T Nation

Sprinting questions

I’m hoping there are some college level sprinters or coaches out there who can answer
this. If not, perhaps someone at T-mag can
pass this question on to Charlie Francis for one of his
columns.

Q1: what is considered a "good time" for a top univeristy level sprinter? (and I'm not refering to the sorority house party type of 'good time' here. :-)
Q2: how can a person tell if he/she is genetically predisposed for sprinting success?

Reason I ask is because for the past 1&1/2 years I've been replacing 1 of every 4 leg workouts (I train quads & hams together) with a sprinting workout. I go to a local state university track to do this. Yesterday one of the track coaches (he thought I was a student) timed me and said I had a good time and told me I should try out for track. He asked me a bunch of questions about my training. I've never thought of myself as having particulary fast twitch legs. My quads are average or a little below, but my hams grow easily. I don't have time for track, but I'm just curious to see if I have some latent sprinting potnential I wasn't aware of...

A top notch sprinter usually runs the 100 anywhere from 10.2 to 10 flat.Times for the 200 are usually between 21.2 and 20.2

Thanks for the info. OK, so I’m not quite a
top notch sprinter :slight_smile: … but not too shabby.

The only way I can think of to test if you’re genetically predisposed to sprinting success, and some will disagree, is with a muscle biopsy. If you’ve never seen one done, a doc or lab tech will use a device to remove a small column of muscle tissue and analyze fibre types. It’s kind of like when geologists take a column from the groumd to see the layers of rock, sediment, etc. From this, the tech can see what ratio of fast twitch : slow twitch fibres you have. Granted that’s not the only component of sprinting.

Why not ask the track coach what a good time is? A lot of it depends on where you are going to school. If your “local state school” is UCLA or USC, that’s one thing, but if it is North Dakota Polytech, different standards obviously apply. If you have the potential to get an athletic scholarship, look into it seriously (more than posting on this board). The fact that your hams grow easily could indicate a good sprinting potential.

Thanks for the encouragement, Brian. But my
college days are past me now, and I’m not in
financial need for college. If/when I want to
return to college I could afford to pay for
it. This particular university is a large
state university - competition would be tough.
I did ask the track coach what he considered
a “good” time and he said 10.1 - 10.6 for the
100 (which is what he timed me for). I just
thought he might be full of shit, as I have
no prior knowledge of sprinting. Anyway, I
don’t really have the desire to pursue a
sprinting career - I have talents in other
areas that I would prefer to use my time to
pursue - I was just curious.

genetic predispositions to sprinting tend to be something along the lines of:
5’9" to 5’11" in height
Long muscle bellies in the leg muscles
Lack of gluteal fold in hamstring/gluteal junction
Ability to move feet up and down
Explosive personality/temper (take with a grain of salt)