Sprinter workouts for track
Sprinter workouts for Track -How Speed is Created?
Sprinter Workouts for Track how is Speed Created?
Bolt narrowly holds off Gatlin to regain his world title in Moscow 2013.
Training for the sprinting races (i.e. 100 meters, 200 meters) may seem simple, just practice sprinting every day, but it is in actuality quite a bit more complex. When you watch a sprinter like Maurice Greene run 9.79 for 100 meters, he has trained to execute every single step of the race perfectly (at least that is the goal, and when he ran 9.79 he came real close to running the perfect race). There are several components of sprinting that need to be trained to execute properly to improve sprinting performance.
Coordination is one of the most influential factors affecting sprinting performance. To sprinting fast, you must coordinate all the limb movements and force applications. Any improper or inefficient limb movements will hinder sprint performance. Thus it is important to train your body to sprint with proper coordination (i.e. recruitment of muscles in the appropriate order) and efficiency. Sprint drills (i.e. high knees, but kicks, etc.) and the exercises listed below will help improve coordination.
Speed is another very influential factor affecting sprint performance. Even if you coordinate all of your limb movements and force applications well, if you do not have a good speed you will not be a fast sprinter. Luckily you can improve your speed with specific training. For example, running 2-3 sets of 4-5 repetitions of 20 to 60 meters performed at an intensity level of 90 to 95 percent, with 3-6 minutes recovery will help improve your speed. Also varying the starting type for the sprints from standing, rolling and flying starts. Speed development work such as the workout above should be done on good training surfaces that are level, dry and neither too hard or too soft. Warm air temperatures will also facilitate the efficiency of this type of training. Cold weather will hamper this type of training but can be done with an appropriate warm-up.
Strength is another important influential factor affecting sprint performance. Strength contributes to both stride length and stride frequency, as well as affecting other training parameters. An athlete with good coordination and speed may still not make a great sprinter without sufficient strength. For instance, without strength, you will not be able to start explosively or have the ability to maintain adequate leg-lift in the closing meters of a 400-meter race. Strength work can be broadly classified into two different types: general and specific.
General strength work is designed to provide a good all-around, balanced base of strength. General strength work provides the foundation upon which specific strength and technique work may be built upon. Thus the primary objective is to prepare the athlete for more advanced types of training. Some example so general strength training is circuit training using the athlete’s body weight for resistance and/or weight training using 20 to 100 percent of the athlete’s body weight for resistance for 8-12 repetitions for 2-3 sets.
Specific strength work is aimed at developing strength most consistent with the strong demands of each sprint event. Thus the strength program for a 100-meter sprinter will differ from that of a 400-meter sprinter. Specific strength exercises relate closely to the movements of sprinting and directly contribute to the technical development of the athlete as well. For example, resistance using harnesses, high-knees, bounding, hopping, bounding over hurdles, and sprint up hills.
Whether you’re a track runner or a football player, improving your sprinting speed can help you perform better in competitions and become a stronger athlete overall. If you want to become a faster runner, you can increase your stride rate, increase your stride length or improve your sprinting mechanics to minimize wasted energy and movement, according to the National Strength and Conditioning Association. You can use several training techniques to help.
Work on your running form. Improving your form can help shave seconds off your sprinting time by minimizing unnecessary movement and energy expenditure that can cause fatigue and slow you down. Focus on keeping your head and chest facing forward and looking ahead rather than down as you run. Drive your arms forward and strive to eliminate any sideways movements in your arms or legs. Lift your knees as your spring forward, bringing your legs upward and forward.
Take a video of yourself running on a track and analyze your form to see if you have any excess, sideways or unnecessary movements. If you have a coach or training partner, ask for feedback on the video to help you figure out where you can make improvements and modifications on your form.
Do plyometrics training to improve your running form and efficiency. Plyometrics use quick, explosive movements to help train your body and mind to perform better in sports. Some plyometrics that can help you become a stronger, faster runner include scissor kicks, tuck jumps, box jumps, lunge jumps and fast knee raises. Do plyometrics exercises on a track twice a week and use a stable box or bench for the box jumps. Do three sets of 10 of each exercise.
