What Can We Learn from Usain Bolt's Victory

As coaches, what can we take away from Usain Bolt’s effort in the Olympic final, running 9.69 with a mini-celebration in the last 15 meters? What do we know about his training and preparation? Also, does this mean that we should be recruiting taller athletes for the 100m?

I’ll be interested in everyone’s ideas on this topic.

from the comments earlier- moving into 200m prep- it’s a S-toL deal this year at least.

Charlie - if you were working with Bolt - where would you take the training from here on out? How much work would be done on his start, which many people seem to see as his “weakness”.

As you have always said, he is working now from a sub-set of one, and there will be a lot of new territory to navigate.

Yes(regarding bodytype) and I feel that’s why his coach Glen Mills has insisted even as recently as interviews in the past few weeks that Bolt was, long-term, a 400m guy-his height. Sometimes I do think people get too caught up in body types totally dictating(by the coach and/or the athlete) the direction an athlete should take-event or sport-wise

I’m assuming Bolt’s weightlifting program is what we would classify as “general” in nature. Nothing fancy and no freakishly strong lifts in any one area. How about plyos? Are there any present?

Bolts just a freak. Look at the times he was running when he was 16.

Probably 2x6x60

He probably does something like 2x20x185. :wink:

Consider their training. I know people who have trained with those athletes and they are not doing anything special. Talent.

They do speed work on crappy grass. (Asafa)

They lift with poor techique with no real plan.

2.42 is Bolts stride length with a SF of 4.25

This will of course bother many coaches as people can talk all they want but when it comes down to it coaching mega talents is all about getting physios to keep them healthy.

People may doubt you, but if you believe in what you are doing keep doing it. Don’t follow some others way - find your own.

And what about those coaching anyone running against Bolt? Even if you’re a 9.9x guy 9.6 probably seems a world away. Is there going to be a Tiger Woods mentality for the rest of the field (i.e. we’re playing for second) for the time being?

And regarding training issues, is this going to open some discussion about the long term development of sprinters? What can we learn from the JA system vs. US and Euro and others? Does skipping the US collegiate system result in faster and safer development?

he was just as impressive as a 15 year old so I don’t think a system or a coach made him…

But their system didn’t wreck him either. How many young US phenoms have been destroyed?

Well that’s your interpretation. If I could get your attention here (Obviously, I haven’t succeeded in getting it before on this).
1:Weights are intended as an adjunct to Sprint work and they will vary according to the quality of sprint sessions- exactly as I did with Ben.
2: Grass sprints allow for a heightened tendon stiffness, which, when transferred to progressively harder tracks allows for big performances before the tendons can accomodate to the hard surface.
You’re right and I don’t know what I’m talking about.

“Heightened tendon stiffness”…a few thoughts/questions come to mind.

1.) Would grass sprints be done in spikes?
2.) Also, would they have to do more sprint work since it’s done on track?
3.) Lastly, would routine sprints on grass effect e-c coupling times in any way?


2: (off track i assume you mean) Not really, it’s easier on the body if it is in rythem and relaxed but results in higher force losses into the surface.
3:the coupling times come from the combination of muscle/tendon/AND surface. Once you switch upwards in hardness you gain a benefit for a given time, determined by the time of exposure and the work chosen (ie grass is VERY amenable to pick-up drills, speed change, E,F,Es etc) You need to be very careful when switching downwards to the grass surface- very careful on the first few sessions.

Another performance question.

How much, if any, did shutting down in the final keep him from recieving as much total fatigue(cns, etc.) to help him rebound for the 200?

I’m assuming had he run 9.5 ish he would have felt more tightness, heaviness and it would be more long-lasting, correct?

I think that was a pretty major celebration: he might as well have taken out of front-page ad in every major world newspaper :).

By my count, he started looking around 10 strides before the line, and stopped running 8-9 strides before the line. Assuming a 2.5m stride while he coasted through, this puts him at 20-25m of celebration complete with looking around, arms out to the side not pumping, thumping his chest, and turning his body sideways. I’ll be very interested in splits.

I’d say very little if any difference. I just got a call from a World Championship 200m medallist who thought Bolt might not break 19.60 in the 200 because he’s done less races there. I disagree. As long as he does the minimum possible in the 200m heats and assuming no wind, I think a 19.60 is a worst case scenario.

Ya but his time would be :eek: :eek: :eek:
therefore it would have been worth it anyways considering Dix is already fatigued from the 100 and I dont think spearmon/crawford really stand a chance…plus bolt can run rounds really well it seems anyways.

BTW, I guess this settled another arguement of whether or not Bolt had peaked too early :smiley: