Exasperated after his driver went AWOL in Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, crew chief Lucius Washington asked the fateful question, "Now, is there anyone out there who wants to go fast?" Speed in racing, whether via car, bike, or foot, is a vital component that is too often neglected. The neuromuscular aspect of training is something that has been the primary focus of sprint training for years. Endurance athletes, however, often have a hard time seeing the benefit of drills, speed dynamics, ladders, and muscle activation exercises. FLEET FEET Speed School is designed to help you become a fitter, faster, healthier athlete by adding some key components to your training.
As we evolve as runners, we tend to build ourselves up in different ways. Sometimes we build quantity: moving up in distance, with the most common progression starting at the 5k and finishing with the marathon. Another way we build is to improve quality: getting faster at the same distance. For those of you who follow the latter path, as you improve the quality of your races you must transition from endurance to speed-endurance athletes. That change requires you to do more nervous system training to improve your biomechanics. By teaching your nerve synapses to fire properly and in the proper pattern, your gait will improve. In other words, despite what you may have read recently in the popular press your most efficient running form comes from proper muscle activation, not from what part of your foot first strikes the ground.
Sounds great and all...but what does that mean? What that means is that as you teach your muscles how they're supposed to work you will naturally start to strike the ground in a way that doesn't create a braking action with each and every step. Another perk to proper muscle activation is that it eliminates gluteal amnesia (i.e., when the butt forgets how to work), which allows you to attack the ground rather than simply land on it. With less ground time, your speed and cadence will increase. Your stride becomes more like a spring. You travel over the ground rather than crash into it.
Now is the time to lay the foundation for your spring racing season. Whether you're a high school track athlete or someone preparing to set a PR at your favorite race, incorporating neuromuscular training into your workouts is a must. FLEET FEET Speed School is designed to help you become a fitter, faster, healthier athlete by adding this key component to your training. The next session begins on January 8th. So, let me channel my inner Lucius Washington, "Does anybody wanna go fast?"
Good Luck and Happy Racing!