How do sprinters and middle distance runners train?

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Jun 2012
1:21pm, 25 Jun 2012
587 posts
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It's something I've long wondered. Most training programs around seem to be based around building up a strong CV base with the aim of allowing you to sustain a base for longer (correct me if I'm wrong on this bit), and then including some faster sessions later in the program.

What if strong endurance is a relatively small part of the target event though, and pure pace contributes a relatively larger part. For instance, however much endurance you have and how little pace you lose over distance, if you couldn't run a 15s 100m, you couldn't run a sub 60 400m. Most training seems to include some speed work, but I just wonder, how does the training of those who focus on shorter distance events differ from the longer distance schedules most of us use.

Just a wondering that I thought some out there could case some light on.
Jun 2012
5:15pm, 25 Jun 2012
42,801 posts
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go read Sharkies blogs, she logs all her training and she is a sprinter/HJ/LJ Jav etc ....
Jun 2012
5:43pm, 25 Jun 2012
61,009 posts
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SPR should be along soon.
Jun 2012
7:39pm, 25 Jun 2012
16,961 posts
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Lol Grep. They'll be others that are better at explaining a MD/sprinter schedule. I haven't fully developed my schedule yet. Eg. I have never done any lactic tolerance/MD pace work.

Pure speed 60m (or shorter). On hills or flat, slow walk back (full) recovery.

Pure speed endurance 100/150/200m, again hills or flat. slow walk back (full) recovery.

Lactic tolerance/speed endurance - 300m+ reps, either with long recoveries, or in sets, eg 3 x 3 x 300m with shorter recoveries between the reps but longer between the sets.

Base is still important as it allows you to tolerate the harder work later, Clyde Hart, Michael Johnson's coach has his 400m runner do 30- 45 mins of XC in the winter. But base doesn't mean just running slow. Pure speed throughout the year. Lactic tolerance and speed endurance less focus during winter but still keep in touch with it. Plus you can do intervals with the correct recovery and speeds and not build up lactic so running fast and remaining mainly aerobic.

I shall see if Gobi, who is a coach, and has coached MD and Sprint, will pop in.

Also as mentioned Sharkie sprints so she might post some sprint sessions she does if she sees this thread.
Jun 2012
7:54pm, 25 Jun 2012
16,964 posts
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For MD training stuff BMC Newsletters are good:
Jun 2012
10:18pm, 25 Jun 2012
47,903 posts
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Not being one to talk overly about lactic zone this etc let me break it down

For sprinters we do most of the endurance based work in the winter so in effect almost train like MD runners. Long hill reps, short recovery sessions and easy jogging.
( I should say we run quite fast while doing these reps)

This means when we come back to speed progressively through the early season recovery is good due to aerobic base. As volume comes down the speed goes up.

By the key period of training the sprinters do light tick over running to warm up and spent time running VERY fast off long recoveries.

The MD boys carry on with a good volume of easy running throughout the year and will do longer more specific speed reps although they also do some very explosive sprinting in the quest for more speed.

Jun 2012
3:08pm, 26 Jun 2012
592 posts
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Cheers folks, some interesting stuff I'll have a peruse of. As someone with a relatively poor shorter range pace, it has always been of interest how those focused on such events go about it, I'm never likely to make a sprinter, but if I can understand how the faster types do it, maybe I can find some pace of my own.

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Maintained by MudMeanderer
It's something I've long wondered. Most training programs around seem to be based around building...

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