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Training for speed and power in sport and fitness
Training for speed and power in sport and fitness

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2.1 The mechanics of speed

In this section you will investigate the biomechanics of speed in order to buttress your understanding of speed and how to develop it.

Activity 2 Speed mechanics

Timing: Allow 40 minutes for this activity

Watch Video 2 and have a look at the glossary below in Box 1. Once you’ve watched Video 2 and completed the reading, fill in the gaps in the statements below which describe how these terms can be applied to a sprinter at the start of a race.

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Video 2 The science of sprinting
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Box 1 Glossary of speed terms

  • Velocity: How fast an object (or person) is moving and its direction
  • Speed: The rate at which an object (or person) covers a distance
  • Impulse: The product of the force generated, and the time required to produce the force (force x time)
  • Force: The product of mass and acceleration or a push/pull exerted on one object by another
  • Acceleration: The rate at which an object’s velocity changes over time

Use the drop-down menus to select the correct missing word.

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Having explored the biomechanical principles of speed you will now look at the physiology of speed and how this relates to speed training.