Research in Sprinting ~ What Science Says About Speed

There is no single greater concern of coaches and athletes in all sports than “how to run faster.” There is also no question more frequently left unanswered. Considerable inconsistency exists in the training of modern day sprinters. An air of secrecy surrounds the training methods used by coaches of several foreign countries. The sudden dethroning of American sprint supremacy by the Russians in the 1972 Olympic Games and now by the Jamaicans has some experts concerned about our present training methods. It is true that many of our programs in the past have been less than scientific: more aerobic than anaerobic, more haphazard than analytical, more mass oriented than personalized and more superficial than comprehensive. Yet, it is difficult to argue with success since it is a fact that the U. S. has produced the world’s best sprinters for many years. Obviously, many individuals have been involved in participation in some very excellent training regimes.
This book has been prepared for all coaches and sprinters as a means of evaluating current sprint training programs in light of scientific facts discovered through the review of more than 250 studies. In several areas, where gaps were evident, I have attempted to investigate certain aspects as a means of uncovering critical data and then making recommendations for consideration by future researchers.
Information in this book is applicable to racing distances from the 40-yard dash in football up to the 200-meters; energy expenditure and training approaches are quite different for runners competing in distances of 400 meters or more. It is hoped that the contents of the treatise will be helpful to both coach and athlete in elevating performance levels.

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