“Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.” – Goethe
“What Is Empty Shall Become Full.
What Is Old Shall Become New.”
”Empty” is the aspect of your training that, once filled, will take your body to new levels of performance. “Empty” is ignorance or complacency in what’s working and settling for mediocre performance, rather than seeking better methods to get more from your body with less effort. The emptiness is emptying your mind of expectations and letting the natural flow of speed occur.
“What is empty shall become full” means, whatever is lacking in your ability to generate optimal speed is simply missing right now in one form or another of your training. One works on the weaknesses to build strength, and to make the strengths, stronger.
Slowly, “what is empty” begins to fill to the best of your training. “Full” is a confident state of knowing you’re ready to play the game, you’ve gone above and beyond normal preparations. “Full” is knowledge and application to the eyelids.
The “old” ability to run naturally is renewed by understanding that speed comes from alignment, momentum, acceleration, endurance and strength while enveloped in a relaxed state. “What is old shall become new” means, injuries, ignored abilities, techniques, and training each become new as soon as the correct attention in optimum amounts is given to them.
Emptiness is the absence of strength in the back of the legs that’s necessary to transfer the coiled energy of the compressed hamstring into the stride of the thigh by equally pushing with the back and pulling through the front of the legs. “Full” is training the back of the legs where speed originates, more than the front, where momentum is carried. Make the “old” methods of strength training your “new” route to speed.
THE NEED FOR SPEED
Speed should be practiced more than any other aspect. It is the leveler for all athletes in all sports. The faster you are, the better your chances of athletic success. Train for speed just like you do for strength, in increments of controlled challenges, finding the exercises that work best and practicing them with objective evaluations on form, flow and force.
Sprint training goes hand in hand with weight training for speed. The exercises done in the weight room complement the running drills. Stronger legs with more muscle release more power. Muscle endurance coupled with core training allows stronger lifts. Stronger lifts translate to greater ground force capability which means more speed.
Speed has many aspects to it. The ability to change directions and keep speed has to do with body angle, acceleration, footspeed, balance, and the churning of the arms and legs in efficient movements. Speed comes in short, explosive bursts, and it comes in long stretches of sustained endurance, as well as various speeds between. Like strength, you want to be faster and stronger, for longer periods of time, in a consistent and dependable fashion. Stride length, ground force and footspeed are the mechanical keys to improving speed. Train for speed in repetitive bursts of movements in a variety of directions with many durations.
Find where your speed is and work on it. Some are sprinters and some are middle distance runners. Whatever distance you need to move faster in, can be improved upon. Something suits you. If walking is your “modus operandi” you can quicken your step, lengthen your stride, engage your hands, and cut your time with conscious practice. And reap greater rewards for it. Whatever form of movement you choose to improve – any distance, speed or plane – there are literally hundreds of leg exercises to suit and enhance form, pace, explosiveness and directional stability.
“What is empty shall become full,” concerns the initial limiting component for speed, cardiovascular endurance. Cardiovascular endurance must be improved for maximum speed. The main component to make the fastest cars faster is oxygen. An athlete must utilize oxygen by pulling in and using as much air as possible, while expelling it in an efficient manner. Picture the swimmer, whose one wrong breath means a mouth full of water rather than a breath of air. Breathing efficiency is as vital as mechanical efficiency in running. With constant practice and attention to “feeling” the effects, both become natural, fluid and flowing.
Cardiovascular endurance is one of the easiest components to train. Consistent practice allows the lungs to grow in their capacity to contain and use oxygen. The best way to increase cardiovascular ability is to simply practice it daily and work at it until you’re proficient. And then continue to work at it. The more proficient you are in using oxygen without using it up, the longer you can perform your activity with less depletion of resources.
If you are already fast, comfortable in your style and mechanically efficient, than work on your speed by finding exercises and practicing them with objective evaluations on form, flow and force. Form means control while still exerting stresses over the muscle groups adequate to cause breakdown and in turn, regeneration. Powerful, ballistic training incorporates a high level of stimulation to the nervous, strength, stability and speed systems; and increases control, confidence, core and velocity. Muscular power is determined by how long it takes for strength to be converted into speed. The ability to convert strength to speed in a very short time allows for athletic movements beyond what raw strength will allow, and the ability to generate a large amount of force quickly.
Flexibility is required both for injury prevention and to enhance the effect of the stretch-shortening cycle.
Pace applies to any distance, short or long. It is the control of leg frequency and limb synchronization while accelerating or slowing down. Pace is quickening or slowing in accordance with the demand of the task, while conserving energy when possible in order to apply extra force when necessary. By properly pacing your body, you will get more from it for longer periods of time. Pace means knowing when to take longer strides or shorter steps to reach the desired destination. Pace is spreading energy over longer runs and turning it up when explosive acceleration is necessary.