How to write better workouts for high school sprinters

Posted by Latif Thomas

We live in, apparently, the Golden Age of Gurus.

It sure is a lot for me to keep up with.

In times like this, I do my best try to live by the wise words of Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer:

Your world frightens and confuses me.

Now that it’s time to start preparing for the 2018 season, what’s a coach to do?

I think a good idea may be to review the reasons kids actually run fast.

Then prescribe activities that align with what is known to work.

Basically, it’s a philosophy of advanced simplicity.

Take the 400 for example. Lots of coaches spend a lot of calories doing some really pointless and cruel stuff to their 400 runners.



Let’s say we’re going to race in the 400m. If I run 22.0 in the 200 and you run 22.5, how do you plan to beat me in the 400?

Answer: Improve/develop a speed reserve.

If that’s not the underlying principle behind your 400 program, what is?

Click here for an article I wrote on about why developing a speed reserve is the key to success in the long sprints.

Sometimes, your 100-400 sprinters look really ugly at the end of races.

Tie up. Rig up. Poop their pants. Shite the bed. Get walked. Unravel.

The phenomenon goes by many names. You probably know a bunch more.



But why though?

If you don’t know why it happens or believe things that aren’t accurate, you don’t really have a program designed to ensure kids run their fastest.


Truth is, there are only three possible reasons sprinters fall apart at the end of races.

1. Momentum deprivation
2. Coordination Erosion
3. Energy System Failure

So all training should revolve around addressing those three factors.

Click here for an article that breaks down in simple terms what these things are in regular people terms and how you can, on the one hand, minimize the negative effects of these factors and, on the other hand, maximize the expression of the opposite of these factors.

Hopefully these two articles either confirm what you are already doing or help you make positive improvements to your program before you get too deep into your 2018 macrocycle.

Latif Thomas - Latif Thomas owns and operates Complete Track and Field and serves as the Co-Director of the Complete Track and Field Clinic at Harvard University, the largest track and field clinic in the United States. A popular speaker and presenter at some of the largest coaching clinics across the country, Latif has true passion for the sport and it definitely shows. Over the past 19 years, he has coached more combined League, Division, All-State, and New England Champions in sprints, hurdles, and jumps than he can count. Follow @latif_thomas on Twitter.

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