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A General Workout for Sprinters

Article By: Coach George Payan

The following workout is for hurdlers, sprinters and sprinters who run 400 meters.

To be a sprinter, you have to train like a sprinter. You should work on the areas that improve and develop the phases of sprinting.

Your first priority should be to work on sprinting technique on a daily basis. This includes the warm-up, phases of sprinting: the start, acceleration, transition, maximum speed, speed maintenance and finishing form. Working on the proper technique will eliminate any problems you are having. After technique, work on repetitions and strength, which includes weights and Plyometrics drills. For strength training refer to the web site under the "Coaching" button. Sprinters can use this same program. Follow the four-day cycle and start gradually. Also, be sure to do sit-ups between exercises.

You should have two types of warm-up routines. One is for workouts and the other is for competitions. Part of your warm-up should include technique.

A proper warm-up includes:
Jog at least 800 meters; flexibility (20 minutes); accelerations (10 meters, 20 meters, 30 meters, 40 meters) with progression of distance. Increase the workload week-by-week. Intensity can be increased. The number of repetitions can be increased.

Technique after the warm-up:
Always work on technique for 35-45 minutes (hurdlers work on hurdle technique; sprinters work on mechanic drills; baton & sprinting out of the blocks 2 days a week) After technique, work on repeats.

The following Periodization Program should be your preparation for track:
When you start repeats, start with 3 or 4 and work yourself up to your maximum repetitions and distance.

Saturdays and Sundays are rest days. Stay away from sprinting altogether. It is important that you get enough rest to recover.

General Preparation Period:
All workouts in the preparation period are done in good supportive flats and are never all out. You are working to learn pace, form and how to run into curves and out of curves. Each week every workout will get a little bit faster, without straining. If you want to run fast 400's, you must learn how to run pace and get faster and faster without straining.

Work on repetitions of 300-600 meters with complete rest between repetitions. Work on even pace. Workout a total of 1200 meters.

Run Repeat Hills if available (start with 3 repeat hills the 1st week; work up to 6 repeat hills). Run 200 meters up a hill, working on good arm action and no straining. Always walk back down. Workout a total of 1200 meters.

Work on repetitions of 80-150 meters. Run 6x150 meters. Start at the beginning of the straightway so you only have to run one curve. Each 150 meters gets faster. Keep walking between each 150 meters and do not sprint until you are ready. Workout a total of 900 meters.

Thursday: Same as Tuesday.

Friday: Work on repetitions of 20-60 meters.

Saturday: Competition

Sunday: Rest

Warm down regardless of the difficulty of the training workout.

Communicate from the very beginning what is expected in your "goal routine". This way there will be no surprises. Let them know the format and what they are working towards.

Sprinters will not be able to do this training routine in the beginning. This is your goal training routine. Training should be a gradual building process. Some days you will do warm up and technique work and you will be done for the day because the athletes will not be conditioned for a while. You will know when to increase the workload and progress by communicating with your athletes to find out how they are feeling.

Most sprinters think they are done after warm up and technique. The format is warm up, technique and repetition workout. Sprinters win track meets. They are your hardest working athletes on the team. Sprinters have to compete in field events so this is why they have to do technique work. You have to organize which sprinters are in the long jump, high jump and triple jump. For example, sprinters make good long and triple jumpers. Good triple jumpers make good high jumpers. Hurdlers make good triple jumpers and high jumpers.

Special Preparation Period:
Same as the general preparation except the sprinters put on spikes.

Choose One:
1x500, 1x400, 1x300




Each repetition must be faster Work on Plyometrics on the areas that improve and develop the phases of sprinting.

Tuesday: Acceleration drills: (10 meters, 20 meters, 30 meters, 40 meters) progression of distance; week-by-week increase the workload; intensity can be increased; number of repetitions can be increased.

Week-by-week: 1. 10x10 meters
  2. Combine 10 and 20 meters
  3. 20 meters
  4. Combine 20 and 30 meters
  5. 30 meters
  6. Combine 30 and 40 meters
  7. 40 meters
  8. Combination of all distance
  9. Etc.
Change the distance up the hill: 10x100 meters

Wednesday: Same as general preparation

Thursday: Same as Tuesday

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Competition

If you have a meet on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday adjusts workouts accordingly.

Competition Period:
Everything is the same as the Special Preparation Period: Two days a week work on start drills and relays. In training sessions decrease the distance, increase the intensity and decrease the repetitions.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Coach George Payan
"Helping Coaches Coach"

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