How can I increase sprinting speed?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Txcrunner, Nov 4, 2003.

  1. Txcrunner

    Txcrunner Guest

    I am a highschool runner that runs about an 18:20 for a 5k cross country course (about a 5:58 per
    mile pace). My finish is the weakest part of my race. I often lose places to runners with better
    sprinting speed than me in the last 400 - 800m stretch of the race. Also, in track I run the 1600m
    in about 5:25 and if I'm neck and neck with another runner, I usually lose at the last 200m when top
    sprinting speed comes into play. How can I work on my sprinting speed. Please tell me any workout,
    drills, speedwork, etc. and any weight training I could do to increase my sprinting speed.
     
    Tags:


  2. In article <[email protected]>, TXCRunner wrote:
    > I am a highschool runner that runs about an 18:20 for a 5k cross country course (about a 5:58
    > per mile pace). My finish is the weakest part of my race. I often lose places to runners with
    > better sprinting speed than me in the last 400 - 800m stretch of the race. Also, in track I run
    > the 1600m in about 5:25 and if I'm neck and neck with another runner, I usually lose at the last
    > 200m when top sprinting speed comes into play. How can I work on my sprinting speed. Please tell
    > me any workout, drills, speedwork, etc. and any weight training I could do to increase my
    > sprinting speed.

    Well, first for the "sprinting speed" to be of much use, you need to be in a position to use it. The
    winner is always the person who can run the entire race the fastest, not necessarily the one with
    the best finish. So runners with weaker finishes rely on pushing in the middle to late stages, which
    hopefully either leaves the competition far behind, or they get worn out following you, and they
    have no finishing kick left.

    To improve your finishes, I'd suggest interval workouts, and use repeats of about the same length as
    your finishing kick. For example, for a 5k workout, you could run 3 or so 800 repeats at around
    2:50, with slow 400m jog rests (just do the jog rests at 2:00-2:30 per lap or so, whatever's
    comfortable -- they're *rests*) then try to do a fourth one fast, like 2:40 or faster. This should
    be a controlled surge, but not an all-out sprint. You should feel yourself reaching for that extra
    "spring" in your step at the start of the last repeat, and holding your rhythm and posture towards
    the end of that repeat when you feel fatigue kicking in really hard. You'll be able to draw mental
    strength from these workouts when you're finishing.

    For a 1600, try doing 800 , 400 rest, 400, 200 rest, 200, 200 rest, 200 All of these should be quite
    fast, about 1:20 per lap (2:15 per lap for the rests), and the last couple of 200s should be under
    40, maybe about 37-38. Use these workouts sparingly, once per week tops.

    These interval workouts are going to be quite good for overall speed development as well as
    strengthening your finish.

    Having said that -- have you checked how even your splits are for these races ? If you're slowing
    down throughout the race, you will not have any power left at the finish. To be able to pull out a
    really good finish like this, you need to avoid burning out too early.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  3. TXCRunner <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I am a highschool runner that runs about an 18:20 for a 5k cross country course (about a 5:58
    > per mile pace). My finish is the weakest part of my race. I often lose places to runners with
    > better sprinting speed than me in the last 400 - 800m stretch of the race. Also, in track I run
    > the 1600m in about 5:25 and if I'm neck and neck with another runner, I usually lose at the last
    > 200m when top sprinting speed comes into play. How can I work on my sprinting speed. Please tell
    > me any workout, drills, speedwork, etc. and any weight training I could do to increase my
    > sprinting speed.

    Haven't you talked to your coach about this? The last thing you want is five conflicting training
    plans -- consistency will be much better for you overall. You should first try to work this all
    out with your coach before soliciting advice here. If you don't find that working, then post here
    with more information about your training. (And have you poked around on letsrun and dyestat?).

    -Dave

    --
    work: dga - at - lcs.mit.edu me: angio - at - pobox.com MIT Laboratory for Computer Science
    http://www.angio.net/ (note that my reply-to address is vaguely despammed...) bulk emailers: I do
    not accept unsolicited email. Do not mail me.
     
  4. Lyndon

    Lyndon Guest

    >I am a highschool runner that runs about an 18:20 for a 5k cross country course (about a 5:58 per
    >mile pace). My finish is the weakest part of my race. I often lose places to runners with better
    >sprinting speed than me in the last 400 - 800m stretch of the race. Also, in track I run the 1600m
    >in about 5:25 and if I'm neck and neck with another runner, I usually lose at the last 200m when
    >top sprinting speed comes into play. How can I work on my sprinting speed. Please tell me any
    >workout, drills, speedwork, etc. and any weight training I could do to increase my sprinting speed.
    >
    First, being a coach myself, I'll echo the comment made about talking everything through with
    your coach.

