Speed TrainingSpeed training should be accomplished in short and all out effort (>95%). If your effort is not near maximal, you will not be training efficiently. Speed training requires the duration of 3-6 seconds. This window of time is where your neuromuscular system will most efficiently make changes that will result in speed development. It is important that if you are training for speed rest intervals must be provided to allow for recovery. The appropriate recovery time is at least for every 1 second of work there is at least 1 minute of rest. An example, sprint 3 secs. and rest 3 minutes. To train appropriately for speed, fatigue should not be a limiting factor. Speed is a complete neuromuscular activity, and utilizes the Alactic Energy System. Therefore, no lactic acid is produced.
Testing acceleration and speed should be performed within 6 to 7 seconds of duration. This requires all out effort.
- Acceleration is the period of time it takes to achieve full speed - 10-20 meters.
Acceleration to reach max speed takes 10 to 20 meters in the youth athlete. Speed must be assessed after the athlete is able to accelerate to top speed. Maximum speed, therefore, will occur in a window 20 to 30 meters after the first 10 to 20 meters. This is referred to as a Fly Zone. The athlete must be in a non-fatigued state when testing for speed and acceleration.
- Measure top end speed in a 20-30 meter window after an initial 10-20 meter acceleration zone.
- Using a 10 meter acceleration and a 30 meter speed zone that is timed will require a full 40 meters.
With this information it is recommended that when training for acceleration a 10 to 20 meter distance can be utilized. When training for speed use a short, 10-20 meter acceleration zone to reach top end speed. Using a 30 meter zone the athlete must maintain speeds of 3.6 to 3.8 secs. for maximal benefit of speed training. This would be performing at >95% of maximal effort. This will maximize neuromuscular gains. When speeds exceed 3.8 secs. neuromuscular fatigue sets in and quality of training for speed decreases.
- If the athlete runs the 30 meters in 3.6 seconds the speed is determined by dividing 30 meters/3.6 seconds, and will provide top end speed of 8.33m/sec.
Watch the slide presentation to learn more about Dynamic Warm-Up for Speed Training.