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Jurre

Beginning sprinting.

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fsalas2006

Hi Jake, a lot of good information...I totally agree with you the technique is a must…there are a lot of videos about this on youtube

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Jake Lawrance

Hey Forza, in on my iPod so can't quote but yes 12.1 at your age is decent enough and with 1 year of training you can easily shuttle that down to 11.3-11.5 and in the second year you could break the 11 second barrier (but only if you train 3 times a week minimum and periodise your training year). We have a 13 year old who runs 11.5 has the same amount of muscle mass as I do, (I have grown significantly since sprinting) and competes in the upper age groups because he's too fast :) although Forza the UK standards for sprinting to aspire for, for a 17 year old are 11.20s - 12.00 so be proud of yourself you're not far off from being the up to the standard :)

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Jake Lawrance

Hey Jurre, I'm glad you acknowledge the build up, it's basically like creating a foundation that Coach Sommer emphasises but with sprinting.

As with warm ups, as long as you are genuinely warm and your nervous system is awake and you feel sharp you should be fine, just make sure you get the crucial drills in (A skips and Chicken runs and pull throughs <- will post video on this if not on YouTube)

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Jake Lawrance

Also for anyone who wants the best all round development in sprinting I highly recommend 400m work as it not only improves work capacity for the shorter sprints (maintaining max speed after 60m requires work capacity/speed endurance) but also teaches you to push yourself VERY VERY hard. Today I ran my first mile for at least 8 months and decked my PB by 40 seconds.

Last but probably not least (cause I find it hard to stop talking) to get faster in the 200m and 400m you must improve your 100m time through a combination of speed work and speed endurance/work capacity/winter training as how fast you can run the 100m dictates your 200m and how fast you can run a 200m dictates your 400m. To calculate your approximate 400m time, get your 200m PB x2 +4 = time I.E. 24x2=48 48+4=52.

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Jon Douglas

Great information there :)

I have also found all out sprints of 30-60s on hills or flat to have a lot more carryover to longer distances at a good clip than I expected. I suspect this is a result of getting a good amount of technique practise time (but not enough to significantly slow or get into a rhythm) added to a decent foundation of ham/glute strength, but I'm thinking in terms of beep tests rather than track meets :)

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Jono

Also for anyone who wants the best all round development in sprinting I highly recommend 400m

 

Today I ran my first mile for at least 8 months and decked my PB by 40 seconds. 

Nice work. What was the mile time? :) What are your 60m-400m PBs now, since the 7.6 60m and 12.3 100m?

 

Very true. My goals are focused around becoming better at distances ranging from 400m-1mile. The 400m is basically a combo of speed and endurance in mostly an anaerbic sense, whereas the mile is a combo of speed and endurance in a more aerobic way. Becoming good in this range is probably best if your goal is general fitness/health and to be good at a broad range of distances (including posting good times for 5km+ without specific work), as opposed to just doing <60m sprints. Don't get me wrong though, I love the pureness of the 60m (and 100m) events, however can't see myself solely doing that as it doesn't agree with my lifestyle aims.

From what I see with most runners, they try to build mileage first before anything. Whilst an aerobic base is important (especially for overweight / out of shape people), IMO this approach is ass-backwards. If someone has a goal to run a fast 5k for example, I say build a fast 400m-1mile first, not the other way around.

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Brian Li
 

Very true. My goals are focused around becoming better at distances ranging from 400m-1mile. The 400m is basically a combo of speed and endurance in mostly an anaerbic sense, whereas the mile is a combo of speed and endurance in a more aerobic way. Becoming good in this range is probably best if your goal is general fitness/health and to be good at a broad range of distances (including posting good times for 5km+ without specific work), as opposed to just doing <60m sprints...

What do you think about the 800m (middle distance)?

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Brian Li

 

Very true. My goals are focused around becoming better at distances ranging from 400m-1mile. The 400m is basically a combo of speed and endurance in mostly an anaerbic sense, whereas the mile is a combo of speed and endurance in a more aerobic way. Becoming good in this range is probably best if your goal is general fitness/health and to be good at a broad range of distances (including posting good times for 5km+ without specific work), as opposed to just...

