How to Create an Annual Plan for High School Sprinters

Posted by Latif Thomas

Where I live, the indoor track season starts the Monday after Thanksgiving. And if I expect to have a good season, I better have already spent some serious time planning and creating the annual plan for my short and long sprinters. (As well as my ‘super long sprinters’ who run the ridiculous 600m race here in New England.)

Taking the time to create a simple, but flexible, annual plan outline helps me focus in on the various training and competitive goals I have for the season.  As the years go on, I’ve found that the more energy I put into my general annual plan, the easier it is to write highly effective workouts, as well as make adjustments once the pandemonium of the season starts.

If you’re not familiar with the annual plan and/or want to see how I put mine together, I put together a short video of how I approached it this season.



Now that you understand what an annual plan should look like, the next step is to make sure you have a plan for which skills and progressions you want to use (i.e., the actual ‘stuff’ that makes up your practices), as well as how to implement these workouts and progressions with your short sprinters and long sprinters.

If you’re interested in more specific information about planning training for high school sprinters, from the General Preparation Phase all the way through the Competition Phase and Championship Season, take a serious look at my comprehensive coaching program on the subject:

Complete Program Design for Sprinters



Track and field annual plan template - Complete Track and Field




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Updated on: May 23, 2018 6:30 am

Latif Thomas owns and operates Complete Track and Field and serves as the Co-Director of the Complete Track and Field Clinic, the largest track and field clinic in the United States. A popular speaker and presenter at some of the largest coaching clinics in the country. Over the past 15 years, he has coached more combined League, Division, All State and New England Champions in the sprints, hurdles, and jumps than he had the emotional strength to go back and try to count. Follow @latif_thomas on Twitter

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  • Terrance Lewis

    I generally work on endurance with my sprinters during the month of January and some of February, running a combination of 100’s up to 300’s at about 70% at total distances of between 1500 and 2000 meters. I did notice in this blog though that you dont generally run your athletes at this percentage. In your opinion is this too much for a high school athlete? I’m starting to think it is and I’m beginning to look in another direction. Whats your expert advise?

  • shailesh shukla

    can i take traning and participete to long jump in india to any place

  • Rich

    Did you create the excel workbook or did you find it somewhere and plugged in your own plan?

  • Pingback: Track Season 2012: Week 1 of 13 | Complete Track and Field()

  • @margaret o neill:

    The focus of your training sessions should be on speed and technique when you have them. Then give them circuits/conditioning/core work to do on their own on the days you don’t meet.

    • margaret o neill

      @Latif Thomas: thanks for the advise latif this is pretty much what we are dividing our time on at the moment sat is our speed/technique/plyos day(2hrs) and we do circuits on tue(1hr) reasuring to know that we are on the right track

  • margaret o neill

    hey latif,
    looking for a few suggestions here work with athletic club with a group of sprinters ranging in age from 12-15 outside the U.S and realistically can only train 2 days per week through the indoor season(our indoor runs similiar time period to yours) increasing that to 3 days per week for outdoor(our outdoor season is approx 4 weeks longer than yours) with limited training time per week particularly through the indoor season, what in your openion should be the focus of attention ,a bit overwhelmed when i see your anual plan and what a weeks training looks like in general

  • Jordan

    Latif, if I were to pick it apart I would be basically picking apart my own micros becuase mine look very similar. So i’m not gonna do that, HA! I would say I wish you had the opportunnity to sprint at max speeds for a longer distance than 30m, but we gotta work with what we got. Just to share what the importance of getting to run at high speeds for longer distances is (I got this from V.A.) Its so the athlete realizes that for the 100 you need to push THE WHOLE RACE, not just the 1st 30m. -Best, Jordan

    • @Jordan:

      I’ve been using the wicket drill this fall and I think it does a good job of teaching kids to push for longer distances. When they don’t do it right, the can see it and feel it.

  • Dewayne

    So do you consider long hill runs to be anaerobic work? Also, it is reasonable to start athletes(the one’s that are ready)off early with lower volume, high intensity work, rather than the typical 70 – 75% aerobic runs early?

    • @Dewayne:

      I consider long hills to be mixed aerobic/anaerobic work. Yes, I highly advise you to start the season with relatively high volumes and relatively high intensities as opposed to high volume, low intensity work. *Especially* at the HS level where we don’t have much time and slow running has questionable value for sprinters. In my program, we rarely run workouts at 70-75%. We may do a few runs at that tempo as part of a warm up, but for aerobic/recovery work, I would rather do circuits or develop that quality using something that gives me more bang for my buck. So, circuits.

  • Kelsey

    From things you have said and things I have bought, including CST2, you talk about GPP being extrememly important. Are you not dong GPP bc you just dont have the time (short season) ??? If your long term goal is outdoors, like you said in this video, then why dont you just GPP during Indoors? We dont have an indoor season in OK, so do you recommend I just stick with GPP in a 17-18 week season?

    • @Kelsey:

      Good questions. Foundational training: work capacity, general strength and overall biomotor development are all important qualities to develop and are best developed early in the annual cycle, whether you’re in a 10 week HS season or 50 week season. That training period and the types of qualities generally prescribed to it are generally labeled ‘GPP’. Not calling it ‘GPP’ doesn’t necessarily mean I’m abandoning that kind of training. Quite the opposite as I believe in steady doses of general work for younger sprinters. My point is, don’t get caught up in and/or allow your training to be defined by a label.
      I would more say that I’m not going to spend 4 weeks doing high volume, low intensity work and progress over, say, 4 weeks to ‘SPP’ where I start doing lower volume high intensity work. Instead I’m saying to myself ‘These kids all come from another sport. They’re not doing nothing. They’re active every day. I’ve got limited time to get ‘in shape’ and so instead I will count that training as part of the overall annual plan instead of pretending they were sedentary all fall and they show up to track with no exercise under their belts’.
      So, I am doing ‘GPP’ during indoors. I’m just not calling it ‘GPP’. I’m starting out with lower volume and higher intensities than I have in the past because, for me personally, it is the natural evolution of my system so far as my particular group of athletes is concerned.
      But, if I had 18 weeks until the end of indoor, I might take a different path since I would have considerably more time. If ‘GPP’ is getting you good results, then keep doing GPP. But if I gave you my program and just labeled ‘SPP’ as ‘GPP’ you probably wouldn’t even notice.

    • EdwardoJ

      I have a good grasp of the energy systems along with the annual plan above. My question is in reference to hills for 400m strength endurance. I noticed that you have an intensity percent for the hill runs. Hills come in many shapes and inclines. Does the intensity percent represent what the athlete should also run on flat land?

      • @EdwardoJ:

        The intensity is perceived intensity so athletes have an idea of how hard to run. There is no way to quantify a true percentage on a hill. On a flat surface the (perceived) intensity may stay the same, but the time will, of course, get faster due to the flat surface. But if I prescribe a hill run at 80%, the equivalent workout on a flat surface would be closer to 85%. But again, those are arbitrary numbers. I generally don’t use percentages to dictate pace. I decide the pace I want them to run for a particular workout and work off of that. My point is: Don’t be a slave to percentages.