Speed Repeatability

I know that sprinters don’t have to worry much about this, but with team sports, speed repeatability is a limiting factor. How would someone train for a sport that involves sets of sprints(@ near 100%) with little or no recover?

Would something along these lines train the speed endurance sufficiently?

4 x (5 x 30m) @ 95-100%, walk back or no recovery btwn reps, 5-10 minutes between sets

I would also include speed days(with full recoveries) and tempo days in this training phase.

You can’t repeat intensities at 95-100% w/little to no recovery. It’s a fact. It might be 95-100% effort, but not intensity.

Yes, that is a better way of putting it.

Hi Blinky,

Sorry for the delay - just a bit busy today.
OK first of all I ain’t admitting to being knowledgable :-), but I will do my best.

**** By the way If you want to post your question or my response as part of a thread or subject on this do - we could all learn from others too - especially Charlie, but others like Chris_P, Clemson, XLr8, Herb etc. all could contibute some really valuable info. ****

The following is my take on it.
By the way I know nothing about Lacrosse other than the clips I saw of it in th film American Pie (stop laughing) - but I think I have calculated and am familiar with the demands correctly.

This is a very interesting area and it’s an area that neither research or practice deals with very often or at least certainly not as much as other domains.
It’s an area I read about and have many ideas and am constanting experimenting with things - but these are my ideas thus far …

IMO the key areas for team sports speed (TSS) are as follows:

    • Anticipation (Comes with experience and games played and the ability to read situations as and before they unfold)
    • Alertness & Concentration (Simply being awake, rested and a fresh CNS)
    • Reaction (The ability to mentally react to things fast - the starting point for all action)
    • Agility (The ability to change direction fast - includes balance, decceleration and restarting - which is essentially starting speed)
    • Maintaining Maximum Speed (the ability to hold that max speed for as long as is necessary)
    • Acceleration (the ability to move from a stop or cruising speed to max speed in as fast a time as possible)
    • Repeated Speed Endurance Capacity (RSEC) (Capacity to repeat sprints and manage lactate, metabolites and muscular strength endurance)
      Other aspects critical to the speed
  1. Flexibility
  2. Strength (for starting speed and contact situations)

The following in no real order are a series of points on TSS …

  • Nothing beats playing the game - particularly for 1, 3, and 4 above.
  • (Academically) True agility cannot be improved after the age of 12 or something like that - but improvement in game agility is still very possible by training 1, 3 & 9 above
  • Ladders and mini hurdles are useless
  • Agility drills should not be done at anything other than at max speed.
  • Tempo is on grass
  • Mini cones are pointless - use bollards or cones that are at least 6 foot high
  • Rest, injury avoidance and mental freshness (muscular and NS) are currently the most_important factors in game performance.

Specifically on your points I would use the following approach/guidelines …

  • Minimum 2 ‘CNS’ days with a minimum of 2 Recovery/Tempo days
  • A game day is a CNS day
  • You can add 1 to the CNS days if you like but for every CNS day you need a corresponding Tempo day
  • One Tempo/Recovery session per game day or CNS day
  • CNS days mean a day where strength and speed are trained on the one day and include RSEC
  • CNS running sessions should be one of the following -
    (I like to concentrate on only one aspect per session and I chose from the following)
    1. Long Speed - Train simple speed (from a lying/standing/falling start) from 30 - 80/100m
    2. Short Speed - Train simple speed from a lying/standing/falling start from 10 - 35m
    3. Agility - simple drills varying distances, starting short building up distance and complexity. I never do the same drill for more than 5 reps and never repeat the same drill 2 weeks running.
    4. RSEC - Short Sprints with insufficient recovery. Start with normal full recovery and slowly reduce rest but monitor the drop off
      *This where it gets interesting though. Some people suggest training this with long max intervals and good recovery but personally I don’t agree with either it’s purpose or specifity for TSS.
  • Tempo days train the aerobic capacity and running speed
    (Again I like to do one long session and one shorter session)
    1. Long Tempo - 60 - 100m (you can go further - up to 400m but I don’t see the point)
    2. Short Tempo - repeated distances of 30 to 60m
  • With regards Periodisation keep it simple.
    Use a basic plan of 2 CNS Strength/speed and 2 Tempo sessions .
    In the Off Season - the next 2 days could be 2 strength sessions if you have a strength weakness or 2 tempo sessions if aerobic capacity is poor or fat loss is an issue.
    The strength room exercises can vary too, but only Eccentric Tempo (rarely in Concetric Tempo and then only from either x,1 or 2), Reps (always a max of 6) only between multi-joint or power exercises.
    I wouldn’t even change the emphasis much just stick to the overall plan, develop good habits but vary the intensity (effort), distances and recovery to reflect the weaknesses you have and the demands of the season.

