How Usain Bolt Became Super Fast

Usain Bolt Training

How To Became Super Fast

Coach Glen Mills from Jamaica has helped not only Usain Bolt become the greatest sprinter ever but has helped Jamaica gain the identity of the sprint capital of the world. Usain Bolt’s training plan included strength development, sprint technique, and proper programming.

When Usain Bolt started working with Coach Mills, he had poor mechanics. Usain Bolt ran behind his center of mass, which caused injuries and sub-par performances, compared to his later results.

Coach Mills is a technical coach in the sprints, focusing on small changes to get big results. Sprinting technique has been one of the main reasons for Usain Bolt’s domination in the sport of track and field.

During intense training sessions, sprint technique can breakdown, one way to overcome the fatigue is to develop strength. A sprinter today looks more like a bodybuilder because of the need for force development in high-end sprinting.

Coach Mills states “here we believe that the development of the hip-flexor to coincide with the strong upper body, and core”. Improper body alignment resulted in slower performances and more injuries.

Strength training for speed and power will improve performance and reduce injuries.

Usain Bolt’s training includes developing proper strength to withstand the forces created while running over 27 miles per hour.

Strength training with general exercises, core work, power movements, olympic lifting and multiple jumps/throws combinations are the best methods to improve specific strength for sprinters.

To improve sprint mechanics, Coach Mills not only developed Usain Bolt’s strength but improved his sprint technique, “Coaches have to continuously react and replay and redo the drills, getting the athlete to run over and over to break habits”, stated Coach Mills. Usain Bolt’s training included a long-term plan and took two years of reworking his technique before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, his break out as the fastest man in the world.

Executing basic sprint mechanics with precision is the key to transforming technique; proper practice repeated over time will yield improvements in performance. Sprint drills need to develop coordination, balance, timing and more advanced skills such as ground contact time, stride length, stride frequency and recovery mechanics.

Coach Mills stated, “Once the athlete’s stride length reduces, everything is going to be negative or impact negatively in the ground contact and recovery mechanics”.

The primary methods to develop sprint mechanics include dynamic warm up drills, acceleration training and maximum velocity training.  The focus on mechanics is not only during warm up drills but also during all running workouts.

Click here to learn more about developing sprint mechanics during the warm up

Program design for sprinters will focus on technique, specific endurance qualities and speed development.

The program should be designed around the energy systems and bio-motor abilities needed to run fast. Acceleration mechanics and maximum velocity training should be trained before speed endurance, according to the USATF Coaching Curriculum.

3 Key Points To Sprint Training

  • Use strength training to improve performance
  • Coach proper mechanics during workouts
  • Design speed based training before endurance