What do you think about the 800m (middle distance)?

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Jake Lawrance

800m is up to debate as it's almost a race in which you could run 12 seconds over the 100m all your life but still break 2 minutes. However I do believe 800m is almost just as versatile as the 400m in terms of improving speed endurance and mental toughness and I will occasionally integrate the 800m into my winter sessions i.e. 800m, 600m, 400m, 200m and then back up...

My PB's.. Well I have never raced when I've been at my prime and peak (which I am at now) but I've suffered some random knee injury after extending my knee too far and now it clicks and wobbles worryingly so my season is over this year

100m - 11.4

200m - can't share as I am an awful 200m runner!

150m - 17.2

400m - 51.8

60m - still 7.6 as no races this distance popped up in any competitions :L

I think I might have said somewhere earlier.. I have only trained a year so there's a lot to improve upon, it also took me awhile to overcome my overthinking mentality before races which stopped me from breaking 12 seconds for at least 4 competitions :L mental state is a completely different subject and is only important when racing in competitions and so many people find that when they do compete run a lot slower than they had in training.

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Jake Lawrance

Also Jono, you are semi-correct with the idea that people who want to run 5k should build a foundation through shorter runs - evidence comes from the long distance runners at our track who will believe it or not, run as short as 500m for conditioning, but they also integrate longer runs to ensure that they build the mindset and understanding of how they would run the 5k e.g. I could run this distance at a much faster pace and run 400m splits of 1:30... But I'm guessing you might have assumed that anyway :)

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Jake Lawrance

Also with the 100m and 60m it is definitely pure but it is also a pain in the ass, bad biomechanics for the first few metres will change your biomechanics for the rest of the race and pretty much ruin it. (I am guilty - I sidestepped out the blocks because I was feeling weak and dragged behind everyone else by about 5m and started shifting weight side to side each time my foot made contact with the floor - worst race for my whole season in which I ran 12.4 - this was after having done speed work and so shows how much training and learning has to be put into the 100m whereas in the 200m, 300m and 400m you have time to correct yourself after negotiating a bend - basically what I'm saying is do the 100m and any races below if you want something very pure and technical but if you're looking for something more fun adrenaline pumping and an all rounder i definitely recommend the 400m and 800m)

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Jake Lawrance

Nice work. What was the mile time? :)

Thanks Jono! Because I'm friends with many strong long distance runners they would see my time as complete comedy content but 5m 40s, I struggled a long time to break 6 minutes. Although this was a route with several hills and so I would predict my PB on a flat, smooth and bouncy track would be something like 5 minutes dead or 5m 20s.  :D

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Jono

Well I have never raced when I've been at my prime and peak (which I am at now) but I've suffered some random knee injury after extending my knee too far and now it clicks and wobbles worryingly so my season is over this year

100m - 11.4

200m - can't share as I am an awful 200m runner!

400m - 51.8

Those are great times, especially for a year or training! I've always been not fast enough and not had enough endurance for any event. Back when I was 15 I did 12.75 for 100m, 27.0 for 200m (I never got around to testing my 400m, but I assume it was about 57.5).and 5.25m long jump, which was always about half a sec or more below the best in my school, and my endurance for the 800/1500 was always worse than the slower people too. I decided I wanted to train the shorter distances anyway, but shortly after I broke my ankle doing something silly, and gave up. :P As of now I'm slightly slower than I was and have pretty bad endurance from several periods of inactivity, but I'm trying to get back to it. I'm not sure what my 100/200 time is now, but my recent 400 was ~65s which is disappointing relative to my past. But hey, past is past and it matters more what I can do now, not what I could do. I'd like to be more speed focused and get my time down to around 57.5 before focusing on my 1 mile time more seriously. I'm jealous of your 51.8!

