Can special endurance really make you faster?

I cannot for the life of me, find a good reason to do special endurance in the GPP phase of any sport. I’ve never had any trouble developing endurance qualities for distance/time/rounds by working from short to long. When I was doing sprint training I would do a lot of 60’s which would quickly sharpen my speed, and after that, stuff like 150 to 200’s wouldn’t make any differance to my speed so I figured “What’s the point?” In my brief flirtation with Boxing and martial arts I absolutely NEVER got tired with rounds on the bag/mat/ or ring. Yet If I ran against other boxers for distance, some of them pissed on me. My basketball was enabling me to cope with the intensities of 3 minute rounds though.
I’m concentrating on business more these days but once an athlete, allways an athlete. So when I get the time I’m still doing a bit of swimming and that’s the best example yet. I see all these other swimmers do length after length and their technique never gets better. I’ll do a few lengths at a time just concentrating on technique and I fly past all of them, even though I’ve only been to the pool a few times this year. Some chinese girl commented on my “beutifull stroke” and an older bird keeps telling me I should join her swimming club becuase of my “potential” so I must be doing something right. Before I go in the wrong direction, I’ll say it again, I cannot find a good reason for special endurance training EVER being a higher volume sets/reps than under distance or spacific distance training in ANY sport. Gradually increasing the distance whilst trying to maintain high intensity has allways helped me with the spacific stamina needed for any sport I’ve done. When I get back into training more often again I don’t know if I’ll change my phillosophy on that. It was “Speed Trap” that first got me thinking in that direction 5 or 6 years ago allthough I’ve personally taken it further to the extreme.
Any thoughts or comments?

I think that is a good question. I can clearly understand the role of speed work and speed endurance but, why is special endurance needed. The speeds reached during special endurance runs are no where close to the speeds reached or maintained in the 100m. So, is it done more to develop energy systems? If so why would elite sprinters do special endurance runs when it is the alatic system they need to develop/extend?

Sounds like this guy charlie knows what he’s talkin about:D

I’m not so sure that speed endurance loading alone is the answer for some athletes. With special endurance loading early in the training year, that 90-105 region is compensated for in a big way. Not to say anything, with regard to 200m and short relay work.

Would this not also help to improve stamina, particularly for speed endurance work & recovery during subsequent training phases?

Can special end make you faster when introduced early? The answer is probably yes and no. SE does have an effect on the density of muscle and cross-linking, similar to that produced by maximal efforts in lifting or short speed, though achieved via another, complementary mechanism. In terms of perfecting execution patterns, the small number of reps possible and the physical state in the late stages of the runs, makes SE a poor primary learning opportunity. I think, for most people, SE is most complementary when introduced after most of the speed and almost all of the technique is already in place.

Originally posted by Charlie Francis
Can special end make you faster when introduced early? The answer is probably yes and no. SE does have an effect on the density of muscle and cross-linking, similar to that produced by maximal efforts in lifting or short speed, though achieved via another, complementary mechanism. In terms of perfecting execution patterns, the small number of reps possible and the physical state in the late stages of the runs, makes SE a poor primary learning opportunity. I think, for most people, SE is most complementary when introduced after most of the speed and almost all of the technique is already in place.

Charlie, can special endurance replace weight training if an athlete is on the borderline of being too big. Also, can you explain the " other complementary mechanism" in your above quote.

Q1: Can SE replace weights for someone bordering on being too big?
A: No. SE will be synergistic with the strength from weights so long as the stimulus from weights is maintained via a maintenance phase, otherwise the qualities will begin towards endurance but away from current strength. Bodyweight will likely be maintained- or, at least will only drop slightly when SE is emphasized, but cross-section will reduce and the muscles will take on a longer appearance.
Q2: What is the complementary mechanism.
A2: There are probably several mechanisms at work. First is the enhancement of overall fibre recruitment by another means, (serially vs all-at-once as in max weights, or, to a slightly lesser extent, pure speed) which can be advanced even after the primary means have reached a plateau. Second is the increased density (cross-linking) which causes a given amount of heat, generated by work, to be contained in a smaller volume, which, along with increased micro-capillarization from tempo, concentrates more heat within muscle fibres. Greater heat and proximity of fluid around the MM neurons lowers electrical resistance allowing the Int Fibres to take on FT characteristics.

Can plyos/expl med-ball be used to keep a strength stimulus present and avoid the qualities going towards endurance?
Also, if you feel a sprinter’s mass is hurting his performance (max velo phase), how would yo go about fixing it.
sprinter approx body fat 5-7%
Gained the mass by employing body building techique with previous coach.(his mass and strength does not match up)
Thanks

Yes, the plyos and med ball can replace the weights. Body size will prob re-adapt to the new training in time.

Thanks.
Is there any way to strip unwanted muscle mass without hurting performance?

Be careful of radical solutions- which might be worse than the problem! Train effectively a watch the changes over a reasonable period of time.