maximum velocity

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Accelerating And Top Speed: Differences

Sprint running has long been divided into three phases: acceleration, maximum velocity, and speed endurance. The first two have been considered important for the training of most athletes. In acceleration running we’re increasing our velocity. Initially this is done via frontside mechanics (i.e. our focus is on lifting our knee, landing on a flat foot, and pushing ourselves along). Maximum velocity running is where we are taller and are focused on frontside and backside running mechanics. With backside mechanics we’re...

There Are No Magic Drills For Speed

Running drills have been around for a long time now. It’s the kind of thing that appeals to a certain type of coach, the ones that are looking for the magic exercise to fix performance. I remember getting into a heated discussion with a jumps coach at the Australian track and field coach’s congress a few years ago about this.   The idea behind these drills is to break down a complicated movement skill into its components and to develop...

Agility Can Be Trained Generally And Specifically

Agility is often a difficult physical ability to train.  I often view it as the summation of the athlete’s physical abilities (strength, speed, mobility, etc.) that is applied to the sport’s movement patterns.  This requires all-around development of the athlete and a pretty good understanding of how the athlete moves in the sport.   Except at elite levels, most strength and conditioning coaches don’t have the luxury of specializing in a specific sport.  This means that they have to work...

Elite Sprinters May Run Differently Than Everyone Else

Kenneth Clark and Peter Weyand have an interesting article in the latest issue of the Journal of Applied Physiology that looks at sprinting.  They begin by reviewing the fact that what differentiates faster sprinters is their ability to exert force against the ground during shorter periods of foot to ground force application.  The question they ask in this study is: What allows faster sprinters to apply greater forces against the ground? In this study, the authors examine two possibilities.  The...

Preparing for Speed Training

Speed training is an important training modality for most athletes. Speed training is also associated with hamstring injuries and shin splints. In many situations, speed training is an all-or-none effort. I mean this in the sense that either we don’t do any speed training or we focus on it. If we approach speed training this way, we’re asking for injured athletes. Speed is an important skill for most types of athletes. Because of this, it should be trained year-round in...