speed training

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Soccer Speed: Small Sided Games May Not Be Enough

  Soccer is a sport that involves a lot of repeated sprints at various intensities during a match. With that in mind, coaches are very interested in the most effective ways to train soccer players. In the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Djaoui et al have a really interesting study that looks at the maximum speed demands of soccer players in both matches and in small sided games.   Small sided games are a conditioning tool used in several...

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...

Avoid Running Heel-To-Toe: A Glimpse Into Why

When we coach athletes to sprint, we want them to stay off their heels. In other words, we want them to avoid running with a heel-to-toe running pattern. Many distance coaches are trying to get their athletes to avoid that heel-to-toe running pattern as well. Instead, athletes are coached to run with the ball of their foot striking the ground using a pawing motion. In a 2015 issue of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Vannatta, and Kernozek have...

Speed Training For The Non-Elite Athlete: A Rant

first base baseball player

There’s been a lot over the years about speed and agility tools. Along with the internet has been a proliferation of specialized sports training facilities, experts, translated Soviet-era material, and equipment companies. All of this can leave a coach extremely confused about how to approach speed and agility. This post is going to be controversial in that I’m going to make some recommendations of do’s and do not’s for a coach with regards to speed and agility.   First, let...

Is Stride Frequency More Important Than Stride Length?

Over the years I’ve heard that sprinting speed is a function of stride length and stride frequency. Various coaching philosophies consider one more important than the other, some consider certain aspects to be untrainable though not everyone agrees with that. With that as background, Otsuka et al performed a really interesting study looking at the contribution of stride frequency to performance in races compared to training.   The authors studied 19 collegiate sprinters (male had a mean personal best 100...