Special Prep Phase

In this phase can someone tell me if special endurance II should ever be done before I? Also, what is the proper definition of “training short to long” and vice versa?

If I am not mistaken it depends on what event you run. If you are 100/200 runner then it is SE1 then SE2. Vice versa if you are a 400 runner. Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

That’s usually how you do things, Gov, since the demands of the event are different for short sprinters and long sprinters.

Invictus - Usually people will do split runs or depletion runs before jumping into SE runs so that you are more prepared and the quality of the runs is higher to elicit better response and thus more gains.

As for short-to-long…it is, in a nutshell, the method of starting off with shorter reps, lower volumes and building up to longer reps and more volume.


Acc. Dev. --> MaxV --> Short Speed

Int. Tempo --> Split Runs --> SE

See what I mean? Long-to-short is usually the opposite, but I don’t know if that would be very beneficial for non-elite-level runners. I don’t know.

Would training long to short or short to long depend upon the event you run or the training age of the sprinter?

More along the lines of training age. Events can be trained for in many ways, but I don’t think that you should go long-to-short in young athletes because of burnout and inadequate development of key qualities that need to be addressed in younger athletes (both training and biological age-wise).

I can’t say that I agree. Although, early development is great, sometimes an athlete may react to a long to short program more favorably if he/she is naturally adapted to a strength or endurance type of running. We could probably think of a number of athlete that resemble this profile and moreover say “what if”, however, therein lies the problem; by changing the developement its possible that the athletes may not have adjusted or worse gave up before success. Any thoughts?

I understand yours and 400Stud’s points perfectly. However, I am experimenting with a couple of my freshman/first year athletes to see what works best.

Here’s another question 400Stud,
If you are a long sprinter then you’re saying you would do:

SE --> split runs --> IT --> short speed --> MaxV --> Acc. Dev.?

That doesn’t seem to make sense going from GPP to Peak.

No, I think it would make more sense to start off with split runs and acc. dev., drop int. tempo, and use short speed early and maxV late. I’m not well-versed in long-to-short, but here’s a guess…

Split Runs/Acc. Dev. --> Short Speed/SE2 --> MaxV/SE1/speed end.

I think that’s how it might look.

That’s IF he/she is naturally adaptive to strength/endurance running. However, it’s going to be hard to find an athlete w/a training age under like 3-5 years that can jump right into really hard workouts and handle it without burnout or negative results.

Look at it this way, when you have a young athlete, they do not have the necessary qualities they need to reach maximum potential. Ex: their core strength is not as developed as it should be, form will need work, level of fitness is low and they will be mentally fatigued quickly when going long-to-short. Of course, you can find some freakish examples of people who can handle things better than others who are gifted with loads of natural talent, yet, they still may have qualities/deficiencies that need to be addressed, and that’s why I feel going short-to-long is best since they get to develop and correct those deficiencies before getting “thrown to the wolves”, per se.

Yet, on the other hand, when you do get an athlete very well-developed and better equipped to handle a long-to-short program, how do you know when to start it? Wouldn’t it be weird and hard to go from short-to-long one season, finish, and then start off long and digress to short?

I smell a discussion coming on this one…

Mostly i think that is dependanty on the coach of the athlete. If the relationship last for more that 3-4 years, then th progression should complement the performances. IE-two yrs in long to short then one the athlete is developed easing more short to long training in. Also if there is an indoor component the whole cycle gets sped up anyway.

Remember, we are talking about the people who range in genetic difference. Moreover the work given the athlete should be suited for him/her. I for one hate the term burnout because the human body is so adaptable, and for lack of a better term “fixable”. I do agree that some qualities must be present for progression to follow, such as the core fitness and form; however isn’t that a requirement across the board and should be addressed in both programs? Something to think about: most young athletes that start short to long usually begin to get weeded out once their ability to run fast is seen and if its a very slow prgression their coaches usually keep moving them up. Not that I agree to this method of selection … maybe some athletes just need more time … or maybe they just needed something just a little bit different?

Point well taken.

When I refer to burnout, I refer to the psychological effects on the body, or in other words, the mind controlling the matter. Burnout, to me, is not when the body “can’t take any more” per se, but rather, when the mind is tired of doing the same crap repeteadly with little-to-no progression causing staleness and causing the athlete to subconsciously “slow down” because their mind is not in it enough to properly mediate over their body…make sense?

I agree with your first paragraph, too, on coach/athlete relationship and its effects on athlete development.

Yes, the “little” qualities (core strength/form) do need to be addressed yearly, but what I was referring to was the fact that, usually, with a lot of athletes, if core strength is not there, form deteriorates and the quality of the workouts goes down the crapper. So, if you’re starting off with a lot of fast/hard workouts too soon and the athlete is not developed properly in certain areas, then what’s the sense in wasting your time running fast when the athlete isn’t gaining anything out of it? See what I mean? It can be done, I know, but you have to look at the whole picture…younger athletes usually aren’t well developed so throwing them into fast reps too fast is a recipe for fast destruction.

And, finally, if the athlete is progressing too slowly, the coach needs to start making some changes or else the athletes career is in jeopardy. I know about that first-hand.

You may have to go a little more in depth for me concerning the long to short method.

Concerning the switch from long to short to short to long from one year to the next would seem, in theory, difficult to do.

Finally, you’ve seen the workouts that I am doing for myself on elitetrack.com 400Stud. As you know, there is not alot of fast/hard workouts in the beginning. So knowing that, if I were to give my athletes “similar” workouts, at least with the same philosophy of nothing to hard/fast to soon, wouldn’t that in essence leave opportunity to work on core strength and/or form?

Doing speed endurance work before speed is in place (often the case in long to short) never made sense to me. How can you develop endurance at speed if you top speed is not yet in place? The best you will get is the ability to endure at a lower level of speed.

Develop the top speed first, then worry about maintaining it…of course, I’m a 60/100 guy so YMMV!

I admit thats what I thought - but training conditions have to be taken into consideration as well - in colder climates working only outdoors - no-ones gonna be able to hit true top speed at any point during the winter months -
this is why I wave my clubmates goodbye at this time of the year and start travelling to train indoors and short to long .

They will be doing high volume longer distances ( up to 400m ) throughout the winter gradually tapering down in both and increasing in speed as the season approaches and temperatures rise . It amazes me that progress is made on a yearly basis but it is .

The next summer will show if I or they have made more of a progression .

Long to short would never suit me - if I did that kind of work over the winter I’d end up weighing about 60kg and having no starting power .

DaGov - I’m not too well rehearsed in the long-to-short method, so maybe xlr8 or someone can better explain it to you.

Sorry, but I’m not sure I’ll be any help there. Like I said above, I don’t understand the philosophy behind long-to-short…I’m a short to long guy.

So am I. Does anyone here know long-to-short well?

I am running 50s with occasional 200 indoors and 100 with occasional 200 outdoors.

I am not targetting speed endurance until about 8 weeks prior to my target comp date.

Until then I am focusing on short speed/acceleration and top speed. All winter I am going to try and get my top speed is fast as possible and then in the transition between indoors and outdoors introduce speed endurance into the program. :slight_smile:

When facilities is not a question, is it not benefical to have speed and speed endurance emphasized every week?


speed endurance
special endurance