Speed Training – Day 5 – 5x200m

This was the staple of the East Carolina Men’s Track and Field team back when I was competing and the late-great Bill Carson was the head coach.

Every single Tuesday we had 6-8x 200m sprints

I told you in The Rhythm Training series that during my second season at ECU I decided to step it up, and decided to train along side the team’s fastest sprinter – BJ Henderson.

200m Repeats are what made me a champion!
Keeping up with him are what made me a true sprinter.

BJ was a multi-time All-American in the 400 and 4×400 with a PB of 45 seconds in the 400m dash.
His strategy was simple
ALL-OUT from step 1

and it WORKED.

All I did was keep up and BJ pulled me to faster times.

Example while at ECU:
Rep 1 – 21.8s
Rep 2 – 21.6s
Rep 3 – 21.4s
Rep 4 – did not make it back to the starting line
Rep 5 – workout finished

BJ usually finished the 2nd half of the workout by himself, but I was right there next to him for those first 3

Ha Ha!!

The strategy worked and saw me run a 45.6 split at the Sea Ray Relays in 2005, faster than I ever imagined I’d run in the 400 meters (even on the relay).

That same season I broke the ECU record and set it at 13.78 seconds in the 110 hurdles.

The workout works
perform it
every rep


Place cones at 60 meters

From a 2pt stance,

  1. run FULL-SPEED through 60m,
  2. Breathe and
  3. Bounce the entire backstretch

THIS workout alone will allow you to learn all levels of the bounce.

The bounce at 75%
The bounce at 95%

But these repeat 200s, over the course of your season and career, will allow you to truly master the art of sprinting. Through repetition you will learn exactly what bounce your 85% is vs 98% vs 65% – easy.

How To Perform The Workout

  1. Move 100% from step 1 ————–> 60 meters
  2. breathe &
  3. bounce

But here is the key,
every rep you will have to push 10 meters further, in order to maintain the pace you are at.

Example Workout: 
5×200 @ 23.00 seconds

Rep 1
22.87 seconds – easy

Rep 2
22.59 seconds – easy

Rep 3
22.66 seconds – eh not bad

Rep 4
22.91 seconds – oh $hit!

Rep 5
23.12 seconds – fff*****cccckkkk!!! (gonna have to do it again)


As fatigue sets in, you will have to push for further than 60 meters in order to keep pace.

Rep 1 = 60 meters
Rep 2 = ~65 meters
Rep 3 = ~75 meters
Rep 4 = ~80 meters
Rep 5 = the entire curve and the entire straight away

IF you only continue to push for 60 meters, you simply will not make time, such as in the example above.

*At the beginning of the season you can begin in sneakers running around 30 seconds per 200 meters.

**By the end of the season you should be running personal bests in practice with the strength to repeat the time at minimum 3x back to back (3 minutes rest).
It is ok to take a nap at the end of the last rep, we’ve all done it.

It is ok to throw up after this workout.

It is not out of the norm to want to “quit” track and field forever after this workout.
A “fit” 110m hurdler (42s”) will be able to perform 5x200m @ 24-25 seconds in sneakers.
That will give enough speed endurance for 1 really fast race, though you’ll want a little more endurance for multiple rounds.

We performed these workouts every Tuesday at ECU and I do believe I benefited greatly from the consistency of these throughout the year.

Set 1 day a week to perform this workout and take off .25s from the 200pace every week. I guarantee you’ll surprise yourself with how much faster you run in ALL sprint events.

Run Fast!
Make Them Chase You!

-Coach Cotto