to Charlie: Loss of speed?

I just reinjured my hamstring… AGAIN. Right, this time 3 weeks no rugby. No more trying to push my luck.

Altogether, I would’ve taken around 5 weeks off with no sprint work at all. Do you think I will lose much speed over this period?

I have been doing an upped volume of plyos (50 foot contacts per session) of depth jumps as well as close stance squats (plus some upper body work). I cannot do o’lifts at this point.

Charlie, in your experience, over 5 weeks, how much slower can I expect my 30m time to get? Since the lower distances mostly depend on strength work, can I get away with what I’m doing now and not lose too much speed with distances 30m and under?



Can anyone give me some insight? I would really like to know a little more about my situation to help plan my comeback. I’ve been playing some bloody good rugby as of late and I would like to come back strongly. My coaches have been asking me when I will become available for selection again.

My therapist told me it is likely that I will be physically healthy to play rugby in 2-3 weeks time, but he was not able to tell me how the downtime (around 5 weeks total) would affect my physical performance.

If the 5 weeks off with injury (nothing but depth jumps and narrow stance quad dominant squats) will cause me to lose some speed, I will tell the coach to delay my comeback until after a few speed sessions so that I can return to the playing field at my physical best.


I think depth jumps would be VERY ill-advised with a hamstring injury. Work the upper body strength elements to a higher degree during this period. Do all work in a straight line and do modest intensity accels for rehab over very short distances, starting with 10m. Make sure you start the accels from a dead stop and stop accelerating exactly at the mark. With a little practice, you’ll be able to hit the mark and maintain that speed exactly for distances of your choice.


Not being smart - but as with the first injury - only a good therapist can tell extent of damage is done and the recovery time needed.


Aerobic fitness will drop a little - use Aqua Jogging, rowing, cycling (if you must)

Speed will also drop a little, but after a few sessions this will recover - how fast I can’t tell.

Strengthening can continue while rehabbing also

Speed and strength endurance will be proably the biggest problem whic is why many recurring h-injuries happen towards end of 1st or 2nd game back when fatigue is setting in.

The eccentric loading on hams could be too much for depth jumps?

Rememeber to work on the kicking strength also by simply droping a LIGHT kiddies footy to your feet (as you would drop goal kicking) and kick off a wall repetitively - on BOTH sides.

I’ve been keeping my aerobic fitness in check with boxing/cycling/rowing options.

Speed endurance? Never had any in the first place. :wink:

Regarding the depth jumps, I thought they would be harmless since I felt no discomfort while doing them (and I thought there was no hip movement at all anyway?)

I will work on my kicking strength has you have suggested (because I need to get back to my best, and I don’t want my game options to be limited by the fact that I can’t kick!)

My priority right now (after full rehab) is speed.

Do you think I would be better off leaving room for 2 or 3 speed sessions prior to getting back into the game so that I can get back to the levels I was at? Or more? (Charlie?)

None of my sprints in the past have been timed so it is hard for me to judge when I have gotten back to full speed.

Thanks for your help again.

… speed and agility also …
In fact, you could probably run straight at near maximal speed quite soon, but it is the eccentric actions and the tension the muscles are put under while turning and changing pace that will be most dangerous.

Like Charlie said, avoid the depth jumps with an injury.

Missing three weeks is really not that big of a deal, unless you will be missing a paycheck in the meantime. It sounds like this is a repeat injury. If you can, find someone qualified to make sure no scar tissue adhesions remain from the injury. In 3 weeks you will lose very little conditioning.

True - just remembering the injury sequence -there is prob alot of tough Xfriction-work to be done on the inj site

David, do you have access to an EMS unit? Such treatment would be very useful in helping to maintain pre-injury strength levels.

btw, 3-5 weeks is very little in the wider scheme of things. Your body might need the rest. You will come back fresher and, within a few sessions, possibly faster. An extended supercompensation phase! :wink:

Good luck with your recovery.

Thanks everyone.

No, I don’t have an EMS unit. Being just a naive rugby player, I have yet to even see one in action! I freaked out when they started using that ultrasound thing on me - I thought they were shaving my legs! :borg:

Hopefully I will come back faster and finish the season strongly… by the time I come back I would’ve missed half the season already, having only played about 30 mins so far this season (plus the preseason).

I remember reading posts on the old V1 forum that a lot of sprinters actually come back from a long layoff (not sure how long) from injury and manage to run PBs soon after.
Couldn’t find it through the search engine though.

I’m finally back!!

Ran a series of 30m today after the long layoff. I can’t believe how slow I’ve become!

I averaged around 4.58s for 30m, thats handtimed from first movement too. Woah, I didn’t expect to lose this much over 5 weeks.

Is this normal??

From what it felt like, my stride frequency was alright but my stride length seems to have suffered the most. I’ll have another sprint session on Wednesday, hopefully I will get some better times by then

dont be too discouraged. Give you body a chance to get into the grove CNS wise and you will be flying again in no time.

Its important in this period to relax and let the speed come and make sure you are fresh before starting out on a speed session.

The problem with seeing a slow time on the watch is that you will have a tendancy to push to go faster and not get anywhere. Put the watch away and let it all come back to you without forcing it.

Thanks AussieBrad, I definately felt like I started to push a bit after the first few reps on Monday. My next session is tomorrow (or maybe Thurs, if the DOMS is still present tomorrow). Hopefully I’ll regain most of my speed after a further 3 or 4 sessions so I can be ready for next Saturday.

btw, are you ‘brad’ from the old forum?

Yes I am brad in the old forum but I couldnt use that name here for some reason :frowning: If anyone can help me recover my old name I would be most appreciative!

Forget the stopwatch for a few weeks and go on feeling relaxed and getting things right ie timing etc.


woah i hope it doesn’t take a few weeks to get fast again.