By Scott Schrimscher, EXOS
Most sports involve some form of sprinting, accelerating, decelerating, or changing direction. Everyone, regardless of genetic predisposition, has the ability to improve each of these by building strength and power. You need strength in order to create power, and you need power to accelerate, decelerate, and change direction quickly. As you build strength and power, you’ll improve your stride length and frequency, both of which contribute to making your faster. Learn how to outrun your opponent below.
Improve stride length by increasing your strength.
Think about the activities you perform in your sport. For example, soccer players are always moving throughout a game, but are required to sprint and accelerate for 10 to 20 yards at a time. Covering this ground as quickly as possible requires you to lengthen your stride (i.e. increase the distance you cover with each step). The stronger you are, the more force you’re able to apply into the ground. The more force you apply into the ground, the farther you go with each step. The farther you travel with each step, the more quickly you cover ground and the faster you are.
Increase your stride frequency by applying strength and creating power.
To be an explosive athlete you must train to be explosive, which requires power. This power is needed to improve your stride frequency, which is how quickly you take each step. One way to improve your power – and in turn stride frequency – is with plyometric training, which is an expression of your strength and teaches your body to move more powerfully. By performing plyometric exercises, you’re training your body to move as quickly as possible. The more quickly your body is able to move, the faster you can put force into the ground. The faster you put force into the ground, the more steps you can take in a shorter amount of time. Pair this with your increased stride length, and now you’re a faster and more powerful athlete or runner.
Check out the miCoach Run Stronger plan to improve your strength, power, and overall running.