Improving Efficiency by Slowing Down
Many athletes (myself included) have goals of going faster in our sports & setting Personal Records. When trying to shave off time, often our go-to answers are intensity & speed work. In fact…haven’t you heard the popular phrase “Train fast to go fast”? What about the lesser known phrase “Train slow to go fast”? Haven’t heard that one, you say? Well, perhaps I can convince you that going slow is a faster way to get that PR!
Remember a critical concept of speed. Speed improves when efficiency improves. And efficiency is our ability to move in concise, controlled, exacting, accurate ways. Just watch the difference in body mechanics between a beginner & an elite athlete. Beginners move in exaggerated, chaotic, redundant ways whereas elites only move in the way they need to move to get the job done. Since most of us aren’t elite athletes, most of us really ought to slow down & spend a good chunk of our practice time on focused technique work dedicated to refining & honing our movement patterns.
Slowing down means allowing yourself the time to focus on critical pieces of your sport that, if you master them, will garner big results. In my opinion, the first & last place to put your focus is on technique & skill development. Put it this way. If your technique is poor at slower speeds…do you really think it’ll get better when you go faster? Generally going faster means you’re asking your body to find the correct position, hold the correct position & get to a new correct position with less time & focus. So…if your body doesn’t do this progression well at slower speeds, there really is no way for it to do that progression MORE correctly at faster speeds. Remember you have to walk before you run!