Have you seen the trend in the past 30 years in athletes? We have people accusing each other of PED’S because they run faster , are stronger and just a better athlete. There is a reason athletes move better compared to 30 years ago. The education on developing better athletes is better now compared to thirty years ago.
“You can’t control what the other athlete is going to do; you can’t control anything except for your competition and how you execute the race or how you execute the task.” – Michael Johnson 200 meter world record holder
How do we develop a faster athlete.
Developing a better athlete takes time and an understanding how the body moves as well as the sport being played.There are two areas in running we need to focus on when increasing a better athlete which is the stride length of the athlete and the stride frequency of the athlete. One of these two areas will have to be focused dependent on the needs of the athlete. Stride frequency is looked at with the number of strides taken within a given period or the distance covered by the athlete.Stride length at maximum speed is generally 2.3 to 2.5 times what the athletes length is.
Understanding Mechanics for Improvement
To increase speed there is a small checklist we can start with. remember each athlete has different needs so there is no cookie cutter for every person. The first thing each athlete needs is a resistance training program and this should be the foundation of any training program. Once we have established the foundation we need to see how each athlete moves.
Knowing how each athlete moves we can then find what their deficient and strengths are. To improve the stride length and stride frequency comes from increasing the mechanics of each athlete. What needs to be looked at is their elbow , and hand position in relation of generating enough force without out reducing force. The legs need to be looked at the ankle complex the knee and the hip. These three joints need to be in an ideal position to be able to produce enough force to move faster.
Mechanics of the arm
With the arm we have to at the shoulder be able to have the ability to move forward and backwards with the elbow bent at 90 degrees. The hands have to be relaxed while running. When running the hands need to move forward at about the level of the athletes nose.The arm has to move forward and backwards never side to side. Moving side to side reduces the amount of force while running.
Mechanics of the Leg
The ankle complex needs to be in an in a dorsiflexion toes up position except when the foot hits the ground. When the balls of the foot hit the ground the entire weight of the athlete needs to be on the foot. If you can stop the image of the athlete when they strike the ground it should be a straight line from the foot to the top of the athletes head. While the other leg is being raised to a 90 degree angle.These are some simple steps that need to be incorporated in being a faster runner.
Watch out for this
When focusing on these two areas we need to understand that are stride length and stride frequency interrelate with one and another. The result of overcompensation one over another can lead to bad mechanics. trying to increase stride length can lead to overstriding which will lead to a negative effect. With overstriding decreases the stride frequency so while developing speed we aren’t counterproductive.
Becoming the faster athlete
Once you are having good mechanics with a good resistance training program we can start to look at specific drills to increase more power in the athlete, with either better stride frequency or length.When more power is being produce by the athlete we will be faster. If you have any questions let me know by leaving comments or by following my blog. For more information on gaining more speed you can take my course on developing speed, agility and quickness.