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There are 4 areas in sports performance where training will enhance speed.

1.Reaction to a signal (i.e. the gun)

2.Capacity to accelerate

3.Capacity to maintain maximum speed once it is reached - In the 100m this is determined by co-ordination rather than endurance and as the distance increases the greater the effect that endurance plays.

4.Capacity to limit the effect of endurance factors on speed - the rate at which fuel reaches the working muscles and waste products are removed


Studies sponsored by the US Olympic committee identified the following significant variables in a successful full-speed sprint:-

-Greater stride rate

-Lesser support time

-Minimal upper-leg extension at takeoff

-Greater upper-leg rotational speed during the support phase

-Greater lower-leg rotational speed at touchdown

-Short foot-to-body distance at touchdown

-Greater backward foot speed relative to the body at touchdown


All athletes training exclusively for sprints will inevitably reach a limit or speed barrier but practices such as forced speed with an elastic rope, and assisted speed (wind assisted, down hill, altitude sprinting) may help overcome this barrier.




The energy for sprinting comes mainly from anaerobic metabolism:- CPr, glycolysis, etc

The speed that an athlete can achieve is determined by their stride length and stride frequency.



The energy for distance running comes mainly from aerobic metabolism:- fat CHO metabolism, 




The criteria for classifying what is walking is that one foot must always be in contact with the ground and the advancing leg must be straightened from first contact with ground until upright position.




All athletes use a 3 stride pattern between hurdles



The stride pattern used in the 400 hurdles depends on the athletes stride length, and ability



The relay is the only opportunity that athletes get to really work as a team.