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How to Run Faster in Baseball
When you run faster in baseball, you can turn outs into singles, doubles into triples and triples into home runs. A player with average batting skills but great speed can earn a spot on just about any roster as a pinch runner. Fast players intimidate their opponents. You can maximize the speed you have by focusing a portion of your training on supplemental workouts. Whether you train on the track, in the pool or at the gym, you can shave seconds off your base running and get to home plate more often by consistently performing a comprehensive workout to build speed.
In the Pool
Wear an aqua jogger or life vest in the deep end of a pool.
Jog in the water with high knees, moving fast for about 30 seconds. If there's not a visible clock, you'll have to gauge the time on your own. Lift your knees as high as possible, as fast as possible. Then, recover for 30 seconds by slowly moving your arms and legs back and forth in the water. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
Take the vest off, get a kick board and go to the end of a lane in the pool. Inhale and exhale several times. Take a deep breath, push off the wall and kick across the length of the pool while holding your breath for as long as possible. The goal is to hold your breath the entire length. If you don't make it all the way, swim to the end to recover. Repeat for four to eight lengths.
At the Track
Warm up with an easy mile run at the track.
Stretch your legs. Start jogging slowly at the beginning of a curve. At the end of the curve, sprint as fast as you can down the straightaway.
Jog slowly after you reach the curve to recover. As you reach the end of the curve, sprint the next straightaway.
Repeat the sprints and recoveries around the track 10 times, then slowly do a 1-mile cool-down run.
Warm up with an easy mile jog.
Run up the stadium steps 10 times in a row, skipping every other step.
Stretch, recover and repeat the sequence four times.
At the Gym
Start by standing on the left side of a 12-inch plyo box.
Bend your knees and spring up onto the box, landing with both feet, then hop down onto the right side. Repeat back to the left. Do three sets of 10 lateral hops, with two minutes of recovery between sets.
Stand behind a 20-inch plyo box. For a warmup, step up onto the box, one leg at a time, stepping back in the same manner.
Stand behind the box, bend your knees and hop up onto the box. Hop back down the back side of the box. Do three sets of 10 jumps, with a two-minute recovery between sets.
On the Field
Place two cones 15 feet apart.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and quickly shuffle to the right, reaching down to touch the cone, then shuffle to the left and touch the other cone. Time yourself to see how fast you can perform this lateral shuffle 10 times.
Sprint up a hill, recovering on the way down with a slow walk. Time yourself and try to perform this drill faster each time.
Finish your field speed workout with a series of three sets of the following running drills, covering 50 yards each: high knees, butt-kicks and bounds.
Lift your knees high in a skipping motion for high knees. Focus on propelling yourself upward rather than forward.
Lean forward slightly and start jogging when you do butt-kicks. Bring your heels back quickly, to the point of touching your bottom. Don't go forward fast, but kick your heels back fast.
Jump up into the air and land on one foot when you do bounds. Move forward with each jump, pushing off one foot at a time. Get as high up and as far forward as you can with each bound.
You will be sore and tired for a couple days after first doing the plyos, stairs and running drills, so do not do them the day before a game.
Warm up and stretch your calves, hamstrings and quads thoroughly before and after all sessions.
If you get dizzy or light headed, stop your workout and recover.
- You will be sore and tired for a couple days after first doing the plyos, stairs and running drills, so do not do them the day before a game.
- Warm up and stretch your calves, hamstrings and quads thoroughly before and after all sessions.
- If you get dizzy or light headed, stop your workout and recover.
Carol Smolsky is a Registered Nurse, ACE Personal Trainer, Crossfitter and yoga practitioner. She finished 14 full Ironman Triathlons (four Hawaiian championships), and countless other running and stair climbing races. She writes workouts for all levels, from recovering patients to elite athletes, as well as Triathlon Training Programs for all distances.