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100 Meter Sprint Training?


Hey Ladies and Gents,
Could you please give me tips on how to train for the 100-meter sprint? I am a high school freshman relatively new to weight training. Track season just started and I want to know what I need to know to be successful. Today the sprinters including me was asked by our coach to run a 300, 400, 500, 300, 400. So far I think it is not a good idea... It's not specific to 100m running and trains the wrong energy system. Could you guys help me so I'll make less mistakes in the future?

Wu Gong Heng

BTW T-Nation ROX


If you want to compete, do what your coach tells you. Even if you could provide incontravertable proof that he was wrong with his methadologies, it still wouldn't do you a shit of good. People here can give you great advice for the offseason, but until then you should just follow your coach's directions.


A couple of things. I am not a sprinter, but I hang around the sprinting forums a lot (Charlie Francis, google it) and I can tell you that one of the most important thing for sprinting is your GPP. That is, you need to build a base of general physical preparedness before you transition to more specific training, especially since you are only a freshman. Most good sprint training (which I have no clue if your coach knows what he's doing or not) programs are designed around peaking at a certain point of the year. You are welcome to post a log of your training and I'm sure more experienced members on this board will throw some advice at you.


Definitely listen to your coach. Odds are, he/she knows best in this case. I would ask your coach what kind of weight-training to do in-season. Same goes for off-season training, although if your looking for ideas, I'd start with Deadlifts, Squats, Power-cleans, Hyperextensions, and probably throw in some bench-press and Barbell-rowing just to keep you well rounded.

Either way, ask your coach. They will probably appreciate you wanting to go the extra step of weight training.


Well let's see, we just started this week.
Here's how it looks:
Monday to Friday...
Everyone jogs for 6-7 minutes.
Dynamic & Static Stretches (Static for the most part. It seems they don't do research on how obsolete pre-workout static stretching is 0.0)
Then we separate into the long distance and short distance groups.
And in the end we jog 2 laps.

I think on our first day, Monday, short-distance kids practiced the form of the Arm Swings. We were doing arm swings in place, slowly then progressing to doing them as fast as we can for about 15 seconds) Then we did some sub-maximal plyometric drills (prancing, skipping, stiff-legged bounding fourty to eighty meters each!)

Tuesday: Some Running. I forgot what specifically (I'll tell you later when my Coach(es) respond to my email), and Plyometrics. 2 sets of 10 each in circuit form and with 10 SECONDS REST between sets!!! LOL So I took out my book "High-Powered Plyometrics" and read to her and my other coach about the rest periods. I also said the work:rest ratio should be between 1:5 and 1:10 (according to Dr. D. Chu)

LOL... Ricochet (left-right over a soccer field line), knee-tuck jumps (which she called high knee jumps), Rebound Jumps as she calls it (I think she meant rocket jumps, so I did rocket jumps) Then we did butt kickers that resembled a knee-tuck jump. She and the other kids did them in single response, while I did them in MR mode. I've been doing SR and SR w/ pause last month and in December, so I thought it'd be better to do plyo on MR now. But hell, it was tiring...I think we need more rest...

Wednesday: starting blocks! We were just taught how to adjust them and such. .. didn't do anything else.

Thursday: ran 300, 400, 500, 300, 400!!!
My hamstrings were sore, and it got more sore LOL.
Then as far as I remember yesterday, which was Friday, we did the submaximal plyo drills we did on Monday, then sprinted 40 meters five times (I think we only got one minute rests in between...I lost my watch, so I couldn't tell the time, but I was a little out of breath before and during the runs)

Friday: 60 m six times...

As with my experience, I've done x-country from Sept. to Nov., Basketball from Nov. to Early Feb. and now Track. I am pretty new to resistance training. I am 5'7", 15 yrs, around 145 LBS, I've done the Dr. Squats VJ Program for about 6 weeks now. But because it takes forever to do them due to the number of exercises, I am currently using CT's Different Journeys, Different Destinations Functional Strength Program and doing the squats and bench with the percentages suggested in the Dr. Squat VJ Program. I am on my 4th week in the Track Continuum 12 week Program of High-Powered Plyometrics.

Thanks guys,
Wu Gong Heng


What resistance training program should I use?
Would you recommend CT's Get Fast, Get Strong, Get Vertical Program?




I'm going to concur with everyone else.

In season, do whatever your coach says, it teaches an important lesson.

Off season. Google a guy named Kelly Baggett, and google Joe Defranco. Look at their respective websites. Read up on the programs and you'll get a better idea about what training for speed is about.


Oh and stop switching programs.

Best thing for you right now. Westside for skinny bastards. Change exercises every 4 weeks.

After 12 weeks, THEN choose another program. It's going to take you a while to learn what works for you.


