Contrast Training provides a uniquely structured way to focus on and develop Acceleration and Maximum Velocity. It involves a single workout with three distinct running components:
- “The Real Thing” or Speed
Resistance runs are done over 20-30 meters. Any resistance that provides a resistance greater than 10% will result in loss of intensity. Alternatively, resistance exercises can also be skill exercises performed with some additional resistance.
Immediately following the Resistance section, there is an Assistance component. This involves 2-3 runs from 20-40 meters.
Finally, using distances of 40-60 meters sprints are done at “Real Speed”.
The theory behind Contrast Training is that the Resistance component “tricks” the brain into reacting to the added load by firing more neural motor units. When the resistance is removed, this additional firing is incorporated into the desired “overspeed” during the assistance component. The final “real speed” sprint is intended to blend the additional motor units into the desired action in the way it will need to be performed under race or competition conditions.
For more information on speed and similar articles, “The Sciences of SAC” by Brent McFarlane