Ten years ago, Ryan Bailey had never competed in track and field. Today he’s an Olympic silver medalist, holds the American record in the 4×100 relay (37.04 sec.), and has one of the world’s fastest times in the 100m sprint (9.88 sec.). A combination of intense training, dedication, and pure talent has carved Bailey into an international athlete to beat. Check out how the young track star is training to make an impact at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

How do you train to get faster?

We do drills during our warmup that relate to what we do on the track and get us ready to run with proper technique. The speed workouts (see below) are what make us faster.

How important is weightlifting in improving your performance?

It’s major. I lift at 7 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, then go straight to a track workout.

What is your training plan for the 2016 Olympics?

It depends on what my coach has planned, but usually we start tweaking the workouts around February or March to focus on running a fast time. Then, I’ll start training for the trials in November and after that gear training toward the Olympics. Regular preseason training is longer interval training. I’ll run 450, 350, and 250 meters with eight minutes’ rest in between at a moderate pace. Once speed work starts, I do 60-, 80-, 120-, or 150-meter sprints at 85-95% effort with shorter rest.

Which part of your game are you trying to improve on most?

In the 100m, my start has been an issue ever since I began track when I was 17. As far as the 200m, I’m working on strength to finish the race, especially in the last 50 meters. Starting is all about having certain body, arm, and shin angles. I view my film to make corrections, such as keeping my feet low when I’m coming out of the blocks. We’re doing every little thing to take off a couple hundredths of a second.

What inspired you to take track to the Olympic level?

It was always a dream of mine since I was a little kid to compete in the Olympics, even before I started running track. When I saw Olympic athletes on television, I knew I wanted to compete at that level. Once I found out that I had pretty good talent in high school, I decided to stick with it and go for the dream.

Bailey’s Speed Workout


Sets 1-3 Run at 75% of max
Sets 4–6 80–85%
Sets 7–9 90–95%

Set 1 60m sprint—Rest: 3 min.

Set 2 60m sprint—Rest: 3 min.

Set 3 60m sprint—Rest: 5 min.

Set 4 60m sprint—Rest: 3 min.

Set 5 60m sprint—Rest: 3 min.

Set 6 60m sprint—Rest: 5 min.

Set 7 60m sprint—Rest: 3 min.

Set 8 60m sprint—Rest: 3 min.

Set 9 60m sprint—Rest: 12 min.

Set 10 300m sprint

About Ryan

Age: 25

Residence: Los Angeles, CA

Height: 6’4″

Weight: 225 lbs

Twitter/Instagram: @rbailey_sprints

Sponsors: EPIQ, Nike