TIME & LOCATION
For this session, we don’t need much. Just a flat piece of ground, ideally with some lines with no tripping hazards. The astroturf / artificial pitches are ideal. Regular running shoes can be used, but for the accelerations, studded shoes are preferable. We will meet at X. Please get there by 19:00 so that we can start on time!
- Start with 600-800m at a “talking jog” (2-3 laps of a football field);
- Activation (see below subsection);
- Coordination drills; (not just a warm-up, this is an important part of the whole training)
- and 4x Gradual 60m accelerations ( up to: 60%; 70%; 80%; and 90% respectively).
During our warm-up we want to prepare the body for movement by activating our system. Although the Activate warm-up for rugby training and games (find the adult version here on the World Rugby Site), we have a chance to mix things up with something similar. In fact, I wonder if the below program didn’t actually inspire the activate program itself! For those people who are curious, or who want to incorporate this mobility and activation focused program, you can watch the following 3 YouTube parts.
|Part 1||Part 2||Part 3|
Summarizing @ 3-5 reps per exercise, this whole program will be finished earlier than you would expect! Images are a work in progress…
The following coordination drills aim to develop our balance, and help us master different movements which will support our efforts to become better at general running (sprinting is a highly coordinated activity), and finally to apply it to our chaotic world of rugby!
|Do this but faster and accelerate at the end; don’t forget about the arms!|
|A-Skips & B-skips. Prioritize the A-skips: we wan’t to exercise this “piston action” in our drive phase|
(B skip motion, but running continuously)
|Sprunglauf (another piston-action front side mechanics drill)|
Sideways hops back & forth 1 leg
Forward/back hops back & forth 1 leg
4x Gradual 60m accelerations (up to: 60%; 70%; 80%; and 90% respectively).
Main FOCUS AREA
Today we practice straight line acceleration in a drive phase. We are emphasizing the importance of good front-side mechanics and a “piston action” of our legs working together with the rest of our body to maximize our effectiveness at accelerating as quickly as we can.
We will do a progression of straight-line drills.
Don’t worry about things not being “rugby specific” (I personally dislike the term). You have to walk before you can run, and everyone benefits from being able to focus on maximizing their output in a highly controlled and simple setting before we adapt those skills by introducing agility (quick responses to stimuli) and additional workloads that we might expect in a rugby game.
- Exercise 1: Falling starts (3-4x), 20-25m
- Stand with two feet on the line, approximately shoulder-width apart. Shoulders and chest are proud and the body is a strong straight line.
- Allow your whole body to fall foward
- Wait until the last moment and accelerate forward 20m
- Think about the piston action of the legs like what was practiced during the coordination drills
- I think the back should be strong and straight throughout the drive
- I think the hamstrings should be close to fully extended (we have no more push left)
- Try and find your power-point (trade-off of stride length & frequency that aims to maximize acceleration)
- Videos can help, but experiment with stride length and frequency; keep trying!
- Try not to pop up too soon!
- Exercise 2: 3-point starts (3-4x per side), 20-25m
- Same as above, but stand with one foot on the line
- Put your toes of your second foot just slightly behind the first foot’s heel
- On the side of your second foot, reach down with your hand and place it on the line
- Get into a start stance and put your muscles under tension; the opposite arm is up behind you ready to drive forward
- To test your set up, set up and test it by executing a sudden explosive jump
- Exercise 3: Accelerate-Maintain (x3)
- Choose your own setup: I recommend the 3-point start
- Accelerate to the goal kick box from the side, 35ish meters
- At the end of this drive phase you are probably near the top speed
- Try not to force the sprint, and instead maintain the speed “effortlessly” whilst maintaining your balance – this should be a bit of a flow state
We will perform the 800m talking run that we started with, followed by an unstructured set of stretches to kick-start our recovery.