short to long

Coaches if you were working with hs-college level short sprinters would you opt to follow a long to short program if therapy was not available at all?

For what it’s worth, when I coached high school sprinters I found, more than whether or not certain therapies were available, certain characteristics of the athlete played a much more decisive role as to whether short to long or long to short was more optimal.

so aside from available therapy, indoor facilities, climate conditions, etc

I think that the general physical condition, fibre characteristics, etc must heavily influence the decision making process.

Such characteristics may very well dictate that the training must either be more heavily weighed one way or the other (e.g. extensive tempo, longer sprints, general conditioning vs more power training, short sprints, etc) all the while both means serving the same end end of speed development.

Lastly, I think therapy such as massage is always ‘available’ it’s just whether or not the head coach, program director, athletes, athletic trainers, physical preparation coaches, parents, etc fully appreciate the value of the tissue work. This is the challenge that I run into over and over and it blows my mind that soft tissue specialists are not part of the staff of every high school, collegiate, and professional program regardless of sport.

I understand what you are saying but I also fully understand why Coaches like Hart decided to go the route he did with MJ, it does the athlete/team no good if the athlete is injured or worn down from all the short fast sprints and heavy weights. Also look at most of the successful college programs; all levels div 1,2,3 most of them follow long to short (tempo base) programs, take it a step further most of the successful pro coaches follow a version of long to short - John smith, Powell, Gay etc.


I’m curious if there’s any or many coaches that have short to long and long to short programs occurring simultaneously/under the same roof in order to accommodate, as specifically as possible, each athlete’s case.

I’m starting to lean towards long to short/ends to middle program for hs-college sprinters, because at these levels you cant have a athlete only running the 60 or 100 they must be able to do the 100-200-4x100 or lj. We have 3 groups of athlete on this forum who follow short to long.

1: they never pr.
2: they get injured
3: they become the shyt in there sport.

The point is if the coach decide to follow a pure short to long program then the asst tools must be in place…

I know what you mean.

As many of the ‘faster’ sprinters, especially at the high school level, are pulled into jumps, relays, hurdles, etc.

when I consulted with the head T&F coach at the high school (the year that I did not coach) I suggested that many of these athletes train at basically the far ends of the F(t) spectrum- performing very short speed drills, jumps, throws etc along with the longer work that was required of them in practice if they also ran the 400m or 300 hurdles, etc and allow the ‘middle’ ground of actual max v to come together as the season progressed while training it directly very little in practice.

It’s amazing the volume of work that many of the high school athletes are subjected to because, as we know, many of the most talented are forced into competing in way too many events (at least in my experience)

So do you agree that a tempo base program is better for the hs-college short sprinter?

Well, more specifically, it appears as we are both in agreement as to the logistics of things.

I think it’s difficult; however, to select one approach over the other in absolute terms as it’s very likely that there are instances that favor one or the other for athletes in the same program.

If I had to select one or the other, for the sake of conversation and specifically with respect to the young/developing sprinter, I suppose it would be long to short as it’s likely that this is a more universally effective approach for that stage of development.

This is a tempo based workout from an athlete who ran at a very successful div3 program and wasnt the most gifted runner coming out of hs.

11-1 Seagrave Drills – 2x4x40m sleds
11-2 Seagrave Drills – 2x500m @ 400 PR +:20 at the ¼ - 15:00 rest – Hurdlers Flexibility
11-3 Seagrave Drills – 6x200m @ :37 – 2:30 rest
11-4 Seagrave Drills – 3x4xSun Devil Hill runs – [Sprint up/Walk down-under 6:00 per set] – 4:00 rest – Hurdlers Flexibility
11-5 Seagrave Drills – 2x4x40m sleds

11-8 Seagrave Drills – 2x500 @ 400 PR +:18 at the ¼ - 12:00 rest – Hurdlers Flexibility
11-9 Seagrave Drills – 6x200 @ :36 – 2:30 rest – 2x4x40m sleds
11-10 Seagrave Drills – 3x5xSun Devil Hill runs – [Sprint up/Walk down – under 6:00 per set] – 4:00 rest – Hurdlers Flexibility
11-11 Seagrave Drills – Blocks Work – 3x4x40m sleds
11-12 Seagrave Drills – 3x5xSun Devil Hill runs – [Sprint up/Walk down – under 6:00 per set] – 4:00 rest – Hurdlers Flexibility

