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Michael Johnson’s training for speed endurance was covered in detail very early in the blog, so I thought it would be interesting to review what he did for speed work or acceleration development. After all, we are talking about at man with a 10.09 PB for 100 meters and who ran 19.32 for 200 meters (yes, I know, 19.32 sounds funeral compared to a 19.19)
For starters, MJ and Clyde Hart never did speedwork at 100%. That would just induce injuries. So speedwork was kept at 95%.
Here are 3 different sample workouts for speed:
- One set 30m, 40m, 50m, 60m, 70m on the curve with full recoveries, standing start. Purists will argue 70m is not speed work but rather speed endurance (except for Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay where their top speed is around 65-70 meters!)
- 6 x 100m at 95% non-timed from a standing start. Rest 5 minutes between runs. Sounds like a classic Pietro Mennea workout to me.
- 60-40. This is more of a speed endurance type of workout:2 sets of 2 laps of 60-40: 60m at 95% then slow down 40m followed by an easy jog of 40m, usually by going back 20m and then turnaround to the next starting point. Rinse and repeat until you reach the starting line (4 reps). Rest 5 minutes between sets. This is very similar to my 4x60m “turnaround” indoor workout for speed endurance, though I prefer a full recovery of 15-20 minutes between sets. I turn around and go. No jogging for rest. Your lungs and legs will be on fire pretty quickly.
Weights and Base Training
Another interesting note for MJ was he reportedly did not do plyometrics, and his weight training did not include squats or Olympic Lifts but it did include lunges. His off season or pre-season weight training consisted of packing 10 pounds of extra muscle. You can review my previous weight training chart and determine what kind of training that entailed.
This was evident in his body type from 1995 WC and the 1996 Olympics. Of course, we’ll get skeptics who will think otherwise.
Coaching is both an art and science, and a good coach will know when to ease up the training or crank up the intensity. At the USATF 2007 seminar, Clyde Hart refers to “refreshing” the base” by doing his 6×200 meter workouts. This is another one of Clyde Hart’s Train SLOWER to get FASTER philosophies.
As well, as a reminder, Clyde Hart once said:
Training programs are great, but you’ve got to have somebody who’s experienced, who knows where to make changes. You’ve got to be able to interpret it and apply it to your own athletes.
These workouts shifts back slightly from quality to quantity for a week or two mid season. Remember Jeremy Wariner had to “peak” 3 times in 2004… NCAA Champs, USATF Olympic Trials, and the Athens Olympics.