SPRINT TRAINING – An Introduction

Damn Fit Strength and Conditioning is a proud sponsor of the Masters 100m at the 2018 Geelong Gift. This professional sprint will attract runners from around Victoria and Australia as they chase prize money and as part of their preparation for the famous Stawell Gift carnival.

While nominations for this event have now closed it is definitely worth considering how you might best prepare for next year’s event.

In preparing for the track season athletes and coaches need to  consider the following factors:

  1. Recent training history – how much (and what type of) training the athlete has undertaken in the recent past. This will help establish a starting point and ensure that training loads are appropriate for their current physical position
  2. Age – as athletes age the training loads and demands will need to be different because of the effect on the body. Properly designed training programmes will cater for the specific demands of the athlete in their sport. Masters athletes, for example, will notice a drop off in muscle mass over time. This can be countered/slowed with correct strength training prescription to assist in creating a stronger athlete who is then able to maintain a higher standard of performance longer than they would have otherwise been able.
  3. Injuries (current and previous) – injuries limit training, performance and enjoyment. Effective training programmes take into account injuries that the athlete has experienced previous and/or ones that they still carry. The training programme can then be designed to (a) limit the chance of re-injury and (b) to help the athlete to continue to progress while current injuries are being rehabilitated
  4. Technical strength and deficiencies – all sports have a technical component that must be trained and improved to increase efficiency and performance. An awareness of where the athlete is technically weak (and the underlying cause of the weakness) will help the coach prepare the most effect training programme – and the get the best results in the long term
  5. Goals – effective programme design needs to ensure the proper balance between improving the athlete and helping the athlete achieve their goals (and not allowing them to become distracted along the way). The process of goal setting and bench marking is critical to long term success.

Examples are given below of different aspects of a sprinter’s training programme. These example could provide a base from which an athlete/event specific programme may be derived. For those starting out as sprinters these samples may give an insight into what is required to achieve success in professional track running.



MONDAY: Track – Acceleration

TUESDAY: AM – Weights

PM – Recovery

WEDNESDAY: Track – Maximum Speed

THURSDAY: AM – Weights

PM – Recovery

FRIDAY: TRACK – Speed Endurance

SATURDAY: AM – Weights

PM – Recovery



SAMPLE MAXIMUM SPEED TRACK SESSION (early competition phase)

  1. Warm up – mobility and drills
  2. Plyometrics – bounds 3×10 steps (2-3 min between reps)
  3. Wickets – 5-6 reps 2min between reps
  4. Flying 30m (20-30m build up into 30m flat out) 3-5min between reps
  5. Cool down – mobility, rolling and stretching


SAMPLE WEIGHTS SESSION (early prep phase)

  1. Warm up – spin bike:  6x 40s easy/20s fast
  2. Mobility and stability
  3. Bench hip thrusts (banded): 3-4 sets x 10 reps (1min rest)
  4. Back Squat: 3-4 sets x 10-12 reps (1min rest)
  5. Back extension with reverse DB fly 2-3sets x 6-8 reps (30s rest)
  6. Superset x5 sets: BB Bench Press 10; DB Kneeling Row 10 ea arm (20s between sets)
  7. Chin up (over grip) 5sets x 10 reps


To learn more about how strength and conditioning programmes can help you prepare for your sport go to www.damnfitsc.com.au


Author: DamnFitSC

Coaching athletes since 1988. Post Graduate qualifications in Sports Coaching. Accredited with Australian Strength and Conditioning Association. Have coached athletes across numerous sports at local, state, national and international level.

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