    Your 5K time is fast compared to your 1600 time. Sometimes people cannot kick because they haven't
    developed their lactate clearance and they start to kick too far into oxygen debt. This would not
    seem to be your problem because of the faster 5K, but it still helps to do something like 2000's @ 1
    minute/mile slower than mile pace (2-3 minute rest) early in the season to make sure your lactate
    threshold is reasonably well trained before you get into stuff like 400's.

    There are kickers and non-kickers. Sometimes the non-kickers haven't developed their speed, but
    often they simply don't have the wheels (Bob Kennedy was one of the latter). Too often programs
    don't recognize the individual differences, but understanding what kind of runner you are matters,
    because most people get the best results by focusing on their strengths. You progress from working
    on your weaknesses early in the season to working on your strengths later (more time is spent here).
    If you are a kicker, you do more speed; If you are a non-kicker, you do more mileage. You also have
    to do different tactical training--plan to break the race open in the middle, like the Kenyans, if
    you don't have the finishing speed.

    Sometimes, athletes have problems kicking--or even improving with interval training--because they
    take too much rest. If you are doing something like 6X400 or 8X400 at mile pace, the rest must be
    kept short. You need to get to the point where you can do 6 X 400 on pace with not more than 60 sec
    recovery, or you will not be able to run at this pace on race day and you won't be able to kick off
    this pace. One strategy that works well on a high school training cycle that lasts for 17 weeks (6
    weeks prep, 8 weeks precomp, 3 weeks peak) is to run a 6 X 400 workout each week during precomp: For
    the first 4 weeks, you go about as hard as you can with 2 min rest between 400's; For the last 4
    weeks, you keep the pace the same, but progressively cut the rest to 60 seconds.

    The "standard" correlation between mile pace and 400 pace is 87%; For your mile speed to be "good
    enough," your sprint speed has to be "good enough." If you want to improve your mile time to 5
    minutes, you need to acquire the ability to run a 400 in 65 seconds and a 200 in less than 30. If
    you can do this, pure speed isn't the problem: Go back to the above paragraph and run your 400's
    with shorter rest. If you cannot do this, try the following at a time when you are not doing any
    hard endurance workouts:

    Week1

    Mon: 2 X 3 X 80 all-out flying, rest 3 min reps, 1 lap walk between sets

    Wed: 2 X 3 X 80 all-out flying, rest 3 min reps, 1 lap walk between sets

    Fri: 3 X 3 X 80 all-out flying, rest 3 min reps, 1 lap walk between sets

    Week 2

    Mon: 8 X 100 all-out, 45-75 sec rest

    Wed 4 X 30m all-out flying, rest 10 minutes

    Fri: 8 X 100 all-out, 45-75 sec rest

    Everything else should be very easy, or nothing more than drills (high knees, butt-kicks, bounding,
    quick feet).

    After just 2 weeks, you should see a sizeable improvement in your sprint speed. In the above,
    "flying" means a smooth acceleration to top speed over 30-40 meters, then you run the distance
    listed as fast as you can.

    You can look at weights. "Better Training For Distance Runners" describes the weight program that
    Sebastian Coe used. But in the beginning, you are not going to see anywhere near the improvement in
    speed from a weight program that you will from just a few sprinting speed-endurance sessions.

    Lyndon

    "Speed Kills...It kills those that don't have it!" --US Olympic Track Coach Brooks Johnson
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>, Dave Andersen wrote:
    > TXCRunner <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> I am a highschool runner that runs about an 18:20 for a 5k cross country course (about a 5:58
    >> per mile pace). My finish is the weakest part of my race. I often lose places to runners with
    >> better sprinting speed than me in the last 400 - 800m stretch of the race. Also, in track I run
    >> the 1600m in about 5:25 and if I'm neck and neck with another runner, I usually lose at the last
    >> 200m when top sprinting speed comes into play. How can I work on my sprinting speed. Please tell
    >> me any workout, drills, speedwork, etc. and any weight training I could do to increase my
    >> sprinting speed.
    >
    > Haven't you talked to your coach about this? The last thing you want is five conflicting
    > training plans -- consistency will be much better for you overall.