You didn’t really give me much in terms of an overall program to crtitque but on what you posted I’d say the following:

  • Vary the Speed distances with a max of 35-40m
  • 5-7mins is a very long recovery and while for sprinters necessary - maybe you don’t need as long - let the mind and body rule.
    Walk back - Is the heart rate back down and do you feel ready to go again?
  • For Tempo you can again vary the distances - use nice long distances also to improve the crusing speed and stride efficency

Hope this is of some help - let me know if I can be of any further help, but like I said this is a list of my opinions and thoughts (some - ok most - most stolen from Charlie and one or two others and maybe one original one in there!)

I might post this as a thread and see what kind of a discussion we can get going …!


very effective post, no23!

just a comment, could the TSS be treated as split special end, in the same way that it might happen for a track athlete?

i also believe that repeated sprints with plenty of recovery won’t do the trick during a game, as you need a different kind of adaptation

am i right in regarding what you call TSS as splits special endurance?


Excellent post, No23

Yes it could - but I’m trying to make the endurance training as specific as possible to the distances, recoveries and times the athlete will encounter most

I know one tranier who trains the teams using 400’s constantly and while the endurance component is trained I feel this is not useful for those trying to develop endurnace for repeating shorter distances.

True - but the sprint + long recovery sessions permit the athlete to devleop max speed and most importantly acceleration

I’m trying to (without introducing too many abbreviations!) specify the demands the team athlete will encounter.

THanks for the long post no23…but I have some questions.

Why train “Speed Repeatability” at all? Why not just train to get faster, then train to improve aerobic capacity (tempo) so that you don’t get tired during a game hence allowing you to maintain speed throughout the entire game? Charlie has mentioned this before regarding basketball players.

Also, in your plan you say to have one day dedicated to long speed (30 -80/100) then in your next section you say keep 35m/40m as the max distance.

“Use a basic plan of 2 CNS Strength/speed and 2 Tempo sessions .
In the Off Season - the next 2 days could be 2 strength sessions if you have a strength weakness or 2 tempo sessions if aerobic capacity is poor or fat loss is an issue.”

Whats wrong with the basic cfts template ie. speed/tempo/speed/tempo/speed/tempo/rest?

There is nothing new here - it’s just an amalgamation of Charlies training for team sports and making it specific for team sports like lacrosse.

There’s nothing wrong with it - it is the CFTS template - all that is happening is that the various speed days are for specific distances (for sport) like in the CFTS.

Sorry, but when did Charlie ever recommend repeat runs at 90% w/ limited recovery? I’m not trying to be an ass, I’m just curious.

just to clarify a few points; by SPLIT special end. i meant short intervals repeated (e.g., 6x50m for a total of 300m) with short rec, not 400s obviously… and as you say as close as possible to the needs of the game

i absolutely agree with this and it definitely has it’s place! all my comments were about special end; of course you will have such sessions for max speed…

He recommends split runs with 100% accels and limited recovery here:

“You can do the SE once a week as split 60s, though I’d start with shorter breaks (say 2 to 3 sets of 4 x 60m with 2.5 min between runs and 7 to 10 min between sets) moving to longer breaks, lower set and rep numbers at higher speeds as you progress.”

“the accel is at 100% of your CURRENT relaxed capability”

-Post by Charlie Francis : 09-09-2004 in the Thread titled “First time speed endurance”

good reference! that’s what i meant above and suggested to no23

however, i think he suggests starting from longer rec and shortening them, whereas Charlie the other way round, as intensity increases…

same method perhaps here, but different means…

unless the demands of the game dictate the progression of rec suggested by no23 -sorry but have no idea about that particular game… :o

And that is 90% how? For the SE rep, it is well over 90%.

don’t think he means it’s 90%; if that’s the case, he’s mistaken…

he says max accel (up to 20, 30m, depending on the eventual speed you want); it can’t be 90%…

While since there is incomplete recovery it’s not going to be at 100%. I’d say the final runs would be around 90-95%.