Whether you are looking to get faster for a sport, a race, or just want to add something new to your training, speed work is a great fit. Luckily, you don’t need any fancy equipment or a gym membership to get faster.
Speed work is meant to be done at maximal intensity, with long rest breaks and generally shorter workouts. Before you start plyometrics or other high intensity training, it is important to have a base level of strength and have mastered your basic body movements as Pamela showed you in her Jump Start Workouts.
Once you have the basics down, try these techniques to take you to the next level.
How to get faster
Sprints are perhaps the most commonly known way to get faster. You will run as fast as you can for a predetermined distance. These are meant to be short (less than 100 yards) and full effort. Make sure to have a complete recovery in between sets. Start with 4 repetitions of the sprints in a workout, and don’t perform sprints on back-to-back days.
Hill training works similarly to regular sprint training, but you can find added resistance throughout nature for free! You can obviously get the extra resistance by going uphill, but you can also run downhill as a way of overspeed training. These can be painful if you are new to them, but hopefully your pain is eased by some beautiful scenery and good weather.
Plyometrics can be any kind of movement that is done explosively. Jumping and throwing are the most common forms of plyometrics. If you look up ways to do plyometrics, you will find all kinds of max effort jumping can be done for the lower body. A jump squat is a basic example.
Upper body work can also be done, but it can be more tricky. Clap push-ups are an example of an upper body plyometric. Keep the reps low and the rest periods high when doing plyometrics. Start with 2 or 3 exercises for a workout and try 2 sets of 6 reps. For examples of plyometric exercises try this deck of cards from FitDeck
Before making any changes to your exercise routine, contact a healthcare professional to see if you are in proper shape for new types of training. Always have a proper warm-up before training.
Photo credit: Nathan E Photography | Flickr