Speed and Strength
Speed and strength gains are long-term projects. Gains come slowly, but with the right training program, you can develop these attributes “brick by brick” for a very long time. Developments in both of these areas require patience. One of the main causes of injury is pushing the boundaries of speed and strength before their bodies are ready.
An optimal training plan should take this into account and encourage the athlete to train in line with the body’s adaptations rather than on a time scale, as is the norm in a periodization approach.
The two big advantages of a fitness component that takes a long time to build are that it takes a long time to lose, and that it is easy to maintain with a reduced workload. It is for these reasons that sprinters can reduce their training a long way out from a race without seeing a decline in performance. In fact they experienced increased performance as their muscles achieve a highly anabolic and recovered state during the taper.