Have to practice running rather than working out in gym for Athletics?

Question: I have a query related to Athletics. To improve the speed and to sprint. Have to practice running rather than working out in gym. Is age a factor for that. Please advise.

Answer: I am a certified Strength and Conditioning (CSCS) specialist. I will tell you the real deal on how Usain Bolt is made.
Power in sports depends on six important components—genetics, metabolic capacity, muscle size, nervous system
ty, and skill. Effective strength is determined by how well the nervous system controls the muscles and the skill and efficiency of movement. Weight training, speed, and plyometric training eventually produce more powerful movements if it is integrated into a long-term, systematic program that includes skill training and physical conditioning.

For developing power and speed the goal should be to have minimal ground contact time or work on reaching maximum speed.

You will have a greater effect on the performance if you follow 9 principles for training sprint.
1. Design a periodized weight-training program that develops strength in the body’s largest muscle groups. As with all power athletes, the main exercises include presses, pulls, squats, and squat variations. Build base strength in power athletes that includes squats and bench presses and power strength in the clean, snatches, and jerks.
2. Build a stiff core. Core stiffness is vital for sprinters and other track and field athletes for four reasons: strengthens muscles, improves muscular endurance, reduces low back pain, and helps boost sports performance. Greater core stiffness transfers strength and speed to the limbs when throwing, sprinting, and jumping; it also increases the spine’s load-bearing capacity and protects internal organs during jarring and potentially traumatic sports movements.
3. Include vigorous exercises to improve speed and power. These include sprint overload exercises (downhill sprinting, harness running, parachute running, stadium stairs, hill sprints), high knee-fast arms, bounding, and short sprints. Perform these exercises at full speed. It is better from the muscle’s metabolic standpoint and contraction capacity to do one set of each exercise at maximum intensity than 20 sets at half speed.
4. Develop endurance through interval training.
5. Emphasize plyometrics. Upper Body Plyometric Exercises like Chest Throw, Overhead Throw , Pullover throw, Shot Put, Squat Jump Throw etc. and also Lower Body Plyometric Exercises like Depth Jumps, Hurdle Jump With Sprint, Lateral Jumps etc.(the aforementioned exercises are advanced plyometric exercises. You must have an EXTENSIVE training base and experience of performing plyometrics.)

6. Work on starts. Sprint races of 100 meters or less are largely won in the starting blocks. The athlete should work on these religiously and do exercises that develop power for leaving the blocks quickly.
7. Do not neglect the other aspects of sprinting: acceleration, relaxing the upper body and arms while sprinting, and finishing.
8. Develop good running technique: This involves full hip extension, full range of motion with the arms, and a cut foot to maximize the push against the ground. Use a video camera to judge progress and discover (and correct) limiting factors.
9. Develop power, power, and more power. Overload muscles at high speed and peak power output. Muscles are trained the way you load them in practice. If you want muscles to fire all out in competition, you must train muscles to fire all out in practice.

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