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.
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.
Overspeed isn’t just any method that deals with faster movement; the movement has to be done in a similar context i.e. high force output. Stick drills are not overspeed, IMHO, because the force output is so much lower. If such a thing could translate, we could just have athletes take tap dancing, because the contacts are extremely quick. But there would be no transfer, of course. Stick drills may be beneficial, but not in the develpment of RFD, stiffness etc., when force outputs are much higher.
Secondly, when counting steps and extrapolating to stride length, you need to be careful since changes in early steps (start phase, acceleration) can influence the number. Shorter strides in the early phase could offset longer strides in the Max V phase making the total number of steps the same, even if Max V stride length has lengthened. A better method might be to estimate the distance being covered with the longest 10 strides in the Max V phase, say somewhere between 60m and 80m, and compare those to earlier, slower, races.
In the case of running with a tailwind, Charlie maintained that it wasn’t really a case of assistance (unless the wind was really strong) as much as reduced resistance, similar to running at high altitude.
I don’t understand what you’re saying here. Its always about the ‘a’, meaning that to increase Max V, the net horizontal force has to be slightly greater allowing a new equilibrium to settle in (a new Max V). Mass doesn’t change, so to increase acceleration further beyond Max V, more net force must be realized. I don’t see how wind assistance is any different than towing or downhill. All three increase the net horizontal force available to accelerate the mass to a higher velocity.
Stephen francis should do this with his top group of sprinters but up that steep concrete incline and regular incline. Asafas drive phase will be off the radar and when he hits top speed that will be off da chain