Learn the strategies you need to implement to get faster and get to the next level
If you want to get faster it is important to educate yourself a little on the approach that will give you the most efficient training. We will discuss the two components of speed training acceleration and top-end speed.
What is the Difference?
Acceleration is the rate of change when you are speeding up or slowing down. This is an important attribute for many athletes because they need to make sharp and strong cuts. Acceleration can be trained by moving both light and heavy weights at fast as possible. With all of these lifts, you should be moving with max intent (putting every ounce of effort into moving the weight quickly). Lots of exercises such as plyometrics and short sprint-style drills. The goal is to get up to top-end speed as fast as possible. Don't let your ability to decelerate slide under the rug though. We need to train as balanced as possible to prevent injury and even out any unilateral differences (each side of your body).
Top-End Speed is the fastest you can run. If you try to sprint at 100% effort and reach your “top-end” speed, then you're at maximal velocity. Speed-endurance is how long you can hold your maximal velocity before slowing down. This is all about getting stronger so that your muscles can increase their speed capacities. Heavy strength training is how you'll approach this variable. Working with heavy compound movements (exercises that utilize lots of joints and multiple muscles) will allow your overall speed to get better, especially when running more than 20-30 yards. Moving heavy weight for more reps and sprinting for longer times at top-end speed will help with the length of time that you can stay at top speed.
Knowing which one to prioritize
It all depends on what your goals are and which sport you are training for. When it comes to a lot of court sports like basketball or tennis you won't get up to top speed with the limited court size. It is a lot more quick changes of direction and is your ability to get out of a cut quickly. So in this case, it makes sense to aim our training more towards acceleration.
If you are a track athlete, or someone running for longer distances in one bout, it makes more sense to prioritize training for top-end speed. Not to say that acceleration isn't important, because you do need to be able to get off the blocks quickly. Also, speed-endurance training gets increasingly beneficial as your typical distance gets longer.
I hope you found value in this brief overview of what makes up speed training! If you are motivated to get faster and learn more about how to program it yourself, I encourage you to sign up for my speed camp that is coming up!
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