Strength train twice a week. Resistance training will make your muscles stronger, helping you become a more powerful runner. Power can help lengthen your stride or increase your running steps, shaving time off your sprints. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends doing eight to ten strength-training exercises with eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise. Do exercises that target all of your major muscle groups, especially your leg muscles. Squats, lunges, leg press, chest press, calf raises, crunches, back extensions, triceps extensions, bicep curls, and push-ups are all effective resistance training exercises.
Do speed workouts. Running intervals — alternating sprints with periods of active recovery or jogging — can help you become faster and train your body to perform well even while fatigued. Your interval distance should depend on your training goals and can range from 100-meter sprints to 400-meter runs. Allow your body twice as long as your interval time to recover between each set. Aim to run the same pace — about 85 percent effort level — for each of your intervals. Do from three to eight intervals at least once a week.
- National Strength and Conditioning Association: Speed Training: Linear Acceleration; Mark Kovaks
- 5min Life Video Pedia: How to Run Faster: Speed Technique
- New Balance: Good Form
- Sports Fitness Advisor: How to Improve Your Sprint Technique
- American College of Sports Medicine: Physical Activity and Public Health Guidelines
How Speed is Created? : What does Dorsiflexion do while sprinting?
Dorsiflexion is the action of bringing the dorsal, or top of your foot, upwards toward the body. It can easily be thought of as bringing the toes upward toward the shin. The primary muscles used during this action are the tibialis anterior, which are the muscles on the front of the shin opposite the calf.
By Jimson Lee, speedendurance.com
There’s an alarming trend of Coaches who do not as the conventional double leg squats with the bar behind your head.
But for those who like to do the double-legged squats, it is recommended to do “front squats” with the bar on your front shoulders and collarbone, because if you fail at a given weight, you can easily throw it in front of you and abort the squat safely. (of course, watch the mirror and people in front of you first!)
Training for Sprinting
This is an archive copy of a document originally located at
At Olympic-level competition, sprinting events include the 100m, 200m, 400m, 4 x 100m relay, and 4 x 400m relay. The 100 m and 400 m hurdles can also be considered as sprinting events. Sprinting and hurdle events rely primarily on the development of power through anaerobic energy.
Elite sprinters train all year round with the base or off-season involving around eleven sessions per week. Off-season training usually involves a considerable commitment to weight training, with about one-third of the total training load being carried out in the gym.
Also, off-season training focuses on refining techniques with a combination of sessions on the track and drill work to improve aspects such as leg speed or knee lift. Stretching sessions, yoga, and pilates are often included to aid in recovery.
As the competitive season approaches, track work increases to include more intervals and sprinting, although technique work and weight training are still maintained. Junior and recreational sprinters spend fewer hours training and training is usually seasonal.
English: SAN DIEGO (July 15, 2008) Cryptologic Technician 1st Class Casey Tibbs trains
with a teammate at the ARCO Olympic Training Center to prepare himself for his upcoming
Paralympics events at the Beijing Olympics. Brandenburg (Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Major competitions for elite sprinters are the Olympic Games, World Championships and Grand Prix Circuit. Most Australian sprinters spend the winter months overseas returning to Australia to compete in key selection events during the Australian summer. At junior and recreational levels, competitions are usually held every week during the summer months.
3. Physical Characteristics
Champion Sprinter Training Program!
By Tom Green
Last updated: May 25, 2016
Champion Sprinter Training Program!
Sprinting is a difficult combination of aggression, relaxation, technique, and efficiency. Champion sprinter Tom Green shows you his full sprinter training program!
About The Author
- Name Tom Green.
- Residence:S. Olympic Training Center, San Diego, Ca.
- Sport: Track and Field.
- College: University of South Dakota (97′-02′)
- Events: 100 and 200-meter dashes.
- Personal Best:10.10 +3.6 10.31 +0.7 /20.77.
