I’m going to let you in on a little secret: No one is born fast or slow, they are just waiting to get faster.
Speed is trainable
Speed is coachable
Speed can be developed. expanded, and improved upon.
Now, I’m not saying you can develop the same level of speed as a world record-holding athlete. But there is a potential for an increase in speed and performance for you or your athletes.
In this multi-part blog series, I am going to take you through the not-so-secrets of developing speed leaving the bullshit behind.
This is volume 1, chapter 1, The Prerequisites of Speed, written to give you a sampling of what’s to come and leave you cats hungry for more.
So throw away your parachutes, we won’t be needing those, and lace up your PF Flyers or talaria if you can find a pair and we’re going to get down and dirty with what you need to know on developing hot, nasty, badass speed.
Prerequisites of Speed
If we want to get better at running faster, we need more specific practice at that skill. By just programming sprints into your workouts, you cannot expect the desired adaption of speed through osmosis. Form is an art that needs to be molded.
Improvement in running form looks like:
1. Less energy expenditure and moving with the anatomy of your body (not against it) which equals less stress.
2. Less stress equals less time needed for recovery.
3. Less recovery means more time performing outside the track. Which equals
4. Less risk of injury and training burnout.
By taking the time to coach your athletes or pattern the movement yourself you now have a low-stress environment that opens a window of opportunity for increased speed.
Speed is a product of posture, and while dialing in your arm swing and coordinating the leg action is an important first step, to effectively connect the two we need a trunk to be as hardened like a tree. Without this, not only will your form suffer, but we can avoid loss of any ground reaction force eliminating force bleeding. Or simply the loss of speed potential.
In our toolbox of movement. We can teach and improve speed stability through the dead bug and the Power Athlete Pillar Series found in our Iron Flex program.
If you cannot get your body into the required positions of speed you cannot expect to display the art form. We can attack flexibility in our warm-ups and cool-down practices, but don’t confuse the use of flexibility here as becoming a level 1000 yoga Zen master.
This is preparation for sport, skill, and again the opportunity to see into the window of training with your coach’s eye.
Reiterating above, you cannot simply run a few 100s and slap on the hashtag #speedskill. Without the proper distances set, full rest time taken, volume progressions implemented, and most importantly running quantifiably fast, you’re simply just running your mouth on what you say you’re doing.
Here we can avoid overreaching and not overtraining or doing too much even too little with one of Power Athlete’s key principles of training, accelerated adaptation.
The final piece of the speed puzzle. While “easy” to implement, opportunity often gets overlooked. If you do not provide the opportunity for yourself or your athletes to improve their running form, find and improve upon limiting factors; dial in the needed focus and patience, developments in speed will never come.
Remember, potential means nothing if you don’t do anything with it.
Empower Your Performance
These five prerequisites will allow you the athlete or coach to develop a lasting individualized plan to increase performance, including speed. Take the time now to digest the information given, apply what you can, reach out with any questions and check back for the next edition of the speed series, the principles of running form.
Do you like what you’re reading here? Check out how we apply these into a training program:
TRY HAMR NOW: 7 Day Risk Free Trial
Are you a HAMR Athlete? How are you enjoying the program so far?
- PODCAST: PA Radio EP 359 – Your Dream Speed Coach Derek Hansen
- BLOG: Battle the Bullshit: Skill and Speed Resistance Training by Tex McQuilkin
- BLOG: SPEED 101: Patterning by Carl Case
- BLOG: SPEED 101: Leg Action by Carl Case
- TRAINING PROGRAMS: Speed Kills
- COACHING: Power Athlete Speed Coaching
- EDUCATION: Power Athlete Methodology
Zack Nagle veteran of the fitness industry most recently and currently as Director of Performance for TrueForm, coaching and training athletes from virtually every sport ranging from youth beginner to the professional level. Zack found his calling battling the fitness BS & empowering individuals to reach their potential utilizing the Power Athlete Methodology to optimize performance, reduce injury risk, and strengthen his clients and athletes through movement coaching, and individualized program design.
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