The previous post, if you have yet to read it, explains the importance of injury prevention through S&C.
I will do my best, in as little words as possible to highlight the two components that make an athlete faster and how to best utilise them.
As always, I’m happy to answer any questions.
Regardless of the event in athletics, the faster the athlete can move their limbs, the greater their potential.
I would like to also point out, I am strictly speaking about sprinting speed although this can be applied to many other sports, however outside of sprinting and weightlifting, I am by no means close to being an expert.
Coaching sprinters to run faster is, by no means a simple task, however it needs to be simplified in order to develop programmes to address the two most interrelated aspects.
They must be able to produce large amounts of force on ground contact and be able to withstand these large forces without significant changes in joint angle stiffness, which reduces contact times.
Improvements in RFD come from improvements in the athletes muscle-tendon stiffness.
Exercises that address developing specific joint angles and movement patterns for the events will, overtime improve the athletes RFD.
For more information on RFD, this article from https://www.scienceforsport.com/rate-of-force-development-rfd-2/
Goes into much greater detail.
Clyde Hart, who coached Michael Johnson, did little to no plyometrics, some athletes respond great to them, others really feel the fatigue.
The best adaptations for speed and RFD come from stimulating the nervous system, not annihilating.
For many of the exercises that I have prescribed to my athletes, there are targets relative to their body weight, should the athlete reach those targets, they then have world class strength to weight ratio.
Generally once they’ve achieved these targets, we no longer aim to work heavier but teach the system to produce force faster, developing RFD.
This can work, generally with athletes that are already incredibly fast but lack strength.
Athlete profiling is the quickest way to get results.
There are other methods to increase joint stiffness, alongside increasing RFD but that may be a topic for another day.