Our first segment will discuss what speed technically is and a major common myth about speed.
What exactly is speed?
A common definition many learn is...
Speed = Stride Length x Stride Rate
While this technically is correct, it is a massive over sight and sends the wrong message.
That wrong message ends up with many strictly seeking to improve length and rate, rather than understanding these are actually byproducts of what happens on the ground.
Stride rate and stride length are outcomes of how one applies force into the ground.
The amount, direction, and time of this force application directly dictates ones length and turnover of their stride. Trying to find ways to artificially increase stride length or rate doesn't actually attack the issue, and instead makes things worse.
Seeing someone with what might be deemed as slow turnover or short strides, we have to ask ourselves why?
We can't just say, "take larger strides!" We need to find the root of the problem and look at what is going on at foot strike, what is going on at each joint, is there mobility restrictions, strength limitations, poor elasticity, technical errors, poor intent, etc.
Trying to change rate or length without looking at all these factors that actually effect them is a road to nowhere.
Remember Speed ≠ Stride Rate x Stride Length
Speed = Application of Huge Forces in a Specific Direction in the Shortest Amount of Time
As we delve into later posts - we'll break down how this definition gives us a better insight as to how to train for speed and a model to break down speed development.