Alright, relax alittle. I am sure you are familiar with periodization. Track periodization, like most periodization setups, go from general to specfic. Right now, your coaches have you doing very general sprint drills and light plyometrics. You will be fine doing plyos for long distances (>50m) with short recoveries. The 1:5 or 1:10 rest ratio comes when you are doing very high intensity plyos and sprints later in the season.
And its ok that your coach calls the plyometric drills by a different name than what is stated in your book. Many exercises have different names. Just because your coaches uses different terminology, doesn't necessarily mean they don't know what they are talking about.
Right now, you will be doing longer runs with short rest periods than expected to increase your sprint endurance. This is perfectly normal of track periodization. You will get more specific (ie flys, short sprints) later in the season.
Lastly, I would recommend you stop doing the Track Continuum 12 week Program for now. It seems to me you are already doing enough plyo volume with your team and doing another program (which is real tough in its self) could lead to injury or an early peak. Do the plyo program stated in the book during the offseason when you are not working with the team; During xc would be a good time. Make sure you have good leg strength before starting any high intense plyo program so you will avoid injury and reap the most benefits. Most coaches request a squat 1RM of 1.5 to 2.0 times your body weight before allowing an athlete to perform high intensity plyos.

Sorry so long...


let me start by saying im a strength and conditioning coach

as one of the most knowledgeable strength scientists zatsiorsky points out in his book science and practice, to get good at running the mile, you need to do more than 1 mile runs....

you need to do longer or shorter runs to focus on weak points....all the very elite athletes train this way.

so your coach is doing the right thing


I'm also not sure if I would go around quoting Chu as the plyo bible...


Thanks guys for the responses and certainly for the help! Okay.. yesterday, my coach taught the long jump to people who are interested, and that includes me.

As we were stretching today I asked my coach if our program is using a type of periodization (I asked it because I want to know if the 100m sprinters are ever going to stop doing distances greater than 100 at some point and focus more on specific 100m work). Then there was a brief silence. I said something about GPP switching to SPP. He said he read the email I sent him before (about what we did last week and what we're going to do this week...and that I'm asking you great people and coaches out here for suggestions) and that my team isn't like a very competitive school and such. He says that more competitive people like you guys would probably find faults in our program. He says he knows we need "to run more, lift weights more,..." and he says the problem is that most people in our team either don't know how to properly lift weights or don't like spending time in the gym. So he suggests that lifting be done in the off -season.

Then with my other coach today we did 4 x 300. The last set got me a bit dizzy
I asked what we are going to do tomorrow... she said starting off blocks.

Basically, my problem is
1. All the people considered "sprinters" (e.g. 100m - 400m) are doing the same drills everyday... I have no doubt that I will progress and gain a bit, being a total noob in 100m, but I fear we're never going to stop doing those 4x400's and other long sprint intervals in the future, and possibly be good at 100m, 200m, or 400m, but not be the best at 100m, I want to beat that 10.4 (1929 100 YARD dash time converted to 100m) record in my school by the time I graduate, graduate with scholarship offers, and be an animal at sprinting. Uh in short I don't think we are going to do specifics to 100m sprinting. I don't want to waste time by doing unnecessary long sprints.

2.I think all we are going to do in our practices is run...run... and run some more, and no weight-lifting. No limit-strength work, strength-speed, ballistic work. Do you think I should ask him and her, my other coach, if I could cut the running volume and focus a bit on weights?

  1. I have a feeling we just do a light running then heavy running day type of program.

  2. My first track meet is on March 22nd. March 4th - 18th is spring break and I'll be flying from here in Cali back to New Jersey (I am in boarding school.) Should I be worrying about tapering and peaking for this one?

  3. how much running should i do then per week?

  4. It seems to me the coaches are not focusing on the needs and goals of athletes and the status and past experience of the athletes. Am I right on this one?

  5. If you great people out there think I'm spazzing out unnecessarily, what should I just worry about periodization later like for next year, and just lift and run?

Thanks again for the input!!!
Wu Gong Heng


okiee...I'll read WSFSB and take a look at it. SO far I've been checking Kelly Baggett's site and articles. They are GOOD! I've also checked CF last weekend. I spent a ridiculous amount of time reading LOL. Thank the Lord I'm only a freshman!

Thanks again guys!
Wu Gong Heng


Just relax. You're only in your 2nd week of the season. Ask you coaches their plans for training the rest of the season before you assume you'll never get out of this 400m groove. I'm sure once a few meets have come and gone, and the coaches have more of an opportunity to see what they're working with, then more specialization will occur.


You might be interested in the Charlie Francis ebook "Training for Speed". He seems to have some loosely related experience :wink:


ok bud...relax a second

im a 400m guy that runs the 100m in 11.3 just to start things off. I have a simular goal, that is to beat the 400m record of 47.5 at my school.

-First of all, you have 4 years including this one to get to the record, dont worrie about how well you do at track meets this year and next. Chances are your not going to break it until your a senior, so your goal should be to make as much progress between now and then, not between now and your first meet.

