sprint times get slightly worse each session

i notice that all my sprint sessions have worse times than my PB’s. For example i do/have been doing speed sessions two times/week, and i would hit my best times after maybe a one week lay-off from sprints but when i get back into my program and do two speed sessions at 300yards total/week my times decline throught he weeks… i was wonderining is it normal to have times get worse during the training cycle? It would make sense, since sprinting is so tough on the cns that it would be diffcult to maintain your best times each session…


Sprints are tough on the CNS when you are going really fast, and not so tough for an intermediate athlete or a beginner. Do you mean 300 yards per week for your total volume? That is not enough. Do you do weights? Do you do core? Any explosive med ball?

i session is 300 yards total, and the other session i do in the week, is a mix of sprints agiliity and ploys ( i’d focus more on plyos and agility on this session, ie bounds, hurdle jumps with sprints, jump running etc along with some pro agility suttles)…I do resistance training aswell once/week i do heavy deads (3 triples), then 3x6 depth jumps, pistols, glute hams, and some upper exsersises. and on my sprint day and plyo/aglity/speed day i do glute hams, pistols and one-armed pushups. i do core once/week as well on one of my speed days, but i don’t have medballs.

In the winter i was doing 1000m of total volume/week and i noticed the same thing…(times getting worse as the cycle goes on). so is it normal to see sprint times stagnate and even worsen a little throughout training cyles where you sprint 2-3 times/ week?

improvement is the name of the game. so it’s not good to see things get worse. 300yards is like 270meters. thats a rep in some programs not a session. you need to reassess. i am not the absolute best to help you but i can reccomend either of the two sprint training ebooks and i am sure someone else can give there highest reccomendation of one of the DVD’s. From what it appears that your doing in your training perhaps a little outside direction from a training rescource(i.e. a product from the site store) could go a long way.

kelly bagget says that 300yards should be to most you should do in a sprint sessiont thouigh… is this worng??

You’re probably taking what Bagget is saying out of context. If you are training for a 40yd dash or vertical leap, then 300yards is probably enough. Otherwise 300yards is not enough to really work speed.

I would shoot for 400-600m total for sprint purposes.

What is your main sport? How much agility and plyo work do you do on a ‘speed day’?

main sport is soccer…
the article that i read by bagget was his “simpleton’s guide to speed training” so it was a general speed training article not a 40-y dash thing… so either way you think i should up to 400m at least? another thing is that by the time i hit 300 yards total, my times start to get worse, so would it still by usefull to keep sprinting even though i’d no longer be going at my fastest pace for that day?

on my other speed day i’d do 100y total of linear sprints (1x10,1x20, 1x30, 1x40), then i’d do 5 sets of hurdle jumps with sprint (3-4 “imaginary” hurdles then 15-20 y sprint) 3x10 bounds, 3x10 jump running, then 5x 15 m pro shuttles.

Ok, for soccer he is probably focusing on short bursts of speed so 300m total is probably ok for soccer speed IMO…especially if you are getting fatigued at that volume. I don’t know if adding more volume is the right thing to do at this time.

Can you post an entire week of your training so we can get a better idea? What is done on the non-speed days?

Is this an inseason or out of season program?

If this is an inseason program I could see where you may not be able to handle the workout depending on the intensity of practices and your current fitness levels. If your doing a lot of repeat sprints or fast pace ball drill in practice and throwing in two more speed days that might be a little much.

If this is an out of season program I would say the problem would probably be too low of volume and not too high. I would probably say to up the volume of atleast one of the speed workouts I mean your second speed workout depending on how much warm up you do could in fact be seen as just a warm up. I like that your keeping runs at resonable distances. I might recommend something like 3x3x40y or 6x20y, 4x40y, 2x60y.

Also I like the bounding and jump work that you have in there, but I do not see much in the way of lifting that would leave me to believe that your strenght levels are high enough to cope with these exercises, especially the depth jumps. Once again after you provide more info this can better be sorted out.

well its supposed to be inseason, but i quit my team because my coach is a retard that has no idea on how to train his players (he makes us do high intesity runs frequently throughout the weak, even though we have games during the week)… instead i’m going to just going to train on my own for the rest of the summer so i can better prepare university soccer this fall.

so, i guess this could be seen as “off season”.

the week typically goes like this:

sun- speed session:
1x10, 1x20, 1x30,1x40 yards
5x hurdle jump with sprints- 3-4 jumps than 15-20 yard sprint
3x10 bounds
3x10 jump running
5x15yard pro agility shuffle

then 3 sets of one-arm pushups
3 sets of pullups
3 sets of pistols
3 sets of glute ham raise
some core/ab work

mon- tempo/cardio (70-75%)
6x (200m rest 45 seconds, 300m rest 75 seconds)

tues- strength/power day
3x3 deadlifts
3x6 depth jumps
3 sets of weighted jump squats
3sets of glute-ham raise
3x5 pullovers
3x6 military press

then i do some tempo running at 75%
4x (100 rest 30s, 200 rest 45s, 300 75s) with upper Body and ab calithenics during the rest intervals.

wed- OFF

thurs- speed day

2x20y, 2x30y, 5x40y
then 3 sets of GHR, 3 sets of pistols, and some ab work

70-75%- 2 sets of 8x200m with 45s between reps and 1min between sets.

sat- OFF

thanks for all your help guys…

What is jump running? Why are you doing the pro agility shuttle? I am not a personal fan of these type of things as they are hard on your connective tissue and no more specific to your sport than running–you could get your agility training by doing skill work or playing a game.