- Accomplishments: 8-time All-American, 7th in the 100 m dash at the 2002 USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, member of ’02 World Cup 4×100, ’02 NACAC U-25 gold and silver medallist, ’02 Drake Relays 100 m champion, both state and University of South Dakota athlete of the year titles, six school records (three all-time state records).
- Goals: Becoming a member of the 2004/2008 Olympic teams in the 100 m dash and 4×100 relay. To threaten the current 100-meter world record.
Full Sprinter Training Program
The program I use emphasizes and creates the following: strength, flexibility, power, and speed.
Sprinting is a difficult combination of aggression, relaxation, technique, and efficiency. The 100 meters is sometimes labeled as the easiest most complicated event in sport! And contrasting bodybuilding, gaining too much size can become a negative. Generally speaking, world-class sprinters training is not that large, anywhere from 155-180lbs.
In fact, what’s interesting is that some sprinters training do not lift weights at all! But for those of us who aren’t as genetically gifted, the ultimate goal is having incredible strength-to-weight ratios, lean body mass and a well-developed CNS (central nervous system) for fast reaction and the ability to explode on command.
Unfortunately having too much bulk, especially throughout your chest and shoulders, can significantly decrease your ability to relax and control what your body is doing at high speeds.
Relaxation is important to maintain this top-end speed; it’s by far been one of the hardest things for me to overcome. Throughout my high school career, I would spend all year lifting weights, mainly upper body, and then just run in the actual track meets.
My idea of practice was getting in some abs, heavy curls and bench press. So I literally competed myself into shape. College was a different story; I learned real quick that even though a big chest looks good, it would NOT help you sprint to your fullest potential. I ended up shedding the chest and grew some legs.
Sprinter Training Seasons
Depending on the person or specific event, a track and field “season” can wind up being very long. It’s anywhere from 8 – 11 months depending on one’s indoor and outdoor goals. There was a point in my career where I had been both sprinter training and competing for 20 consecutive months! It was a grueling task that predictably concluded in a major injury … a pectoralis major tear ripping off the right shoulder bone.
Surgery and four screws later, I was successfully on my way to recovery. The surgeon and staff at the Olympic Training Center were absolutely amazing throughout my recovery process. At three weeks post-op, they had me five weeks ahead of schedule.
A “season” is broken up into three basic cycles: Fall/Pre-season, an indoor competition, and outdoor competition. The fall, usually beginning late September early October, is where I am currently at and will continue to be at until the early parts of January. Indoor competition ranges from January through March. And outdoor schedules can range from March all the way through September.
Each cycle of the season is broken down into many different parts, for many different reasons. Throughout the season I will continue to explain my sprinter training program, writing specifically about what is going on as it happens. Doing so will avoid confusion and prevent us from getting ahead of ourselves.
Due to my pectoral injury last April, I spent the past six months rehabbing, gaining back strength, and working on my sprint mechanics. In all areas, I’m ahead of the game compared to where I was at this time last year.
For the exception of bench press, it’s safe to say I’m at 100%. If you share a similar situation, it’s =important at this time to become as healthy as possible in EVERY aspect. All of the “little things” need to be addressed: injuries, nutrition, sleep, social life and being in a positive environment, to name a few.
At this point in Fall Sprinter Training, I’m getting in enough shape to really get in shape. Focusing mainly on base training, increasingly heavy Olympic lifts, foot strength, and sprint mechanics … not to mention a ton of core strength for the hips, abs and lower back.
Although the beach muscles aren’t left out, the main goal at this time is to become as strong as possible and become the best athlete possible. Basically what’s going on is I’m tearing my body down, way down. The obvious point of this is to build it back up for the physical and mental rigors of the season that lay ahead. Along with this, the proper rest is added in to allow the body to rebound and overcompensate the damages put onto it. Recovery is very important; I will address this later on in detail.
Sprinter Training Three Times A Day
Currently, the program involves training three times a day on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; Saturday is reserved for a single specific workout. The time frame I personally use is the following:
- 1st Workout – 10 a.m. … 20-45 minute active warm-up, max velocity sprint mechanics, plyometrics/bounding, and a cool-down of 10-15 minutes.
