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Old 02-01-2011, 10:51 AM   #1
ichy
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Default Best way to sprint faster?

What's the best way to train to improve my sprinting speed? I play on an indoor soccer team and would like to improve my high-speed/short distance running abilities. My current workouts generally consist of running 4 to 6 miles at a relatively constant pace, and while that has led to a big improvement compared to when I never ran regularly I also feel like I've plateaued. I'm assuming that some sort of interval training is the way to go, but if anyone has any specifics I'd certainly appreciate them.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:00 PM   #2
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Quote:
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What's the best way to train to improve my sprinting speed? I play on an indoor soccer team and would like to improve my high-speed/short distance running abilities. My current workouts generally consist of running 4 to 6 miles at a relatively constant pace, and while that has led to a big improvement compared to when I never ran regularly I also feel like I've plateaued. I'm assuming that some sort of interval training is the way to go, but if anyone has any specifics I'd certainly appreciate them.
Stand on the goal line. Start your watch.

Sprint to the 5 and back

Sprint to the 10 and back

Sprint to the 20 and back

Sprint to the 40 and back

Stop your watch. Rest for 1x to 2x the amount of time it took you to run those intervals.

Repeat until you vomit.
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Old 02-01-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cerpin Taxt View Post
Stand on the goal line. Start your watch.

Sprint to the 5 and back

Sprint to the 10 and back

Sprint to the 20 and back

Sprint to the 40 and back

Stop your watch. Rest for 1x to 2x the amount of time it took you to run those intervals.

Repeat until you vomit.
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Old 02-01-2011, 02:31 PM   #4
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I played soccer in college, and to train for functional speed, I'd suggest shuttle runs like Carpin detailed above. Also, fartlek training sessions were a regular part of our off-season training (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fartlek). Sprinting 40 yards up the steepest hill you can find, then walking down is another good one. If I could go back in time, I'd incorporate some Olympic lifts into my training too - probably the squat clean or power clean would fit the bill.

Above all, just try and play a lot of soccer. Pick up games and individual ball work whenever you can. Speed is useless if your ball control and balance are shit. Work on carrying the ball at speed under control, quick direction changes, different cutting techniques, etc.

Especially for indoor, work on managing your gas tank. Know when to go 100%, when to walk, when to jog, etc. This comes naturally to those of us who've been playing all our lives, but it's easy to gas out if you're aimlessly running @ 75% at all times.
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Old 02-01-2011, 03:25 PM   #5
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Another good workout we do that will greatly help improve your VO2 max goes like this:

Begin on your stomach on the goal line.

When time starts, you get up, sprint 5 meters, turn around and get back down on your belly facing the other way. Get up again, sprint back to the start line and get down on your belly as you began.

Thats 1.

Do 3 sets of 10, resting in between for as much time as it takes you to complete the set. We just do them with partners, so you rest while he does his set.

We also do the hill sprints mentioned above from time to time.

I play rugby, not soccer, though.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:03 PM   #6
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Your VO2 max has nothing to do with sprinting. Sprinting is anaerobic...

I'm guessing your pick up is slow due to you not being able to exert a big force very quickly. You probably don't have a big vertical jump also.

Work on doing short sprints like the other posters have stated. Playing Football you will rarely sprint more then 20m tops, maybe 30-35m if your going on a longer run on a full size pitch, not a 5 or 6 a side match.

I'd also spend time in the gym doing squats, deadlifts and work on jumping. Get on the OLifts also if you can be bothered. I find them a lot of fun () but you can spend sometime learning the lifts.

Upping your max strength in squats, deadlifts, jumping and practice sprinting will help you sprint a lot better. Also remember to really pump your arms very hard as this will help generate a lot of power also. You can't run fast if your arms are tied to your side. The faster your arms move the faster your legs will move.

If you want to get more technical you can look to practice A and B skips and other sprint drills.

When sprinting remember to pull through with your legs also and not just 'class' at the ground. I suppose this is more on a track but it is still applicable on the football pitch.

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Old 02-01-2011, 04:14 PM   #7
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Your VO2 max has nothing to do with sprinting. Sprinting is anaerobic...
I'm not disputing that, but from a performance perspective I've found that my in-game sprinting was greatly improved by working on improving my VO2 max with workouts like that drill.

It won't necessarily make a one-off sprint any faster, but when I'm sprinting to and fro for 80 minutes, a better VO2 max helps me run harder till the end. The particular workout I described is perhaps a bit better suited to rugby, however.
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:20 PM   #8
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I'm not disputing that, but from a performance perspective I've found that my in-game sprinting was greatly improved by working on improving my VO2 max with workouts like that drill.

It won't necessarily make a one-off sprint any faster, but when I'm sprinting to and fro for 80 minutes, a better VO2 max helps me run harder till the end. The particular workout I described is perhaps a bit better suited to rugby, however.
Sprinting on off for 80mins is not the same as sprinting

The recovery will be dependent on your ability to recover so the fartlek/ suicide sprints/ any combo as long as you have short intervals will be good.

Rugby and Football have about an even about of fitness but Rugby would need more fitness then Football. When I say Football I mean the kind you kick with your foot

I use to play a lot of Football and Rugby but sacked it off for olympic weightlifting.

