QUESTION on volumes

On speed endurance days, in Charlies video inside the spp, short to long plan, he lays out a 60m repeat workout – 4x4x60. Over the next wks this will be reduced to 3sets, then 2 sets and finally 1 set of 4 at the last wk. What I’m not clear on is bookending it with acceleration work or fast slow fast training AS THE sets of 60m decrease.

So he says to fill in the volume , or make up volume because of the decreasing quantity of sets, by filling that in with the accel volume or starts etc. So when you are doing only 3 sets of 4x60 running, you need to bump up the volume of starts to make up for the loss of a set of 4x60.

Here’s where I’m unclear. Does he mean on the same day? or to bump the volume of the wk? is this a wk volume issue or a one session issue, where we do extra starts before running the sets of 60, since those sets are going down?

If that’s the case, what about the second hard day? are we repeating the same workout again with minor variety?


Make sure you include starts prior to any speed work. Remember though that the volumes CF stated were based on elite level athletes who had access to massage twice daily and were full time athletes.

If you purchase the Vancouver download, it comes with Ben’s sample plan from 1986. It gives a clear illustration on how to fill in acceleration volume to keep a relatively stable overall volume until heading into the competition phase. For a full picture of how to fit all elements together, Key Concepts is the book to have.

As stated above, the volumes Ben attained were due to a long period of training with the same coach from age 14, meaning that his work capacity was tremendous. Most mortals can only handle speed twice per week. If you cut speed to twice per week and volume in half, it would probably be wise.

I might be wrong but 1986 Charlie did start with 4x4x60 and 1988 due Ben injury started with 3x4x60 which is what in the Vancouver (never mind)
T-Slow suggestion is spot on if you really want to see how the speed and acceleration comes in to the play then go for it. You can find same info in the South Africa Series.

I had to get back to work so just a short response the other day, T-Slow kindly filled in the gaps. You can make good improvement working at 50% volume and 2 sessions per week of intensive work and 2 or 3 days of tempo and low intensity conditioning. Agree, lot of useful info and practical demonstrations in the South Africa Series. Just a thought, remember to set yourself suitably short acceleration limits on your reps.

The way I read it was you want to get 2 x 60 and work backwards to the number of weeks you have to plan your volume.

Say you have 6 weeks and you want want to do speed volume of 360m, you might do something like

Wk1 2 x 3 x 60 (360)
Wk2 2 x 2 x 60 + 4 x 30 (360)
Wk3 2 x 2 x 60 + 4 x 30 (360)
Wk4 1 x 3 x 60 + 2 x 15E,15F,15F + 2 x 30 (350)
Wk5 1 x 2 x 60 + 3 x 15E,15F,15F + 2 x 30 (350)
Wk6 1 x 2 x 60 + 3 x 15E,15F,15F + 2 x 30 (350)

Now I am not sure if I understood it correctly, as with most of Charlie’s products I need to read/listen/watch multiple times to pick things up

You wouldn’t need to do efe/fef in weeks 4-6 - could be a major risk.


I am not disagreeing, I only put up the 6 week sample as how I interpreted the volume issue as per the question.

and this is one session a wk , right? two or three others tempo…so lets say that session is on a tue - the one you layed out here – now, what about the other high intensity days? are we doing the same thing again? or are we just working acceleration/starts/efe on the other high intesity days?

Charlie usually outlined starts and accels on all hi days. You should buy the two products T-slow suggested and you will see how they progress and fit. But there’s no one best way, just be logical and systematic with progression, meaning don’t jump from 60m reps to 100m reps in the next session.

The important thing is understanding the logic of how the volume is manipulated rather than the specific volume numbers themselves. The key is to adjust the other high intensity components that complement the speed work so that the total high intensity workload remains fairly consistent over time without sudden shifts upward or downward until you’re ready to taper.

