Rapid Running

Rapid Running

A group dedicated to exploring speed and athletic movement development across sports.

Operating as usual

Photos from Rapid Running's post 22/05/2022

The WHY?

The recent post about drop-in accelerations gave me much more WHY when using them.

I've used them as part of my ACCELERATION preparation after my Altis Short Sprints Course.

But, yesterday I added the WHY & it added important context for these young, inexperienced athletes.

The WHY we spoke about was how this works on steps 3, 4, 5+ without having to generate the same FORCE & PROJECTION needed from a standing start.

The WHY is very important.



I'm very pleased for this DETERMINED, TALENTED & HARDWORKING young player, being selected for the England u18s training squad after a difficult year.

I'm certain this is only just the start of her rugby journey & I feel privileged to be a small part of it.

Very well Done Maria.


Breaking Rules:

This try yesterday was superb and IMO much better than one scored last week and shared all over social media.

There is so much SPEED & MOVEMENT to admire but my favourite is this picture where he steps off the "WRONG" foot.

steps off his left leg to move sharply to his right. Usually it's easier to use the right foot (to exert force outside COM) to step to the left.

What I love most is how he lifts his left arm to counter balance that DYNAMIC but UNSTABLE position.

Without lifting his left arm I'm certain he would've fallen over.

This skill isn't acquired through coaching. It's his movement ability and body awareness that probably comes from lots of unstructured PLAY as a kid.

πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘ πŸ‘

Photos from Rapid Running's post 03/05/2022


ANYONE can do the following:

* Time runs
* Tell people to run 5 x 300m
* Set up drills


If you're not challenging an athlete/player's understanding and knowledge of what they're doing then you're not COACHING.

You might be timing or setting up practice but it's not the same.



"What if I do the OPPOSITE of everyone else?"

This audiobook was an excellent reminder that It's important to constantly ask WHY.

Just because EVERYONE is doing it doesn't mean it's the best way.

- Run on your toes.......
- 90Β° locked arms........
- Go to ground.............
- Run straight...............


Don't be AVERAGE.


Rugby Speed Course:

Only 2 Spaces left!

Monday 4th April

1:30 - 4:30pm


CHARITY LAUNCH - 12th April 2022

- Middle Distance Group

As Head Coach of
Juniors I am very excited to be starting a Middle distance training group this Summer.

Please join us for this FUN launch event on the 12th April where we will be raising money for the charity.


Easter Rugby Speed course:

* Only 3 Spaces left!
* Book Now.



EVERY athlete/player is UNIQUE in how they solve problems.

* Don't try to coach it out of them.
* Don't coach clones.

Instead, try to understand how they can find their own solutions.

The Coaching skill is trying to do this within a framework that allows them to be successful.

No point allowing someone to do something that will HINDER performance!


Having a GO!

Not everyone is "brave" enough to try new skills learnt in training in a game.

I love hearing how my players tried a LEFT FOOT STEP or a SPIN in a game.

It won't look like it does in training but that's ok.

A game environment is constantly changing and players have to learn to ADAPT how they execute their skills.

Photos from Rapid Running's post 23/02/2022

Talk LESS:

"Too much EXTRINSIC FEEDBACK dulls a players ability to develop their own FEEDBACK abilities"

I'm consciously trying to Speak less during my Coaching to allow my players/athletes to discover their own solutions.

This is a lot more difficult than simply instructing & giving solutions.

This is an excellent podcast which has influenced me to purchase 2 books.


Rugby Speed Course:

ANY players 14+

Learn how to:

* Accelerate effectively
* Step off BOTH feet
* Run at Top Speed

Places are limited & there are only 7 available.


Easter Rugby Speed course:

* Open to ANY young player 14+
* Limited places - ONLY 7 left

Learn how to:

1 - Accelerate effectively
2 - Run faster with less effort
3 - Step off BOTH feet

Email - [email protected]
Phone - 07887 567997



So many great points made on this fantastic podcast with all of them confirming my philosophy on the INTENSITY v VOLUME debate.

Here are my favourite points:

- Great coaches NEVER think about Volume only Intensity.

- Fatigue based runs are only helpful/relevant if tempo is specific to the performance you are training for.

- ANY coach can make someone tired. It's not clever.

- 35% of 400m is AEROBIC - Why do coaches spend 90% of their time training this system and not ANAEROBIC??

- Profound Commonalities - find these in the great coaches and base your training on them. Then add your own personality.

Photos from Rapid Running's post 06/01/2022

Technique v Skill

I really enjoyed another podcast today in which reminded the difference between TECHNIQUE & SKILL.

TECHNIQUE - is practising the movements required for a skill without context.

SKILL - is executing the movements in a game/competitive context.

I do this with ACCELERATION & my rugby players in every session.

