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How to Improve Your Running Speed in the 100M

author image Ryan Mess
Ryan Mess earned a Bachelor of Arts in communications from Cal Poly SLO, where he played rugby. His fitness expertise bloomed during his college and semi-pro rugby career. And since then, he has been training everyone from youth to professional athletes to grandparents in all things fitness and health while still competing.
How to Improve Your Running Speed in the 100M
People are sprinting on a track. Photo Credit malschinc/iStock/Getty Images

The 100m sprint, the winner of which is declared the fastest man or woman on the track, is the human replication of a drag race. Because this event is about power, technique and speed, becoming a master in these facets in addition to learning proper nutrition and recovery is a must to improve your times. Genetics play a big role in one's ability to succeed at the 100m, but you can manipulate how your genes work for you by the way you train.

Sample College Track-Specific Training

The following is a real college week that both 100m and 200m sprinters will execute: On Monday, perform four 400M sprints aiming to finish between 55 and 58 seconds, with five-minute rests between each. Tuesday, perform eight 200M sprints aiming to finish between 25 and 29 seconds, only resting the time it takes to walk back. Wednesday is your power day. Perform four sets of eight box jumps, three sets of 50-yards lunges, three sets of 30-yards frog hops, and hurdler drills: eight reps of everything -- walk overs, up-and-unders, and sideways A-skips. Finish Wednesday with hills or bleachers sprints, 10 sets of 60 seconds. Thursday, perform four 300M sprints aiming to finish between 35.9 and 39 seconds, with five-minute rests between each. Friday, perform 10 minutes of repeat 200s on grass. Saturday is another power day. Do bleachers, hills, or a pool workout for 20 sets of 30-second maximums. Sunday, rest.

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Get Friendly With The Weight Room

In the 100m, you must blast of the blocks with extreme force and possess the strength and endurance to accelerate through the finish. Simply put, you have to be strong, and the deadlift is the best weight lifting exercise for sprinters. Perform three sets of two or three reps two or three days per week before track practice. Use the heaviest weight you can safely lift, and stop right above the knees. After each set, immediately perform three to five maximum-height box jumps, then rest five minutes. The maximal effort jumping adds explosive power to the strength from deadlifts.

Weight Management

The goal for the 100m sprinter is to become as strong as possible while gaining minimal body weight. The heavier you are, the more drag you will have to overcome. So when you train your abs, shoulders, chest, back and legs in the weight room, perform sets of no more than one to five repetitions with heavy weight and maximum velocity. This rep range stimulates increased central nervous system function rather than hypertrophy, meaning you get stronger without getting bigger.

Separate Yourself

An often overlooked aspect that is important to success is nutrition and recovery. Eat plenty of meat-based protein and drink water all day. To increase brain and nervous system function, take in plenty of fats from foods like coconuts, avocados, omega-3s and nuts. Minimize sugar intake, including most fruits, and avoid any and all pro-inflammatory carbohydrates. Such carbohydrates are wheat, corn and soy products, and high-sugar foods and beverages. These have a negative impact on your gut and hormones, resulting in sub-optimal performance. Lastly, sleep more than eight hours daily to improve your body's recovery.

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