Two Types Of Speed Training

Hi all,

I am often asked or told by parents or by young athletes that " I need to increase my speed or my son/daughter needs to be faster" .

Ok.?! Well, what type of speed are you looking to increase?

In the world of sports the types of speed training, and I'm talking straight ahead speed only not multi-directional, are acceleration and sprinting or top end speed.

Acceleration is the short burst speed that requires a powerful hip and arm drive. The distance for this type of speed is only 5 to maybe 15 yds. generally 10. This type of training will make you quicker but you also need to be strong particularly in your lower body and core. The stronger you are there, the more force into the ground you will create to travel the short distance faster.

So, accelerating 5yds in 3 steps and 10yds in 6 is really moving and being super quick.

In most sports, acceleration speed is the most often used....approximately 90% of the time an athlete is only sprinting 10yds or less. That's a lot of the time during the course of a 60-90min. game!

The other type of speed training is sprinting or top end speed. This is longer spriniting...25-60yds. Some do 100's.

Now, in most sports an athlete does not sprint this distance that often...probably 25% or less depending on the sport and position.

So, why train it? A few reasons. First, it's important for all athletes to learn how to sprint properly and sprinting a longer distance requires alot of core strength, hip and shoulder mobility and lower body power, different than strength which is used more in acceleration.

Second, it's a very good metabolic conditioning change of pace workout.

In summary, acceleration training should be trained more often than top end speed training. Twice a week but not on back to back days. Top end sprints should be performed maybe once a week or once every other week.

Thanks for reading,

Coach Ford CSCS

IYCA Speed and Agility Specialist

PS for those Football players out there, check out Coach Carlisle's Total Football Training DVD. A very good DVD.

Check out link below

Total Football Training DVD

Complete Speed Training DVD

North/South Football DVD

Developing Young Athletes

Resisted Sled with Olympic Weights

Resistor Bands

Sports Speed Products