T Nation

Sprint Speed Question

Coach, sprint speed is my white whale, through sprint training, Olympic lifts, plyometrics, and explosive lifting, I’ve managed to get in the mid 4.4’s in the 40 yard dash consistently, however I can’t seem to break in to that mystical 4.3 range.
I understand that speed requires more power to accelerate, and less mass to weigh one down, but I can’t seem to find the perfect ratio of power to size.

So, my questions are, what’s the golden ticket, or some hidden trick, to increase top speed in advanced athletes?
How can one find the ideal ratio of power to size for sprints?
And lastly, how, if you can, can one know they’ve reached the limits of their running speed?

It’s awesome to see you posting in the forums again CT.

There are 3 key components to sprinting speed:

  1. The amount of power you apply to the ground
  2. The length of each stride
  3. The strive frequency, or how fast you can recoil after the push

Now, length of stride is mostly genetic (limb length) but can also be improved by proper hip and hamstrings mobility/flexibility training.

Getting stronger, and especially more powerful is the key to factor 1. So squats, romanian deadlifts, olympic lifts, plyos are very important.

Now, I believe that the true limiting factor in a well trained athlete is the stride frequency. Basically you need to program your nervous system to be able to move faster. A good way to do this is overspeed training. The easiest way to do this is to sprint on a slight decline (no more than 5-10 degrees… it should feel much different from a normal sprint), but the best one is the overspeed towing harness (where the athlete is being pulled by an elastic band to run faster).

However to make the most out of it, without affecting running mechanics, it’s best to use it in a complex fashion:

Set 1: Resisted sprint (speed parachute) x 40-60 yards
Rest 2-3 minutes
Set 2: Overspeed sprint x 40-60 yards
Rest 2-3 minutes
Set 3: Normal sprint x 40-60 yards

Rest 5 minutes

Set 4: Resisted sprint (speed parachute) x 40-60 yards
Rest 2-3 minutes
Set 5: Overspeed sprint x 40-60 yards
Rest 2-3 minutes
Set 6: Normal sprint x 40-60 yards

Rest 5 minutes

Set 7: Resisted sprint (speed parachute) x 40-60 yards
Rest 2-3 minutes
Set 8: Overspeed sprint x 40-60 yards
Rest 2-3 minutes
Set 9: Normal sprint x 40-60 yards

BTW, sprinting speed under 60 meters is not correlated with bodyweight, but it is correlated with body fat. So it’s not about being lighter, it’s about being leaner.

Thank you, CT.

I can’t wait to try and implement some over speed training and see where it takes me.

So, there really is no threshold for muscular weight in sub 60M sprints?
Because if you’re telling me I can get as jacked as I want and still fly across the turf, I’ll be inclined to jump for joy, lol!

[quote]iVoodoo wrote:
Thank you, CT.

I can’t wait to try and implement some over speed training and see where it takes me.

So, there really is no threshold for muscular weight in sub 60M sprints?
Because if you’re telling me I can get as jacked as I want and still fly across the turf, I’ll be inclined to jump for joy, lol![/quote]

Well if you gain 30lbs of muscle it might affect it! But within reason there wont be a negative effect as long as you (1) stay/get lean (2) continue frequent sprint practice as you are adding muscle (3) do your mobility work.

From experience adding the muscle via strength and power moves will have no ill-effect, but size gained through isolation body building work might.

Thank you so much, CT!

I’m going to crush 4.4! :slight_smile:

[quote]iVoodoo wrote:
Thank you so much, CT!

I’m going to crush 4.4! :)[/quote]

Keep in mind that a sub-4.4 is world class… but it is certainly doable if you are already in the 4.4

Hey, the only limitations are knowledge and expectation, right?
As long as coaches like you can keep innovating, I can keep improving :slight_smile:

I mean, the layer system alone has helped me drop almost a tenth of a second, and I haven’t even started my PLAZMA yet!
I’ll send you a thank you basket full of Biotest products when I hit the 4.2’s! Lol!

[quote]iVoodoo wrote:
Hey, the only limitations are knowledge and expectation, right?
As long as coaches like you can keep innovating, I can keep improving :slight_smile:

I mean, the layer system alone has helped me drop almost a tenth of a second, and I haven’t even started my PLAZMA yet!
I’ll send you a thank you basket full of Biotest products when I hit the 4.2’s! Lol![/quote]

Glad to know it’s working for you… and I’m always here to help when I’m needed.

CT is a SGHP a common technique you would use to develop sprint speed ?

CT is a SGHP a common technique you would use to develop sprint speed ?