This is Part 3 of the series.
In Part 1 of overspeed training, I preferred to use slight downhill grades over a rope or pulley. While it may increase frequency, or increase stride length, it comes at a cost: increased ground contact time.
In Part 2 of uphill running benefits, the slight uphill grade keeps their technique in balance, which is the popular term "staying tall". Also, the ground rises to make contact with the feet, so athletes do not overstride, which also increases ground contact time.
The last part deals with using sleds (with or without weights) or the old fashioned isorobic ropes. You can buy 50 foot ones for about $29 USD, but you’ll probably want to get at least 100’ to make 30 meters. My sources revealed Flo-Jo used this type of device. If you don’t believe me, do a Google image search and you’ll see some nice shots of her hip flexor muscles (along with other muscles that I don’t have – and I’m a man)
Basically, the old fashioned isorobic exerciser is good for indoors when you can attach the rope to a wall.
I’ll have to go into high school physics to explain the differences between the isorobic rope and weight sled, because the work loads are different. The sleds are moving with the athlete. The rope provides a more constant resistance, whereas the sled decreases with increasing speeds.
Here are some tips and advice for using sleds and isorobic ropes:
- install the device about half a meter from the ground (18 inches)
- distances anywhere from 10-30m (great for indoor workouts)
- "slowdown" of 5-10% in expected, but no more as technique usually deteriorate when over 10%
- ideally on the track with spikes, and good for indoors
- belt secured just above the hips no higher than the waist
- keep proper care not to obstruct the runner with the incoming rope
The bottom line is these devices should never make you run faster at speeds you cannot obtain naturally. They should only work certain components of sprinting, or help you reach top speed more efficiently.