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Dr Margot Wells

How do you know if your speed training is actually making you faster?

Written by Margot Wells

There are many different training packages that promote the improvement of speed but do they actually make the performer better? How can you tell?

You can time yourself over a set distance before you do the sprint training and time yourself again after. Did you run faster?

Can you make more breaks on the field than you did before? Can you go on the outside when you couldn’t before?

If not, then your speed training is not making you faster. If everyone does the same thing then everyone should get faster. Look at the people who used to be slow (Mike Brown Harlequins full back) and now his speed has improved dramatically allowing him to make breaks, go on the outside and run faster with the ball in hand. The reason he runs quicker is because he did something different.

What about the players who used to be fast but are now slower than they were before? This is a direct result of the wrong training for speed and this should be addresses by the player and the fitness coach. Improvement in speed is coachable and achievable with the right training programme.

Speed can be improved immediately by changing the running style of the player and this not only improves the player’s speed but also his confidence to do things on the field. Coaches spend a lot of time on the technique of tackling but if the player cannot catch the opponent then they can’t tackle them no matter how good their technique is!

Speed isn’t everything on a rugby field but it is the most intimidating physical aspect for a rugby player to deal with. So why do coaches demand strength and bulk when speed and power are just as essential.
Remember “if you always do what you always done, you always get what you always got” Grinder and Bandler NLP.


Our friends say...

"If someone is coached by her for two or three months I can guarantee they will be two yards faster. Everything she has done is proven. She is phenomenal...."

Danny Cipriani
Bath RFC