During my training for the NFL combine I had the opportunity to work with phenomenal coaches that taught me true speed training. Those methods helped shape my speed program today. For years I thought I was speed training because I was worn out after every workout. I would always hear the phrase “Speed can’t be taught. You either got it or you don’t.” That statement was true in a sense but also false. It is true since genetics plays a huge role. There is only one Usain Bolt. But with proper training speed can be enhanced. I’m a living witness of it since I dropped my 40 time from a 4.85 to 4.67 in a span of 3 ½ months of training.

Speed training starts with setting goals. This will allow you to train with a vision, timeline, and purpose. Whether you are training for a 40yd dash, 100 meter dash, or getting overall faster for your sport, linear sprint biomechanics should be the foundation of any speed program. Speed mechanics involve stride length, force application, body angle, foot strike, and the phases of sprinting. Find a GOOD coach that can critique your running form to find any deficiencies.

Next, strength & speed goes hand-in-hand. The stronger you are the faster you will run. Incorporating the RIGHT strength program is critical.  Maximum loads, olympic lifting, plyometrics, and functional strength should all be incorporated into the strength program.

In moving on to flexibility which is the most overlooked factor. Think of muscles like a rubberband. When you first get a rubberband it is extremely tight. But once you keep using and stretching it, it starts to loosen up. When it loosens up it has more elasticity. This is what happens to your muscles when you stretch. Your joints are able to move freely which will allow for maximum stride length, plus recover faster for the next workout. Athletes have to constantly battle muscles returning to tightness due to strength programs not emphasizing flexibility. Or muscles are always in a state of repair due to overtraining and/or improper training.

To finish, all factors are important but these last two are the reality factors. In order to increase speed takes time and consistent training. Don’t fall into the trap of going to a speed camp on the weekend and expecting to get results. That is the reason I do not offer them. I understand that getting results takes time and all the factors above. So be patient, train hard, and train smarter.

Hope these tips help in your quest to becoming a faster athlete and reaching your speed goals.