Last Updated on April 10, 2013 by Jimson Lee

*This 3 part series is guest blogged by Jim Hiserman, the author of three books:*

- The Art of Long Hurdling: A Guide to Racing and Training for 400 meter Hurdles
- Strength and Power for Maximum Speed
- Program Design Method for Sprint & Hurdle Training

### Three Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Extensive Tempo Training

I seem to get a lot of e-mails from coaches who have read “A Program Design Method for Sprint & Hurdle Training” regarding the use of Extensive Tempo Training.

Here are the 3 most common questions I am asked along with brief answers to those questions.

**Q1) ****How Do Coaches Determine Extensive Tempo Training Volumes & Intensities at the Start of the Preparation Phase?**

#### DETERMINING VOLUME RANGES FOR EXTENSIVE TEMPO TRAINING

Coaches should refer to the Energy System Training Charts like those presented in Gary Winckler and Vern Gambetta’s “*Classifications of Energy Systems for Sprint Training”* presented in Track Technique #100 (1987) or on pages 48-50 of my book mentioned in the opening paragraph of this article.

*[Jimson’s note: You can also read the excellent overview by Michael Khmel and Tony Lester from UKA titled **CLASSIFYING SPRINT TRAINING METHODS**]*

In doing so, coaches will see the recommended volume ranges that vary according to whether the sprinters/hurdlers are 100, 200 or 400 sprinters/hurdlers AND the fact that **there are actually two types of Extensive Tempo methods that can be used**. The recommended volumes vary, according to the type of Extensive Tempo used, and the best race distance of the individual. These recommended volumes appear below according to the two training methods and types of sprinters being trained.

Extensive Tempo Training aimed at developing **Aerobic Capacity** (I use the term Ext. Temp “B” in my book) has recommended volume ranges of 1,400 to 3,000 meters for 100 sprinters, 1800 -3,000 meters for 200 sprinters and 2,400-4,000 meters for 400 sprinters. So, depending on the type of sprinter, the recommended starting volumes can range from 1,400 to 2,400 meters.

Extensive Tempo Training aimed at developing **Aerobic Power** (termed Ext. Temp “A” in my book) has recommended volume ranges of 1,400-1,800 meters for 100 types, 1,800-2,400 meters for 200 types and 1,800-2,800 meters for 400 types.

In my experiences at the high school level I have found that beginning sprinters and/or those with low fitness levels are better off starting at 1,000 to 1,200 meters at the beginning of the Preparation Phase regardless of their event type.

Use of volume ranges recommended by the Energy System Training Charts can be modified **relative** to each individual through strict management of workout sessions whereby the coach terminates the workout for an athlete once he/she **cannot** perform a repetition displaying correct sprint posture/mechanics __or__**cannot** finish a rep within his/her calculated time or relative intensity. The coach should record the total volume each athlete can successfully complete and use that as the starting volume for each particular athlete. Weekly volume progressions, such as + 100 or 200 meters / week would therefore be **relative** to each athlete depending on how many meters they successfully completed the prior week. In this way, the volume of Extensive Tempo Training can also be individualized through careful management of training by the coach.

#### DETERMINING INTENSITIES FOR EXTENSIVE TEMPO TRAINING

Just as with Volume, the Intensities of the two types of Extensive Tempo Training methods can be found upon examining the same Energy System Training Charts. The Intensities, listed as percentages are listed below according to the type of Extensive Tempo Training that is used.

** Extensive Tempo “B”** targets the development of

**Aerobic Capacity**through use of reps that range from 200 meters to 600 meters at intensities of 60-69%. Training times based on these percentages can best be determined by having the athletes perform a 300 meter Time Trial Test and using the test times as 100% values at the start of the Prep Period. This would allow for the intensities used to be

**Relative Intensities**as they would represent intensity levels that are truly relative to the current fitness / ability level of each individual athlete.

For example, let’s use an athlete who runs the 300 T.T. in 39.3 seconds. Drop the decimal and add a zero (3930) and then divide by 60 to find the slower end of the range; = 65.5. Divide by 69 to find the faster end of the range; = 56.9. This individual’s training pace for 300m reps would be between 56.9 and 65.5.

To calculate the percentages for other distances (350, 400, 450, 600, etc.) simply take the 56.9 and 65.5 intensities for 300m and use the following equation: 56.9/300 = ?/600. Multiply the known time by the distance under the unknown time and divide by the distance under the known time (56.9 x 600 =34140 divided by 300 = 113.8 or 1:43.8).