- 2nd Workout – 3 p.m. … 20 minutes warm-up, main workout/general conditioning, 10-15 minute cool down.
- 3rd Workout – 5 p.m. … Weights
- … Saturday workout is typically late morning or early afternoon.
As the season progresses, the workout program gets increasingly more technical, specific and fine-tuned. This is due to the nature of track and field events. The 100-meter dash is broken down into these six phases:
- The start… 15 meters.
- Acceleration phase… 15-20 meters.
- Transition phase… 20-40 meters.
- Maximum Velocity 1… 40-60 meters.
- Maximum Velocity 2… 60-80 meters.
- Speed Maintenance… 80-100 meters.
Each phase needs to be addressed in order to maximize your success, and ideally, each phase will run together smoothly. In time and with a lot of practice, this will happen. I’ve been running the 100-meter dash for nine years, and I still have a lot to learn and work on. Patience is important in developing yourself in this event. The problem is that sprinters tend to want things NOW!
To get into detail with the current workouts, I’ll begin by explaining my warm-up that takes around 20-25 minutes. It’s called a “Dynamic Movement Circuit” and it’s done using only 30 meters:
Alternate buildup going down with a skip coming back, (4x30m).
- forward with arms swinging across the body.
- forward with alternating arm swings up/down.
- backward with heel raises.
- backward with high knees.
30m build up.
- Side skipping with arm circles … down and back.
- Cariocas emphasizing fast thigh drive to the ground.
- Rear kicks.
- Running backward emphasizing a long reach.
30m build up.
- high knees up and out.
- high knees up and outgoing backward.
- lateral straight leg.
- lateral straight leg backward.
- With spins.
30m build up.
- Jumping jacks moving forward to 15m, then a jog for the next 15m.
- Jumping jacks with high knees clapping under knees.
- Straight leg bounding.
- Toe touches.
…The next section of the warm-up is done with 15 meters …
- Walking on toes.
- Walking on heels.
- Sidestepping toes then heels … left and right.
- pulling the knee to chest.
- opposites … elbow to knee.
- swinging a leg up and touching toes.
- Quad/glute holds.
- Cross over jumping jacks.
… The following lunges are done with 7 repetitions on each leg …
- Static lunges (alternating).
- Backward lunges.
- Front lunge with opposite elbow reaching to leg extended.
- Diagonal lunge with opposite elbow reaching to leg extended.
- Leg swings front to back.
- Leg swings side to side.
By now you should be warmed up, if not, feel free to add any additional exercises or stretching to suit your specific needs.
After properly warmed up, my first workout spends a considerable amount of time, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour of work on maximum velocity sprint mechanics and/or plyometrics.
The idea of sprint drills is to rewire the CNS and neuromuscular system to operate faster and more effectively for the actual race. Doing these confuse the body’s natural/normal tendencies with the speed and aggression actually needed to run at a World Class level. This is along with teaching you how to run correctly while applying the most amount of force possible.
Our goal is to improve my running technique so each leg cycle decreases by .01 seconds, I take anywhere from 46-50 strides in a 100-meter race. Simple math will tell you that if performed, I will eventually take almost half a second off my 100-meter time. Best case scenario says if done, I will be looking to hit the 9.6 range … the current World Record is 9.78.
The First Workout Of The Day: Sprint and Plyometric Drills
The drills seem simple, but don’t let that fool you into thinking they can be done passively or sloppy. If done aggressively and correctly, they can become quite exhausting. The main focus is on correct body posture, correct execution and fast ground-to-ground time. The drills are as follows:
- Ankling (toe-up – heel up – step over opposite ankle).
- Heel raises (toe-up – heel up – heel to hamstring) … NOT butt kicks.
- Alternating L&R fast leg cycles.
- Double cycles, LL&RR.
- Continuous R cycles.
- Continuous L cycles.
… Each drill is done for 30 meters, 2-4 times on each leg with around 60-90 seconds rest in-between.
