Improved technique = reduction of speed?

My title is a bit misleading, but I’ll try and explain my predicament!

I’ve been weight training seriously since I was 16 (I’m 29 now), alongs with weights I’ve always done some other sport (usually squash).
I always though my explosiveness was pretty good - I guess not…

The last year I’ve been doing sprint training with guys that run 100m - 400m races (I don’t think any of them exclusively train for the 100m), they don’t appear to be too explosive when it comes to running the 100m; nothing like what I was expecting (they’re running times around 10.8 - 11.8). No aspect of their training regime resembles CFTS (I’m the only one who reads this site!)

Now, I’ve been really getting into the CFTS, but my speed seems to have dropped somewhat whilst trying to place emphasis on good technique - from what I’ve been told; I look good; I just don’t move quick! I’m relaxed, shoulders down, back straight and feel great!
BTW - I believe my diet is in check… lots of coconut oil, EFA’s, fibre, protein etc…

So I’ve come to realize; either I should expect to see a temporary drop in speed whilst improving my technique -or- my CNS is far too fatigued from my 3x weight workouts (range in 30 mins to 40 mins duration) during the week (consisting of power cleans, chins, jump squats, bench, weight dips).

If anyone has some experiences they could share I’d be happy to hear them!


Hard to say for sure, but it sounds like you’re overemphasizing weights, and not focusing enough on the running component of your training (tempo+speed). How many times per week are you running?

Thanks for the reply! You could be right; I train 3x per week with weights, and as far as running goes I do 2-3 tempo and 1 speed sessions a week.

My tempo sessions consist of around 1200m of work (in 150 - 200m segments).

I’ll tell you something else; a couple of months back my wife and I went on a 2 week vacation where we did bugger all (relaxing on the beach, snorkling etc.) - my first run back felt amazing!

So yes, you’re probably right; but maybe I’m subconciously scared of losing too much muscle size if I lay of the weights, I’ve always been explosive as a kid even before touching the weights. Maybe I need to taper off and see if it improves anything.


video tape your runs.

knock back your weights to twice a week. replace jump squats with regular squats. and heaving benching with weighted dips probably is redundant and since you’re having a hard time recovering, lose the dips.


1 speed session a week is not enough in my opinion. If it is speed you are worried about you need to do atleast 2 if not 3 speed sessions a week.

Guys, thanks for the responses! I’ll try limiting my weights sessions to twice a week; and incorporate another speed session too.

My speed sessions usually consist of 6-10 block starts over 40 meters, and a couple of flying 30’s; although the latter is sometimes limited to a single run through as my form deteriorates rapidly and I’m simply not prepared to push myself at the risk of an injury!

Will let you know how it goes!

Thanks again.


What kind of reps and schemes are you doing in the weight room?

I usually do the 5x5, you know 5 sets of 5 reps with strict form. Usually 4 excercises per workout, for example:

5x5 weighted chins
5x5 alternate military press
5x5 dead lift
5x5 bench


5x5 bench
5x5 seated rows
5x5 weighted dips
5x5 power cleans

Usually something along those lines anyway; I tend to train fairly instinctively; but always try to get some core exercises in. I don’t do auxillary isolation stuff like bicep curls, tricep extensions and other traditional bodybuilding exercises.



If you are having problems holding form when sprinting, you might want to try squating in 3-4 sets of 10 with 60 seconds rest inbetween each set. After a period of about 3 weeks go to a max strength phase, Example 3x3 with full recovery. Same goes for the bench. Do the max strength phase for 3 weeks. I have had and seing good results with Charlies ways.

For stuff like power cleans and deadlifts. I would always keep them in reps of 3. With full recovery after each set.

So overall you might want to try just adding volume to some lifts with less recovery. I hope this helps.

NV - thankyou! Will keep you posted.


Hey Matt,
gotta say it wouldn’t be your weights (if you say ur in the gym for 40 or so minutes a session its really not doing anything taxing on the CNS at all). Also, if you have trouble with form try doing ab and other such lower back work, it will help stabilise the torso while running - so ur shoulders don’t roll, hips remain high, etc.

How can you tell my CNS involvement by just me telling you the amount of time I spend in the gym?

What you do in 40 minutes maybe different to what I do!


No disrespect to Jumper but, you could toast your CNS in a few minutes in the gym, intensity matters also, not just duration.

Assuming you were strong enough, I suppose. You are definitely going to take much longer than just a “few minutes” to really tax your CNS if you are not an elite lifter, and even that may not be possible.

Regardless how long is the minimum to overload your CNS, certainly it could be done in 40 min, 2-3x per week. Sets of five imply that the weight is less than 90%1RM, though.

But recovery could be the missing ingredient here.

Yeah I guess I should have asked, how long do you rest between reps? I should have made that clearer I guess, but I presume you mean 40 mins from the time you enter the gym, to the time you leave. And other factors may contribute to you “really taxing your CNS in 40 mins in the gym” (which for me, repeat for me, is not really possible - no matter what I do in the gym). But what’s at issue here is that you say you’re not moving fast enough, so, I guess recovery could be a reason, though I doubt this, as I’m also in the gym 3 times a week (twice lower, once upper body) and recovery’s not an issue.

Maybe you’re stride is not long or frequent enough at top speed, this used to be relevant for me - as I was not overturning quick enough - then when I tried to do so, I wasn’t relaxed so I slowed down. If this is the case, try some overspeed work, it helps, or just try to move your limbs quicker but at the same time staying relaxed.

Hey Jumper, 40 mins starts after my warmup is completed so it’s pretty full on!

I leave very little time between sets, 2 mins max.

I should have also mentioned that sometimes during deadlifts, I’ll only do 5 reps total (1 set); so it really depends on how I’m feeling!

Looking at it this way; I should probably not try to overtax my CNS in the gym; leave it for the track.

Thanks for the responses!


Alright mate, sounds good. I looked at what you do in the gym, and it seems like a good workout - good basic strength and power work. Similar to what I do.

Run before you lift.

All this talk about taxing the CNS in the weight room, but no one has mentioned the other aspect of neural training. You said that you are 29 and that you are just now learning correct running form. You have been sprinting using a certain technique (whether poor or proper) for many years now. The neural pathways have formed engrams within the system and that is what your body is used to. A change in the pathway can and will elicit a decline in efficiency. Give it a little more time to adapt to the new form and you should see results. Also, I would suggest a more explosive gym workout with fewer reps.