by Bob Vandersluis
Speed is the name of the game for the majority of people that walk through the doors at Peak. Most athletes want to get faster, period.
There are certain aspects to speed that we prioritize.
In order to get fast quick, we first look at refining form and maximizing efficiency. A couple of effective drills for this are wall marches, and wall march triples.
Running angle and leg drive are two things that can almost always be corrected in someone we see for the first time.
We also try to stress creating stiffness in the ankle to create a “bouncy” effect. If an athlete completes this drill and their heels are coming in contact with the ground, they should be prompted to create more rigidity in the ankle joint when striking the ground.
Another key component to being able to get fast is to be able to produce force. Force production can be enhanced by one of two things: increased mass (not ideal in some cases), or increased acceleration.
Applied to running, you might say, “For every force applied to the ground there is an equal and opposite force applied back to the runner.”
Strength training helps you increase force. The more you are able to push into the ground with each step, the more force the ground will push back into you, causing you to move faster.
Here are our top recommendations for increasing lower body strength.
BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT
The last key to becoming blazing fast is to put both your new-found mechanical perfection, with your strength to churn out some amazing power.
Plyos are a proven method to develop power with little to no load, and often require very little apparatus.
This is an advanced training drill, but is a great indicator of being able to produce horizontal force.
We use the depth drop with either a vertical or broad jump rebound to improve reactive strength and increase muscle stretch-shortening capacity during impacts.
DEPTH DROP W/ REBOUND
CHANGE OF DIRECTION (BACK TO BASICS)
We put a large emphasis on our athletes being able to change direction safely and efficiently. Master these foundational movement patterns to create the most effective shin angle and body posture to produce force that will propel you back the way you came, or in another direction from which you were going.
SHUFFLE TO SWAY STOP
CROSSOVER TO SWAY STOP
REACTION CROSSOVER TO SPRINT
Note: Reaction drills should only be done once the basics have been mastered and can be duplicated.