Glen Mills Training Program – Sprint Training From Usain Bolt’s Coach
A sprinting athletic coach from Jamaica, Glen Mills has coached several great athletes including the Olympic record holder Usain Bolt and others. Mills’s coaching has greatly improved Bolt’s performance and technique, helping him break records with his efficiency and strength.
Glen Mills has overseen athletes to 33 Olympic medals and 71 world championships in his 22-year career as an Olympic athletes coach. Today, we take a look at Mills’ sprint training that helped Usain Bolt get the title of ‘the fastest man in the world’.
Glen Mills Training Program – A Complete Guide
Coach of Usain Bolt uses a well-programmed training program that focuses on pure speed and speed endurance simultaneously. He believes that the two should be practiced concurrently and coaches should attain a balance.
Glen Mills annual training program has three ‘hard days’ a week for youth athletes and two days for masters athletes as they can work on other things like flexibility, recovery and weight loss. For a short-to-long plan, the coach keeps the short speed sessions on Monday as they need up to 72 hours for recovery.
For the long-to-short plan, endurance and speed are done early in the week with two days of rest in the weekend after short speed on Friday. A deep tissue massage can be included on either the hard day or the rest day.
To keep the athlete fresh and active, the load should be reduced as the velocity increases. A good amount of recovery rest is also needed with an ideal duration being 36 hours or more. Explosive training should be reduced to once or twice per week.
Glen Mills Sprint Training
Glen Mills has coached a number of Jamaican athletes, making the nation the greatest at sprint. He has helped Usain Bolt improve to become the best sprinter in the world. When the two started working together, Bolt had poor mechanics and suffered from poor performance and injuries.
Mills is a technical coach in the sprints and devised a sprint training programme for Bolt that paved his way for the domination in the sport. The training plan included sprint technique and strength development. Mills focused on introducing small changes in the sprint technique to get bigger results.
There is a chance for the sprint technique to break down during intense training. A good way to overcome fatigue is to develop strength. The need for developing force makes today’s sprinters resemble bodybuilders. Mills believes that developing hip flexor is important for a strong upper body and core. There is a risk of injuries and poor performance due to improper body alignment.
Glen Mills focuses on strength training for power and speed to reduce risks of injuries and improve performance. The sprint training used for Bolt focuses on building the strength required to resist the forces coming from long, speedy runs. Bolt used a combination of strength training and core, general exercises, jumps/throws and Olympic lifting to improve his strength.
To improve the sprint mechanics, Mills improved Bolt’s technique. The training program was long-term and two years of reworking before he came out as the fastest in the world. Transforming sprint technique requires working with precision. Sprint drills develop balance, coordination and timing in addition to advanced skills like stride length, frequency, ground contact time and recovery mechanics.
Some of the primary techniques used to develop sprint mechanics include maximum velocity training, dynamic warm up drills and acceleration training. The focus on mechanics is maintained during all the workouts. The program focuses on speed, endurance and technique. It should be designed around abilities and energy systems needed to run speedily.
Glen Mills Coaching Techniques & Philosophy
Usain Bolt credits his coach Glen Mills for not only making him a great athlete but also a better person. His coaching technique is unique as he coaches a person and not a machine. He believes that a coach should be involved in every aspect of the athlete’s life.
Glen Mills often talks about the importance of training the mind and motivation. One of the interesting philosophies of Mills is ‘learn to lose to learn to win’. He believes that doing so gives the mental strength to the athlete by eliminating the fear of losing.
Glen Mills cares a lot for the athletes he coaches. We can always see the mutual, genuine love and respect Usain and his coach share. He also pays attention to detail. He can be seen watching his charges closely and monitoring each movement. The coach also works on improving his own skills. He has studied a lot and reads widely to understand the science that goes into producing great athletes.
Jamaican Sprint Secrets
While Usain Bolt has stunned the athletic space with his outstanding runs in the Beijing Games, the truth is that Jamaican sprinters have been dominating the competition for a long time. The tiny island has managed to dominate the world of international sprinting and won hundreds of medals. Some of the athletes have shared secrets that make Jamaica the sprint capital of the world.
The Jamaicans consider beginning training on rubberized tracks with shoes rather than running barefoot on grass. This improves performance and reduces the risk of injury. Since 2007, Jamaica has been stressing the importance of strength development. They had been working on just sprint training till then.
After Usain Bolt’s injury, it was made compulsory for athletes to undergo a test to determine if they have any imbalances that would increase the risk of injury. A large number of Jamaican athletes can now stand on a single foot and lift the leg over a stick. No athlete has had an injury since then.