Speed Improvement Focus: PRIMER ON PERIODIZATION

As a very important training concept, Periodization is not, as many people may believe, a new discovery. As exemplified by Flavius Philostratus (AD 170-245), a Greek philosopher and sporting enthusiasm, a simple form of periodization has been used since the ancient Olympic Games. In his six
manuals on training, Phylostratus wrote extensively about the methods used by the Greek Olympians.

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Speed Improvement Focus: SPEED IMPROVEMENT AND STAGES OF PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT

A main concern of most parents is how to identify training programs that are both safe and effective for their young athlete. The first step in answering this question is for parents to determine the current developmental stage of each child with the help of their physician, if needed. The task is to make certain the young athlete has reached a

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Speed Improvement Focus: SPRINT MECHANICS REVISITED

SPRINT MECHANICS REVISITED

By Jeff L. Hoskisson
Assistant Track Coach
Western Michigan University

What makes one sprinter faster than another? Much of the discussion today centers around the different training methods used to achieve faster speeds. One area that we need to make sure we understand before talking about what kinds of activities we need to be using in practice is mechanics. What does the sprinter need to be doing during the stride to make them more efficient and faster?

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Speed Improvement Focus: THE 100-METER DASH

Developing a complete training program for the 100-meter dash is a much more complicated task than meets the eye. At first glance, it appears that it is merely an all-out sprint as athletes attempt to reach maximum speed as fast as possible and maintain that speed throughout the race. In reality, the race involves five different phases, each requiring special training techniques.

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Speed Improvement Focus: BASIC SPRINTING

From time to time there is a need to go back to the accepted fundamentals of an event. For this reason we present in the following text the basics of sprinting to assist young athletes and novice coaches. The article is an extract from the author’s book Athletics Fundamentals, published by A.H. & A. W. Reed Pty. Ltd., re-printed here with permission from Modern Athlete and Coach.

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Speed Improvement Focus: THE ACUTE EFFECTS OF PRIOR CYCLING CADENCE ON RUNNING PERFORMANCE AND KINEMATICS

The most arduous and strategic part of a triathlon is the transition from cycling to running. Authors of lay publications suggested various cycle to run methods to optimize this transition. For example, Brick (1996) recommended concluding the cycling stage with a low-resistance, fast cadence spin. In contrast, Friel (1998) advocated high-resistance, low cadence frequencies during the final moments of the cycling bout. However, these ideas remain controversial and are not based on scientific evidence.

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Speed Improvement Focus: EARLY SPECIALIZATION Vs. MULTILATERAL DEVELOPMENT FOR YOUNG ATHLETES

Most experts feel that it is best to avoid specialization prior to age 15 or so, depending upon the stage of growth and development. Others argue for specialization as early as possible whenever the child is ready.

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Speed Improvement Focus: DEVELOPMENT OF MAXIMUM SPRINTING SPEED

To the winner of the Olympic 100m goes the accolade “The world’s fastest man/woman.” It is a discipline where the focus of achievement in terms of improved performance and/or in terms of defeating opponents is measured in tiny time increments: increments of personal performance improvement may be as small as 1/100th second; while the difference between a gold and silver medal may require examination of photo finish detail to 1/100th second.

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Speed Improvement Focus: ECCENTRIC STRENGTH TRAINING MORE EFFECTIVE THAN CONCENTRIC TRAINING

ECCENTRIC STRENGTH TRAINING MORE EFFECTIVE THAN CONCENTRIC TRAINING

Hortobagyi, T., Barrier, J., Beard, D., Braspennincx, J., Koens, P., De Vita, P., Dempsey, L., Israel, R., & Lambert, J. (1996). Greater adaptations with submaximal muscle lengthening than maximal shortening contractions. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 28(5), Supplement abstract 761.

It has been known for a long time that the strength demands of eccentric contractions far exceed those of concentric contractions in a coordinated movement. Studies which have used maximal eccentric load versus maximal concentric load have shown superior strength gains for eccentric training. This study controlled for load so that both forms of contraction were overloaded by the same amount. Ss were women.

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Speed Improvement Focus: FLEXIBILITY AND SPEED

FLEXIBILITY AND SPEED

Flexibility exercises are often too closely linked with warm-up. As a result, athletes make the mistake of stretching cold muscles rather than warming the body first with large muscle activity to elevate core temperature 2-4 degrees so joints can be safely stretched. Athletes warm-up to prepare to stretch, they do not stretch to warm up. In a question-and-answer format, this article clarifies other misconceptions and covers all aspects of a sound flexibility program for team sport athletes.

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