Thursday, June 30, 2011

Speed Month


The World Championships is a short race and I’ve spent most of the last decade doing ultra events. I need to be faster, so July is going to target power and explosiveness, which equal speed. Hello postactivation potention.

Pure speed is one of the harder elements to improve because it takes more than simply getting into shape. You need to train both your musculature and your nervous system to respond differently to stimulus. Getting fit is a natural extension of exercising but getting fast takes targeted training, which is not always as much fun.

But I recently did a short mountain bike race, our state championships, to qualify for nationals and got my ass handed to me in spectacular fashion. I qualified but lost nearly a minute per mile to the winner. Ouch! Speed has always been an allies (I was a sprinter in high school) but the last decade of going long and slow has retrained my body so it no longer knows how to be fast. In order to be competitive in Spain some major reprogramming is in order.

summer transformation goal


I do actually find this training fun. The downside is less time playing with my friends. Now instead of going out for a ride, run, or climb being a focal point of my training it’s what I do on rest days. Training consists of drills, intervals, and PAP.

The latter is the key. If you follow TSD you know what this is, and why it comprises the third phase of P90X2. If not read this. And this. And if you’re very curious dig though all of these posts.

Essentially my schedule looks like the third training bock of P90X2, with some sports specific stuff added. This form of PAP—that the general public is about to get a taste of—is the epitome of applied science for athletes. And though I’ve already done some experiments with PAP complexing I’ve never been focused on improving my speed. Basically I’m headed back into the lab and it’ll be interesting to see how the experiments shake out.

17 comments:

Bud said...

That's why there's not a repo man I no who don't do speed.

Otto said...

Speed huh?

Bud said...

Night. Day. Doesn't mean shit.

Miller said...

The more you drive, the less intelligent you are.

Bud said...

Look at 'em, ordinary fucking people, I hate 'em.

Otto said...

Did you do a lot of acid, Miller, back in the hippie days?

Miller said...

I'll give you another instance: you know how everybody's into weirdness right now?

Frank Parnell said...

Ever been to Utah? Ra-di-a-tion.

SwimDude said...

Great Post Steve. Any advice on a P.A.P. complex to improve run speed for a short distance race?

Steve Edwards said...

I was into those guys a long time ago. Used to party with'em all the time. They asked me to be their manager. Called bullshit on that.

My complexes and, more importantly, the ones they concoct at P3 are not sports specific, they are individually specifically. Meaning they target individual weakness to build a sound platform. Sports specific movement is then gained through drills.

The PAP component of my lower body complexes are: Bulgarian squats (lunge with back leg elevated on a slightly unstable platform--I use a huge bouldering mat) followed by split squat jumps, and single leg squat and reach followed by side hops (100% for height, distance, and rebound). I follow this with a glute med movement, wall slide, and a side plank with leg raise, two down, 30 sec each side. This combo targets everything you use during forward or side explosive movements as well as pelvic stability, which is vital for, well, pretty much any lower body activity.

Sal said...

blah blah squat blah blah rebound blah blah plank blah blah stability.


Soft opening. Grand opening. When they opened The Flamingo . . . one day it was closed, the next day it was open. End of story. I know, I was there.

-Sal

Trainer T.s Fitness said...

You never cease to amaze me!
Being a CPFT that loves planks this will be great......

Plank Maniac said...

I love planking too. Check out these. http://www.geekosystem.com/tag/best-planking-pictures/ I have to get some of my best ones up soon.

Tommy said...

I'm curious if you are going to race a set distance now and get your time and then measure that same distance at some point in the future and visualize your improvement. Time before - Time after = improvement

Chris Moore said...

I'm getting pretty excited about P90X2. I'm planning on training to get back into masters swimming soon, and my starts and turns have historically been my downfall (I'm a sprinter). PAP seems like a good answer for that.

I am an academic scientist, but in a completely different field (physics). What I can tell from the studies I am reading about PAP, is that the effect (specifically timing) is highly variable from athlete to athlete even for the PAP trained. If we wish to utilize PAP for competition in, say, our warmup for a 50 m sprint, we'd have to time it well. This would require individualized data that may not be available to the typical Beachbody Warrior.

Personally, I've got an idea for modifying a Wii balance board to act as a bluetooth force plate. But I'm a geek with a lot of cool toys at my disposal and an extensive background in data acquisition. How does P90X2 allow for the type of individualized data gathering necessary to put PAP training into use for competition?

Steve Edwards said...

Wow. Be sure and let me know how that home force plate works out. I personally modify our workouts my personal agendas all the time, so I'm sure you can, too. But at your level it seems like what x2 gives you will be a template to work off of. I'm sure you'll find it cool but I'm sure you'll end up making some adjustments, too. No one workout is perfect for every athlete but we're getting closer and our template stronger.

I think Asafa Powell used a PAP warm-up on a world or American record race, so it can work for sure. But since most competitors try and keep those things on the down low you won't find much published about it until it becommes the norm. Athletes don't like to see things that might give them an edge leaked out. Regardless, you would need to practice it. If you dug through enough science you saw that response windows for recruitment increases vary per individual.

Chris Moore said...

Here's an article about a homemade force plate that costs about $100 and is really accurate.

http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~cross/PUBLICATIONS/6.%20StandingForcePlate.PDF

The Wii balance board should be easier to modify, though it may not have a sufficient range. I'll have a student work on this in the coming academic semester. I can think of lots of uses in the classroom, and some uses in the home gym.

A simple home force plate that looks at only vertical motion could be produced commercially for probably less than $50 retail. That includes software for the home PC, and/or Android/iPhone bluetooth-based interfaces. Whether or not there would be a market is another question.