Resisted accelerations in comp period

If this has been discussed before, please direct me to the thread, but I did a search and couldn’t find anything.

I am keen to know what the research says and what the opinions are on using resisted accelerations (hills, sled, tyres) in the competition period. I have heard suggestions that it should not be done because it decreases the movement speed, and I imagine increases GCT. However, it can’t be that great a problem otherwise it wouldn’t be used at all as a training tool. What about the possibility of using it as a part of contrast training in season.

Dose anyone have any experience or thoughts on any of the above?

Don’t see an issue if the volume is kept low:

Example outdoor speed session:
3x30 sled
3x60 no sled


2x30 sled

Those are both very low volume sessions. I like the contrast concept in the first example. Thanks for your input!

Hi Maris hows it going ? I have used it pre comp, 1x60m no resistance timed followed by 3-5 x 60m with resistance then 1x60m no resistance, good recoveries of course. In almost all cases the last unresisted 60m were faster than the first unresisted 60m. I wouldn’t try it very close to races, certainly not meetings your targeting to do well in.

Hi Phil, I’m good. You? How heavy are you loading the sled for 60m? I have never really done anything resisted further than 30-35m max, which I would imagine would mean it would have less impact upon performance (less affect on GCT etc), but again may be wrong…How far out from competitions are you using this protocol? I hadn’t doing resisted runs sandwiched by ‘free runs’. Do you think this has benefits over doing alternate resisted/unresisted runs or doing all the unresisted reps at the end?

Not so bad thanks, I’m going back a few years now, I had a crop of well conditioned athlete’s and wanted to take them up a level. We used car tyres, 5kg for the guys and 3-4 kg for the females. I worked on volumes recommended by a GDR Coach who reckoned that no more than 300m total volume of resisted running should be used in one session. So we went up to 10x30m 5x60m 3x100m and 2x150m. I had a theory regarding heightened neuromuscular excitation caused by resistance running and experimented with this and sure enough it seemed to work. I think you have to be in good shape to make this work, we certainly had some good results around that time.

I have never ventured beyond 30-35m for tyre/sled pulls. I would worry it may disrupt the mechanics of max velocity. However, if you bring the weight right down, it may not be a problem. Would your 10x30m be the entire session or would you put 1-2 ‘free’ runs in there as well. I imaghine you can’t put much more volume in, as then it simply becomes too high. When you talk about the neuromuscular excitation, were you seeing the benefits later in the session or in subsequent sessions (or both)?

I quite agree re first point, I prescribed them in the SPP not comp phase. We only used them for a 3 week block of intensive training followed by an easy week, then unresisted running for the rest of the build up to competition. If I remember rightly if I used a few free ones then I reduced the volume of resisted 30’s. The 300m was the maximum total volume, it depended upon how individuals were at the time as to how many they performed.

Re last question, it was initialy the last rep of the 60m that I noticed a difference, I only used this on the 60m session. I would say that we noticed a difference when we went back to unresisted running and started reducing the volume towards the outdoor season. How much it had to do with the 60m tyre session as opposed to all the other work we had been doing I’m not sure, the squad members who did it enjoyed the experience, a little bit of what you fancy does you good (within reason).

This issue has been mentioned on a separate thread regarding use of resisted runs in the competition phase. I was under the impression MVP kept them in year round and if so, what was the reasoning…

The potentiation effect is interesting, and if the athlete leaves the session having completed a particularly good final run, then I think that can be hugely positive in terms of psychology also. Yes, I understand how it would be difficult to isolate a variable that saw longer term improvements and agree that enjoyable sessions are good!!!

I thought that the MVP squad worked on 30m sled pulls until February, I might be wrong.

It is more likely I would be wrong!!! I did think I read somewhere that sleds/hills were kept in year round…