Max Velocity Sprinting

Max velocity is the fastest speed an athlete can run before fatigue occurs and the athlete starts to decelerate becoming slower. Max velocity occurs at the end of the acceleration phase of sprinting which tends to happen between 30-60m depending on the athlete.

It’s true that most field sport athletes will never attain their max velocity during game play so why is it important to train it? Essentially, if your max velocity increases so will your starting velocity. The first derivative of acceleration is velocity therefore it’s important to train this to improve it. Max velocity training residuals will only last up to 5 days so you should aim to train it twice a week. In addition, regular exposer to max velocity sprinting can reduce injury risk which is a bonus.


An example training programme is presented below. However, it is important to have a level of conditioning before you start since it is not recommended to start performing max velocity sprints as these can be very intense.

Week 1 Tuesday

5 x 75 m max effort sprints. Walk back for active recovery and take at least 3 min between efforts. Total distance at high intensity = 375m

Week 1 Friday

6 x 75 m max effort sprints. Walk back for active recovery and take at least 3 min between efforts. Total distance at high intensity = 450m

Week 2 Tuesday

7 x 70 m max effort sprints. Walk back for active recovery and take at least 3 min between efforts. Total distance at high intensity = 490m

Week 2 Friday (slight reduction in distance, maintaining max effort)

6 x 65 m effort sprints. Walk back for active recovery and take at least 3 min between efforts. Total distance at high intensity = 390m

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