Also Jono, you are semi-correct with the idea that people who want to run 5k should build a foundation through shorter runs - evidence comes from the long distance runners at our track who will believe it or not, run as short as 500m for conditioning, but they also integrate longer runs to ensure that they build the mindset and understanding of how they would run the 5k e.g. I could run this distance at a much faster pace and run 400m splits of 1:30... But I'm guessing you might have assumed that anyway :)

Thanks Jono! Because I'm friends with many strong long distance runners they would see my time as complete comedy content but 5m 40s, I struggled a long time to break 6 minutes. Although this was a route with several hills and so I would predict my PB on a flat, smooth and bouncy track would be something like 5 minutes dead or 5m 20s.  :D

Haha, that's still a good time, especially since you're into 60-400m and probably don't do longer runs. Though with a 400m PB of 51.8, I'm pretty sure you could run 5flat (75s laps) or possibly 4:XX - you have a huge speed reserve to work with should you plan to give it a go

 

Yeah, that's what I mean. If you have a good 400m time, then you're likely going to be able to run 1:30 laps , and that would equate to a decent 5k time. But a lot of beginner runners start out with a best of around 1:20, meaning it would require ridiculous endurance to run 1:30 laps over and over, but they carry on training for huge mileage anyway and think about speed later (of if they do speed work, they'll do 1 mile repeats or something, which IMO is not useful if your absolute 400m time is lacking). I suppose that is a valid way though (as it's the most common), but to me it makes more sense (as long as your joints are prepared and you're not too out of shape) to get that 400m time down first.

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Jake Lawrance

at the age of 15 those are considered pretty decent times and a solid foundation to work off from however my book does not say what the u15 standards to aspire to are :P also that it is a really decent long jump, if you can, you should get back into it, taking back the springiness you once had should take no more than half a year :) my PB for long jump when I was 15 was about 5m dead. Never mind that but if you can get a good coach you can improve your biomechanics and jump maybe even 6m+ considering you are probably a lot taller and stronger now than back then.

You should have no problem getting your 400m time down to 57s or even 55s. When I was 15 I was selected for the 400m in a school competition and in training I ran 1 minute 10 and quickly moved it down to 59s in the space of a month or two, you might have pace problems or begin to lose form near the end, try speeding up quicker at the start and treat it like a 100m, get to your optimum and as much as it worries you, do not slow down, you'll slow down near the end anyway and you don't want to slow down to realise you need to pick up the pace which will waste more energy <- very crucial point, one of our athletes who's broke the 50s barrier once before is struggling to break it again because he slows down right after reaching his maximum pace, effectively he should be dying when he crosses the line but looks like he could have pushed harder.

You also do make a very good point on long distance runners doing too little speed work, I like the idea that you're going to develop speed before endurance, it's the best way possible in our mutual opinion. Work hard and I reckon you could easily slither your 400m to 55s-57s :)

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Jono

Aha, from what I remember, my long jump was the only one which was decent for my age / city (5m being competitive, high 5 / low 6 to win though), which got me motivated. My P.E teacher said I stuttered a lot at the board and had potential to jump about 5.9m, but I didn't believe him to be honest (I felt maxed out). But now I'm about the same level and 5 years older, and nowhere near good my for age (mid 6 to low 7 would be good now I think), so not as motivated, and frankly would be embarrassed to be training with people jumping 7m whilst I'm struggling for 5m :P I also doubt that training my mile time would bode well for my explosiveness/jumping ability. Ideally I'd need to turn into a power athlete which will be hard now that I have desires to work in the 400-1mile range. What's interesting though is that back then my standing long jump was 2.4m, but a few months ago I hit 2.82m after working on my strength/power for 6 weeks. At this point I hadn't sprinted properly for 2 years, so it probably wouldn't have translated to a good long jump. Since then I've slacked off and lost all of my power again, due to inactivity and moving over to endurance stuff.

