If you want to get in shape. Sprint… Do not run.
Running is not sprinting. Sprinting makes you faster; running does not. Sprinting is something you can do for a short period of time and requires recovery to repeat. Sprinting improves conditioning. Running breaks down joints. Anything lasting for more than five seconds is working on something other than speed.
I am a great coach with over 25 years of experience coaching lacrosse, basketball, and track, but most importantly Speed and Agility.
However, this article is a summary of what I learned from these years of experience and backed and supported by Tony Holler, A legendary track coach.
Thank you coach Holler!
This Lady, Deajah Stevens, is sprinting, not running.
Running does not improve speed. Running is sub-max. Full speed is max speed (sprinting). Running makes you good at sub-max running. Sprinting improves speed.
Racehorses are not workhorses. ATTENTION COACHES: Fact: A horse that can plow a field all day won’t win a race. Don’t turn your athletes into work-horses. If you want a fast team (and who doesn’t?), treat all your horses like race horses. Train them for speed, not work.
Sprinting is the most explosive exercise in the world. Nothing in the weight room moves at 10 meters per second. The most explosive lifts may approach 2 m/sec. I’m not telling people not to lift, but sprinting, in and of itself, builds functional strength that directly transfers to athleticism.
Any fool can get another fool tired. Know-nothing coaches often work their kids the hardest. Toughness wins! I believe toughness is just as genetic as speed. Coaches don’t create toughness by designing crushing workouts. Even if hard work created toughness, I would still opt for fast, energetic athletes. Slow and tired athletes lose no matter how tough they are. If you want fast kids, work smarter, not harder. To get faster, you must sprint intensely for five or six seconds and then rest long enough to do it again.
We are not the result of what we did yesterday. We are the sum of what we did for the last six weeks, the last six months, and the last six years. The “6-6-6 Theory”. Speed grows like a tree. Speed training takes consistancy and dedication.
Speed is a barometer of athleticism. What metric is the #1 indicator of future success at the NFL Combine? Like it or not, the 40 is the Holy Grail. The 40-yard dash is a measure of both acceleration (strength and explosion) and max-speed. Surprising to some, speed is not only important for running backs and receivers. The fastest offensive linemen are always drafted highest. The highest drafted 300-pounder will usually be the fastest 300-pounder. The best athletes are the best players.
Speed translates to all sports, even non running sports such as volleyball. Sprinting and jumping use the same fast-twitch muscle fibers. Sprinting and jumping have a reciprocal relationship. Volleyball players jump high and move quicker as their 10m fly times improve.
Beware of “The Grind”. Any coach who embraces “The Grind” is not a speed-based coach. You don’t train a racehorse by grinding unless you want to improve its ability to plow fields. Grinding improves grinding, not speed. Hard work seldom translates to undefeated seasons, but coaches live in constant fear of getting out-worked. Great athletes and great teams are a combination of smart training, enthusiasm, talent, and luck.
Sprinting improves sprinting. No one gets fast by running slow. I never train tired athletes. I never train beaten and battered athletes. Rest, recovery, and enthusiasm are more important than any workout. If I want to train kids two days in a row, I make sure today’s workout does not ruin tomorrow’s workout. My athletes usually perform well and do not break down.
Too many coaches value weight lifting in the absence sprinting. Kids fall in love with the way they look in the mirror. Indiscriminate hypertrophy is a dumb idea and reduces athleticism. But I get it, its about the beach and those 6-pack abs!
P.S. – 60 seconds (15 x 4 sec sprints) of sprinting uses more core muscles than 60 minutes of crunches.