact that you haven’t done any sprinting in so long. Granted I haven’t closely followed your log, however, and correct me if I’m wrong, you’ve just been doing some walk jog walk jog.

4 weeks: Jog/walk
8 weeks: mb tempo 100’s and tempo 200’s on the track

Thanks for starting this thread and posting some great thoughts. I was a bit surprised to see the length of tempo runs start off in the 400-600m range. Curious to know how the total volume and intensity might evolve as he moves through the different blocks?

I’m sure he won’t share that with you because it’s in his book…

Ok, since you’ve already been doing the tempo 100’s and 200’s and if you’d prefer to keep the distances shorter then consider:
Month1 Extensive Tempo Big Circuit (100’s and 200’s) with some easy accels mixed in to start off some of the runs
Month 2 Extensive Tempo 80’s (10m easy accel + 70m tempo) on HI days and Big circuit (100’s and 200’s) on low days
Month 3 Extensive Tempo 60’s (20m easy accel + 40m tempo) on HI days and Big circuit (100’s and 200’s) on low days
Month 4 Extensive Sled Tempo 60m on HI days (10-20m easy accel + 50-40m tempo), and big circuits (100’s and 200’s) on low days)
Month 5 Intensive Sled Tempo 60m on HI days, and reduced volume tempo 100’s and 200’s on low days

Effectively 3 loading weeks of the tempo per month followed by a deload, so the five month period would consist of 5 x (3 + 1)

As the tempo intensifies via shorter distances, and then with the sled, keep the volumes per session conservative.

In any event, keep the tempo 100’s/200’s in there throughout (no matter how small the session volume) to ease the transition into special endurance I

Speaking of longer tempo reps (3-600), how do you do those runs?

Since it is extremely difficult to find grass track or grass with longer than 120m straightaways, do you do them on the regular track? or do you do like 100m back and fourth on grass straightaways?

I do not propose blanket “programs” Ollie. For example, I’ve consulted for/distance coached since 2003 and in since then I have never copied and pasted one client’s work to another’s. Everything is original construction.

Thus, the 400-600m tempo I proposed in this thread was specifically an idea for RB34 based upon his specific set of circumstances.

If no access to a track then either back and forth on a grass football, rugby, American football field or ‘circular’ perimeter runs on the grass around those fields (the distance of one lap varies depending on the type of field).

For example, prior to this current NFL season, Larry Fitzgerald and I were traveling all over the US, and a trip to England, over a seven week period and we always found some sort of field/grass area in every destination. He performed some tempo 200’s and these would always be back and forth over an American football field or Rugby pitch. I actually chronicled this pre-season’s preparation with Larry on a video presentation on one of my sites.

So I guess it would be preferentially done on regular track vs. back and forth on the grass when one is accessible, since you don’t have to stop and accelerate again and again?

Thank you.

Again, not necessarily as the grass is much easier on the legs and remember that you don’t have to run back and forth unless you only have a narrow strip of grass because you can always run laps, or some percentage of a lap, around the perimeter of the field.

Ok then you’re saying the benefit of grass being easier on legs outweigh the fact that grass will either require you to run back and forth (stopping and reaccelerating every time), or doing laps, where the length of distance will not be accurate, and can only be roughly estimated?

Since there’s clear benefits and downsides to both, it’s very difficult to make that decision. Estimating that lap distance with grass is something that I’m uncomfortable with because I like to control as much variables as possible, and if I’m not tracking my volume accurately, I’m not in control. Of course, if you’re very good with knowing your own pace, you can use time…(say, using 60-70 second run instead of actual 400m run) but I’m not consistent enough.

This works extremely well for tracking and establishing distances

Select manual and metric and zoom in to wherever you are training.