You could definitely do some more volume Sunday. Are you doing this on a hill or on the track? Are you doing a variety of different starting positions for your runs? This can keep break up the monotany and also develop some more acceleration skills in your running. A lying start, standing, 3 point, falling, sitting, etc. can all be used.

Your tempo work looks really good and has some good ideas. Do you do this on grass or the track?

jump running is when you run in ‘slow motion’ landing on alternate feet. You Try to achieve as much height and distance with each stride as possible.

For every right and left foot strike, i count one repetition.

my sprints are done on a track (which is more of a gravel/dirt track) and on grass. I don’t do hills, b/c they seem to irritate my achilles.

Tempos are done on the dirt track or on grass (but usually on the dirt track).

so you think i should drop the agility shuttels all together and increase the linear sprint volume on sunday? what about the plyos do they look good, or should i ditch them too and do more sprints instead?


maybe you mean running bounds?

I would probably up the volume to atleast 300 for the sunday session. I might try taking some of multi jumps out for the time being and as you see how your body reacts to the added volume you can phase them back in, once again I dont know your current strength levels.

It might not be a bad idea to throw in some single jumps as well as many soccer movements are quick explosions.

Also I would vary the sprint workouts once in a while just to get some variety and get away from the boredom, maybe even throw in some sprints of 60 - 70yds once in a while, not too often, but just to change things up a bit.

what do you mean by single and multi jumps?

also, what i don’t quite understand is how the extra volume would help me… given that the current volume is causing slight worsening of times…

other than that do you think that my weights and strength training part looks good?

And should i up the volume of thursdays speed day to maybe 400-500 m?

thanks again guys

Single Jumps are well single jumps such as broad jump, vertical jump, box jump.

Multi Jumps are well mutliple jumps such as your hurdle hops, I also include bounding in this category althought that is not necessarily correct.

The amount of volume that you have is not so high as to cause diminishing returns, it is the other side not enough stimulous that is causing the dimishing returns.

Neither of your two workouts are on the high volume side and sunday workout is definately on the low side of volume. I wouldnt expect a workout of this volume to do much more than maintain your current speed levels, and it looks like it is not even accomplishing that.

I would recommend just raising the sunday workout volume first, then gradually raise the other one. 300 meters should be suffice, but you will probably want to work up to around 400m.

Also this is just an assumption as without being there to monitor you I am just giving you my best guesses.

There may also be problems with rest between sets, as a rule of thumb I keep rest during speed sessions around 1.5min per 10meters run. So a 30m run would require around 4.5m recovery between reps, if you dont have adequate time between reps and near full recovery your speed will likely suffer.

Also the stress from the plyos you are doing may be taxing your joints as I only see weighted box jumps and pistols which I assume you are only using body weight for, although you do have deadlifts in your program, I am not sure whether your body may not be responding negatively to things such as your depth jumps or hurdle hops or bounds.

Once again these are just my opinions which you may wish to consider, others may feel differently.

I doubt it is the volume that is causing the problems–there is almost none there to begin with (your volumes are lower than most final tapers actually). It is probably the fun bag of other stuff that is causing problems. You have quite a bit of plyos, but so little sprinting–any real reasons?

pope’s post shows some good ideas that could help you quite a bit. Even if both sessions are 300m total, you only have 600m for the week! Quite a few people have more than this in one session (and they have more than 2), so it’s definitely something to consider.

well the main reason i added the plyos was so i could get some agilty focus in my training and not just do linear sprints… i had agility shuttles but davan said he dislikes these… so assuming i up the volume of my sessions so that both session equal to say about 350 m total volume, what kind and how much agility focussed drills could i add, such that i wouldn’t overtrain?
you said decrease some of the jumps, but i was thinking of doing soccer ball drills such as weaving through cones and cutting with the ball, ofcourse done as quickly as i can with the ball. Would this be an adequate agilty stimulus? i’d would do these after my linear sprints.

Also i rest 1minute/10 yard sprinted is this ok or should i up it 1.5/yard?

also assuming i end up working up to around 400m per sprint session and thus 800mtotal/week… do you guys think this will be adequate stimulus? or do you think i should look into adding even more volume or possibly another speed day?

Thanks again for all your help

Doing soccer specific work will do more for your agility than some dumb shuttle run. Increasing strength, core, and speed along with practicing your sport and you will have more agility. Besides doing drills, maybe you could add in a pick-up game (maybe 3on3 or 5on5 w/ some friends) one day (maybe friday or tuesday).

1min/10yds is fine.