Engineering Speed: Our Approach to Making Athletes Fast

Resisted and assisted (or overspeed) training are great training tools to make athletes faster. Whether the athlete needs to improve explosive speed (acceleration) or improve top speed, resisted and assisted sprinting does the trick.

These methods allow the speed coach to hone in on exactly what the athlete needs as an individual. No coach would go into the weight room and have every athlete do the exact same workout with the exact same weights.

Speed training works the same way: best when individualized

Resisted sprinting is basically like strength training for sprints. Just like in normal weight training, too little weight and too much weight compromises results. We’re looking for the Goldilocks approach: not too much, not too little, but just the right amount. 

Overspeed training is the same way. Too much or too little assistance and it doesn’t work as well. 

A laser-like, individualized approach to speed training is how athletes get freaky fast.

Traditionally, individualizing sprint training has been very difficult to do. You can change the weight on the sled, but how do you know which is just the right weight for you vs. the athlete next to you? Overspeed training is very difficult to standardize. You can use bands to slingshot yourself forward, you can run downhill, or you can hope for a strong tailwind to run with, but none of those methods let you dial in the exact right prescription for you.

The 1080 Sprint changed the landscape of speed training forever by addressing all of these issues.

With the 1080 Sprint, you can easily perform resisted and assisted sprints. We can add resistance in increments of 0.22 pounds (0.1kg), making it easy to instantly change the weight for each athlete. Plus, the device measures every variable you could want to know about your sprint: time, speed, acceleration, power, and force. That way, we can dial in the exact right resistance for each individual athlete.

 

But how do we know exactly which weight is exactly right for you?

To become a faster, more powerful runner, training at maximum power is key. Power is how fast you can generate force. In athlete terms, it’s explosion. Explosive athletes are the ones who produce a lot of power.

During normal sprinting, top power is reached in less than a second, and as you speed up power production decreases. This is normal, but makes training at top power by doing regular sprints impossible.

When you run against a weight that cuts your top speed in half, you’re training at maximum power.

Thanks to all the cool numbers the 1080 gives us, we know exactly how fast and powerful each sprint was within a second of you finishing the rep.

This is how we pinpoint the perfect training prescription for you. The goal is to sprint at maximum power. Because the 1080 directly measures power, we know exactly what to do to make sure you’re training at maximum power.

Check out these results from one of our athletes. This is a summary of progress over five resisted sprint sessions in just 12 days.

You see a very clear trend of sprint times decreasing and power increasing. 

Put simply, resisted sprints improves sprint power and acceleration, which is what makes the most significant difference in performance for most athletes. 

Overspeed training is a great tool for improving top speed. The concept is simple: instead of running away from the 1080 against resistance, you run towards it as it gently pulls you forward. Because it gives you a slight tug, it allows you to run slightly faster than you can run on your own, forcing your body to figure out how to keep up.

The goal is to run 5-10% faster than you normally can. With the 1080 telling us your exact speed, we can adjust the assistance to put you in that sweet spot.  

The end result is simple:

Our athletes get fast.

Interested in getting faster? Check out our speed training page.