Ken Larsen's web site - How I will train for track season


I belong to the Godiva Track Club.  Every summer they have a 10 week long track season during which each Wednesday at 7 PM there is a track meet.  Below is the training regimen I'm using as we go into the final two weeks of the 2018 season. 


When Regimen



Thursday and Saturday
  1. Lunges with 10 pound dumbbell in each hand.  Total of 50 steps.
  2. Jumps with 10 pound dummbell in each hand.  2 x 10 jumps
  3. Elliptical machine.  Level= 10.  3 minutes at a speed of 3 mph.
  4. Leg extension machine.  Fast reps
  5. Leg curls machine.  Fast reps
Interval training Friday and Sunday There's a soccer field that's 1.5 miles from house.  I jog to it at a leisurely pace (14 minutes/mile) and then do a series of sprints.

One side of the soccer field is 300 meters long.  I run along it six times:

1. (southward) I run the entire 300 meters in one run.
2. (northward) I run the entire 300 meters in 3 equal sprints (about 100 meters each).
3. (southward) I run the entire 300 meters in one run.
4. (northward) I run the 300 meters in 6 sprints  (roughly 50 meters each).
5. (counter-clockwise rectangle) I run 3/4 of the perimeter of the soccer area.  Distance:  300 + 2x60 = 480 meters
6. (northward) I run the 300 meters in 6 sprints (roughly 50 meters each).

I run each as fast as I can go and then rest for 2-4 minutes before doing the next sprint.
Rest Monday and Tuesday I've been golfing on Mondays and going to the gym on Tuesdays, but on my gym Tuesdays I don't do any leg exercises.
Hill intervals   Early in the season I was doing hill intervals on a 3.3% quarter mile hill near my house, but didn't help my speed, so I switched to the soccer field training.  [how to use Google Earth to calculate the slope of a hill]

What I need to work on:

Sprint start On July 20, 2018 I learned that my sprint start is all wrong.  Here is what it should be.  I've been starting each sprint as if it were a 10K run.  This costs me valuable time when the gun goes off in a 100 or 200 meter sprint.
Hand/arm position I've got too much lateral movement.  [details]
Training distances I need to do more training with "over" distances.  Read the red sentences in Lauren Alpert-Zeunik's advice (below).
Stretching I've been very deficient in this area.


Training advice of some elite runners

Lauren Alpert-Zeunik:

The training regimen, below, was recommended to me by Lauren Alpert-Zeunik (PR of 54.9 in the 400 meters!) on July 8, 2014.  She tailored it to help me achieve better times in the 200 meter sprint.  Some days are "overs" and some days are "unders".  On the "over" days you run distances over your event's length.  On the "under" days you run distances under your event's length.  I am training to do well in the Godiva Summer Track events ... which are held on Wednesday evenings.



Thursday rest

Recover: do something cross training-wise - swimming, bicycling (stationary or around community, play basketball, etc.) - this is your "rest" day - I like to use it as recovery, but every so often, it should be used as complete rest, no physical activity (once every 2-3 weeks or so). 

Friday run

Hard track day - 8.5-9 out of 10 effort - 

Two possible examples of workouts: (If I do fast and short today, I do longer and speed endurance the other "harder" day, and vice versa)

1) fast stuff examples

-4x400 @ 1:40 with 8 minutes rest in between each one

-2 x (2x200): Run 200 at ~ 41-42sec, rest 1 minute, run 200 within 1 second of the first 200. Rest 10 minutes then repeat

-3 x broken 500: Run 300m at 64 seconds, jog 100 m, run 100m as fast as you can. Rest 10 minutes.

2) longer, speed endurance stuff

-2x1K, 2x700, 2x400, 2x100 -  each 100 is ~ 31 seconds during your 1Ks, ~ 29-30 seconds during your 700, 28 seconds during your 400, and 26-27 seconds during your 100s. Take 5:30min rest between 1Ks, then 4:30 min rest. Take 3:30 min rest between 700s, then 2:30. Take 1:30min rest between 400s then 1:30again. Take 30 seconds between 100s. 

