How does strength training make me run faster?
Newton’s 3rd law states: for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. How does this relate to sprinting? When we sprint, we are pushing force into the ground. The amount of force, and the direction of the force you push into the ground pushes back into you (known as ground reaction force or GRF). Note - the green arrow indicates the runners foot-strike = force into the ground, while the red arrow shows us the GRF and direction we’ll be pushed. Now how does strength tie into all this? Strength is our ability to produce force. The stronger we are, the more force we can produce. The more force we push into the ground, the higher the GRF, the faster we can run. Let’s say you take your max deadlift from 50kg to 100kg, you now have the ability to produce 50 more kilograms of force into the ground. Yes, it is specific to the deadlift and doesn’t carry over as much as we would like it to. But your body is now capable of producing more force into the ground = more force pushed back into you (GRF) = faster speed. It’s important that you don’t put on too much body weight in this process of getting stronger. Relative strength (the amount of force you can produce relative to your bodyweight) is arguably more important than absolute strength (total amount of force you can produce regardless of bodyweight). If a 70kg man can deadlift 120kg and a 120kg man can deadlift 120kg, it’s clear who has greater relative strength. Here’s a few quick tips that may help you improve your sprinting speed. 1. Nothing beats actually sprinting. Sprint more if you want to get better at sprinting. Technique is important. 2. Improve your absolute strength on a range of exercises such as trap bar deadlifts, back squats, Olympic lifts and bulgarian split squats. Do more sets, keep your reps under 5 and extend your rest periods to 2-5mins 3. Keep your bodyweight the same or increase it as little as possible. 4. Use sleds if possible. These are great for teaching sprint technique, single leg strength, and strength that’s more specific to sprinting. #one22