Sprinters need to be steadily throughout the year training for more strength and then training in ways to let their nervous systems learn how to use the extra strength & convert it to power. Its not enough to lift heavy weight or lift weights fast. Muscle contraction are far faster than any lifting that can be done. See every activity as a way to let the brain learn. Just like when you learned to walk.
If you do too much high quality training e.g. heavy lifting, max power lifting, max speed running or max acceleration & your nervous system will be overloaded and your sprinting improvement will go stale. You will learn to run slower.Some squads do this all year, every year! There are probably superstars in those squads that are having their potential destroyed. Just like a talent singer who pushes their vocal chords too hard too often. They will end up with no special talent showing itself.
Some theories say to lift weights & run in the same session. There are a few ways to do this:
- Lift specific heavy weight first in small volumes first and then sprint flat out shortly afterward. The best specific weight exercises is single legged step ups on a low box.
- Lift weights straight after the sprint session. This creates more recovery for the nervous system for the next quality session.
- Mixing some bounding alternate legs is a good way to link strength training to sprinting. (i will write another separate article about this soon)
The main thing not do is volumes of half effort sprinting and think that is sprint training. It is only conditioning & filling in time. Done too fast these will spoil speed development as well, and doing them in volumes will only convert fast twitch fibres too slower.