Andre De Grasse had a historic Olympics in his first-ever trip to the Games winning three medals accounting for half of the country’s athletics medal haul. The Canadian sprint superstar won silver in the 200m and bronze in the 100m and 4x100m relay.
Over the span of the Olympics, De Grasse, 21, ran seven races including heats, semifinals and finals. De Grasse did not run as part of the 4x100m relay heats but did sub-in for Mobolade Ajomale in the finals and anchored the team to a bronze medal finish. The team crossed the line in fourth but were upgraded to bronze after the U.S. was disqualified.
After making a splash on the American sprint scene in 2015 with the University of Southern California, De Grasse went on to win a pair of gold medals at the Pan Am Games. In the fall of 2015, he moved to Arizona from Los Angeles to train with the ALTIS sprint group under the guidance of Stuart McMillan.
McMillan posted to Twitter on Sept. 3 the training and preparation that De Grasse did in the days leading up to the Olympic Games. The routine also includes some details of what De Grasse did between his races to keep fresh and at his best. The 21-year-old set a PB in the 100m, ran a national record in the 200m and anchored the relay team to a national record in the 4x100m.
Someone – sorry, cannot remember who – requested De Grasse Rio prep
Nothing too exciting here TBH pic.twitter.com/EMLXvdiAQF
— Stuart McMillan (@StuartMcMillan1) September 3, 2016
Schedule leading up to and during the Olympics
Aug. 3 – (120m build-off bend) x 4
Aug. 4 – Treatment and shakeout
Aug. 5 – Easy 70m x 5
Aug. 6 – Two relay exchanges + 3x30m from the blocks
Aug. 7 – Off
Aug. 8 – (120m build-off bend) x 4
Aug. 9 – Travel to Rio and shakeout
Aug. 10 – 3x30m from the blocks and 1x70m at sub-max
Aug. 11 – Treatment only
Aug. 12 – Shakeout
Aug. 13 – 100m heats (10.04), advances to semifinals
Aug. 14 – 100m semifinals (9.92 PB), 100m finals (9.91 PB – Bronze)
Aug. 15 – Shakeout and treatment
Aug. 16 – 200m heats (20.09), advances to semifinals
Aug. 17 – 200m semifinals (19.80 PB and Canadian record), advances to finals
Aug. 18 – 200m final (20.02 – Silver)
Aug. 19 – 4x100m relay final (37.64 Canadian record – Bronze)
Note: Bend running refers to running on the corners of a 400m track and into the straightaway. Relay exchanges are short bursts as athletes hand the baton in the exchange zones. Shakeout typically refers to easy running to flush out the legs. From the blocks refers to simulation of the start of a race (“on your marks,””set,” and then the gun).
As one Twitter user pointed out, there was lots of additional preparation, besides the details listed above, including therapy, extent of treatment and coaching Still, it’s interesting to see the training of a top-calibre sprinter versus a middle- or long-distance runner who may be putting in more mileage but at an overall lesser intensity.
@StuartMcMillan1 interesting but worthless as the devil is in the detail/coaching/therapy/tweeking… Not to mention the head game
— Glenn kearney (@glennkearney) September 3, 2016
De Grasse returned home to Markham, Ont. after the Olympics for some post-season downtime. The next global outdoor event will be the 2017 world championships in London as the Canadian will go up against Usain Bolt in possibly the final-ever race between the two. Bolt is expected to retire after London 2017, an event that has already seen more than one million ticket applications.