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500m Sprint Strategy for CrossFit Games Event 3 with Legendary Dan Bailey (+ Tips to Get Faster)

Learn how to race the 500m.

Dan Bailey, a former Division-I sprinter at Ohio University, breaks down the 500m race strategy for Individual Event 3 at the 2021 CrossFit Games.

One week ago, CrossFit announced individual athletes would face a 550 yard sprint (503 meters) as event 3 out of 15 at the CrossFit Games.

Bailey, who legendarily won the 2015 CrossFit Games sprint event, took to YouTube to break down the race strategy for the 500 meters.

Breakdown of Strategy for the 550yd/500m Upcoming CrossFit Games Sprint

“It’s a unique distance that presents a few challenges with several unknowns BUT there are a few things we can focus on in terms of race strategy to make sure you give yourself a fighting chance if you ever encounter a longer sprint!” Bailey wrote on YouTube.

General 500m race strategy should look like this:

  • 0-50m = Push out fast to race pace in the first 30-50m
  • 50m-200m = Pace yourself slightly off of a max effort and maintain that pace
  • 200m-300/350m = Don’t let up, put yourself in good position (within your means and the pack) to win the race and have enough left in the tank to kick at the finish.
  • 350m – 500m = Pray you have something left, kick to the finish! Focus on arm drive and heel to hamstring recovery with maximum effort focusing on good technique.

Watch Dan Bailey sprint 400 meters

In a video from his high school days, Bailey shared how this strategy looks like in real life:

“And no I’m not anywhere near this fast anymore!” he states at the end of his post.  

Dan Bailey at the CrossFit Games

Bailey is a five-time CrossFit Games individual athlete with a personal best finish of 4th in the 2015 CrossFit Games. He’s returning to the competition floor this year in the 35-39 Masters division after finishing 9th in the Age Group Online Qualifier.

The 37-year-old legendarily won the sprint event at the 2015 CrossFit Games, catching his sunglasses mid-run, and was hailed as one of the fastest athletes in the field.  

Dan Bailey’s epic sprint at the CrossFit Games

How to get faster at sprinting

Learn how to become a fast and efficient runner with Dan Bailey’s tips.

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