** Extensive Tempo “A”** targets development of

**Aerobic Power**through use of 100 – 200 meter distances at intensities of 70-79%. Using the 150m T.T. test as 100% of each athletes current fitness / ability level and applying the same math as used in the format above (using 60-69% of 300 T.T. test) will enable coaches to use

**Relative Intensities**to start the Preparation Phase instead of using some random times based on averages.

Part 2 with the remain 2 questions will appear tomorrow.

## About the Author

Jim Hiserman’s is the author of 3 books:

- The Art of Long Hurdling: A Guide to Racing and Training for 400 meter Hurdles
- Program Design Method for Sprints & Hurdle Training
- Strength and Power for Maximum Speed

His other published articles on this site include:

- A Total Sprint-Training Program for Maximum Strength & Power, Core Strength, and Maximum Sprint Speed (5 Part series)
- 400 Meter Training: Greater Strength = Faster Times (3 Part Series)
- 400 Meter Training- Blending Short-to-Long and Long-to-Short Methods (2 part series)
- Speed Training: Developing a Sound Philosophy
- How to Improve Acceleration (2 part series)
- How to Improve Acceleration Part 3 (Part 1)
- How to Improve Acceleration Part 4 (Part 2)

- Summer Sprint Training: Important Variables to Consider
- 400 meter Hurdle Training (3 Part series)

sprint42 says

Hi Jim. First, I want to say that I’ve read two of your books and liked them a lot. There’s a lot of good information in them. I don’t agree with everything, but I do like a lot.

However, I don’t agree with how you calculate your target times for various distances. As I understand it, and the way I interpret Khmel and Lester’s meaning, the Relative Intensity for a distance needs to be based on the athlete’s predicted time for “that” distance. In this post, you use a 300m time trail to determine 60-69% pace for a 300m interval. But then you extrapolate that same “pace” for your 600m interval…which in Relative Intensity terms is a much higher percentage of that athlete’s 600m best.

In your example, you use an athlete who runs a time trail of 39.5 in the 300m and then suggest his 600m intervals should be at 1:53.8 (you said 1:43.8, but that is a typo — should be 1:53.8). But in terms of that athlete’s relative intensity for the 600m, a 1:53 is about 82% (not 69%), which makes it an Intensive Tempo. If you were to extrapolate to 800m, your cross multiplication method gives a target time of 2:32, which is about 88% that athlete’s estimated peak time. As you can see, the further you get from your time trail distance, the less accurate the method becomes. In your book, you suggest using the pace of the 200m for shorter workouts (Extensive Tempo “A”) and 400m for longer ones (Extensive Tempo “B”)…which seems a little better since your “distance from your time trail” will in general be less.

For my predicted 600m and 800m times above, I used Weyand’s Anaerobic Speed Reserve (ASR) formula and two time trail times. Specifically, I used 39.5 for a flying 300m and 3.35 for a flying 30m, which are real test results of an athlete. My experience using the ASR formula has proven to me its accuracy (claimed to be 97% correct, which I believe and have written about).

I’ve been toying with the idea of writing a post about how to create one’s own ASR Curve Spreadsheet. Your post has further motivated me, so I’ve put a placeholder page on my site at:

http://sprint42.com/2012/11/14/asr-spreadsheet/

I’ll update the above link’s post in a couple days with specific instructions.

I haven’t read Winckler and Gambetta’s “Classification of Energy Systems for Sprint Training”, so I can’t speak on how they define Extensive Tempos. But I have studied Khmel and Lester’s paper (and similar works). And based on their definition of Extensive Tempos (or any of the classifications), your cross multiplication method would not work. Unfortunately, they aren’t completely clear on how to calculate relative intensity (only giving one example), but they make a highlighted remark about Extensive Tempos that “As a general rule the speed of all the runs should be consistent and if the athlete is too winded to hold a conversation while running then they are going too fast or the session is beyond their current capacity.” Holding a conversation is not possible for the above athlete when trying to run repeat 800m at 2:32 or even 600m at 1:53.8.

For the record, I personally don’t even like using Extensive Tempos. Except for the occasional recovery day workout (which I prefer other activities on) and the occasional race modeling for the decathlon 1500m (e.g. doing 8 x 200 at 37s to teach the decathlete pacing, form and cadence), I stay away from them. My comments above are to explain a different way of calculating target times for any classification of workout, be it Extensive Tempo, Intensive Tempo, Speed Endurance…and on and on.

Aaron says

What sort of rests are prescribed for Extensive Tempo training?