Short to Long vs. Long to Short


In December 10-12th in Columbia, Mo. we will have the Missouri Track and Cross Country Coach’s Association clinic. The clinic will host the largest number of sessions in its history. The clinic include coaches Boo Schxnayder, Lance Brauman, Ken Brauman, Carl Valle, Ty Sevin, Brett Halter, and many more great local coaches. I will be speaking at the clinic with my good friend and 400 meter Guru Nicholas Buckvar. We will have an open debate over the Short to Long Vs. Long to Short Training methods for sprinters. I included below a rough outline the topics we will discussing as we debate the validity of each method. This is a work in progress but wanted to give you a preview of our discussion.


If you would like to join us this winter please go to and sign up today!


For more info

Short to Long vs Long to Short Training notes


Short to Long Rules

Rule 1: All training is built around drive phase and flying 30 meter pr.

Rule 2: Running fast is a SKILL

Rule 3: Posture, posture, posture

Rule 4: Neurological system takes time to develop


  1. Short to Long Advantages
  • Limited training volume allows the kids to be fearless in training immediately.
  • Specificity- working at intensities seen in high speed sprinting
  • Allows for the sprint training to be detail orientated. You know where mistakes are being made and how to attack the problems in future practice plans.
  • Limits over usage injuries.
  • Easier to combined or theme training modalities like plyometric work on the track or Olympic lifting in the weight room.
  • Fits best with events of similar intensity like the long jump and 4×100 relay.
  • Everything is skill based. Creates opportunities for in practice goal setting beyond just hitting a time over distance.


  1. How to implement the system?
  • Planning is built in organically as the sprinter improves. Beyond a basic periodization plan the workouts are created as the athlete progresses throughout the year based on race and in practice feedback.
  • Training built around the drive phase and flying 30 meters. Then training volume expands as the sprinter can extend goal outputs in power for drive phase and velocity for flying 30 meters.
  • Acceleration, power, and Maximum Velocity workouts are the center pieces for micro-cycle training.


III. Micro-cycles

  • Mid micro-cycle
    1. Developing the drive phase step pattern with wicket and reaction drills
    2. Stride frequency and rate developed through cuing high speed skill runs with different targets, mini hurdles, cones etc.
    3. Strength training is maximal and/or velocity based what I call F.A.P.
    4. Plyometrics center around hurdle, box, and depth jumps
  • Early micro-cycle
    1. Developing drive phase and power through sled drives
    2. Speed developed through short flying interval repetitions
    3. Strength training is hypertrophic or maximal depending on needs
    4. Plyometrics done in place and repetitive
  • Late Micro-cycle
    1. Race modeling and speed endurance
    2. Over speed work and bullet belt transitions.
    3. Strength training is velocity based or ballistic in nature
    4. Plyometrics center around extended horizontal bounding and running combinations

Long to Short Rules

Rule 1: Make the individual as fast as possible for 200m & 400m

Rule 2: know the WHY

Rule 3: always be ready to make adjustments

Rule 4: when in doubt, refer back to Rule 1.



  1. Long to Short Advantages
  • Eliminates the talent issue- everyone can work hard
    • Glycolytic system is the easiest area to make substantial & impactful gains
  • Creates versatility in event selection (can always run down)
  • Larger work capacity for a meet
  • Develops a deep “base” essential for later training
  • Allows for including all energy systems in the training
    • 400m contains ALL necessary components involved in the 100m and 200m
  • Allows for organization of implementing other critical areas of training
    • Weights, plyos, hurdle mobility


  1. How do you implement the system?
  • Start by working backwards from planned peak performance
  • Determine the progression of staple workouts
  • Balance the implementation of speed vs strength- hand in hand


III. Micro Cycles

  • Early Micro Cycle
    1. Focus is on developing the capacity to train fast and specific
  • Mid Micro cycle
    1. Focus begins to shift to more race specific training- what the athletes will feel in race
    2. Speed is more a focus, but its relative to the event
  • Late Micro Cycle


Ryan Banta

Ryan Banta

Ryan is a successful high school coach. His athletes have achieved 76 school records, 2 top four finishes at the state championships, 3 district championships, 107 state semi-finalist (sectionals), 63 state qualifiers, 2 state records (3200 and 4x800), 14 national ranked events, 34 all state performances, 8 state champions, 7 runner up performances, and 2 Gatorade athletes of the year. Ryan is a USATF level II coach in the sprints, hurdles, relays, and endurance and recently earned a USTFCCCA track and field technical coaching certification.
Ryan Banta


Dad, Husband, Teacher, & Track & Field Coach. Author of Sprinter's Compendium Contributor @speedendurance @simplifaster
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Ryan Banta
Ryan Banta

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