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Dr Margot Wells

Why are children happier playing computer games instead of physically playing games?

Written by Margot Wells

The answer is that they can see their improvement in terms of levels gained or points amassed and this makes them feel good. When they do fitness or sport the chances are that they do not feel any better at the end of the session than they did at the beginning. So what would make them feel better?
The easy one to do first is to make them faster. Children love running fast and they will continue to run as long as they feel that they are going faster. So how can you make children run faster?
The first thing to do is teach them how to run technically correct. This will not only make them run faster but can prevent injuries occurring as they get older.

Arms:
Make sure children understand that they control their running with their arms not their legs.
Bend the arms at 90% and make sure they go straight backwards and forwards.
The faster their arms move the faster their legs will move.
Activity:
Try to run fast with straight arms and then try to run fast with bent arms.

Legs:
Make sure that children run fast on their toes.
Activity:
Try to run fast on the flats of the feet and then try to run fast on your toes.

Body:
Children must lean forward when they are running fast as it helps them pick up speed quickly.
Activity:
Try to run fast standing upright and then try to run fast leaning forward.

Warm up:
It is important to warm up properly before any running session but especially a fast one. It should be fun but productive. Jogging laps is neither fun nor productive!

Try running 4 – 6 runs over 20m – 50m depending on the age of the child at 60% effort. This is a great time to practise the running technique as they are not running as fast as they can.

This is then followed by a series of stretches on the move. Standing still swinging your arms or legs is not fun nor is it productive!

Then increase the effort and cut down the distance.

1 run over 10m – 30m depending on the age of the child at 80% followed by 1 run over the same distance at 90%

Sessions:
Relays: groups of children running backwards and forwards as fast as they can over a variety of distances from 10m – 30m never longer and never around a track. You have to have them close to you to correct technique and encourage effort.
Sprints: groups of children in speed groups. Group 1 the fastest, group 2 the second fastest and so on. This ensures that everyone has a chance to succeed at their own level and encourages the children to try harder. 

Sprint Sessions:
30m – 25m – 20m -15m - 10m – 5m with a walk back recovery
4 – 6 x up to 30m depending on age with a walk back recovery
4 x 5m: 2 x 10m: 2 x 20m with a walk back recovery
Nothing takes more out of the body than running as fast as you can. That is why the distances are short and the children get tired very quickly. Always try the session beforehand yourself if possible and see how tired you get! Then you will understand how the child feels when they complain of being tired.
 

      

Our friends say...

"When I was training with the Wellfast techniques I became stronger, faster and fitter. Even though I was quick before I started, I became even faster..."

Paul Sackey
Retired Harlequins & England International

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