We always warm up with TECHNIQUE work thinking about Projection of COM ahead of feet, force application and alignment of Head, Hips & Feet.

We then add some context to make it more SKILL work. I will always add a ball in to catch from a variety of situations.

The challenge for my players is to demonstrate TECHNIQUE within the SKILL.



Sometimes a coach with a lot more experience gives you confirmation of your methods and thought processes.

Listening to this episode was almost like hearing my thoughts out loud!

Too many notes to list here but my highlights are:

* Don't waste talent.

* Ex*****on under pressure is much more difficult than training under pain.

* Build a base of Skill ( Speed & Technique)

* Don't kill the desire of an athlete.

So many "experienced" coaches would benefit from listening to this although I'm sure they won't!

Photos from Rapid Running's post 17/11/2021


Last week I needed to confirm something I was doing so watched a Derek Evely presentation on Altis.

This confirmed my position but also lead me to find these podcasts by him.

What I found most interesting was the common theme of trying to keep both programmes & coaching as SIMPLE as possible - whatever the level of athlete.

KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid

I've loved them all and will continue to work my way through the rest.


New Zealand πŸ‡³πŸ‡Ώ
- Beware Early Specialisation

So the Black Caps of NZ will play another major sporting final on Sunday in the T20 Cricket World Cup.

How does a country with less than 5 million people achieve consistent sporting success?

Current NZ World Rankings:
Rugby - 1
Test Cricket - 1
Netball - 2
Americas Cup holders.

One strategy the employ is to discourage Early Specialisation so sportspeople can develop as much Athleticism and Movement patterns as possible BEFORE Specialisation later on in life.

They have an excellent website about this called " Balance is Better" and I think our sporting decision makers in the UK could learn a lot from this approach.

Every week I read about another 7 year old signing a contract with a professional football club.



Trials - a rant:

I had the misfortune to witness firsthand young children (8/9 years) being "trialled" to join an athletics club on Sunday.

They were all sat nervously with their allocated number, waiting to be JUDGED on their running, throwing & jumping abilities.

Why can't they just have a waiting list and allow ANYONE to join? So much damage can be done to a young person who's told:


I have a good number of young athletes I currently coach who've "failed" this process 2/3 years ago and are now starting to develop into very talented athletes.

Talent Identification isn't as simple as a one off trial at age 8!

Beware Athletics Club - your cast offs will join me, whatever their current level and I will help them improve and one day return to haunt you!!



Tennis Speed & Movement: 🎾

Or just SPEED & MOVEMENT applied to Tennis!

It was a real pleasure to coach these young Tennis players from Tiger Tennis yesterday.

We looked at the key Principles of:


As well as...

* 2 - HANDED THROWS (forwards & backwards)

I believe it's really important to understand the BASIC PRINCIPLES of all of the above BEFORE applying them to Tennis 🎾 or any sport.

In the future we will look at specific Tennis scenarios and how we can best utilise these PRINCIPLES.


Photos from Rapid Running's post 14/10/2021

Reflection on my experience of coaching Team Sport players is that they get very little or no coaching of the following:

Lots of 20m shuttles are used but this isn't the same as running 35m to work on Top Speed. This Doesn't take in to account the lack of technical knowledge of this too.

As above, lots of shuttle runs but almost no understanding of how to PROJECT COM ahead of Feet, HEAD and TORSO positions and SHIN ANGLES required.

3 - COD
Not coached at all. Even in Rugby where we encourage players to step. Technical knowledge of COM position and LEAN and PROJECTION is very limited.

This includes JUMPING & LANDING technique & especially how to apply FORCE into the ground, use of ARMS in raising COM and how to BRACE the body before landing.

This isn't a dig - I coached RUGBY, FOOTBALL & CRICKET for many years without thinking about the above.


Rugby Defence - Get up FAST

If your defensive line wants to get up quickly, there are ACCELERATION principles to apply.

Here are the 2 main ones:

1) Projection of COM ahead of feet.

2) Positive shin angle when applying force.

Last night made some great progress in the above - especially when under fatigue.

Great intensity and attitude all session - pleasure to coach.


2020 - GB 100M Success:

This has been GB''s most successful games for the 100m since 1992 when won Gold.

We had a Finalist in both the Men's & Women's event.

That compares to this:

1996 - No finalists
2000 - No finalists
2004 - 1 finalist - Chambers (4th)
2008 - 1 finalist - Kwakye (6th)
2012 - No finalists
2016 - No finalists
2020 - 2 finalists- Hughes (disq) Neita (8th)

Is there any reason why we simply can't produce 100m runners on the biggest stage?

Genuine question not a dig.

women #


Coaching Myths:

Sprint coaches -

If you still coach any of:

* Run on your toes
* Keep arms at 90Β°
* Drive arms forward
* Drive knees up

Go and find out what the top coaches in the world are doing and how they're coaching Speed.

