Run Faster With Speed Training
Great sprinters are sometimes born with natural talent, and some of the fastest sprinters in the world have been genetically gifted with innate stride length and stride frequency, the two primary components of success on the track. But most great sprinters didn’t get to the top with genetics alone. Proper speed training and well-executed running drills can enhance the benefits of natural talent and even help overcome a natural body conformation that can otherwise hold sprinters back.
Improve Track Skills
Sprinters looking for ways to improve their track and field skills should make use of a speed training program that blends cardio and resistance elements to generate explosive running speed. Kbands resistance training bands can help. But as with any training program, sprinters are likely to get out what they put in. As track athletes begin an intense running workout plan, they should be prepared to commit fully to the process in order to gain fast and powerful results.
Speed Training For Sprinters
Before beginning an intense running and speed training session, sprinters should always warm up properly. An adequate warm up generates heat in the muscles, increases blood flow to the muscle cells and can both improve results and decrease the chance of injury. When it’s time to begin the resistance training portion of a speed workout, sprinters should strap the Kbands in place around the leg just above the knee, making sure that the long band is positioned in the front and the short band in the back.
In discussed in the attached video, effective speed training begins with proper technique. In this speed training workout, our track athlete will complete a set of resisted running exercises followed by a set of un-resisted moves.
Increase Running Speed: Resisted Knee Lifts
With the Kbands in place, sprinters should begin with a fast, 12-second round of high knee lifts at an accelerated pace. As they complete this initial move, track athletes should make sure their arms are held at a 90 degree angle at the elbow and the hands stay open and relaxed. The power of this move lies in control and explosive force, so sprinters should give their all and stop after the 12 second period. The quads and hip flexors should be maximized during the move and then relaxed fully for another 30 seconds after each speed training set is complete. Sprinters should execute two sets of these speed training moves with the Kbands in place, followed by a full rest period after the second set.
Increase Running Speed: Unresisted Knee Lifts
After the second set of resisted speed training knee lifts, sprinters can unclip the elastic Kbands and attach them to the leg bands so they don’t get lost or interfere with the next set of running moves. These moves will be unresisted, so the running muscles of the quads, flexors, glutes and calves will be free to unleash their full explosive power. As they complete the same move unresisted, sprinters should focus on maintaining the angle of the arms to build necessary strength in the upper body as well as the arms. Meanwhile, the knee movements should be high, fast, and narrow, not wide. Sprinters should execute two unresisted knee lift sets of 12 seconds each, with full 30-second rest periods between sets.
Speed Training Moves: Resisted and UnResisted Wide High Knee Lifts
To understand the proper technique for the wide high knee lifts, watch the track athlete in the video as he completes the move slowly. Note how his knees lift wide to the sides and his elbows stay bent. Like our track athlete, sprinters should focus on keeping their knees wide and their elbows properly positioned as they blast through two resisted sets followed by two sets of unresisted wide lifts. Each set should consist of a 12 second burst of action followed by a 30 second rest.
During the rest period, sprinters should take deep breaths and maximize their oxygen intake. When the move begins again, sprinters should focus on speed and explosivity. The feet should be light and fast and should hit the ground and lift off again quickly. As they rise from the floor, the knees should reach belt height before moving back down.
Using the Kbands to Optimize Speed Training
Kbands leg resistance bands are designed to hold back the quads and hip flexors during speed training moves like this one. The extra drag placed on the quads increases the strain generated within the muscle fibers, which leads to an accelerated process of muscle growth and development. This resistance also generates a unique sensation once the bands are removed. The muscles feel lighter, more powerful, more explosive, and better prepared for intense bursts of speed.
Kbands can be customized to support speed training for track athletes of any age and size, so track athletes lighter than 110 pounds should adjust the bands to a lower level of resistance than the sprinter in the video. To learn more about the Kbands and how to optimize their contribution to a great speed training program, sprinters, coaches and trainers can explore the Kbands website for additional information.
What it Takes To become a Great Sprinter
Excellent speed training comes from a balanced cultivation of 1.) increased muscle strength and 2.) improved technique in the body motions that contribute to high speed running. This balance is essentially a combination of physical and mental conditioning. Relentless practice can be beneficial, but the specific moves involved in a great speed training regimen should be carefully chosen to maximize results without increasing the risks that come with sloppy body mechanics and overtraining. Remember to maximize rest periods, and focus on breathing rhythms and upper body position as much as leg strength. The upper body plays a powerful and often neglected role in track and field success.
Stretching, hydration, nutrition, and mental health can also make defining contributions to a successful speed training program. Investigate the site for more detail, and feel free to reach out to our Kbands training and conditioning experts at any time for additional guidance.