Training throughout the season where to emphasize.

I coach a sprinting crew on a local high school track and field team. This is my second year. I usually break my workouts down into three types. Speed, Speed Endurance, and Special Endurance. I am curious where I should be emphasizing workouts throughout the season? Should I work on speed early on and then move focus to Speed Endurance and then on to Special Endurance? Or go the other way around? Last year I had fairly good results but I did not have major areas of focus. I am sure there is a thread on this an I have missed it. If so please point me in the right direction.


Speed should be emphasized to some degree for the entire season. But you should have at least one day a week devoted to longer stuff. Satrt of with Special Endurance I or II depending on whether the runners are short or long sprinters. And after you complete I and II then move on to Speed Endurance. Any more questions please feel free.

Is it not speed endurance followed by special edurance?

Short sprinters: Special Endurance I ----> Special Endurance II ----> Speed Endurance

Long sprinters: Special Endurance II ----> Special Endurance I ----> Speed Endurance

Thanks for the replies. But now you bring up another question. Apparently I am missing an area. Please give me a quick description of special endurance I and II and speed endurance please. I only was aware of two categories and you have three listed here. Also where you are listing these in different orders I am guessing that you are saying that they should be performed in this order for the different types of sprinters can you elaborate on why that is?

Thanks again,

Special Endurance I is roughly any distance b/w 150-300m

Special Endurance II is b/w 300-600m

Pure Speed Endurance is anything under 150m just like speed work but it differs from speed work in the recovery time involved. You give yourself less time for speed endurance than you normally would for speed work. Make sense?

Your definition of pure speed endurance is a little sketchy. For one pure speed work is usually considered 60 or under, not 150 or under as suggested in your post. Recoveries for speed endurance are typically full, unless you’re doing short split runs, or “italian speed endurance”. Examples would be 3*120 at full speed, with full recovery.

What I mean by differing recovery time is that for Special Endurance you get at least 15-20 min. recovery. If you are doing speed endurance you dont need that much rest. 6-12 min. (depending on intensity and distance) is enough.

And you are correct in saying pure speed work is under 60m (or 6 sec. at full speed). But I didnt say pure speed work. I simply said speed work. Big difference. Because there is that intermediate range of 80-150 that can still be considered speed work.

Can you help me understand the meaning of the order here? Do the workouts during the week in this order? Break the season up into 3 sections and focus on these areas during those sections?


Speed - out to 8 sec
Speed End - 8 to 15 sec
Special End 1: 15 to 45 sec
Special End 2: 45 sec up

What Charlie is saying here is another way to look at it. I just like to break mine up according to distance. However, since you posted that Charlie, is either way more accurate than the other (distance vs. time)? Or are they exactly the same?

No, not in that order in one week. This is how you progress throughout the season.

Why only focus on the speed endurance at the end of the season for a 400m runner? shouldnt you still run up to 300m?

Yes, you should, unless you have a lot of meets close together!

I thought what Gov had was right as far as how to periodize the SE’s and stuff. The only thing he neglected to mention is that you only emphasize the 80-150m SE work at the end of the year with the short speed (up to 6-8 sec work). But, as many do, the up to 300m stuff is still included in an “endurance maintenance”-like session.


Monday - SE
Tuesday - Tempo
Wednesday - Short Speed
Thursday - Tempo
Friday - SE1


Monday - SE
Tuesday - Tempo
Wednesday - Recov/Regen
Thursday - Short Speed
Friday - Tempo or Pre-Meet
Saturday - Meet or SE1

The only thing is that with most HS’ers the meets are on a Wednesday, so then you could do something like this:

Monday - SE
Tuesday - Pre-Meet
Wednesday - Meet
Thursday - Tempo
Friday - Short Speed
Saturday - Tempo or Recov/Regen

Am I wrong here in my thinking?

When you say close together, do you mean consecutive weeks in a row?

Sometimes (usually in Europe) the meets are every 3rd day etc. With one meet per week you’d need one SE session, again, unless you were running many races on a weekend- such as conference on one week and NCAA the next

Right, that’s kinda what I am asking. In high school most of the meets are every week. So between April and June you pretty much compete every week. So is that what you are talking about when you say close together?