Posts

The role of sprint training for endurance athletes

Over the past few years speed development sessions have gained traction amongst endurance coaches. Successful endurance coaches of all levels—from high school to post-collegiate– are adding true speed development sessions to their year-round training regimen. I’ve had the opportunity to coach and consult with several top distance coaches, allowing me to see how speed development sessions can be incorporated into various systems and philosophies throughout the year. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 154: Force and velocity (with JB Morin)

Strength, power and speed are all related, but the relationship is more complex than it seems. Leading sports scientist JB Morin has dedicated his research to finding out more about the relationship, what coaches can learn from it, and how that can make training better. On this week’s episode of the podcast, he joins us to discuss force-velocity profiling, transfer of training, and many more aspects of getting faster. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 153: Sprinting myths (with Brian FitzGerald)

When it comes to high school sprinting, few can match the credentials of Brian FitzGerald. The 2016 USA Today national track coach of the year has led athletes to California state titles in each of the past four decades, including athletes named Athlete of the Year by Track and Field News. When coaching beginners it is important to know the basics. It is also important to know the myths that people wrongly pass off as the basics. On this episode FitzGerald dispels some of those myths and explains his five-step approach to teaching sprint mechanics. Read more

GAINcast Episode 115: Train speed in

Much of what is called speed training has the opposite effect of what we want. Rather than training speed in, things like wind sprints simply train speed out. You have to express speed in a climate of fatigue, but you don’t develop it in a climate of fatigue. On this episode of the GAINcast, Vern discusses his approach to training speed for team sports, balancing different types of speed training, and examples of how micro doses of speed work can work wonders. Read more

Another classic resource

In July of 1986 I flew into Tucson to visit Anne E. “Betty” Atwater, a professor of Biomechanics at University of Arizona, in order to pick her brain about throwing. This was an area where she had done some landmark research on pitching mechanics in the late 1970s. I previously had the opportunity to work with Betty on the biomechanical analysis of sprinters and hurdlers in preparation for the 1984 Olympic games. In our conversation, she recommended a book that changed my paradigm in regard to strength training and the use of isometric and eccentric work. Read more

GAINcast Episode 89: How Speed Happens (with Peter Weyand)

There are some basic questions out there that are difficult to answer, such as what limits human running speed. As technology advances, scientists can better study and start to answer this and other simple questions like what makes one athlete faster than another. Dr. Peter Weyand has spent decades researching locomotion on both animals and humans. His work with elite sprinters has brought some interesting conclusions and is driving the field forward. On this episode of the GAINcast he joins us to discuss his research and its practical implications. Read more

3 Reasons the Hammer Throw is Unique

We all know that hammer throwers are a bit different, but the event itself also stands out among track and field disciplines in several manners that you might not realize. First off it requires a unique combination of physical characteristics such as speed, strength, power, coordination, and agility. However more importantly the way the sport is set up makes it different. These differences can also have an large impact on how you approach training and technique. Below are three ways the hammer throw really stands out and some initial thoughts on how that could affect training. Read more

Why Did Usain Bolt Lose?

Athletics fans love statistics, and I’m no different, which is why it was so exciting to hear that the IAAF and Leeds Becket University were to collaborate on a biomechanics project at the recent World Championships, giving us some insight into what makes up a world class performance in athletics. As the Championships finished last weekend, the first initial reports were released for the men’s 100m and 10,000m, men’s discus final, and women’s pole vault final, which you can find here. The extended analysis will come in time, but the initial analysis does contain plenty of interesting bits of information. As my athletics knowledge is primarily limited to the sprints, that is where I’ll focus. The initial report itself does a great job of presenting the pertinent points, but I hope to add a little extra context where possible. Read more

HMMR Podcast Episode 94: Multi-Directional Speed (with Ken Clark)

Speed is key in every sport, but not all speed is created equal. In many sports, maximum speed is not the game changer. Instead, it is how fast you can respond to the opponent, change direction, and get moving again. In other words, multi-directional speed is often more important than linear speed. On this episode of the podcast professor Ken Clark explains the three elements of multi-directional speed, how it differs from other types of speed, and strategies to improve it. Read more

GAINcast Episode 55: Technical Models

Technical models are often what we turn to when we develop an athlete’s technique. How do we develop models? And how do we adapt them to the athlete? On this week’s episode Vern looks at how technical models fit into training and what steps coaches need to take to get the most out of them. Read more