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Old 01-24-2009, 12:48 AM   #24
Donald Lee
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 620

Originally Posted by Barry Ross View Post
Sprint work consists entirely of our algorithm-based runs. The runs range from a low of 10m (with a 20-25 m fly-in) to a maximum of ~60m (plus the fly-in) for 400m runners and down.
Each one is given a specific time for the distance chosen, based on parameters set by initial trial runs of 10m and 300m. We reduce the run time to 95% of the max suggested by the algorithm. Since the algorithm is >97% accurate in predicting times, we know that the runner will be running between ~92% to ~98% of top speed.
This is where the rate of force delivery is enhanced, as well as intramuscular coordination and the rapid storage and release of elastic energy (elastic recoil).
It is also where running "form" develops.

We do no "form" drills at all--ever.

If the runner completes 10 training runs, we stop for that day and re-test the trial runs (they should be faster). If the runner cannot make the goal time in the first 2 runs, we stop them. This could happen because of bad timing of the original trial runs, fatigue, illness, laziness, or they just don't have it that day.
Over the course of the season they will average about 5 runs per day, 2-3 days per week.

That's all they do for 400m and down. No intervals, no long runs, no threshold runs, no speed endurance work (which is ludicrous anyway ), no off season mileage.
That sounds incredibly short. Do they average about 5 runs/day because they cannot complete all 10 runs in the alloted goal time? Also, you keep the 400 m runners to a maximum of 60 m sprints? I'm guessing you allow for maximal recovery between sprints because you don't do intervals.

I have quite a few questions pertaining to your book.

1. You stated that the horizontal force forward and the braking force generally even out, and that what propells the runner forward is the vertical force against gravity. Obviously the vertical force is not the only force in play, or else the runner wouldn't go anywhere. How does angeled force play into this?

2. Also, POSE running attempts to use gravitational force to its advantage by leaning forward. It minimizes the use of the quads and high knees. Instead, it goes more for the butt kick motion and utilizes the hamstrings. According to your thoughts on running technique ala your book and blog, it would seem that POSE would be only beneficial for correcting overstriding. Michael Johnson seems to naturally run in this manner. I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this if you are familiar with POSE running, because you put so much important on MSF and fighting against gravity.

3. I am also wondering about your disdain for training past 10 seconds in order to train mostly the ATP-PC energy system. Even in a 100 m race, there are significant glycolitic and aerobic components. And you claim that inability to sustain maximum speed is due to insufficient strength. You training, both in the gym and on the track, seems EXTREMELY strength biased. To put it in rudimentary terms, you seem to want to out-muscle through everything. While this might be optimal for a distance as short as 40 m, I don't see how it could be optimal for events that have significant components beyond the ATP-PC energy system.

4. Is there a point in which you feel that increasing the deadlift no longer increases the speed of the runner, while maintaing the same mass of course? I ask this because Olympic lifters, after building up sufficient strength, focus primarily on the lifts themselves. There comes a point when moving up the squat or the deadlift doesn't help them in the C&J and Snatch.

5. I don't understand what you were saying about supercompensation in the plyometrics section of your book. I understand that immediately following maximal contraction or isometric contraction, plyometrics can have a supercompensatory effect. But, it caught me by surprise that you stated that. You seem to focus on keeping exercises within 10 sec to avoid lactic acid buildup, yet you say to superset the deadlift with the plyometric exercise. Is the lactic acid buildup not a concern in this case?

These are a lot of questions, so I understand if you pick and choose which to answer. Thank you.
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