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TRAINING TIME: Speed Requires Proper Recovery

There’s a fine line between condition training and speed training. And this requires proper recovery.

If athletes are going to increase their speed, quickness and agility they must train at high speeds. Many times coaches keep the drills too long and the rest too short. This simply becomes a conditioning session, not a speed session. That’s because it represents a failure to appreciate the importance of proper recovery and duration required for maximum speed.

Speed and quickness requires appropriate recovery time between reps for maximizing an athlete’s speed and quickness. Speed and agility training is governed by the energy system demands of the ATP-CP system.

The ATP-CP system is mainly responsible for producing power very quickly in very short periods of time (3-7 seconds).

This power-producing energy system requires time to regenerate in order for an athlete to master movement efficiency with as much speed, agility and quickness as possible.

Most athletic plays only take a few seconds to occur before lower intense movements or a stoppage in play takes place.

So if it’s speed and quickness athletes are after, then they should allow up to a 50:1 rest-to-work ratio. And, if full recovery is what their after, then as low as a 20:1.

Importance of proper recovery—

The rest-to-work ratio of course is ideal, but time is not always a luxury. Still, this can be adjusted to as low as 8:1 or 12:1 (rest-to-work ratios) if time is limited or other qualities of speed need to be trained.

The more advanced an athlete, the more rest is required, so this also must be taken into consideration.

But even with this lower rest to work ratios, as a trainer, I know I’m still getting enough recovery so my athletes can go hard the next rep or set.

If athletes are still breathing heavy while performing their next rep, then coaches have to realize their athletes are training for condition — as they have not recovered enough to achieve maximum speeds required for speed training.

Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.

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