11-15 Seagrave Drills – 7x200 @ :35 – 2:30 rest – 2x4x40m sleds – Hurdlers Flexibility
11-16 Seagrave Drills – 2x500 @ 400 PR +:16 at the ¼ - 15:00 rest
11-17 Seagrave Drills – 3x6xSun Devil Hill runs – [Sprint up/Walk down – under 6:00 per set] – 4:00 rest – Hurdlers Flexibility
11-18 Seagrave Drills – Blocks Work – 3x4x40m sleds
11-19 Seagrave Drills – 3x6xSun Devil Hill runs – [Sprint up/Walk down – under 6:00 per set] – 4:00 rest – Hurdlers Flexibility


What are some of the athletes personal bests?

I believe 10.3 100m.

Great time.

Few questions:

The 40m sprint with sled is on the long end for distance. Did you adhere to a percentage decrement in time cut-off in order to ensure speed development?

What was the approximate grade of the hill sprints?

Were the volumes of work:

  • calculated relative to the totality of work performed


-based on another absolute scale that you use


-regulated by percentage drop off


No, I belive the sled and hill work were used more for strength end and gen fitness work, remember this is a tempo based program similar to Coach Hart.

What was the approximate grade of the hill sprints? Not sure, probably dont matter because they used the hills for more strength and fitness development.

Are you speaking about the sled/hill work or all the runs???

1:Whether L-to-S or S-to-L, the main objective for beginners if FITNESS and the S and SE type is secondary till that is accomplished.
2:The choice of methods should be individual and not across the board for everyone. Lanky individuals might respond better to a L-to-S while shorter powerful types will likely do better with S-to-L.
3: Up to age 16 or so, it is probably best to keep SE at 150m and below, regardless of the method.
4: If it is NOT possible to individualize, you are probably best to go with L-to-S.
5:It is often a matter of interpretation which method is actually being used.
I understand there was debate on this very subject recently in regards to Asafa Powell’s training, since his early shorter work out to 30m, hills and flat, is very intense and his longer runs, while tough, are very sub-max.

so what is it then?
Looks like S-to-L to me do to the concentration on shorter distances for the more intense work.

I agree with all that have been said, but the above tempo program was by an athlete who ran 10.3 at 5’3, dont think you can always say a shorter powerful sprinter would be better on X program and tall sprinter on Z program. And my question was for the higher level highschool sprinters 11-12th grade and college sprinter.

See my item 5. I would call the program S-to-L

I wouldnt say s-l, its based on Hart training system for the shorter sprinter. As you can see below with the final 3 weeks of fall training:

12-20 Seagrave Drills – Blocks Work – 3x4x40m sleds
12-21 Seagrave Drills – 7x200 @ :31 – 2:04 rest
12-22 Seagrave Drills – 2x500 @ 400 PR +:15 at the ¼ - 15:00 rest – 3x5x40m sleds
12-23 Seagrave Drills – 4x300 @ :45 – 10:00 rest
12-24 Seagrave Drills – Blocks Work – 2x6x40m sleds

12-27 Seagrave Drills – Blocks Work – 2x4x40m sleds
12-28 Seagrave Drills – 2x500 @ 400 PR +:16 at the ¼ - 15:00 rest
12-29 Seagrave Drills – 6x200 @ :30 – 2:00 rest
12-30 Seagrave Drills – 4x300 @ :45 – 10:00 rest
12-31 Seagrave Drills – Blocks Work – 2x6x40m sleds

1-3 Seagrave Drills – Blocks Work – 3x4x40m sleds
1-4 Seagrave Drills – 6x200 @ :30 – 2:00 rest
1-5 Seagrave Drills – 2x450 @ 400 PR +:14 at the ¼ - 15:00 rest
1-6 Seagrave Drills – Blocks Work – 2x6x40m sleds
1-7 Seagrave Drills – 4x300 @ :48 – 10:00 rest

Why do shorter powerful sprinters do better on s-l program?

Because you need to play to your best strengths in training and not try to flog a dead horse to become what you’re not.

The speed of those 200s etc fall in the extensive tempo category. 30s for a 21 flat guy is around 70%. 66 for a 50.0 400m runner is around 76% etc etc…

If you really have a super explosive guy they’ll just struggle like hell with longer SE. You’ll probably end up not coaching them very long or they’ll skip practice if you start running 600s.