SPEED ASSISTED TRAINING
The following is an outline of a lecture given by Doug Sparks to a large group of Southern California high school coaches on behalf of the Amateur Athletic Foundation (AAF). The AAF is the legacy of the 1984 Olympic Games and is funded by the profits from those Games for the purpose of educating coaches to benefit youth sports.
If you expect to excel in the pole vault, no matter how fast you are, you had better get faster. When I talked to Jeff Hartwig during the winter of 1998 after he had just PR'd in Australia at 5.90 (19' 4 1/4"), he told me an interesting story. He said that after the Olympic Games, he and Coach Earl Bell had a surprise after they talked to Peter McGinnis, Biomechanist for USATF. Peter informed Jeff that he was one of the slowest guys in the Olympic Final. Armed with that information, Jeff and Earl spent 1997 working on speed. Jeff then said that this year the focus is on creating power to go along with his new speed, and predicted that if all went well, there would be some big jumps by the summer. The result - two jumps over 6m (19' 8 1/4") and two American Records culminating with his Goodwill Games Record of 6.01m. He also ended his season with the highest jump in the world this year.
A. Speed = Stride Length X Stride Frequency
B. All speed increases come from increase in one or both variables.
C. It is much easier to increase stride length than stride frequency
D. Frequency gains are best achieved through Speed Assisted Training.
II. Speed Assisted Training
1. Running with the wind.
2. Downhill running.
a. Using a pulling vehicle with a release mechanism.
b. Using elastic tubing (tow-training)
B. Important Considerations
1. Safety of Athlete.
2. Maintenance of proper sprint mechanics.
3. Understanding and monitoring of training loads and intensity.
III. Proper Use of a Tow-Trainer
A. May be used with a stationary object.
B. May harness two runners together.
1. Consistent/controlled tow effect.
2. Lengthens duration at "overspeed".
C. Integrating tow-training into your workouts.
1. Usually between 4-6 reps per session.
2. 50-100m at overspeed.
3. Use minimum of once weekly, maximum twice weekly.
D. Coaching Points
1. Towed runner must go with the pull - don't brake.
2. Maintenance of proper sprint mechanics is essential.
3. Adequate recovery important - use early in the week.
4. Don't overstretch the cord - if 25', stretch only to 75'.
5. Try to maintain overspeed for 6-8 strides after cord slackens.
6. Pair up athletes with similar weights and abilities.
7. Use consistently throughout the season - not as a gimmick.
|IV. Using the Tow-Trainer for the Pole Vault|