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Summer Training for Speed – Part II

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Conditioning
Most coaches agree that conditioning work is a must for summer training. What they don’t agree on is what conditioning is. Conditioning should not be referred to as just aerobic training.If you are a speed and power athlete and you are running mileage, I truly feel bad for you. You are putting yourself at a severe disadvantage and are actually hurting your performance.

Some of our conditioning work focuses on recovery. Thereare so many programs that are just hammering athletes with sprints, agility work, plyos, weights, etc. These modalities should be worked on but there needs to be a structured recovery program in place. You can’t overload the central nervous system day in and day out, recovery is essential. As they say, you don’t get stronger and faster from theworkouts, you get stronger and faster from recovering from the workouts.

What types of conditioning should you do?

I continually stress the importance of general strength circuits. You can work on multiple facets while performing GS circuits. You are working on strengthening, balance, coordination, and aerobic capacity. We use this as a recovery day type of workout.

These workouts are especially great when training younger athletes. General strength circuits help build a greater work capacity, something today’s youth athletes are badly in need of.

Example of a General Strength workout:
Here is an example of a general strength circuit performed on the grass:

Split squats – 10 each leg
Jog 50 yards
Rotational push-ups – 8 each
Jog 50 yards
Bicycles – 1×30
Jog 50 yards
Burpees – 1×10
Jog 50 yards
Staggered push-ups – 10 each
Jog 50 yards
Russian twists – 1×25
Jog 50 yards
Backwards lunges – 10-each leg
Jog 50 yards
Lateral lunges – 10 each leg
Jog 50 yards
Reverse crunches – 1×20
Jog 50 yards
1 Leg squats – 10 each leg
Rest 3 minutes and repeat circuit.

Tempo Running
Extensive Tempo are runs at 65-79% intensity (HR ~140-160). I typically use these runs at 100-600m. The length of these runs are going to be dependant on the demands of the sport.
For the most part, I do not use Extensive tempo runs too often. The old saying ‘train slow to run slow’ could be used here. A problem with extensive tempo is that you can’t work on your running form at all with such slow speeds. The demands of most sports do not require our athletes to run far distances at slow speeds.

The benefit of using extensive tempo runs are they can be used to help flush out the system. If your athletes are feeling tiredfrom previous workouts or even sore, extensive tempo workouts are great for recovery.

We do use them at the beginning of training sometimes tobuild a little base before jumping into intensive tempo workouts.Also this type of workout helps to enhance oxidative mechanisms.
We use extensive tempo with our general strength circuits for the most part. This is where the athlete ‘runs’ from station/exerciseto the next.

Examples of an Extensive Tempo Workout:

1) 2 x 10 x 100m (75% intensity)30′ rest between reps and 2′ between sets
2) 2 x 8 x 200m (70% intensity) 1′ rest between reps and 2′ between sets

Remember, athletes should be able to hit their times and be within their target heart rate. If they aren’t, give them more rest between reps, reduce the volume of the workout or shut the workout down because you are missing the training benefit/goal.

Intensive Tempo
Intensive tempo is usually referred to as interval training. Intensive tempo is running distances over 80 meters at 80-89%intensity. (HR ~160-180). Running intervals for tempo work is also great for conditioning and superior to running long distances.

Because intensive tempo borders on speed and special endurance due to the high intensity, lactate levels can become very high. The athletes body must adapt to handle, buffer and remove the lactate so training in this state is extremely helpful for sports that meet the same demands. Since all energy systems more or less turn on at the same time, intensive tempo is highly stressful on both the aerobic and anaerobic systems. It is a great conditioning tool used for most field and court sports.

Examples of an Intensive Tempo Workout:

1) 6 x 200m (82% intensity) 3.5′ recovery between reps
2) 2 x 4 x 250m (86% intensity) 4′ rest between reps and 8′ rest between sets

Progress the intensity of your tempo runs based on your conditioning goals. The ability of athletes to buffer lactate accumulation will determine their success as fatigue levelsrise throughout the course of their game or competition.

Speed Endurance
Speed endurance is the ability to maintain speed in the presence of fatigue without decelerating. Speed endurance runs are going to vary in distance depending on your sport.

For example, football consists of short bursts of acceleration followed by low intensity movements so our speed endurance workouts would be of smaller distances with shorter recoveries then a track sprinter that would require longer distances and greater recovery times. So, for a greater chance of success, we must train our athletes to maintain high levels of speed and intensity, even when tired.

These workouts are mentally challenging (since the presence of fatigue), so maintaining proper form and technique must be stressed. Training at high levels while fatigued will help to improve performance, both mentally and physically at the end of the game/competition when the game could be on the line.

Examples of a Speed Endurance Workout:

1) 2 sets of 7 x 30 yards 25 seconds rest between reps and 3 minutes between sets

2) 2 x 80y 95-100% intensity) 7 minutes rest
2 x 100y (95-100% intensity) 8-10 minutes rest
2 x 120y (90% intensity) 10 minutes rest

How it relates to your summer training:
Monday: General Strength Circuits
Tuesday: Acceleration
Wednesday: Extensive Tempo
Thursday – Acceleration
Friday: General Strength Circuits

Next 2 weeks
Monday: Acceleration
Tuesday: GS Circuits
Wednesday: Maximum Velocity
Thursday: GS Circuits
Friday: Acceleration
Saturday: Intensive Tempo

Depending on your improvements and progressions:
Next 2 weeks

Monday: Maximum Velocity
Tuesday: GS Circuits
Wednesday: Acceleration
Thursday: GS Circuits
Friday: Maximum Velocity
Saturday: Intensive tempo

Your training days will look like this at the end of the summer:

Monday: Maximum Velocity (w/ Acceleration)
Tuesday: GS circuits
Wednesday: Speed Endurance
Thursday: Extensive tempo
Friday: Maximum Velocity (w /Acceleration)
Saturday: Intensive tempo

**Again the structure, set-up and volume of these workoutscould all be different sport and goal dependant. Break down your sport and see how much time you are actually jogging around vs. sprinting. Then time how long each break/rest you have in between each bout of running. This will tell you where you really need to put your training focus.

What I provided is a general guideline since I can’t provide exact workouts for each sport. Some sports like soccer, gaelic soccer, rugby, field hockey, etc. are going to require more aerobic work and longer tempo intervals then sports like football, baseball and track sprinters.

If you want even greater detail then this with structured workouts done for you, sample programs, descriptions and reasons behind why you perform each speed training exercise, here are the 2 top resources:

1) Complete Speed Training
http://www.completespeedtraining.com

2) North/South Football Speed
(http://www.footballspeed.com)

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