With a basic understanding of the physiology that affects speed training, you will have the tools needed to prescribe proper help and functional activities for the athlete.
Many have said that it is possible to increase either one during a speed program, but very difficult to address both variables at the same time. There is research to refute this traditional theory.
“Incremental Improvements = Big Gains”
The initial goal of a good speed training program should be to improve stride frequency by .005 sec. and improve stride length by .005 sec.
It sure doesn’t seem like much, but when you add them together, each leg cycle is improved by .01 sec. The average athlete takes 20-22 steps in a 40-yd dash, thus improving their time by over .2 sec.
“The 5 Components of Speed”
The major factors that affect speed include:
1. Strength-An athlete must possess enough strength to adequately control and propel the body
2. Core Stability-Athletes MUST possess the ability to stabilize the pelvis in the proper position to excel in athletic movements. We must evaluate Core Strength v. Core Stability
3. Flexibility-There is a distinct muscle length-tension relationship that we must utilize to improve speed
4. Neuromuscular System-Look to build desirable “Motor Engrams”, which are specific neuro pathways that the body utilizes to perform very specific tasks, by using the body’s feedback loop instead of requiring stimulation from the brain
The athlete that can effectively put all of the factors together, will be successful.