FAST Training Tip: X

High Speed Treadmill Training Vs. Traditional Speed Training Programs

For years the only way to train speed was to go outside in the Arizona heat and do speed drills with the track or football coach. As times change so do the training methods. Coaches/athletes are always looking for different ways to better themselves and their teams; the high speed treadmill maybe the answer. When we say high speed treadmill we mean nothing less. There are units out there that go 31mph at a 40 degree incline. Who can run that fast you ask, we have athletes at FAST that can hold 20-25 mph for only a few seconds. Is that for everybody? No. But with a high speed treadmill we have the ability to train a wide range of speed work.

Having access to a high speed treadmill, athletes/teams have many advantages over traditional speed training. These are: Train indoors, Train at speeds higher than what the athlete can run unassisted, train at elevation greater than a flat surface; train at high speeds in all directions, the coach can control the speed and elevation the athlete runs at and the coach has a better point of view to coach form.

When running a traditional speed training program coaches would break out bands, speed ladders and small hurdles. These are all good pieces of equipment when used properly. One of the main problems with these pieces of equipment is supervision and the ability to coach the athletes before and after a run without breaking the tempo. On a high speed treadmill you can coach the athlete at the time of the run and also before and after. By doing this the athlete will get the most out the reps they performed.

Also when running a traditional speed training program is that you need a field and it must be done outside. We all know how much our Arizona sun can interfere with our practice schedules. This is one more way you can move your workouts indoors and out of the heat. The athlete can then worry about their workout and not the heat. You will be able to get more out of each run if your athletes are not over heated.

By running athletes/teams though their speed training work on a high speed treadmill you can give your athletes the proper work-to-rest ratio. If you are training speed you must pay close attention to how much rest you give the athlete. For most purposes your rest ratios will be at 2:1 or 3:1(example: 10 sec run=20-30 sec rest). For the sport of football you will want to train first step quickness, 10-20 yard burst and change of direction and change of velocity. All of which can be done through different drills on a high speed treadmill.

If you are looking to get a step on your competition look into doing your speed training on a high speed treadmill. These programs should be properly run by a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. There is a proper progression and technique that goes into running on a high speed treadmill. See how a high speed treadmill can take you training to the next level.

Eric Reed, CSCS*D, RSCC

NSCA/FAST Regional Coordinator

USATF level 1


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