Run Fast to be Fast

I put out a tweet about speed training a while ago, to the effect that using sprints as punishment or sprinting until one is sick is not a good way to develop speed.  As usual the social media responses were interesting.  Everything from “of course” to arguing.  So this blog is to address some of the issues the arguers had.   First, let me say that there’s an interesting thing about social media.  Everyone assumes that they are going to...

Coaching Has to Adapt to the Athlete

I got an interesting email a few days ago about an athlete with Down Syndrome, competing at a pretty high level in sport, that wasn’t responding well to the coach’s approach. This was the kind of sport that does a lot of timed workouts; for example, x distance for y time with z recovery. The challenge was that the athlete is having difficulty with the concept of pace as prescribed by the coach.   This email brings up a few...

An Energy System Primer, Part 2

Being able to break down ATP for fuel is important for exercise, but also for living. We touched on its importance and how we access it for short-term, high intensity activities in our last post. In this post, we’re going to cover what happens if you want to exercise for longer than 6-10 seconds.   The ATP that we access for movements that last 6-10 seconds is not available in very large supplies. Estimates are something like 100 grams in...

An Energy System Primer, Part 1

Last week I was with a group of students who were learning about the carbon dioxide cycle in class. This is the one where plants produce oxygen, animals consume it and produce carbon dioxide, which the plants then consume. That gets into a discussion on what carbon dioxide is, what oxygen is, what would happen if part of the cycle was missing (i.e. what if all the plants died?), that sort of thing. But I stumped the class when I...

At Some Point You Have To Stop

Speed is an important skill in most sports. We all write volumes about it, go to clinics to pick up new drills and movement cues, and seek out speed training gurus. Our athletes are evaluated on it and it’s a major focus of their training. Here’s the thing, outside of track and field most athletes need to be able to decelerate and stop on a dime to transition into doing something else.   I coach baseball and basketball. In both...