The Pop-and-Lock Set: A Speed Endurance Set for Sprinters

Michael Butler
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The Squat and Sprint

Endurance training is for everyone.

Well, almost everyone. If you’re a sprinter, endurance training is as helpful to you as it is to the marathoner. Runners have to sprint?!? Yep, and you can build your own sprinter’s workout with just a little imagination.

This is a simple set of exercises you can do every week in the gym, or outdoors if you have a track nearby. Performing all of them at once will provide a challenging workout for your entire lower body. This is a quick workout, so be sure to rest up afterward.

First, use the squat rack to do some squats. Do 12 to 15 reps with a moderately heavy weight to warm up your legs. Then, take the plates off the squat rack and don’t put them back on. Start with two light weights you can handle for a total of 20 repetitions.

Now it’s time to get moving. Sprint along the track as hard as you can for a few seconds. Rest 30 seconds and repeat another set. Continue for another minute, and then rest for 60 to 90 seconds before sprinting again. Finish the workout with one or two more sets.

Creating a Monster Sprint Set

When track athletes travel to the major track meets, they usually stay on the track for long events like 5000 meter races and 10,000 meter races.

However, the 100 m dash is a very popular event at the Olympics, which requires the skills of sprinting for 100 meters. Although it is very technical to sprint for 100 m, you can improve your sprint time with a good speed endurance set.

You will need to be strong enough to maintain sprint speed for 100 m. That is why strength training will help you acquire power to facilitate the 100 m sprint.

You need to build muscle but without gaining too much body weight. You should focus on key muscles that contribute to running in order to improve your agility and power.

Mostly, you need to go fast and recover fast. It will help you become more efficient in your movement and maintain running speed.

With this speed endurance set, you will be able to train and test yourself for the 100m sprint. Use this speed endurance set before you sprint the 100 m dash to improve your time.


A sprinter is defined by being explosive over a short distance … and that requires great endurance. You may be asking, “Won’t doing endurance training interfere with my ability to be explosive?” And the answer is no.

The pop-and-lock set was created in Australia by Greg McFarlane, former head coach of the Australian track team.

It emphasizes the relationship between speed endurance and acceleration, which, according to McFarlane, is essential for any sprinter.

The pop-and-lock set is a combination of explosiveness and endurance training. The idea is that the sprints have to be explosive, and the breaks have to recover with full body extensions and improved running form.

McFarlane breaks the pop-and-lock set workout into three parts:

Part A. 3 x 12 sprints with 15 seconds of rest – this part emphasizes being explosive and building up speed

Part B. 4 x 50-meter strides with 60 seconds of active recovery – this focuses on recovery while optimizing running form

Speed endurance is the ability to maintain fast running for a long time (as opposed to pure speed or pure endurance running).

If you are a sprinter on a field team, you need to practice speed endurance in order to be able to compete in sprint relays. This includes both the preliminary rounds when you’re running with only a few other people up in front of the TV cameras and during the finals when you’re running head-to-head against another team.

In the preliminary rounds, you have to practice your ability to maintain your speed even though you’ve been running hard for a long time. In the finals, you’ll often find yourself in someone else’s shadow. You have to be able to pick up the pace and run with them in order to beat them. Either way, being able to run fast for a long time is vitally important.