Overspeed training

I would like to ask you what do you think about using the towing equipment in training. Some guys use it in training with success others with injures. :slight_smile: I think that Charlie did not use it with Ben and others. I am not sure about Lewis, Burrell … who fast sprinter used it? Thanx

Top speed is many faceted and, as I discussed on the GPP DVD, top speed can be trained as a sub max technical issue (in the GPP) and as a max speed item (early in the SPP in a S-to-L program), carried out with a full relaxed run up over a 20m distance with complete recovery.
As you probably know, it is very possible to hit speeds above those attained in an actual competitive 100m because of the lower cost of a more gradual approach to the max speed zone. The emphasis is on complete relaxation and can be done without any assisted method.
The problem for the vast majority is not to break out of a speed barrier, as they haven’t maxed out on their strength and elastic work, but to prevent one from being set in the first place.
This can be done by incorporating variable speed work (in and outs or speed change work [fast-easy-fast, flying 20s from various build-up distances, running with a strong tailwind, etc). CF

Towing equipment is mostly crap making your contact patch longer…use what’s CF said instead.
Slight decline might also be used, I don’t know who have used It, some don’t even go top speed work like Stephen Francis who thinks that’s too dangerous.

If you do a search, there has been a ton of discussion about overspeed/towing. The principle drawback of towing is that it pulls you into the ground so that your foot strikes farther ahead of the center of gravity, thereby requiring deflection at the knee for the hips to pass over, which predisposes the hamstring to greater risk of injury. It’s the exact opposite of what Charlie described as optimal technique wherein the hip is higher over the ground, thereby allowing the foot to strike closer to the center of gravity, thus reducing ground contact time. So in fact, overspeed training ingrains mechanics that will reduce stride frequency rather than increase it. This is not noticed when you’re actually doing the overspeed run because you have an external force added to your movement.

Adonail’s quote from Charlie above demonstrates how true overspeed can be achieved by a simple redistribution of effort without the need for gadgets and while preserving optimal technique.

I am unsure how many people have used towing methods for over speed but my experience is that it can enhance foot strike and hip height ability. When done in a contrast settings with sled and unassisted sprinting the results can be excellent. I find 3-4 sessions leading into taper or pre comp is great. Also for individuals who are strong but lack frequency the patterning of greater frequency can help. The only time issues with over striding come into play is if the towing is to fast or the athlete is not confident to go with the speed. This is the job then of the coach to adjust and or cue the athlete. If you video tape the session the feedback and changes to hip height can be compared to the unassisted runs. Like any tool it’s only effective if the individual implementing it knows what they from it and how to use it to get the desired result.

Perhaps I am wrong, but I don’t think the guys above refer to contrast training as a form of overspeed. Personally, I don’t regard it as such. As for overspeed training via towing, how would you control the intensity of the towing?

Towing increases horizontal velocity which would overload the explosive component of hip extension, but the major problem with overspeed is that it forces the vertical component to hurry up at contact. To me, the problem with that is that it ruins the elastic component of contact and many of the reflexive elements. That might be why contrasts seem to work better then overspeed alone. I could only see overspeed being valuable if high speed explosive strength is severely lacking in relation to elastic strength in sprinting, but only using the gentle variations (slight downhill or tail wind).

Contrast refers to resisted followed by assisted (towing) followed by unassisted sprinting. The intensity is controlled by timing the towed distance and comparing it to normal times for that distance and or using the distance towed as the intensity variable that may be manipulated.

Any method utilized to overload, change or enhance an aspect of sprinting except sprinting itself will have limitations. But the use of over speed like drills, sleds, or cues are about inducing a response that will improve upon the qualities you are seeking to improve. It’s simply another tool accessible in a coaches tool box. As mentioned I like to use over speed in conjunction with unassisted sprinting and at times in conjunction / contrast to sled work. I have found that More often than not unassisted runs following over speed are faster than an athletes best. That’s not to say I have use it all the time as sometimes certain athletes don’t seem to be responders for a my arid of reasons.

I have never used it… I use only sledge or do some resistant work. Just curious who the fastes sprinter ever normaly used the towing device? What about Linford Christie? Never heard about using it in the SMTC group…

What are the changes looking at contact time during towing and running downhill? As I understand when towing stride length increases mainly due to less area resistance during flight phase but there is no reduction at CT?