    Good point. The workout I suggested only makes sense if it fits in with a larger overall picture. My
    comments are applicable to the conditions I grew up in -- not having a proper year-round organised
    distance training program (they'd just select the fastest high school runners for the team shortly
    before the race), but David's comments are a timely reminder that there are places where high school
    athletes do actually attend proper training sessions and receive coaching.

    If you do have a coach, who already has you doing group speed work, the last thing you want to be
    doing is cramming in extra speed sessions. If you're already on a well-structured training program
    that includes group speedwork, then you have very little room to do your own thing. My advice in the
    other post is only applicable if it is the case that you are left to your own devices with little or
    no coaching.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
  6. Jackhat1

    Jackhat1 Guest

    >How can I work on my sprinting speed.

    The posts are right on that suggested checking with your coach and that some people just don't have
    a lot of foot speed.

    Adding to that is one improves running fast by running fast. A 400m runner works on his speed
    by running repeat 100's or some other short distance. A distance runner might throw in some
    200m sprints.

    jack
     
  7. Txcrunner

    Txcrunner Guest

    Donovan Rebbechi <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > In article <[email protected]>, Dave Andersen wrote:
    > > TXCRunner <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >> I am a highschool runner that runs about an 18:20 for a 5k cross country course (about a 5:58
    > >> per mile pace). My finish is the weakest part of my race. I often lose places to runners with
    > >> better sprinting speed than me in the last 400 - 800m stretch of the race. Also, in track I run
    > >> the 1600m in about 5:25 and if I'm neck and neck with another runner, I usually lose at the
    > >> last 200m when top sprinting speed comes into play. How can I work on my sprinting speed.
    > >> Please tell me any workout, drills, speedwork, etc. and any weight training I could do to
    > >> increase my sprinting speed.
    > >
    > > I completely agree with Dave in regards to consulting my coach.
    However, it is the off-season and I am more planning ahead for the 2004 summer, before next season.
    I was elected as one of tri-captains of my XC team as a junior, and I wanted to put together a once
    a week speed-training/speedwork day. Excluding our number one runner, a freshman who was 4th on the
    team this past year, running about a
    17:20, we have a 3pack including me, who runs an average of 18:20, our fastest of our three
    running actually around 18:00 flat and me and a teammate runnning 18:20. Our 3 pack could use
    some speedwork because our coach has told us our endurance is there, we just need the speed.
    During the season he had the varsity seven run 18x300m at 56sec pace with 100m walking. We
    also did 20x200m at 35sec, give or take a second. We did this once or twice every two weeks. I
    just planned on doing this once a week over the pre-season summer mixed with about 30-40mpw
    distance training.

    Please keep sending the workouts though, they are all very helpful and I will consult my coach about
    all this before the summer starts.

    -TXC-
     
  8. In article <[email protected]>, TXCRunner wrote:
    > Donovan Rebbechi <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    >> In article <[email protected]>, Dave Andersen wrote:

    >> > I completely agree with Dave in regards to consulting my coach.
    > However, it is the off-season and I am more planning ahead for the 2004 summer, before next
    > season. I was elected as one of tri-captains of my XC team as a junior, and I wanted to put
    > together a once a week speed-training/speedwork day. Excluding our number one runner, a freshman
    > who was 4th on the team this past year, running about a
    > 17:20, we have a 3pack including me, who runs an average of 18:20, our fastest of our three
    > running actually around 18:00 flat and me and a teammate runnning 18:20. Our 3 pack could use
    > some speedwork because our coach has told us our endurance is there, we just need the speed.
    > During the season he had the varsity seven run 18x300m at 56sec pace with 100m walking. We also
    > did 20x200m at 35sec, give or take a second. We did this once or twice every two weeks. I just
    > planned on

    These are purely anaerobic workouts. If you were doing these and your speed is still poor compared
    to your competitors, I don't see a whole lot you can do about it (except to make good use of your
    strengths so that you can learn to wear out or drop the kickers). I wouldn't recommend doing a lot
    of anaerobic work off-season, I'd focuse on core speed work and endurance instead.

    I'd suggest going with 800-1200 repeats with short rests (400m jog, NOT walk), but then emphasise
    the shorter more anaerobic training closer to races. A typical workout with these sorts of intervals
    would call for 4-6x800m or 3-4x1200m. Ultimately the important thing is to integrate whatever you do
    with the training your coach will have you do when the season starts.

    Cheers,
    --
    Donovan Rebbechi http://pegasus.rutgers.edu/~elflord/
     
Loading...
Loading...