OR - just watch the winners at the Tokyo Olympics and see what they're doing.

Sounds obvious but many people are still actively cueing ALL of the above myths which will almost certainly have a negative effect on their athlete's speed.




Here we can see how moves the defender's COM to his advantage.

1) Defender shifts weight (COM) to his right as he thinks Kolbe will step off his right foot.

2) Kolbe lands on his left, Defender shifts weight to his left foot in reaction BUT his COM is still to the right.

3) Kolbe accelerates, Defender tries to respond BUT because of the position of his COM he can only use his outside leg (Right) & can't PROJECT enough to accelerate.

The left leg is in the air and thats the big problem as he can't use it.

4) Gone. By the time the defender finds a position to accelerate it's too late.

I am always talking to my players about changing speed to move a defenders COM before taking advantage.

This guy is the world's best. I doubt the Lions will be kicking much to him in the tests!


Dribble, Dribble - Gone!

Dribbles are a great way to reinforce MAX VELOCITY mechanics.

In these pictures you can see the following:

* Great upright posture
* Dorsiflexion of ankle throughout
* Arms reflecting "shape" of opposite legs.

Today's session was intensity low to reflect the amount of training is currently doing.

Her movement is developing really well as she's starting to understand how to manipulate her COM to change direction.

Just wait.................

Photos from Rapid Running's post 22/05/2021


We've been working on Synchronising FOOT CONTACT with ELBOW EXTENSION for a few weeks now.

This is to minimise ROTATION of the upper body.

Great progress so far, a definite increase in MAX VELOCITY, and lots more to come.

In Pic 1 - you can see this while running and in a scissors run.


Stopwatch Coaching: (Don't)

* Look up from the watch and COACH.

* Anyone can TELL people to "run again"

* It's a lot harder to OBSERVE & COACH.

Coaches - ask yourself the questions I ask myself EVERY SESSION:

"Could ANYONE deliver my session if I gave them the plan?"
- If YES, what's my purpose?

"Have my players/athletes LEARNT something?"
- If NO, what's my purpose?

Be BRAVE, Look and COACH.


Don't be like MOST PEOPLE:


MOST PEOPLE don't try new things.

MOST PEOPLE are ok with average.


- Rock the boat
- Do extra
- Dream BIG

Photos from Rapid Running's post 24/04/2021

Move COM - Load - Project

We played with sequencing the above when Changing Direction.


1) Sideways Shuffle- Accelerate in opposite direction - Left & Right

2) Backwards movement- Accelerate forwards.

3) Lateral movement and - Accelerate 90 degrees in opposite direction.

Great work Noah.


Follow the Leader:

Great session with 3 players this morning.

Skipper did a great job demonstrating RHYTHM and CONTROL with his DRIBBLES & ACCELERATION technique.

2 new boys took on a lot of information and made good progress.

Photos from Rapid Running's post 07/03/2021

Movement "Chaos"

Rugby is a sport full of unpredictable movements. Today .hxmilton explored a number of methods of moving in and out of situations.

For such a talented player, it's exciting to find areas to improve on. Especially the dizziness!

I look forward to helping her progress.


Content Expert Instructor:

Coaches of young athletes beware of not turning into the above - where young sportspeople are simply told what to do and how to do it.

This only creates "diligent little followers of the instruction and individuals unable to think for themselves" - Paddy Upton.

This podcast with really confirmed my philosophy to coaching my young athletes & players. Help them to develop the skills needed to figure out the best solution for themselves in any situation.

I've only just found this podcast and have already listened to 5 episodes. Highly recommend.


Early Specialisation:

* 5:45am musings

On my early morning run I listened to this very enjoyable podcast with .

"You don't study 1 subject at school so why would young athletes just play 1 sport?"

Andreas suggests that playing multiple sports as a young athlete will broaden and enhance the Physical development of a person.

Studying just 1 subject will limit intellectual development as would playing just 1 sport.

Why would Athletics coaches NOT want their young athletes to play other sports or possibly worse, just train in 1 event?

Build as many movement patterns and physical skills as you can to benefit from later in life.

Sounds so obvious!!

Photos from Rapid Running's post 12/02/2021

Real Progress:

For the 2nd time this week a talented young player made significant progress.

Pic 1:

If you compare last week's run to today, you can see the change. In the 2nd frame (full flight) look at the Left leg shin.

Today it is in a position to apply VERTICAL FORCE into the ground.

No swinging out!

In the 3rd frame you see the result. Ground contact is much nearer to being under the hips, resulting in much less of a BLOCK.

It also just looks much STRONGER.

Pic 2:

We also evaded and caught lots of balls and ACCELERATED from various positions.

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