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Secret Number 3 : Speed & Power Training
Date: 17 Aug, 2001
Contact: Jon Ackland
Phone: 09-480-1422
Secret Number 3 : Speed & Power training

This is free speed work because it is speed work that does not knock you around. We all know that speed work is very intense and once again the strain on the cardiovascular system is the thing that really fatigues you. So how do we take the cardiovascular system out of your speed work while retaining, say for running the stride rate and the stride length or for cycling, the gear and the cadence that make up race pace. Well, it takes about 30sec to 1min for your cardiovascular system to react to that effort, your heart rate on your heart rate monitor steadily climbs over this period even though you are already at your required intensity which might be race pace. In other words, you can run at the stride length and stride rate for 30sec-1min before your cardiovascular system kicks in.

So if you could do your efforts at race pace for only 30sec or 1min and pulled out just before you start to puff you would get the speed and power without the cardiovascular stress on the body. Add this stressless speed to the speed work you already do and you get a whole lot more speed work without it knocking you around. Free speed or very little fatigue cost for what you are doing. Further to this if you did power training earlier in you program and brought traditional speedwork (eg. 4 x 4mins at race pace) in later, your speed would be far more effective when it happens.

You will be faster and will be able to cope with more. Another interesting issue is you can be strong and push a big gear but not be powerful and push a big gear fast and this type of training addresses this area and improves your power.


Jon Ackland is an exercise consultant for Performance Lab, who has been training athletes (Novice to Elite) for 15 years. The author of a number of books including the best selling The Power to Perform, as well as The Performance Log, Precision Training and Spinning. .Jon is the director of Performance Lab where he tests and consults people of all levels helping them to train for sport, recreation and health. Ph 09 480-1422, Fax : 09 480-1423 e mail : plab@voyager.co.nz
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