-Second, running is in essence running. I have never met a runner that was good at somthing and terrible at another...my strength is in the 400 but im fast at the 100, 200 and guess what...the 800 to.

-third, your getting all upedy about specialization when your gpp isnt very good. doing 300, 400, 500, 500, 400, 300 is a day off at my school. Get fast and then worrie about what your fast at.

When your actualy competitive at anything then run the distance your training for plus 10% (440 training for the 400), works wonders for the cardio in that event....and remember that the 100 is 50% technique and your start....make shure that 50% is very well accounted for...

good luck


ya as a freshman... if you start integrating shit from defranco and baggett... you'll be amazing senior year.


Wu Gong... STOP UNDERMINING YOUR COACHES. If you don't have confidence in them, then don't run for them. You're not going to make any inroads by telling them how you think they should train you- that will just piss them off. Either submit to their coaching or train on your own. Why train under somebody who knows less than you? Why train under somebody who is still making their sprinters jog after having presumably been involved the sport for a long time? I tried to do exactly what you are doing when I was in HS; training on my own behind the coach's back, constantly making suggestions and arguing about everything because I was limited by my coach's incompetence. Trust me bro: IT DOESN'T FLY!

My suggestion regarding training is that, as a beginning sprinter at 14 years of age, you probably don't need to lift weights at this point. Not that you couldn't benefit from it under ideal circumstances, but so many young sprinters get lost in the weight room when sprint training should always take precedence. Joe DeFranco says otherwise, but although his program is great, it is primarily geared toward speed development for non-sprinters and I strongly disagree that a HS track specialist should do most of his training in the weight room. If the sprinting component of your training isn't right (and it sounds as though it's not even close), then you shouldn't even be entertaining the idea of lifting yet.

Additionally, when you do add weight training to your program, it has to be properly integrated with your sprinting and not approached seperately without regard for how it will interfere with your other training. That's why it's a bad idea to lift on your own behind your coach's back when you have no control over your training. The situation has to be right before you start lifting.

Don't think that you'll be selling yourself short and won't be able to get close to your potential if you don't lift. An undeveloped sprinter has most of his potetial for improvement availible to him from sprinting alone. Hell, a lot of sprinters go all the way through college without lifting. There have been world champions who have never lifted at all!

I wish you had better coaching. You sound exactly fucking like me seven years ago.


  1. In high school, there is no such thing as 100m specialists. As a sprinter, you will be expected to compete in numerous events including 100-800m, possibly a horizontal jump, and the relays. The coaches want to be able to get the most points out of you as possible. Nine times out of ten, if you can run a great 100m time, you can run a comparable 200m time and a decent 400m time if you are a "real" sprint animal. Also, if you can do well in a variety of events, this will make you even more desirable for college recruiters and a chance at a scholarship.
    In a team setting, the sprinters will all do the same drills because it makes organization easier. At my former high school, the whole team (sprinters, hurdlers, throwers, jumpers, and distance) would do a general warm-up and stretch together. Then the sprinters would break off and do sprint drills. More specifically, all sprinters would work with the hurdlers and do basic hurdle drills to increase hip flexibility (I saw this in college too.) I never ran the hurdles in comp. but I did hurdle drills everyday before practice to increase ROM.
  2. Welcome to track and field, all you do in track is run, run and run some more. I am not sure what you expected getting into this sport? To get better at running, you better be running everyday. Everything else (plyos, lifting) is secondary.
  3. I am not sure what you have against this method. It's a popular method because it easily organized and it allows proper recovery time. Ofcourse, everybody is different when it comes to intensities and recovery time. If you need more work, then you will probably have to do it on your own.
  4. NO, you should not peak or taper for your first meet. You will want to do that only for the big meet at the end of the year (districts and state.)Train through this meet. Act as if the meet is your specialized 100m training session and learn what you can from it.
  5. As a sprinter, you shouldn't think about how much running you should do but the quality of those runs. Do as many runs as you can without loosing good running mechanics and speed.
  6. This can be answered in one word: COMMUNICATION. There must be good communication between a coach and athlete. I think you need to respect your coach and in return, he will begin listening and working with you on your specific needs. Calling out his flaws and critizing his program WILL cause problems and this only hurts you.
  7. Can you be more specific here? If you already run xc in the fall and play b-ball in the winter, I don't think you will have time to implement a track off-season program. I believe xc is good for the high school track athlete. It improves stamina, strength, intestinal fortitude, and general overall fitness. Keep doing xc and mix in some weights and plyos.

Is this your first year in track? If so, you have a ton to learn, both on and off the track. I say trust your coach. Do everything he says and you will see improvement. And I won't be the last to tell you 10.4 is no joke at the high school level. I've seen only two high schoolers with my own eyes run that fast and they both start in the NFL now.