- 900, 700, 500, 300, 100: Run the last 200 of every rep as a surge (not all out sprint, but pick up your pace to an uncomfortable level) - ex: for the 900: do 700m at mile pace ( every 100 is about 30 seconds), then pick up your pace when you hit 200m left in the interval. For the 700, run 500 at mile pace, and surge 200. 500 is 300 at mile pace and surge 200, 300 is 100 at mile pace and surge 200. 100 is a surge the whole way. Take these rests: 5min, 4min, 3min, 2min 

-3 x mile (I usually do these on a treadmill) 5 minutes walking recovery between each, each mile is 10 seconds faster, with your last mile being about 10 seconds off your best. IE: if your best is 8:30 this year, your first mile is 9:00, your second is 8:50, your third is 8:40. You can adjust this if you feel its too easy, just drop each mile 10 seconds. 

Saturday run

recovery day: effort 5 or 6 out of 10 (no more!) - leisure run 4-6 miles or 30-50 minutes, whichever you feel. 

Sunday run

"hard track day but less hard than Friday": switch whatever you did on Friday (if you did speed endurance, do sprints, if you did sprints, do speed endurance!) effort: 7.5-

8/10; you can use any of the workouts listed for Friday on this day, but add 1 minute to each rest period, and drop 1 or two of the intervals if there are any, i.e. if you choose a sprint that says 4x400 fast, only do 3. if you choose 900,700,500,300,100, don't do the 100, and add 1 minute to each rest period in between. 

Monday run

effort 6-10 strides and miles: ~ 2-3 miles and 5x100m strides on the track or on the road, walk back to your start point to recover: don't force these - not all out, should feel like you're floating!

Tuesday run

effort 2-3.5 out of 10 pre-meet prep: I usually bike for 30 minutes and stretch; you can also run a mile or two and stretch... I like to keep my legs active so they don't tighten up, but keep the workload very light and non-weight bearing. 

Wednesday race Godiva track meet
Misc. gym *Lift 2 days per week, but not within two days of racing. i.e. best is Friday, Sunday. I've lifted Thursday/Saturday and been okay, but I never lift on a Monday with Godiva on Wednesdays.
Misc. Warm-up, Cool-down **You MUST warm up and cool-down with sprint work or speed endurance work (Friday and Sunday Workouts) - do 800m or so, stretch a little, then drills like walking on your toes, straight leg kicks, etc., you can find these online.) make sure to take about 5-10 minutes after you finish drills to stretch, get water, and then start workout. Cool-down usually 800m
Misc. Shoes

***Any workout where you are sprinting, you can wear spikes - if you do speed endurance, wear gym shoes, fast stuff, spikes. On Mondays, I like to run in gym shoes, then switch to spikes for the strides.

Misc. Stairs Don't do stairs during track season.  Do them off season.



Becky Bowman:  Definitely speed drills!!! If you want to improve at 400, practice 600s; 200s, then run ladders - 400, 350, 300, 250. It's not just about speed but you have to have strength and endurance to finish strong. Hill sprints are excellent especially for older runners because they help your stride. Also, stretch a lot and consume lots of protein.


Jermaine Wade: 

  1. Don't do so much [after I posted about doing 24 intervals one afternoon].  For example just do the eight 200s for a day.  Your muscles start to get tight after a while. 

  2. In running sprints, land on the balls of your feet - not your heel.  To learn how to run this way, first run 10 meters, then 20 meters, then 30 meters, etc.  [Lean forward to achieve this.]

  3. Running stairs is an excellent way to train your body to landing on the front part of your feet.


Rilwan "RJ" Alowonle (hurdler at UNC):  Sum of a day's sprints should not exceed 2400 meters [according to RJ's coach at UNC]


Bill Riles:  You need to be sprinting on the balls with a forward lean; most spikes only are located on the front of the shoe so I imagine could cause problems with a heal strike; I'd wager someone with some sprinting experience could take several seconds off of those times with improved technique alone.  Another common problem in sprinting is a lot of wasted energy and motion in lateral sway, needs to all be in line -- arms, legs, everything.

Jay Smith:  Jay is a 5K/10K runner.  His favorite drill is what he calls the "Magic 5".  He marks out a 100 meter section on a track, and runs it five times consecutively ... turning around at each end.  He strives to do each "Magic 5" in under 2 minutes. 


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