Perhaps the biggest key to getting faster (often overlooked) is simply going out and running as fast as you can. This means sprints in which you accelerate at your maximum rate, perhaps reach top speed, rest, and repeat. Every improvement an athlete makes in terms of speed/power/strength is a physical adaptation to a stimulus that was provided. The specificity of the stimulus will dictate the changes that occur. It basically boils down to the idea of “I want my body to move faster, so I must show it that it has to.” By pushing yourself to your limits in terms of movement speed, you tell the body that it must get faster or fail.
Incorporating Sprints into Your Training
Incorporating sprints is a must for any athlete who needs to accelerate and move quickly. It helps to build the fast twitch muscle fibers required to be explosive. This applies to any athlete that must be explosive during their sport and not simply runners and track athletes.
Properly incorporating sprints can be a challenge, as the goal is to get faster and not simply turn them into a conditioning drill. Proper rest is paramount in this process. This means that depending on the length of the sprint, rest periods may be anywhere from 30 seconds to 10 minutes. The athlete should be rested to the point that they are able to produce the same explosiveness and speed as they did the repetition before. As a coach, it is important to understand this concept and communicate with your athletes to understand their level of fatigue.
The moral of the story is if you want to run fast, go run fast. Most importantly, it’s not necessarily a specific drill that will make you faster, but rather the effort that you give. If you go 95%, you will not get faster. You have to give it everything you have, on every repetition. Do this and you will see results.