I have been sprinting for a very long time and I have thought about this question many times. “If you could only choose one distance to train over as a sprinter what would it be????
I have a favourite, however you could literally choose many distances that would do the trick. I suppose if you’re a longer sprinter like a 400m runner you would potentially choose a longer distance like 200m or 300m and if you are a 100m sprinter then you may choose 60, 80’s or 100’s. And if you are an 800m runner it may be 400m’s. Me however, I would choose 145’s. Yes for those that haven’t trained at Narrabeen in Sydney NSW, you will be thinking why 145m and not 150m. Its because we have specific easy to find marks across all lanes at the 145m mark. It just made it easy to line up 5 guys across the track on the correct mark. Its so ingrained into my psychy that I have difficulty running 150m when I train at other tracks around the world. I find myself pacing out 5m from the 150m mark to give me my trusty 145m. Its very weird. I also no the exact time I need to run as a % over the 145m. Give me a 90, 92 or 95% over 145m and I can usually nail it.
I would choose 145m’s for every sprinter up to 400m if I could only choose one distance. I would even seriolsy consider choosing it for an 800m runner if they were more the speed type.
To make this work its all about speed/intensity, volume and rest.
6 x 145m @ 80% with 4mins rest is very different from 6 x 145 @ 80% at 2mins rest. The first session a 200m runner would handle easily however the second session they may start to struggle to maintain form.
Lets say you are a 100/200 meter sprinter. You could do the following over a 5 week period increasing the speed each week and the rest over the last 2 weeks. It may look something like this:
- Week 1, 2x3x145m off 3mins at 80%
- Week 2, 2x3x145m off 3mins at 85%
- Week 3, 2x3x145m off 3mins at 90%
- Week 4, 2x3x145m off 4mins at 92%
- Week 5, 2x3x145m off 4mins at 95%
A couple of my favourite 145m session are
- 7 x 145m at 85% off 2mins increasing the rest by 30sec after each run. For a good lactic session try doing this at 90% (of your best 145m time).
- 2 x 2 x 145m @ 85-90% 2mins and 10mins between sets.
As you can see you can use 145m or any other distance to achieve different results by varying the intensity, rest and volume.
What has been very interesting coaching a few guys including myself that could all run similar times over 400m on a good day. However we all had very different abilities over the 145m. Shorten the rest and our 800m runner would come into his own. Lengthen the rest and up the speed and the 200m would blitz. It’s interesting to see the different physiology at play with different athletes that can run the same times. However each athlete performed slightly differently over each 145m session. This is one of the most rewarding and challenging things about coaching. Trying to figure out the puzzle and then put it together on the track. I love 145m as a distance. It creates speed, lactic thresh hold and speed endurance.
Let me know your favourite distance and why in the comments below.