Three Thoughts on Phyllis Francis and her 400 Indoor Record


2011 Track and Field - 2011 USA Championships at Hayward Field - June 24, 2011I believe her history points to a number of interesting training ideas.  What I wrote below is a response to a number of comments on how she should move up to the 800 on another track message board.

  1. First some athletes maybe should look to move down instead of up. Distance focused coaches tend to look to adding distance and sometimes this could be a mistake.
  2. Second each athlete is different and should be evaluated through testing in and out of track meets. As a coach I feel it is sound to have the athlete race events above and below their “best event” to figure out if there are opportunities in a different event.
  3. Third many sprint coaches have bought into a training trend that is very minimalist in training load. I believe for 200, 400, and 800meter athletes need what many modern sprint coaches believe would be large loads of speed endurance work in their training history. Anecdotal evidence points to success comes from larger training loads.

Side note: THIS is an interesting article was written recently about a young rising sprint athlete got to train with Usain Bolt’s camp. In this article he was very surprised at the amount of volume and intensity they did in their sessions.

Just like Usian Bolt’s training group Oregon has a number of great training groups across a myriad of events. Phyllis Francis has benefited from these training groups and is now the indoor record holder.

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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