From personal experience, I think you need to momentarily forget about the GCT or stride length when using a towing method and think primarily on the CNS stimulation and rfd required.

As mentioned above if using this in a contrast method, IMHO sled, assisted, unassisted is a very productive potential ion session that I have used very successfully with a number of guys

Wouldn’t any stimulus which allow the Nervous System to process faster signals than those processed during a given event be considered over-speed? If the stimulus is always GENERAL first and only then specific in its effects as Charlie maintained throughout his training philosophy,shouldn’t we broaden the overspeed method well beyond towing ? If that were the case,then an interesting example and quite successful example of overspeed (general) training may be that of the speedball as used in his training by Allan Wells,maybe worth discussing:

“As the ball moves extremely fast,the brain has to send messages to the muscles much faster than it would during a race and so when the athlete comes to race ,the body has already been conditioned to move at speed. Not only does this help in the preparation for running fast,but it also helps to cut out the injury risk.” (Margot Wells - The Allan Wells Book of Sprinting,1983).

The very same injury prevention effect seems not to be generally present in most overspeed running specific drills,which by definition require much higher level of preparedness,given the forces involved.

During witch training period do you like to place whose contrast method workouts with assisted sprinting? I hear some coaches saying that assisted sprinting might be effective. I saw a female sprinter in a city where I coach being towed last winter for a few sessions before European indoor champs in Paris. Before her 60m PB was 7.31 for a few indoor seasons but coincidence in Paris she made 7.28 and 7.27 in semifinal. Bad news was that she got injured in hamstring area right at crossing finish line. With 7.27 she was eighth and could run in a final but of course she didn’t. The thing is she didn’t use assisted methods before and never had hamstring injuries. Maybe she could escape that if she had proper therapy witch she doesn’t have in our city.

A couple of points. I don’t think CF was anti-overspeed as much as he was anti- most overspeed methods. He did talk about running downwind to get an overspeed effect. He didn’t like towing etc. or downhill running, although he did make favorable comments once when it was suggested that you could use a hill to reduce acceleation time/energy leading into a flat Max V rep. Along those lines, I think one of the best overspeed methods is assisted acceleration leading into a flat, non-assisted, slightly overspeed (1-2%) Max V fly.

I agree star, safety has to be paramount, in the form of athlete conditioning.

I used extensively in the pre 4 week period to a major comp for a 21 y/o he went from a pb of 10.66 to 10.43 ( obviously we tapered correctly n there were other elements involved)

He has since ran 10.34 and 6.63

I think pakewi your right any element that gets the body used to moving at a faster rate is overspeed… Funnily I use fast feet drills with all my athletes (and myself)

Gatlin/kim jong ill overspeed lol: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=058JKqiSuMI

9.64 then 9.45, now it’s only a matter of strength endurance through a lil bit of heavy weights as well as intensive tempo, straight leg bounds and high knee over 80 m

Faster rate is only one way to accomplish overspeed training. I as usual like to look at it from a pure signal point of view.As such many other methods are available.
Key in my coaching and consulting has been a number of overspeed training methods,and provided all the athlete’s systems are prepared to support the level of stimuli and consequent adaptation this training generates,they always paid off,no matter the sport and event,both recovery and performance wise.

Also,with this type of training,plateaus,as well as injuries,in my experience always resulted primarily from an inability of the individual physiology to keep up with the exponentially increased rate of adaptation demand such training creates. That is why I think it is important that if overpeed training is to be used,it has to be a backbone of the overall plan,always present to some degree,not just a last minute (or comp/pre comp phase) element or quick fix. Just like the speedball was an integral part of Allan Wells’ training cited above.

Oh okay, it’s the japanese taking part in this overspeed session and not the koreans. It looks like florida grass and one of those power boat fans/turbine blowers

44 strides for the 9.64 and then 43.5 strides for the 9.45. Stride frequency increased and his stride length basically remained the same as was this past year(2011)

Just did a quick count of gats strides at us trials and world champs and he was pretty consistent at 43 strides over 100m