Summer and Winter training for Sprinters.
Every winter and summer, most sprinters go out and do their 1 to 2.5 mile jog, and hit the weight room hard. This may be a good way to train, but is it the best way to prepare?
After running in High School, College and Open meets, I wonder. So after 23 year of training, watching and racing on 4 x 400 relays, I don't think so.
The reason why it takes most sprinters the entire winter and summer to get in shape is endurance or, more to the point, an absence of endurance. We need to keep in mind that I am not talking about race shape, just track shape.
This is why most coaches have to train sprinters over winter at mostly 67 to 80% effort. This is a percentage at which most coaches can put a lot of training in that three month time.
Without a good Speed - Endurance base, it will be a long winter, summer and track season for sprinters.
So as your training picks up, so would the intensity of the effort and the decrease in rest. A sprinter will have to call on his endurance and Speed - endurance to run faster repeats and recover in a workout or race.
How many of you remember the 500 ~ 400 ~ 300 ~ 200 workout over the winter? Most sprinters do not like this workout in the winter. For good reason--This is the time when they are not in good endurance shape.
In college, I used to jump in the 500 ~400 ~ 300 sprinters workout, just before I had to get with the Cross Country team for a workout. It was endurance tht made that possible.
I think most sprinters should run about five miles a day over the winter and summer also. This goes for Middle School, High School, College and Pro runners also.
The faster the sprinters develop their endurance, the faster they can move on to speed ~ endurance and faster speed work. My first year, some sprinters over the winter used to say how fast they are in the 400, and how slow the distance runners are.
This may be true to a point, but over the winter sprinters are not in race shape. I only ran the 400 on the 4 x 400 the year before maybe three time, but I ran 51 seconds.
I know this is not a MJ 43.1~ 400, but neither were the runners on my College team. So being the fighter that I am, I used to jump into their 500/400/300 workout with them.
Sometimes I came in second, but mostly I was the first runner in. This workout helped prepare me to run a 48 low and 47.7 on the 4 x 400 relay team that year.
So for two years, I ran in the sprinters workout for speed work. Because I only had 30 minutes before Cross, I was only running the 500 meters.
By the end of the winter and Cross Country season, I was first or second coming in. It took almost three months for most of the sprinters to run a 1:05 for 500 meters!
As for the 400 meters runner, he was feeling the heat for the sprinters. I was running 1:02.5s easy, for 500 meters, but without the speed ~ endurance work, I might not.
I ran workouts like 1 minute easy and 1 minute hard and but for endurance the work, it would have never happened.
During my second year, I took my time down to 59.1 seconds. It was my second sub 60 ~ 500m time and a School Record for Talf College.
During college, and even as a Master Track & Road runner for 20 years, I always keep some speed ~ endurances training in during the summer and winter.
It has saved me about 50% of the time it normally would take to gain speed ~ endurance for a winter are summer season. This winter, I ran a 1:07.0 ~ 500 meters after an easy five mile jog.
This may not sound fast to a college sprinter, but try this at 43 years old.
I would jump in winter sprint workouts at Fresno State just to keep a fast 400 meters in. That year, I ran a 50.90 ~ 400 hand time, at the end of a long workout in May.
This time was about three months before the Masters Outdoor National Championships in August. I really do beleive a speed ~ endurance program is the best way to train and prepare to keep on top of this event.