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Old 02-01-2011, 05:24 PM   #9
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I do hill work to improve my speed.
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Old 02-01-2011, 08:48 PM   #10
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HIIT in general will help. You can walk/sprint on a distance interval (100m on, 100m off) or you can go via time (20s on, 60s off). Rinse, repeat. Go as many times as you feel comfortable. Starting off, you should start light (maybe 4-6 sets) because intervals are way more demanding than people expect.
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Old 02-01-2011, 10:43 PM   #11
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increase your deadlift
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Old 02-02-2011, 12:57 AM   #12
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increase your deadlift
Not all that likely. Increasing explosive lifts like the clean, jerk, snatch would be much more effective. Even back squat would likely benefit the sprint more than the deadlift.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:37 AM   #13
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I was just making a point that he should increase his strength. Not start doing plyos
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:19 AM   #14
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Not all that likely. Increasing explosive lifts like the clean, jerk, snatch would be much more effective. Even back squat would likely benefit the sprint more than the deadlift.
To be fair, if the op is completely de-conditioned strength-wise, getting the deadlift stronger would undoubtedly help (and some coaches would claim that it would help a lot). Or, to put it another way, all else being equal, the guy deadlifting 495 is probably a faster sprinter than the guy deadlifting 135. Obviously, the same logic applies to the olympic lifts (300lb clean faster than 100lb clean), but again, if he is new to strength training, the basics (squat & deadlift) must be learned first. Due to the complexities of the o-lifts, the squat & deadlift would probably give much faster returns to a newbie trainee so that he could see improvements in the current season, rather than a year later when his o-lift technique is up to snuff.

Having said all that, doing lots of running - in the forms of intervals and occasional all out sprints - plus general conditioning (to last an entire soccer game) is probably going to have the most immediate impact. Only once the running training is showing diminishing returns would I start thinking about strength training and only when that the squat & deadlift are very efficient would I worry about o-lifts. All of this, of course, assumes soccer performance & speed are the primary goal.
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Old 02-02-2011, 10:10 PM   #15
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Train the way you want to race (or in your case for the speed you want)

Do 1 mile of 100m sprints then jog 100m then spring 100m....etc.

Then to 400's for 2 miles - spring 400 jog 200...etc.

You will get fast.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:38 PM   #16
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Train the way you want to race (or in your case for the speed you want)

Do 1 mile of 100m sprints then jog 100m then spring 100m....etc.

Then to 400's for 2 miles - spring 400 jog 200...etc.

You will get fast.
That's way, way, way too much volume for a beginner. He's likely to pull something pretty early on with a program like that.
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:41 PM   #17
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To be fair, if the op is completely de-conditioned strength-wise, getting the deadlift stronger would undoubtedly help (and some coaches would claim that it would help a lot). Or, to put it another way, all else being equal, the guy deadlifting 495 is probably a faster sprinter than the guy deadlifting 135. Obviously, the same logic applies to the olympic lifts (300lb clean faster than 100lb clean), but again, if he is new to strength training, the basics (squat & deadlift) must be learned first. Due to the complexities of the o-lifts, the squat & deadlift would probably give much faster returns to a newbie trainee so that he could see improvements in the current season, rather than a year later when his o-lift technique is up to snuff.

Having said all that, doing lots of running - in the forms of intervals and occasional all out sprints - plus general conditioning (to last an entire soccer game) is probably going to have the most immediate impact. Only once the running training is showing diminishing returns would I start thinking about strength training and only when that the squat & deadlift are very efficient would I worry about o-lifts. All of this, of course, assumes soccer performance & speed are the primary goal.
Deadlifting will most definitely help with overall strength. On a per time basis, it's not the most helpful lift for sprinters because it 1) does not bias toward explosive strength gains and 2) it may build bulk in suboptimal places (especially with RDL). In a complete lifting program for sprinter, it should 100% be included, but if the OP is just looking to improve speed through a limited weightlifting program, I'd suggest Oly lifts over deadlifts every time.
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Old 02-04-2011, 09:26 AM   #18
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You should alternate between speed workouts, endurance runs.
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:15 AM   #19
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You should alternate between speed workouts, endurance runs.
Actually, the best way to get better at sprinting is sprinting and weightlifting. If you're going for a 400m race, it's not necessarily a sprint, but even a 3mi won't help much on those. 800m runs should really be the most one does while training for a sprint, unless it's a recovery day.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:20 AM   #20
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An important thing for soccer, especially indoor, is quick change of direction. Some days you need to do L-runs, shuttle runs, ladders, etc instead of just sprinting in a straight line. Work on your explosiveness of going from walking to full speed. I believe this will help you much more than improving your top speed.

Also, lift. Lift. Lift. Lower body, upper body, core. All of it helps.
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Old 02-07-2011, 12:10 PM   #21
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We called them Whammys they are hell.
We called them suicides.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:35 PM   #22
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We called them suicides.
We do them for basketball but we always ran out, touch line, run backwards back. Do that 3x then the next 3 sets are shuffles. Then practice some skills, then do it again, then skill work. I always found that mixing in some high intensity workout made skill practice much more useful since you got to practice while exerting yourself (anyone can make a layup/freethrown/3ptr when not breathing hard, doing it right after suicides is much closer to running your defender off a screen and launching a shot).
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Old 02-08-2011, 02:58 PM   #23
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http://www.topendsports.com/testing/tests/illinois.htm
http://www.soccerperformance.org/tra...ilitycoord.htm

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Old 02-09-2011, 09:02 PM   #24
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Squats (slow down, explosive up), deadlift, box jumps, walking lunges with weight. In that order.
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