The Need for Speed

The Need for Speed

📅June 10th, 2015, 17:00

“How do I get faster?”

Whether you play rugby, compete in the CrossFit games, or want to run a faster 10k, every athlete has “The Need for Speed” in their training.  But how do you add speed work into your weekly training routine safely and easily while getting the most out of your efforts?

Our co-owner and professional athlete, Renee Metivier Baillie, has had the pleasure of working with Renato Canova, a famous Italian coach who has many of the fastest athletes in the world under his tutelage, and he shared with her some tips that have transformed her training.  What Renee learned from his coaching was not revolutionary…we have all heard about this workout, but its simplicity sometimes means it can be overlooked in people’s weekly training routines.

So is your curiosity peaked, yet?

What we are talking about is hill sprints and strides…on your easy days.  Like we said, simple and easily overlooked.  But by doing strides on your easy days, you build the foundation for faster training.  Your body becomes more efficient, and you actually recover faster.

So what exactly do we mean by strides and hill sprints?

Strides are short pickups of pace anywhere from 10-30 seconds at what we like to call “fun fast”.  Your form opens up, you feel fast but controlled (not all out sprints!), and you stop before you can get tired.  Renee usually incorporates 4-8 strides twice per week on her easy, recovery days after a proper warm up.  These get the blood flowing to your muscles and prepare your body for your harder workouts and competitions.  

strength-endurance-training-23-728Hill sprints are short sprints on a relatively steep hill at 95-99% effort for about 8-10 seconds with full recovery.  Since hill sprints are a little more intense and build specific power and speed, we suggest only adding them to your training once per week by performing 6-8 sprints with full recovery then working up to 10-12 sprints.  They really get your metabolism rev’ed up…this is the running-specific equivalent of squats!

Not only will you have more speed and recover faster, your workouts will actually feel easier and you will feel better in your training overall, which will enhance your athletic performance no matter what sport you choose.  If that doesn’t convince you to add some strides and hill sprints into your training, maybe burning a few more calories to make room for that extra cupcake will!

You. Better.