Thursday, March 14, 2013

"Sprinting Tabloid” -Facts, Fallacies, Recent Research, and One Liners to Live by

"Fast Friday Five" (4)
  1     “Push!  Extend! Cover Ground!”Just after the 2012 London Olympics, 110m hurdler Aries Merrit broke the world record by .07 seconds to finish in an astounding 12.80 seconds. What did he owe his WR too? Flawless technique; specifically he switched his first hurdle approach from eight steps to seven. Merrit’s coach, Andreas Behm, said “overall strength and power output is most important with seven strides. The stronger and more powerful you are, the more ground you can cover.”Amen! Once again, real life application and verification why a solid strength and power program is so important to speed. In our football combine training context, many coaches find it easy to reduce the 40 yard dash times of athletes by improving their 10 yard times. Take an athlete from 7 or 8 steps at 10 yards, to 6 and you have great improvement.  Usain Bolt ran 9.58 in the 100m in 41 strides; back in ‘99 Maurice Green 45 to go 9.79. “LONGER STRIDE=FASTER TIME”
2.       “Recover, recover, recover”- Recent research has shown that training for sprint cycle “in air recovery” or “quick swing phase” will yield… improvement whatsoever. Limb repositioning doesn’t get you anywhere faster and we may be spinning our wheels here. I will talk about this drill and concept in its entirety in the near future, but do away with the “anchor drill.” A study by infamous sprint researcher Peter Weyand found that the studies slowest subject (a avg. field sport female athlete) and fastest subject (Usain Bolt) both repositioned their legs at roughly the same time/speed. When it comes to teaching mechanics, teach positions through “feel” and forget the bells and whistles. “USE THE LEGS FOR POWER (stride length) AND THE ARMS FOR SPEED (stride frequency)!
3.       “Stay grounded”- Ground contact time is our big indicator of speed and performance. In short, applying large amount of force in minimal time. Remember Master Sprint Coach Loren Seagraves words, “BIG FORCE, SHORT TIME, PROPER DIRECTION, FULL R.O.M” Elite sprinters can execute five strides per second, with a touchdown time of .09 seconds, and a recovery time of .11 seconds. Train for better GCT and you get better times.
4.       “Fast Twitch”-Many believe sprinters are born not made. Well to a certain degree genetics will pre-determine a portion of what you have. No offense to Tim and Kathy Gifford, but I tapped out my Irish-German-Scottish genes awhile back. However, I understand” SPEED IS A SKILL.” It can be taught and it can be improved upon. Through appropriate and directed training, fiber type will change (greater change at site of need, for instance hamstrings are naturally more predominantly fast twitch vs spinal erectors functioning as slow twitch) and intra/intermuscular coordination can be enhanced.

5.       “How Fast Can you Climb 47 flights”- On Saturday, March 23, NX Level will be hosting the Fight For Air Stair Climb at the US Bank in Milwaukee to raise money for the American Lung Association. The Goal is to get up the 1034 stairs in a fast, fast time. Get off your butt, come out and raise money for a great cause. For More info check out-- and get prepped with this quick workout featuring Shannon Carney, Matt Cerra and myself:

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