Whether you are a 100m sprinter or a marathon runner you always need speed.
With the group covering sprinters, middle-distance runners and some with focus on field events such as high jump; speed needs to be tailored. All athletes in the group work on acceleration and top end speed.
With the sprinters and short hurdlers, acceleration comes from block starts, roll over starts, standing starts and downhill runs. We work on this over 30m to 40m maximum, with emphasis on driving out with the correct shape patterns being reached.
The middle distance athletes work on driving for that key first 50m-80m phase where in a race you have to get out hard. Think 800m and getting in a good position when the cut-in happens on the back straight. This requires good acceleration.
Our field events also require speed, the jumpers have to be able to approach take-off at speed but under control, this is worked on alongside the sprinters to ensure they accelerate to the point a few steps before take off ready to have the final step to react to the jump. This can be practiced at the event area but can also happen in any gym hall or similar surrounds.
Throwers require the same speed emphasis working on both arm and leg speed in linear and rotational movements.
Sessions such a flying 120s are used for reaching top speed and holding it for as long as possible. Flying 120s are good for this when you get into the speed and hold. We focus on techniques such as high hips to allow the legs to drive through and cut out the back swing. Too many athletes can’t control the back swing, especially younger athletes, but working on the low recovery at the back and driving through from the hips to high front position gives maximum power benefits therefore fast running. Middle distance work on this over longer periods of running, for example they work on faster than race pace for shorter distances, e.g. 400-600m for an 800m runner above race pace allows them to find the race pace more comfortable. You have to be able to run comfortably under 60 seconds for one lap if you want to run 2 laps in 2 minutes.
Speed is the essence to all events.