This article is guest blogged by Jim Hiserman, author of the books Program Design Method for Sprints & Hurdle Training and Strength and Power for Maximum Speed.
This is a 5 part series:
Part 1 – A Total Sprint-Training Program for Maximum Strength & Power, Core Strength, and Maximum Sprint Speed.
Part 2 – A Sprint & Hurdles Program Design Overview
Part 3 – Training for Development of Maximum Speed
Part 4 – Basic and Advanced Technical Models, including Proper Execution of Key Drills
Part 5 – Speed throughout the Training Year
Part 5 – Sprint Speed Throughout the Training Year
SPEED THROUGHOUT THE TRAINING YEAR
One of the underlying elements in training for maximum speed is to make sure maximum speed is included throughout the entire training year (although volume of work will vary depending upon training week, day and block). Learning intricate motor skills involves programming of certain components of the brain. Any movement, especially a high speed movement like sprinting, recruits motor units (MU) in a precise pattern of time, space, frequency and amplitude. This can only be learned through rehearsal at the highest speed. Neuromuscular coordination is extremely specific to speed of movement which necessitates that all work involving sprint mechanics be done at event speeds, or close to event speeds, to accurately stimulate the patterns of frequency, amplitude, time and space. In very simple terms, sprinters become better/faster by sprinting.
I would be terribly remiss if I did not point out that the above technical models apply to sprinting at maximum velocity only.
This is only one of several phases of a sprint race. Phases of the sprint race include:
- Start (propulsion from the blocks + first two steps)
- Acceleration (divided into Pure Acceleration and Transition)
- Maximum Velocity
The different biomechanical aspects of each phase requires that different skill development drills, specific to each phase, must also be rehearsed at full speed. As mentioned above, it is necessary to train the various movement skills in a precise manner so the recruitment of motor units can be rehearsed in the correct pattern of time, space, frequency and amplitude for each phase of the sprint race.
A training plan designed to address the specifics of each phase must take into consideration that each phase is built upon the successful completion of the preceding phase. Proper time must to given to perfecting the Start so that the body is in a proper, falling or “accelerating” position conducive to the transition to the establishment of proper FRONT SIDE MECHANICS that are vital to the attainment of Maximum Velocity.
Therefore, Race-modeling for sprint races is a necessary and vital element to be included in any successful sprint-training program.