Sprinters vs Cross Country

Posted by Latif Thomas

Each summer I like to write an article about whether or not sprinters should run cross country and, if they do, what should happen.

To progressive programs and coaches, running a ‘modified’ cross country program for sprint types who want to be successful is, at the very least, an interesting option.  On the other side of the spectrum are people who freak out over the idea. I dealt with that at a school I once coached at. It was very sad.

There are many variables involved for kids considering this route. On the one hand you simply can’t get fast by running slow despite most sprints programs attempting to prove otherwise.  But maybe the structure of cross country is better than a kid sitting on his/her ass. Maybe the kid has friends on the team and even though it is not an optimal training environment, it would be fun for the kid.  After all, ‘fun’ is the point.

We don’t live in a vacuum. This year I have sprinters running cross country. Not modified cross country, straight up cross country. Not the optimal situation, but better than doing nothing at all during the fall.

So for the 2011 edition of this age old question, I’m going to take a different approach. Instead of talking, again, about the pros and cons of the approach, I’m going to show you what to do when the regular season starts if your sprinters do run cross country.  Or, for that matter, any other sport.

Related Sprint Article: Sprinting Techniques

Check out this video where I break down an annual plan for an athlete (or group of athletes) competing in an aerobic sport in the fall. Basically, here’s how to turn your sprinters back into sprinters once the indoor season arrives.

So now the question becomes:

What exactly do you plug into this template in order to get the results your athletes need?

I highly recommend Complete Speed Training Volume 2.

To your success,

Latif Thomas

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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