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High School Sprint Training

I’m going to be working with high school sprinters for the first time this spring. Do you have any recommendations for how to structure their strength and track workouts?

I was thinking 3 full body days. Low enough volume to leave room for the sprint training.

I know I can get them strong and that should have a big impact on their times.

Planning to use squats, deadlifts, box jumps, and a healthy amount of posterior chain work.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Other way around. Put their sprint training first and fit the weights in the time available after that.
Who will deliver their sprint sessions or will that be you. If it is an accredited sprint coach they can advise on relevant strength work.

Sprint then strength is the order I use. It will be me. I have some experience from a sports performance internship years back, but I haven’t coached sprinting on my own before.

Will you be using short to long or long to short approach? This to some extent determines the spare capacity for other higher intensity work such as weights and how to programme it.

I have only competed and coached at adult level so you should find more knowledgeable advice on school age strength development for sprinters.

I have been told the biggest issue with school age is availability for supervised training sessions. Often only 2x per week and you need that for the high quality speed sessions.

2 days a week might be better for in season weight training since you need to allow for recovery time for the actual meets. And making them strong won’t necessarily make them fast…that is up to god.

So why train them at all then?

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Thoughts on concurrent training?

Because god helps those who help themselves.

Making them stronger won’t make them slower.

Concurrent training is a yes for me. But it’s a very general term, you need to decide on how to combine and phase the components.
A possible approach is hills accelerations tempo weights in prep. Moving to max v SE tempo weights and event specific runs as you approach comp phase.
My rule of thumb is max 4 runs per week and 2 strength sessions. If possible do weights after running to avoid training 6 days per week.
school students may cover some elements in other sports. Eg general volume of sport covers tempo.
What approaches did you use in your internship.

Google Latif Thomas he works with high school sprinters.

This is a free annual plan:


Thanks. We trained speed before strength. Mostly low volume 10-30 yard starts, some work with sled pushes, wall marches, some skips I think.

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No sign of max v, SE or event work (race specific time trials etc) in your previous work.
The Latif Thomas plan looks like a classic short to long approach with high quality low volumes. All work at high intensity (short sprints) or low intensity (tempo). No medium stuff like repeat 800s. Similar to my high level plan for prep and comp.
My thoughts on strength work in general: Body weight should be running specific such as high or vertical jumps, bounding. Forget stuff like box jumps which are less specific/risky/require particular technique.
Weights should be glute, hip, hip flexor, hamstring dominant.

This will sound stupid, but it’s worth considering.

Have them play full court basketball for an hour or two (correct their running form/movement as they are playing). Do a general three day a week strength program(lower, upper push, upper pull, 3x5 or whatever, then abs ).

Basketball is not a good way to correct running form. Twisting turning jumping are atypical to sprinting movements. Correct form using running or running specific drills. Other sports are useful variety in a GPP phase.
Weights. I have never heard push pull 3x5 etc mentioned in an athletics forum. It’s bodybuilding /strength speak.

This isn’t going to make anyone faster. Take a bunch of high school sprinters and have them play basketball and lift weights, they’re going to get smoked by the others who do speed specific training, plus their ankles and knees are going to be wrecked. Where did you hear that this is how to train sprinters?

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No need to argue here, the track season has been cancelled anyways…

I think my post came across as aggressive - it was more meant to be very surprised at that suggestion. Very, very surprised. My question wasn’t rhetorical either, I genuinely wanted to know where he got that suggestion from.

I didn’t take it as aggressive. Yeah it is a bit odd. Basketball doesn’t have much linear movement.

I got it from Olympic track coach Dan Pfaff.