 

Thanks for the 400m tips! My ~65s run was with slightly sore legs and super sore abs (felt like jelly at near top speed) so I think at my current best I'm closer to 62.5 at the moment (excuses I know lol). I also lose form from 300-400m and my body wants to tilt backward which won't do any good for maintaining speed. Ah, I think I have the tendency to "realise" I'm subconsciously slowing down and then have to speed up again too, which is not optimal as you say. It's tough to commit from so early and throughout the whole thing though (especially running alone), but it's really important! Next time I test I'll try to get up to pace quickly and maintain my form / speed throughout. Gonna work on my speed before that happens though ;)

 

Aha, nice to see you agree! My theory is that once I can run about 5:45 for 1 mile (so similar to your time, albeit that one on a hilly course) I should automatically be able to run under 20:00 (=6:25/mile pace) for 5km without too much endurance work, which would be cool.

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Jurre

Just tried it for the second time (first time I've had 4 days muscle soreness). And slightly pulled my hamstring in the first go, so stopped straight away. Will rest it for a week.

Is this due to insufficient warming up? (I've had a jog and walk for about 20 minutes through dunes.)
I figured that would be enough, so didn't go into the more specific sprinting warm up exercises. Bad mistake?

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Christopher Schwab

I wanted to bump this thread with a rather useful article by Eric Cressey on easing in to sprinting. I figured everyone in this thread may be interested in how he recommends easing in to sprint work, although we have covered a lot of it here. 

 

Here is the link: http://www.ericcressey.com/so-you-want-to-start-sprinting

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Jurre

I like to see a month of 2x/week uphill sprint work before folks start testing the waters on flat terrain.

I find that to be quite interesting.

Also I did quite a lot wrong according to that article. 

I did leg strength (pistol squats) the day before. 
Since i'm very fatigued early on, I also sprinted somewhat through that.
 

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Jake Lawrance

I will discuss Eric Cressey's article later as we agree on some things but just one point is very illogical.

 

Jurre, sorry, what did you do for the second time? I'm currently too busy to check back on the thread.

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Jurre

Pulled my hamstring very slightly. Stopped right away. Don´t feel anything right now. So will slowly go again this week. (so far i'm only going for once a week as i'm just terrible in shape for sprinting).

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Jake Lawrance

What kind of session were you performing?

 

Also, did you perform drills to get yourself focused?

 

If your session was quite conservative, it would be good to see a video of you sprinting at maximum speed from the side and front as it my be mechanics related, if not, it is likely just a lack of conditioning :)

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Jake Lawrance

Eric Cressey's article is decent other than starting with uphill sprinting, that is literally the worst thing if you want to develop decent technique or even reach decent levels of speed, you'll be conditioned for sure, but with ingrained bad technique that'll be difficult to correct.

 

1. Saying 'start with hill sprints' contradicts the point 'don't go 100% right away' as hill sprints were made for conditioning and basically making you puke (not really, but still). So who feels like running hills at 70% effort? Not me.

 

2. Hill sprints won't improve form, why? They're not the same as flats and you can't learn decent form on hills... It simply doesn't make sense. Hill sprints might improve foot placement but it completely ignores arm motion, foot cycle, rhythm/lightness and posture. When running hills you will likely use a lot more spinal flexion to lean forward to keep up the pushing motion as you push a lot more when on an incline and so you won't learn to run upright properly and when you go to the flats you'll be quite crunched up in the pelvis and lumbar area. (it happened to me and after a hill sprint session we usually have to correct our form so we can straighten up).

 

3. You don't learn how to use a car on a hill until you've learnt to drive it on the flats.

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Jurre

It wasn't conservative. Had a 20 some minute jog through the dunes. After which I thought I was warm enough for sprinting. Which I wasn't.
Next time i'll do a proper warm up, with the exercises you guys listed. The first time I sprinted I had no pain anywhere. (Except if you count the moments I thought I was going to die from exhaustion.)

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Jake Lawrance

Follow my advice on the 1-2 month build up, it'll be better for you in the long term and you'll be able to pretty much sprint whenever you want :)

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Jurre

Yep, seems like the best plan!
First sprinting session left me sore for almost a week.

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