Last Updated on
This article is guest blogged by Ryan Banta, an assistant coach at the Ladue/St. Louis Lightning Track & Feld club.
To view all his articles on this Blog, click here.
Using Velocity as Your Guide
Coach Loren Seagrave of Speed Dynamics, LSU, and Olympic fame used to use a workout titled “Endless 75’s.” The workout was built to develop speed endurance for 100 meter and 200 meter sprinters. He would use a 25 meter acceleration zone and then have his athletes finish off the final 75 meters of a 100 meter dash as fast as the sprinter can run.
The recovery was a walk back to the beginning of the acceleration zone. A lot of coaches do workouts with this structure except for one unique detail. As the athletes sprint through their 75 meter zone, the athletes are timed meticulously, and a sprinter’s workout is complete when their velocity falls off by 10% of their maximum effort.
The Freelap timing system can be very useful to time a large number of sprinters at one time making an exercise like this manageable. This timing system frees up the coach to coach as the athletes as they perform their 75 meter repeats. The goal of this type of training is to build speed endurance to allow your sprinter to perform at a high level in multi-round championships like the NCAA Finals, World Championships, and Olympic Games.
The other purpose of a workout like “Endless 75s” continues to expand the athlete’s ability to produce that velocity over a greater distance. The better the athletes speed endurance, the better their speed reserve. Words of caution before you perform an “Endless 75” workout. You should make sure your athletes can handle this type of conditioning over a shorter distance. I would recommend starting with a traditional 30 meter distance and then expand the range out to 75meters.
I would also suggest that even when you start with “Endless” rookies it would be important to have a secret number you stop the workout off at even if the athlete’s velocity doesn’t drop by 10%. Sometimes athletes can be workout heroes. The aftermath from an “Endless” workout could disrupt training for the rest of the week or worse lead to injury.
About the Author
Ryan Banta is an assistant coach at the Ladue/St. Louis Lightning Track & Feld club, where the club has assisted athletes in achieving 6 national titles, 31 All American performances, and 61 national qualifiers. He has earned a USATF level II certification in sprints, hurdles, relays, and endurance as well as a USTFCCCA track and field technical coaching certification.
He has a new book coming out titled Sprinter’s Compendium, a “one stop shop” for theory and practical information for any coach looking for real world strategies to improve sprint training for any type of athlete. Look for it soon!