Kick your sprints and relays up a notch with effective planning and drill work!
- Organize and develop an annual training plan for sprint and relays events
- Design and run speed development workouts that challenge athletes
- Develop efficient and effective baton passing skills for relays
with Ruqayya Gibson,
Cypress Springs High School (TX) Girls Track Head Coach;
2014 Female Coach of The Year (Texas Track & Field Coaches Association);
2014 Brooks Running Most Inspiring Coach finalist;
winner of 5 consecutive Region III-5A Championships
When coaching athletes in the sprints and relays, the ability to create an effective training program can make a tremendous positive impact on your team's success. In this video, Ruqayya Gibson walks you through a step-by-step guide to constructing an effective annual sprinting plan, using single and double macrocycle programming. She also covers relay selection and development before proceeding to the track to demonstrate ways to enhance athletic performance through a variety of drills and coaching points.
Organizing the Annual Plan
Coach Gibson breaks down how to structure a training year using the single peak method for teams competing in outdoor track, and the double peak method for teams with indoor and outdoor seasons. She shows coaches how to break down each macrocycle into phases while outlining the types of work and emphasis that must be performed in each one. Gibson also addresses common misconceptions about the type of conditioning work that sprinters need to prepare for the season. Part of Gibson's approach has been to avoid longer distance interval training in favor of more focused, event-specific work.
Designing Speed Development Workouts
There are many factors to consider when designing speed development workouts. Gibson shows how to organize the timing of the three different types of speed development: acceleration, max velocity / absolute speed, and speed endurance. Additionally, she breaks down the exact distances, volumes, and specific details that are critical to making these workouts as effective as possible.
You'll learn how to effectively manage training volumes for technical event athletes by combining speed workouts with hurdle and runway development work. By splitting or combining these activities, athletes can enhance their speed, within the contexts of their events.
In this segment, Gibson breaks down an example of a daily practice session from warms-ups through drills and into speed progressions. She lays out a drill-by-drill instruction for every part of the workout.
Selecting and Positioning Runners
The 4x100 relay is one of the sport's most exciting events and Coach Gibson's athletes never hold back. She breaks down her philosophy for assembling lightning fast relays and details what type of athlete she looks for when creating her teams. Once she has identified the "warrior spirit" in her athletes, it's time to place them into one of four legs for the event. This is where Coach Gibson clearly defines the roles and expectations of each leg and what is expected from each athlete in each position.
Improve Speed Development
In order for relay teams to run fast, each athlete must also be able to run fast as an individual. To accomplish this, Gibson demonstrates two types of sprint practices, including warm-ups and theme-specific sprint development drills to enhance both acceleration and max velocity mechanics. Throughout the segment, Gibson addresses the "why" and "how" for each exercise, pointing out common errors and their corrections.
Develop Fast and Effective Baton Passing
Next, Coach Gibson demonstrates some of her favorite drills for helping athletes make crisp, clean passes. One of the best drills is the Go-Go Drill, in which two athletes, staggered just a couple of meters apart, begin sprinting simultaneously to make a high speed exchange. This drill is a great pre-meet warm-up and an excellent plan B workout when space or weather do not permit longer work. Gibson then closes this segment by showing you how her team can incorpor
Track & Field Videos