Sprinting Workouts & Strength Training For Sprinters

Posted by Cody Bidlow on

When I was a young sprinter, I always had a tough time setting up my sprint training program. Here we will go over a week of sprinting workouts and strength training for sprinters so you can see one way that a week of workouts may be set up.

Sprinting Workouts & Strength Training For Sprinters

My goals right now are to improve rate of force development in my start, increasing strength to improve acceleration, and targeting ankle stiffness for both acceleration and maximal velocity sprinting.

Also, in the past couple races I've run, I tended to break down and lose my form at the end of the race. Because of this, focusing on short speed endurance is another major focus of my training at the moment.

The following workouts were performed according to this schedule:

  • Tuesday - Acceleration Training
  • Thursday - Strength Training & Plyometrics
  • Saturday - Speed Endurance, Strength Training & Plyometrics
  • Monday - Acceleration, Strength Training & Plyometrics

Workout #1 - Acceleration Training & Block Starts

The first workout of this training week was an acceleration workout, featuring block starts from 10m to 40 yards, including weighted vest sprints and and non-resisted sprints.

This was the setup for the workout:

  1. 1x10m Block Start (10lb Weighted Vest)
  2. 3x20m Block Start (10lb Weighted Vest)
  3. 1x40yd Block Start (10lb Weighted Vest)
  4. 3x40yd Block Start (No added load)
  5. 3x15 Pogo Hops (Short ground contact time)

I started this workout with the weighted vest as I feel it helps me warm up, as well as providing some inertial overload. The more I use the vest for block starts, the more I notice my acceleration times improving, my plyometrics improving, and overall I think it was a good addition to my training program.

Workout #2 - Strength Training & Plyometrics

The second workout of this week was a strength training workout, focusing on maximal strength as well as joint stiffness. For maximal strength, I prefer simple exercises like box squats, back squats, deadlifts, split squats, quarter squats, etc. The more stable and simple and exercise is, the more you can use it to generate force and stimulate strength gains.

The workout was setup like this:

  1. 3 Box Series Drop Jumps - 4 sets per leg, 18" Boxes
  2. Single Leg Pogo Hops - 3x10 per leg.
  3. Single Leg Box Jumps - 4x2 per leg.
  4. Semi-straight Leg Hip Thrust - 4x3 per leg.
  5. Floating Heel Split Squat - 4x4 per leg.
  6. Weighted Vest Bounds - 4x10 bounds.

Workout #3 - Speed Endurance & Strength Training

This day included two separate workouts, the first being a speed endurance workout at the track and the other being a strength & plyometric workout at the gym.

The sprinting workout was a short speed endurance workout, focusing on getting up to maximal velocity and trying to maintain speed as much as possible, with minimal deceleration. Long rest periods were used to ensure each sprint was ran as fast as possible, and the workout was ended when times began to drop.

Track Workout:

  1. Track warm up.
  2. 4x80m @ 100%, 16 minutes rest.

Following this workout, I grabbed a smoothie and then headed for the gym. When training twice per day, it is very important to ensure you're getting enough nutrients in to support your training and promote good recovery.

The gym workout was focused around strength development and ankle stiffness.

Strength Training Workout:

  1. Single Leg Pogo Hops - 3x12 focusing on short ground contacts.
  2. Concentric Box Jumps - 4x3 up to 56 inches.
  3. Single Leg Bounds - 5x6 bounds per leg.
  4. Box Squats - 3-3-3-3-2 up to 305lb.
  5. Hip Thrust - 4x3 up to 315b.
  6. Seated Calf Raise - 5x3 per side at 65lb.
  7. Bench Press - 4x3 up to 225lb.
  8. DB Row - 4x5 at 45lb.

Workout #4 - Acceleration, Block Starts, Strength Training & Plyometrics

The final workout of this training week was another acceleration workout, followed by a strength training workout. In this workout I was aiming to work on where I placed my first step, as well as attacking back for the first few steps of the sprint. All sprints in this workout were performed with bodyweight only, so no added loads were used.

Track Workout:

  1. Track Warm Up
  2. 1x10m Block Start
  3. 1x20m Block Start
  4. 6x40yd Block Start

I wasn't running super fast this day, hitting 4.69 for 40 yards using an electronic timing system, but it was faster than my previous acceleration workout and was performed while under fatigue from a heavy week of training.

Once this session was done, I grabbed some food and headed to the gym for the last session of this training week.

Gym Workout:

  1. Floating Heel Box Squat - 3-3-3-2-2 up to 305lb
  2. Drop Jumps - 2x24", 2x18"
  3. Single Leg Depth Jumps - 2x18" per leg
  4. Horizontal Single Leg Depth Jumps - 2x18" per leg
  5. Split Leg Start Jump To 36" Box - 4x2 per leg.
  6. Floating Heel Single Leg Hip Thrust - 4x3 per leg.

Incorporating These Workouts Into Your Training

These workouts can be used as listed, or they can be spread out over a longer period of time such as 10 days rather than 7. Athletes should only use high intensity training when in a recovered and non-fatigued state, so some athletes may need more days off between sessions, to split up sessions rather than doing two per day, or they can use the workouts as shown here.

Whatever the case, feel free to adapt these workouts to your own needs and abilities. Enjoy your training!


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