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8 Week Sprinting Programme
Who would benefit from the programme?
It’s particularly useful for a 200m sprinter of club standard and above. A 100 metre specialist might
drop session 2 in favour of a session similar to session 1. A 400 metre specialist could add an
extra repetition to the speed endurance elements of session 2, but would still benefit greatly from
including session 1 in the programme (see below for details).
Note: these are tough, high-intensity workouts and should not be performed by the unconditioned
or after a long lay-off from training. Ideally they should be performed after an appropriate
How to use the programme
The sessions should be performed once a week with a minimum of 48 hours (preferably 72 hours)
between session 1 and session 2. For example, session 1 performed on Monday and session 2
performed on Thursday. This is to allow for plenty of recovery and the reduction of accumulated
fatigue, which impairs training performance and so could lead to injury
Who puts the workouts together?
The Peak Performance team and elite coaches from various sports. For example, Peak
Performance Premium editor and international athlete and coach John Shepherd. Professional
football coach Simon Thadani. Professional boxing trainer Ian Burbedge. Elite speed and
conditioning trainer Mike Antoniades and John Monro, sports injury specialist, international
athlete and European master long jump.
Acceleration before speed endurance
I have included acceleration work before the speed endurance unit of each session. This allows
other elements to be trained during the remainder of the week, eg, weights, and of course allowing
for more recovery days when low-intensity training can be carried out.
I suggest that the acceleration work be performed from a falling start to begin with and progress to
a tripod (three-point) start as the volume of runs decreases. The lower the starting position, the
more demanding it is on the body. This will allow a progression into block starts towards the end of
the eight-week period. Acceleration runs to be performed at 98% effort (very close to maximum
effort but with control).
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A guideline for recoveries between maximal effort runs up to and including 30 metres - 1
minute for every 10metres run:
10m = 60secs
20m = 2min
30m = 3min
However, I believe that if 30-metre block starts are performed, it is wise to increase the recovery to
4-5mins to cope with the extra demands created by the low starting position.
Speed endurance runs – should be performed from either a 5 metre jog prior to sprinting, or a
Each repetition should be run at 95-98%, but must be performed with control and good technique.
Kit and environment:
Make sure that you are wearing appropriate kit for the workout. Obviously this will depend on
climatic conditions but as the session is a tapering one it is most likely to be done in warmer
weather for the UK outdoor season. The crucial factor will be keeping warm between runs and
wearing clothing that will assist and not compromise the sprint action. Compression clothing could
provide benefits for both these purposes.
You must warm up specifically so that your mind and muscles are ready for the intense effort that
they will need to supply – see Need some speed? Speed workout 1 warming up for speed
Recovery between runs
The recoveries between runs are long - this is to allow the body enough time to recover to
reproduce the required speed on each run. Particularly with very long recoveries, I believe it is is
wise to have a cool-down walk as soon as possible after each repetition, followed by a period of
lying down (ensuring that the body is kept warm). Prior to the following repetition a short warm up
period of active mobility and sprint drills should be used to prepare the body for the effort to come.
To reemphasise: It doesn’t matter how painful the rep has been, it is not a good idea for the
athlete to lie down on the track or sit in the stands until some cooling down – ie, a walk or jog - has
been carried out. Movement helps to disperse the waste products (lactic/lactate) that are evident
in the bloodstream during/following prolonged high-intensity efforts.
The speed endurance workouts
Week Acceleration Speed End 98% Recovery
1 4x15m 60 80 100 8min 10min
2 4x15 2x20m 60 80 100 10 & 12 min
3 4x20 2x30m 70 90 110 12 & 14 min
4 4x15m 70 90 110 12 & 14 min
5 4x15 4x20m 80 100 120 12 & 14 min
6 4x20 4x30m 80 100 120 12 & 16 min
7 4x20m blocks 90 110 130 12 & 18 min
8 4x20m blocks 90 110 130 14 & 20 min
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Week Acceleration Spec End 95%
1 4x15m 2x300m 10min
2 4x15 2x20m 300 250m 12min
3 4x20 2x30m 2x250m 15min
4 4x20m 2x250m 20min
5 4x10 4x30m 250 200m 20min
6 4x15 4x30m 250 200m 25min
7 4x30m blocks 2x200m 20min
8 4x30m blocks 2x200m 25min
About Phil Gardiner:
Phil is a level 4 UK athletics sprints coach working in the North East. ook out for more workouts on
Peak Performance Premium and for an interview with top Team GB 200m specialist and 20.08sec
man Christian Malcolm.