BASIC SPEED TRAINING WORKOUTS
The Basic Speed Training Workout is a starter’s program to building superior speed.
To begin to increase your current rate of speed, you’ll want to develop better stride length and frequency. The best overall way to accomplish this is to build functional strength for your entire body. Basically you want to build power, which translates in the ability to produce maximum amount of force in the shortest possible time period. Watch any sporting event that involves speed, and you’ll notice that the more powerful athletes have longer strides, spend less time on the ground, and can repeat their techniques more rapidly. The highest rate of acceleration will achieved in the first 10 strides you make, so the more power you develop the quicker you can hit top speed.
Before a speed training session, it is important to be sure your body is fully recovered from any previous workouts. If your body is fatigued or sore from previous workouts, you will not receive the maximum benefit from the workout and will put yourself at risk of injuring yourself. Just as critical is to ensure that you stretch and warm up properly for at least 10 minutes before a session. After stretching, jog a comfortable pace of approximately one-quarter mile to get your blood flowing and loosen your muscles. Finally, it is important to focus on proper running technique.
For the purpose of this basic speed training workout, we will focus on shorter distance sprints in the range of 10 to 30 meters.
SPEED TRAINING EXERCISES
Acceleration Runs - From a starting position, sprint for 20 seconds. If possible, count your strides and try to beat your distance with fewer strides in subsequent tries. Run these 10 times, then take a two-minute break.
Butt-Kickers – From a jog, bring the heel of your lower leg up and tap your rear end. As the leg bends, the alternate knee should drive forward and come up. Run these 10 times, over a distance of 20 meters, then take a two-minute break.
Uphill Acceleration Runs – For this drill, look for a slight hill that offers an upward grade of at least 30-40 degrees. From a starting position, sprint up the hill for 20 seconds. If possible, count your strides and try to beat your distance with fewer strides in subsequent tries. Run these 10 times, then take a two-minute break.
Split-Squad Jumps – This drill is effective for increasing stride length. From a basic lunge position, keep your hands on your hips, jump straight into the air, and return to your original position. Immediately repeat the jump for a set of 10. The knee closest to the ground should never touch. Perform three sets of 10 jumps for each leg.
Resisted Speed Runs – These are excellent drills for increasing both stride frequency and overall power. Using a light rope or elastics, attach a weighted object such as a small tire or sled, that can be used to drag. Be sure not to attach something that is too heavy. An alternative is to use a weighted vest. Run these 10 times, approximately 20 meters, then take a two minute break.
That’s it for the basic workout. For advanced workouts focused on improving stride frequency and length, click here.
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