REVIEW: STructure of Training for Speed

REVIEW: Structure of Training for Speed

I got a chance to do a detailed assessment of the first part of the latest e-book series called “Structure of Training for Speed.” First off, there is a lot of information packed into 70 pages. I have read it through one time and feel like I need to go back and read it again and spend some time thinking about it to make sure that I understand all of the implications of the ideas and concepts presented. There are two major sections. The first part is a clear description of the overall structure of a modern speed training system. The second part includes a “best of” the forum discussion on the structure of sprint training. This appears to be an edited and enhanced version of information exchange from the forums.

The book starts with a description of the training “problem.” That is, how and when we should train and why we should do it one way as opposed to another. There is a detailed examination of “classical periodization” covering the volume-intensity equation, strength training, and classical vertical integration. This is followed by a description of the shortcomings of this method of periodization, including problems with intensification, retention of training components, and injury risks.

Having a good understanding of the problems with classical periodization leads directly into designing a system that addresses these shortcomings and what follows is perhaps the most concise description of the Charlie Francis training protocols yet created. The book goes into the characteristics of different speed intensities (fast or slow = good, medium = bad) and what Charlie describes as the key to the program which is vertical integration of six different categories of training, all of which are “being performed simultaneously, at all times, and only the volumes vary, from week to week, from meoscycle to mesocycle.” The volume-intensity benefits and injury risk reductions for the CF model are described.

The next section goes into how one can formulate a weekly workout schedule. A couple of sample microcycles are shown and there is a discussion on how to choose the right schedule for the individual, including how to deal with the fact that ideal planning often runs into trouble when it hits the real world.

Following this, there is an introduction to short-to-long, long-to-short, and triple periodization. Again, flexibility of the training program and the idea of fitting the program to the athlete is emphasized. Short-to-long is not ideal for all athletes and neither is long-to-short. The idea is to provide the athlete with the program that will meet their needs the best. Triple periodization is explained in detail and there is a section on how a short-to-long program fits with triple periodization. Strength work in the context of GPP, SPP and short-to-long/long-to-short is also addressed.

Finally, the idea of capitalizing on your strengths is presented. The idea is not to ignore your weaknesses, but on the other hand, one must build on strengths as opposed to attempt to “futilely fix your weaknesses.” From here, the book moves into the Forum Discussion section. Some of the information in this section is a repeat of the ideas presented earlier in the book, but there is also a good amount of new information and alternative ways of presenting the information. There is some good information here on CNS distribution in training, some sample programs, and practical information for planning your season. This is also some specific information on training for the 400m. Not something that I have seen much of before and an excellent discussion of tapering with sample workouts.

Overall, this is an excellent e-book. It provides a clear, concise description of the principles behind the CF speed training system and is easy to understand and apply to your specific training. It is quite practical but provides justifications and reasons for making training choices. If you already know and understand Charlie’s system, most of the concepts will be familiar. The nice thing about this presentation however is that it puts it all in one place in an organized and comprehensive manner. On the other hand, if you are new to CF speed training, or are having trouble understanding how to apply the concepts to your own training, then this e-book should help to clear everything up.

Nice post! Thanks XLR8.


PS- Let me know when you’re ready for the other materials.

This is THE book for training for speed. It will revolutionise athletics by bringing Charlie’s ideas to the forefront and make them immortal. Absolutely the best book ever written on sprint training.

Thx for the review XLR8. I’m definitely excited about picking this as soon as possible.

When is it coming out? I may have missed that part.

This book on its own was released today. For info and to buy it click here.

Be advised that this is included in the Elite Edition also

What’s the difference between this book and the key concepts?

Elite Edition : All Volumes

The Structure of Training for Speed: Sold standalone

Key Concepts 1 includes
The Structure of Training for Speed
Training for Power & Strength

Key Concepts 2 includes
Race Dynamics
Supercompensation & Recovery
Training Plans for the Long Term

(Key Concepts 1,2 can only be found on our Ultimate Coaching Series disks- so you’ll get a 2 disk set that includes them both).

Hope that helps

Will you publish some book in paperback format beside e-book ?

We are currently reviewing our options on this, but the answer is “most likely”.


I purchased the E-Book, Structure of Training for Speed and found it to be an excellent resource for training, because of the volume of the material contained, you cannot read it once, if you’re looking to set up a yearly schedule this is the book, many different examples of weekly set-ups, and an explanation for each. I particulary enjoyed the section on the 400m, great book, reasonable price and immediate download, you can’t go wrong. :wink: