Speed and special endurance style workouts are among the harder workouts that sprinters must do.

I was introduced to these types of workouts during my freshman year at East Stroudsburg University.  During that year I got my then skinny carcass kicked from pillar to post.

I was out of shape and unprepared.  I used to detest speed and special endurance workouts, but those feelings of dislike were actually a cover for getting exposed at practice.

My pride was hurt and at that time in my life I blamed everything else except the young man in the mirror for my lack of success.  But blaming my lack of success on others was and still is the definition of fake hustle.

When I came back at age 31 as a masters sprinter, my mindset was different because I looked forward to these speed and special endurance workouts.

I knew that the better I performed during those workouts, the better I would perform on the track.

The commitment to those workouts showed up during the 2017 outdoor season when I ran 23.78 in the 200m at age 33.  I was significantly faster than I was during the 2016 season at age 32.

What Are Speed And Special Endurance Workouts?

A track workout for a sprinter typically falls into three different categories: speed, speed endurance, and special endurance.

Pure speed development workouts (acceleration or max velocity) typically take place in the 10 to 50-meter range.  You will be sprinting at 90-97 percent of your maximum speed in these sessions.

Speed endurance workouts typically take place in the 80 to 150-meter range.  You will be sprinting at 85-95 percent of your maximum speed in these sessions.

Special endurance workouts typically take place in the 150 to 500-meter range depending on if you are a 200 or 400 meter sprinter.  You will be sprinting at 85-90 percent of your maximum speed in these sessions.

All of these races will employ race plans.

Race plans are specific ways to run a race to ensure you do not run out of gas too fast.  Having a strategy will allow you to run a great race.

All three styles of training are necessary for a sprinter to maximize their performance.  Where you spend most of your time training will be determined by what races you run or what weaknesses you have.

Return To The Track

I suffered two grade 2 hamstring tears in the winter of 2018 and in the summer of 2019.

Hamstring pulls and tears are finicky because you can feel great one day and re-injure yourself on that same day.  I’ve been there.

Hamstring tears require a lot of time to completely heal.  For this reason, I had not performed a true speed/special endurance workout since the summer of 2017.

I still tried to compete in 2018 and 2019.  But I had to seriously modify my training due to those hamstring tears.

Those modifications did not allow me to train or compete at a level that I was satisfied with.

When I showed up at the meets I was a complete shell of myself.  I was losing to cats who had no business smoking me!

I finally took time away from the track from the fall of 2019 until the summer of 2020.

It’s been a long time, but I’m excited to be back in the game without bad hammies.

Track Workout For Sprinters (Speed/Special Endurance Workout)

A sample speed endurance workout involving the 150-meter dash would look like this:

• Sprint the first 40 meters (90-95 percent speed).

• Float the next 60 meters (85 percent speed).

• Try to “accelerate” the final 50 meters (?).

Floating is when you no longer try to accelerate but you settle into the speed that you have attained over the first 30-50 meters.

And the final acceleration is not you actually speeding up into a faster gear.

The effort you are putting into your final acceleration is actually you trying to prevent your body from slowing down.

The speed/special endurance workout that myself and my main man Joe did on September 19th is a classic track workout for sprinters.

The workout looks like this:

• 1 x 100m
-sprint the first 40 meters at 93-95 percent speed
-sprint the next 60 meters at about 85-90 percent speed

• 1 x 120m
-sprint the first 40 meters at 93-95 percent speed
-sprint the next 80 meters at about 85-90 percent speed

• 1 x 150m
-sprint the first 40 meters at 90-95 percent speed
-sprint the next 60 meters at about 85 percent speed
-finish the final 50 meters at about 85 percent speed

• 1 x 200m
-sprint the first 40 meters at 90-95 percent speed
-sprint the next 80 meters at about 85 percent speed
-finish the final 80 meters at about 85 percent speed

You must keep in mind that all of your speeds are relative based on where you are in the workout.  Your 95 percent speed on your 1st rep and your 4th rep could be slower by a few tenths or hundredths.


• Perform a sprinter warm-up before you begin this workout.  Skimping on your warm-up increases the chances that you will blow out a hammy.

• Rest 8-10 minutes between reps.  You will need a full recovery to maximize your sprinting performance.

• If you are a sprinter or a coach who wants to record accurate, unbiased times, you should invest in the Freelap Timing System.

• If you are unable to invest in Freelap, you can use a stopwatch.  But be aware that the times will not be as accurate due to human error.

• If you are out of shape this workout will hurt you bad.  But you must stick with it in order to dominate your competition on the track.

• I felt and looked rusty but it felt amazing to be back in the sprint game.  I’m grateful for better health.


Sprinters should use this speed/special endurance track workout to improve their speed and conditioning.

This workout is ideal for 200m sprinters, but 400m sprinters will benefit from this workout as well.

I’ll holla at you next time.
The People’s Trainer,

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