USA and UK sprint training method differences?

I was wondering what are the main differences between training in the uk and training in america?

i know a few athletes who are thinking of going to america for training and athletes who have gone that are doing considerably better!

very little to no tempo
speed/weights days alternating each other back and forth (day 1 speed/day 2 weights/ day 3 speed, etc etc)

ah i see, when you say speed/ weight days alternate do you mean for example monday they would have weights then tuesday speed then wednesday weights ?

i know they have training twice a day too, what would they do in a morning and in evening if they do little to know tempo? warm up and drills perhaps?

yes that’s correct.

im not sure on your second question, i dont know the details of how they train, just some basics.

ah ok thank you for your help though.

they must be doing something right over there as athletes who seem to be going over to america are doing noticably better!

I’m not sure of the specifics, but you can be sure the athletics budget was bumped up significantly with the 2012 Olympics in London. The Brits also hired two of Canada’s best coaches in Kevin Tyler and his assistant. Who is Tyler’s biggest influence? Why Charlie of course!


There is no ‘American’ or ‘UK’ system of sprint training per se. Different coaches use very different programmes in both countries. Training and competition conditions are substantially better in the USA, however, especially in the sounthern states. That’s why a lot of British sprinters run good times there during training camps early in the season and then have great difficulties trying to match or improve on these times in the UK.

very true i was just looking at the UK 100m rankings and all the top rankings were pretty much set in USA.

I had also seen dan pfaff down lee valley training centre a few months ago also.

im not sure if he is still down there though?

He still coaches there.

I think there are a multitude of differences between the UK and US in terms of sprint training.

Dan Pfaff coaches and is centre manager at Lee Valley, Derek Evely in Loughborough.

I think there are a few keys though - obviously the times at this time of year are coming from the brits in the US as it is early season in the UK and if they have been on training camps and have competed before others in the UK have started their seasons.

Weather, facilities, but also how many paid coaches are there in the UK? Not many! There could be a few discussions to be had on systems - not just about training philosphies but also educational systems and opportunity.

It would be better to discuss the contrasts between the two countries than it would to do any vague mutual comparisons!

Tinsoldier, what knowledge do you have about contrasts in training of the two countries?

Here is a summary of USA speed training methods to shed some light on the situation:

Not too sure of UK methods but I remember reading an article out of a T&F magazine that essentially said that UK speed athletes in the 90s did not take power & strength training as seriously as US athletes. Although that has probably changed in the present day.


Yeah I know the athletes you are talking about and although I wouldnt say I have extensive knowledge of coaching in the US I have looked at the various methods etc.

My main thoughts are - collegiate system: competition and training - thinking about the coaching input, the facilities the competition.

In the UK we have primarily volunteer coach, no collegiate sports system to speak of, competition levels can be pretty low outside of national champs or the Loughborough international. Added to this the poor weather we often get.

Its just different in the whole set up.

My brother went to a US college on a scholarship and they do alot of meets to gain points etc as we would in our BAL. Results are needed and expected. The US based coaches on the site would be able to explain more.

Hmmm it seems to be there is alot more structure and professionalism to their whole set up ?

how did your brother do when he moved there?

yes it does look like they do more strength and conditioning from that link which was useful.

could this improved conditioning of athletes be what makes them so successful?