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Sprint Training Program?

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Hello all,


Until now, I've been a long-distance/ultra-distance runner. I've completed 2 marathons and 2 50 milers, as well as lots of shorter distances. However, I'm on the lookout for something different....and since I do some lifting as well, I was wondering - why not try training for a few months in a sprint discipline, like the 200 metres? It might shock my body into some different development, and it'd be a fun change to the routine.


The only issue is that I'm finding it more challenging than I expected to find a decent 'beginners' training regime for the sprints. There are lots of things that seem to assume that you are either 9 years old or on the cusp of the Olympics, but not much for a thirty something interested in starting from scratch (albeit with a decent strength/aerobic background). Anyone have any ideas?





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Not quite what I meant, unless I'm misunderstanding the article. That seems to be more about speedwork generally, and largely for milers and above - I'm looking for a training plan specifically for a 200 metre race. As I understand it, that form of training is very different from speedwork/intervals that would be done whilst training for a 5K....

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You might be able to track down a local high school or college coach and ask that question.

My (limited) insight.

200m is all speed and technique and a bit of a shift in mindset.


It's going to be a lot of strength training to start.  There is nothing that will add speed quite like strength.  Squats, deadlift, glute-ham raise, kettlebell swings, etc.


The actual running training sessions are going to be a handful of sprints (maybe up to 400m) with lots of rest in between.  It'll be like a powerlifter who is doing near-maximum effort lifts: he's only going to do a handful per session, at most, with plenty of recovery time in between- think about approaching 10 minutes or more between max effort sprints.  You might do some higher volume runs (like a few 400m runs) at something less than max speed, but I'm not sure where that line is.


You'll probably want to add some form and technique work- coming up out of the blocks takes some practice, as does running the curve at full speed.


Also, a quick google search for "training for a 200m run" (or race or sprint) will get you lots of ideas from a variety of levels of coaching, even down to the high school PE teacher.

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I know this is an old post, but it caught my eye, and my answer might help someone. :)

I was faced with the same issue 2 years ago, when looking to improve my sprinting speed for other sport.  My solution was to join a local athletics club, and make use of their coaches.  I also decided to not just use them for training, but compete for the club in track and field, and I always wanted to be a track sprinter.

Now, 2 years later, the results have been quite spectacular.  By coincidence, there was an out of season track meet just before I started training with the club, so I had a good baseline to work from.  My starting point was:

60m - 8.9 (approx, timed some time after starting training)

100m - 14.68

200m - 31.62

400m - 74.55 (this one taken a couple of weeks after starting my training)


Today, my PBs are:

60m - 8.32 (Bronze medal in M45 at 2017 Victorian Masters Championships)

100m - 12.49 hand timed, equivalent to around 12.75 (Gold medal M45, 2017 Victorian Police and Emergency Services Games)

200m - 26.18 hand timed, equivalent to around 26.4 (Gold medal M45, 2017 Victorian Police and Emergency Services Games)

400m - 62.48 (local meet, late 2016)

For the record, I'm 49, was in reasonably good shape (at 47) when I started my track journey, but was looking to level up, which I did.  Prior to track training, I was heavily involved in other competitions that involved a lot of sprints, hauling heavy carts at speed and climbing ladders (quickly!).  The coaches took that background into account and pushed me a bit harder than most people, because I already had the strength in my body to handle the stresses.  Normally, they don't recommend going too hard in one's first season or getting into spikes too early.


I certainly recommend checking out any local clubs.  For me, having access to coaching, especially multiple coaches and peers, has been invaluable.  Each person brings different observations, perspectives and focus to your training.  I certainly couldn't have got this far without access to good coaching.  I would have been stuck at that slow 14 second speed, because the coaches have provided feedback about my technique and drills to improve, as well as structured training to ensure I'm fit enough to cope with the demands of sprinting.  Around here, athletics is structured in a way that makes it suitable for everyone - you don't have to be an Olympic champion or even a local hero to participate.  In the end, you're competing against yourself, for the most part, unless you're looking for that higher level of competition.  I'm at the point of wanting to compete in more state level meets, and even national Masters championships, as I'm on the verge of being competitive at those levels.

If you want to go it alone, Amazon does have a range of books, some of which might be appropriate.  I do read a bit to get an outside perspective, but rely on my club and coaches for the most part.

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