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Getting Faster Part 1: The Foundation

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Speed kills as just about everyone is aware. As a result it seems that even the quickest athletes want to move faster and faster as they develop as athletes. Training for speed in essence is a simple concept, as the saying goes: " if you want to run faster, one must run fast." Yet many young and even older athletes never get any quicker and bring down the 40 or 60 times.

Why? Because although the concept of getting faster is simple there is a little bit of complexity in achieving this goal that requires an assessment of the person's movement quality, strength levels and many seemingly unrelated factors to become faster in a progressive manner.

These factors are :

Mobility Hip , t-spine and ankle

Stability

Aerobic foundation

Strength (how to lift)

Deceleration

Oftentimes the one are that the athlete is missing is the one that is holding them back from developing the speed that they need. This post will go into some ways that an athlete can get faster by implementing these factors and over the next few posts give you system to do so.

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Ankle mobility, hip mobility and thoracic spine.

Lack of movement in these joints can lead to reduced performance and potential injury, in areas such as your low back, hips or knees.

Below are two videos to give you some drills to improve these necessary qualities.

Hips and Mid-back (t-spine)

After you have mobilized an area you need to stabilize it as well in order to keep what you just improved on with your stretching.

Here are some good drills to help you do just that in the videos below:

Rolling.

Gait or running quickly in this case is rotational. When are developing as an infant after we develop the ability to roll form face down to up and vice versa. This movement is the foundation for the later step of walking, skipping and running.

Bridging:

This is both and mobility and stability drill. In the video below we cover four variations: the single leg bridge, sprinter's bridge, double leg and table.

Crawling.

The next step after this that helps us further develop the strength, stability and co-ordination needed for gait.

Half kneeling drills:

There are so many more drills that one can do to help develop this quality of stability. so don't feel like you have to married to these or any moves. Just assess and re-assess to to make sure it is working.

Aerobic base;

as you probably know, the aerobic system isn't the direct source of energy for maximum speed. For that reason , many coaches believe that the aerobic system has no place in training for increased speed. They however does do not realize that the aerobic system is very much at work in sprinting, it increases recovery after a full effort run and that the more developed your oxidative system is the easier it is to move a full potential without going into the anaerobic systems.

Now this does mean that a person seeking to build speed should run miles after miles, but rather should do types of training that work the aerobic system without building too much of the type 1 muscle fibers. These approaches could be tempo-runs and step-ups and so-on.

Strength:

The next thing that is often not addressed in most speed development programs is strength work. Once again the fear and myth that most coaches hold onto is the idea that lifting heavy enough weights to get stronger will make the athlete slow.

Now strength work not done properly for speed training could make an athlete slow. There is although a way that you can get stronger in a way that can make the trainee faster especially for beginners. That is to lift about 60% to 70% of your one rep max and to move the weight quickly with good form.

In this program you will also want to include power moves such as med. ball tosses, jumps, cleans, snatches, jerks and so-on to develop what is called the rate of force production or being able to produce a good amount force quickly.

There is also the the benefits of injury prevention and the ability to withstand the stresses of speed while competing and training.

The goal of this training is not to make an Olympic lifter or a power lifter, but to get stronger over the years as the athlete develops in the weight room.

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Deceleration:

Lastly in this post is this last factor that is needed to move faster safely, that is the ability slow down and stop rapidly. This factor is not only needed to be safer while running quickly and also for an athlete to realize their full speed abilities, that quality is deceleration.

You see one of the most important roles of your brain is to keep you alive and safe, as a result if it doesn't feel that way it will not give you the power to operate at full speed or strength. So by training this factor that is completely neurological we can often make an athlete faster, because now the person's central nervous system senses this ability to stop well and lets the athlete move quicker than before.

Watch the video below for some ways to train this quality in a progressive manner :

Putting these factors together gives a person the foundation upon which to develop speed. Missing one of these doesn't necessarily meant that the trainee will not be fast. But it could be a limiting factor to further development and possibly could lead to injury due tho their joints not being in proper position to produce force or to absorbs stresses.

You also may be thinking that where does one begin with all of these needs ? .... and the answer is by assessing the person like we do here at Escape that is being trained and looking at their movement quality, mechanics and strength levels then in a periodized way training to increase those weaknesses while maintaining their strengths.

Join us for the next post in this series that will change the lives of our young and older athletes in the next two weeks or so !

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