speed work

hi everyone, this is my first post here so i'll give you a bit of background info about myself. i'm 18, in good shape, been training running-wise for like the last 8 weeks properly (weights and stuff for 18 months or so), and i'm training for selection for the royal marines on december 6th-9th.

basically my endurance has improved amazingly and i consider myself very fit, only problem is i've just discovered that my sprint work is very poor and i've got about 3 and a half weeks to build it up. do you think that is enough time to build it up to a good level?
also how should i go about getting really good sprint fitness and explosive fitness?




  • Crikey, another potential Marine? Well, the best way to improve your sprint work if that's what you're set on is short-distance intervals: once or twice a week doing a session of 10 or so 200m or 400m sprints interspersed with cool-down jogs or walks for the same distance.

    I'd recommend no more than two - if that - of those sessions per week (or you risk injury), in addition to your endurance running. Probably best to have one 200M one and one "fartlek" session - variable deistance fast bursts in a 'normal' run - per week. This is a short-term solution to your current request, by the way; a longer-term solution would involve integrating speedwork into your programme properly.

    Bear in mind though that you'll never be a champion sprinter if you do a lot of endurance stuff, but that the Royal Marines value endurance more, if anything. Good luck!
  • Mark, how did you suddenly discover your sprint work was poor?

  • i didn't really suddenly discover it.
    i'm pretty quick over 100m (12 seconds flat), so i assumed that my sprinting was fine. but when i had a briefing for my selection course i was told that the sprinting was really difficult, so i went to the local football pitch, doing some sprint work (sprint length, 25 pressups, jog width, 25 pressups, sprint length etc then doing some other work. whole session lasting about 40 mins) and i was horrified with how out of breath it got me! and when i go down to do my selection course i give myself the best possible chance.

  • If you can do 100m in 12 seconds you will beat most of the population in this country. When I do speed work I too get out of breath. The idea of speed sessions is that the first 200 meters is completed in around the same time as your last 200meters. Work out how fast you need to go and tailor your speed sessions around that rather than trying to go flat out all the time and ending up knackered.
  • Sounds like what you need to do is improve your recovery from anaerobic exercise and your ability to operate anaerobically than your sprinting as such (there must be better ways of saying that). Nobody that can do 100m in 12 seconds should be saying their sprint work is poor!

    Footballers do a lot of stuff like shuttle runs that would do the trick for you - maybe you could enquire about training with a local non-league club in their fitness sessions? That would show a bit of initiative too. That sort of training has to be done in a group really as it is hard to drive yourself on on your own. The other thing you could do is find one steep mother of a hill and sprint up it jog down repeatedly. Get someone to shout insults at you while you do it to simulate marine training!

  • Like the others I think that a 12sec 100m will be more than adequate.I would be suprised if many people are quicker than this on your course.
    You may find this schedule interesting:


    This is a training programme for short sprinting,although I'm not sure how much improvement you could hope for during a three week period.
  • Mark,
    I passed my PRMC September 01. So have quite a good idea of what sort of level you need to be at. I am now in phase 2 of training & will hopefully get my Green lid in March. All the advice above is very relaventhelpful for what you need. Doing a lot of sprintspeed work is very important, as you need the strength in your legs. A major part of your PRMC will be on the bottom field (Assault course) & this is where you will need some of this leg strength.

    The best advice I can give you is when your having a down day, try & push yourself more than usual, as this is what will be expected of you.
    & when your down on your course, don't give up on anything, even if your hanging out your ar**. Stay switched on, all the time & be a team player when they give you tasks.
    Hows your pressups, chinups etc?

    Best of luck.

  • thanks for the advice everyone, i think popsider's right, i need to improve my recovery time.

    booties assistant, well done for passing your prmc (i know its a bit late now). my chinups pressups etc are very good (my strongest point) i can do about 120 pressups in 2mins, and about 80 situps in 2 mins (situps aren't amazing cos i wasn't training them hard enough but i'm changing that), and i can do about 20 long arm chinups.

    i think i'll take everyones advice and as popsider said, i'll train with a team, maybe a rugby team (there's one just down the road).

    thanks again.

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