Skill related fitness components

What is speed?

Speed is the rate in motion, so in physical activity and sport it refers to how fast you ca move you body or a body part from one point to another

What are the factors that effect speed?

  • The efficiency of the anaerobic system to provide ATP quickly - If body can provide ATP quicker = being able to run/move faster
  • Muscle activation - associated with recruitment of motor units, leads to faster contraction time and an improvement in speed
  • Rate of force production
  • Muscle and connective tissue joint stiffness or elasticity
  • Duration of activity
  • Resistance to fatigue

Sports that require an athlete to have a high competency in SPEED

Sprint events;
  • Sprint swimmers - 50m
  • Track and field sprints - 100m
  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Cycling
  • Soccor

Sprint tests

35m and 50m sprint tests


  • These tests involve running a single maximum sprint over a set distance, with time recorded.
  • After warm up, the test is conducted over a certain distance, such as 10, 20, 35, 40 or 50meters depending on the sport and what you are trying to measure.
  • Specificity can be applied to speed tests by using appropriate distances
50m Sprint Series Indoor Utrecht 17-01-2014, Stadion Galgenwaard

35m Sprint test norms

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50m Sprint test norms

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How to train speed

Training methods for Speed:

  • Medium interval training
  • Short interval training
  • Resistance training
  • Speed training
  • Plyometrics training
  • Circuit training

Medium interval training:

  • Work period is dominated by the anaerobic glycolysis energy system
  • Work period is between 10-60seconds and work rest ratio is 1:2 or 1:3
  • Aim is to develop a tolerance to the build up of lactic acid
  • Allowing athlete to to perform and maintain a high intensity in the presence of metabolic by-product.

Short interval training:

  • Work period is dominated by the ATP-PC energy system
  • Under 10 seconds with a work rest ratio 1:6, working at 95-100%Max HR
  • Improves speed where increase PC stores is a desired adaptation
  • Thus enabling the athlete to work at their highest intensity for longer


  • 4x50m
  • 6x20m
  • 8x10m
  • 6x20m
  • 4x50m