Plyometrics and bounds are also done during the first workout. Usually, I do these on the opposite days of sprint drills; sometimes when I’m feeling really good I include everything together. The idea behind the plyo’s and bounds is to get your body use to exploding and becoming extremely powerful at the point in which your foot/feet make contact to the ground. That’s the name of the game in the 100 meters. People with bad shins or ankles may have a hard time doing some of these exercises so be careful! I personally had shin splints for a number of years and I know how excruciating they can be. The following is the list of plyo’s and bounds that I’m currently doing:
- Straight leg bounding.
- Alternating single leg bounds.
- “Skip-bounds” for height.
- “Skip-bounds” for distance.
- box jumps 4×5.
- Standing long jump for distance.
…Except for the box jumps, each exercise is done three times…
After the first session, it’s important to do a good cool down. I spend 10-15 minutes stretching out and even doing some of the same things used in my warm-up. I personally like to go through a quick and light lunge series to really stretch everything out. Also, be sure and ice any nagging injuries, and consume some protein within a few minutes of your workout. These things are very important in staying healthy and replenishing your body. Remember … TAKE CARE OF THE LITTLE THINGS!
The Second Workout Of The Day: General Conditioning
The second workout of the day is where the greater part of my general conditioning is done. As I said, this is the pre-season and what I’m doing is getting into shape to really get into shape. Even though the workouts at this time are not that ballistic, it’s important to get another quality warm-up in. And of course a good cool down with a lot of stretching after the workout.
Throughout the weeks to come, the workouts change, but the general principle is the same. The workout atmosphere depends on where you are in the World. The great thing about San Diego is that it’s almost always perfect weather here. I do the majority of the work barefoot in grass or sand! This helps build my feet and ankle strength. The following is an outline of my workouts performed throughout the week:
Flying 30’s barefooted in the grass, (3 sets of 3) … 2-3 minutes rest in-between each rep, and around 10 minutes in-between each set. At this point in time, these aren’t that fast, mainly working on form and technique learned from the first session.
After the ’30s, take a 10-minute rest and then I perform 5-7 “Power Hills.” This is sprinting at around 80% up a hill that is around a 10-degree incline. The hill I use is close to 100 meters, be creative and use what’s available to you. The purpose of these is to really work on your drive phase, power and sprinting form/technique. Typically I wait around 4-5 minutes in-between each one. Have fun!
When you’re done be sure to cool down again and take in plenty of fluids.
No running has done today, but after the workout, you’ll wish you wouldn’t have found this article. Again, warm-up enough to where you’re getting a good sweat, even though you’re not running you’re about to put your body through some pain.
The first thing you’ll do is standing-in-place-running-arm swings. Sound simple enough? I thought so! You will perform these with dumbbells, anywhere from 5lbs to 25lbs depending on gender and strength… DON’T cheat yourself. I use 20lbs and it’s not easy! I do this 10 times, 60 seconds on with 60 seconds off. The first 40-45 seconds is at a brisk pace, the last 15-20 seconds is all-out sprinting of the arms. Be sure to pump your arms without recruiting all of your major muscles, try staying up tall using good technique. Make sure you get the FULL range of motion.
The final exercise is what we call “Bulgarian Dips.” This is possibly one of the most painful exercises I have ever performed. Each leg is used twice, for a series of 2-minute holds and gradual movements … and the entire exercise is performed holding onto dumbbells at your side. This exercise is somewhat difficult to explain, but I’ll do my best!
Using the single-leg squat positions have your back foot on a chair, and your front foot extended out in front of you. Begin by taking 30 seconds to GRADUALLY go down into a parallel position, and then hold for another 30 seconds. At 1 minute, begin slowly rising for 30 seconds until you’re halfway up, hold for 15 seconds, then spend the final 15 seconds finishing until your front leg is locked out and you’re standing again. Now do that to each leg twice, never taking more than 2 minutes to rest in-between each set.
It’s important to keep you’re back tall and never let your knees touch the ground.
Also, use a challenging dumbbell weight … I use 20 lbs.
Rest and Recovery.