Initially in GPP you’ll do more med ball and short accel work. As speed work is added in the SPP, the other work drops down to make room. Then as the speed work is intensified, which naturally requires reducing its volume, you start bringing up the other components to maintain the overall workload. Then you taper for competition. Charlie also emphasized that the transitions between phases were much more subtle and smoother than the way they are depicted in the graphs, which are really just for convenience in illustrating the relationships between the components over time.

The other piece of advice I would give is to try to find the minimal amount of work you need in order to improve consistently. It’s probably much less than you think. When it comes to high intensity work, don’t worry about appearing lazy. That’s probably closer to where you should be.

I would not add the speed change drills on the same day. They should be performed in another speed session to provide a variety of stimulus to prevent too early a consolidation of the dynamic stereotype. Instead, start with short starts and add longer start distances as the cycle progresses.

Using a six week cycle with a 400m total, it might look like this:
Wk1: 2x3x60 [20 accel limit] + 6x10 (400)
Wk2: 2x2x60 [30 accel limit] + 4x10, 6x20 (400)
Wk3: 2x2x60 [40 accel limit] + 2x20, 4x30 (400)
Wk4: 1x3x60 [50 accel limit] + 2x20, 4x30, 1x40 (380)
Wk5: 1x2x60 [no accel limit] + 2x3x30, 2x40 (380)
Wk6: 1x2x60 [no accel limit] + 4x20, 4x30, 1x40 (360)

As the acceleration distances in the main speed drills increase, there is less need for the speed change drills because it’s easier to vary the intensity between 95% and 100% for 60m sprints than it is for 30m.

As Charlie stated many times the speed change drills were done earlier to provide intensity on the speed days. As the other speed drills increase intensity you must drop the speed change drills to prevent injuries etc.

If you look at the spp graphs the earlier weeks are much lower intensity with the Special endurance runs 3x4x60 short intensity limit and accels, speed change drills are done in this period. When the Special endurance runs increase intensity and the intensity of 60’s increase there’s no room for speed change drills.

Is this the Special endurance session or speed session?

The early runs with limited acceleration and shorter rest intervals develop special endurance in the early phase, morphing into full speed work as the acceleration distances and rest intervals increase. I’m suggesting this as an example progression for short to long. In the second phase, longer speed endurance runs would be added.

ok what about the OTHER sessions per wk? thats a high intensity session you wrote , let’s say it’s for wed, so you are going to have low intensity on tue , thu.

what about mon? what is the theme that day? or are you telling me you do the same EXACT workout wk 1 on mon AND wed? (of course not , right?)… high, low , high(your workout progression here) , low, high, low… whats going on on the other high workouts?

For a six day workout schedule, the example speed session could be done on Monday and Fri. The speed change drills would be done on Wed. Tempo work would be done Tues., Thurs., and Sat.

For a four day workout schedule you could do the above speed session on Mon., speed change drills on Thurs., and tempo on Tues. and Fri. You could make it a five day schedule by adding another tempo workout on Wed.

I wouldn’t follow that exact example progression. The acceleration limits are increasing too fast for such a short time frame, but qualitatively they convey how the concept is applied. The Vancouver 04 and Edmonton seminar videos go over this in painstaking detail with accompanying charts.

Why don’t you take a look at the store ( - all of your questions/concerns would be answered.

As I’ve been advised myself, two high intensity day a week is more likely doable.

I tried 2 speed (1 speed change day, 1 flying day) and 1 speed endurance with 3 tempos before and I got trashed immediately and regressed, even as a beginner.

It would probably take some God-given gift or extensive recovery methods (full use of massages, ice baths, contrast showers, hot wax, etc), maybe even combination of both to survive 3 high intensity a week schedule.

I switched to 1 speed, 1 SE a week with 2 or 3 tempos (depending on schedule and how I feel) a week schedule and I’m doing better than before.

As I was looking through SE progressions, drop in volumes appeared very abrupt. I feel like it’s difficult to fill in all that gaps just with short starts (it would take like 20 reps of them almost…). I wonder if sleds/hills, explosive med balls or plyos can be done to compensate for volume drops (I know these are more GPP stuff, but done with of course less volume than during GPP).