Today I attack the cardio system with a great aerobic workout. Again, perform a good warm-up; make sure everything is working and loose. The workout won’t take that long but it’s going to definitely wear you out.
It’s simple; find sand, whether it’s on a beach or your local long jump pit. Make sure the sand you use isn’t packed and hard. The deeper and softer the better. What you’re performing is in-place running, focusing on high knees and aggressive arm swings.
The workout is performed like the in-place weighted arm swings … 10 sets of 60 seconds on with 60 seconds off. The first 40-45 seconds is very brisk, with the last 15-20 seconds being all-out sprinting in place.
Cooldown and go lift weights!
Today’s workout is the same as Monday’s, minus the flying 30’s.
Anywhere from 5-8 “Power Hills,” with rest depending on what you want to accomplish. Personally, I take plenty of rest in-between each sprint to make certain my power and sprint mechanics stay as sharp as possible throughout the entire workout.
For those of you want more cardio, run them continuously adding in a jog to the bottom of the hill. Though after a couple, you’ll begin sacrificing your power output and possibly your ability to sprint up with crisp technique.
Today’s workout is used for active recovery.
After a week of hard sprinter training, your body needs to rest and repair the damages you inflict upon it. These activities help restore neural fatigue, your body’s physiological state and even emotional restoration.
There are many different ways to actively rest your body: light jogging, walking, swimming, cycling, etc. Even getting a massage would be an excellent idea today.
What I choose to do is ocean swimming, snorkeling or just taking a few laps in a pool. The best part about being in the ocean is the chilly water combined with the waves “massaging” your body.
Rest is necessary, as my coach says, “Rest is not a four-letter word!” People sometimes see it as a bad thing, but without rest, your body never has time to profit from all of the hard work that you put in.
Different people recover in different ways. No one is exactly the same; one workout may be beneficial for one person, yet insufficient or harmful to the next. For some people, working out less is actually better for them. The more a particular person is stressed either physically or emotionally, the more they need to focus on the recovery process.
Sleep, nutrition, and water intake are obvious ways to help but are frequently neglected. It’s important to keep an eye on all these things in order to make the most out of your efforts.
The Third Workout Of The Day: The Weight Room.
The last session of the day is entirely weight room oriented! Like the track workouts, what I’m doing in the weight room is base/strength training. All Olympic lifts are obviously done emphasizing the proper technique, absolute quickness, and power. As the year progresses, so will the weight being used. Sets and reps will also change to not only keep things mixed up but to allow my body to peak for competitions.
Monday and Thursday focus on the lower body; Tuesday and Friday focus on the upper body. After lifting, I finish up with some kind of ab work. I like to use a lot of the basics like crunches, weighted decline board sit-ups, and hanging knee-ups/leg raises. But you can do whatever you need to do for the best results.
The following is the list of exercises, sets, and reps that I’m currently performing:
- Snatch – 3×6 View
- Squat – 5×5 View
- Straight legged deadlift – 3×5 View
- 1 leg alternating curls – 3×8 View
- Seated calf raises – 3×8 View
- Ab/Ad machine – 3×8 View
View A Printable Log Of Monday’s Workout!
- Dumbbell bench press – 3×10 View
- Dumbbell military press – 3×8 View
- Pulldowns – 3×8 View
- Bicep curls – 3×8 View
- Triceps extensions – 3×8 View
- Forearm curls – 3×8 View
View A Printable Log Of Tuesday’s Workout!
- Power clean “pulls” – 3×6 View
- Squat – 3×8 View
- Power Shrugs – 2×6 View
- Good mornings – 3×8 View
- Ab/Ad machine – 3×8 View
- Seated calf raises – 3×8 View
View A Printable Log Of Thursday’s Workout!
- Bench pull – 5×5 (Like T-Bar rows but by lying on a bench with a barbell underneath.)
- Dumbbell push press – 3×8 View
- Dumbbell bench press – 3×8 View
- Bicep curls – 3×8 View
- Forearm curls – 3×8 View
View A Printable Log Of Friday’s Workout!
Good luck with your sprinter training! Check back soon for more info.