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“Swedish Speed Development”: Just Fly Performance Podcast Episode 79: Håkan Andersson

Today’s guest is Håkan Andersson, elite Swedish sprint coach and consultant.  Håkan has more than 30 years of experience, has had periods of serving as the national sprint and relay coach, and is or has been the personal coach for many successful track and field sprinters.  He also involvement in speed and power in other sports, such as swimming and boxing, and has consulted with many professional organizations.

Looking at how good the Swedish sprinters are, with as small of a population as the country has, and how poor the climate is for sprinting (sunlight is generally a big indicator of speed, just look at how great of percentage of the USA’s best sprinters are from Florida, Texas and California), you know that Håkan is really doing some great things.  Looking at some of the progressions of these athletes, such as Peter Karlsson going from 11.70 to 10.18 in the 100m, and you know something special is happening in his training groups.

Everything I’ve heard from Håkan in the past is the “top of the line” in terms of combining knowledge of speed and power research into good practice.  With his many years of coaching experience, as well as creativity on training his athletes in the far North, to excellent results, Håkan is a guest I’ve been looking forward to having on the show for some time.

On this episode, we’ll be talking about a spectrum of speed training topics, ranging from sprint mechanics and forces, to all means of strength training and their relationship to speed, and finally, breaking down actual sprint training programming.

Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.

“Swedish Speed Development”: Just Fly Performance Podcast Episode 79: Håkan Andersson


Key Points:

  • Håkan’s background in the coaching field
  • Ideas on vertical vs. horizontal force production in sprinting
  • Addressing an athlete’s natural strengths vs. weaknesses over time
  • Discussing maximal strength training, and eccentric strength for sprinting
  • Concepts of individualization for sprinters in terms of vertical and horizontal jumps
  • Training hip flexors and hamstrings for sprinting
  • Håkan’s take on resisted and assisted sprinting in preparing sprinters
  • Weekly training setups for sprinters, and how Hakan stacks speed, strength and recovery workouts
  • Early GPP training for sprinting


“It is individual based, but everyone needs horizontal force for sure”

“I think maximum strength training has been overemphasized for a long period of time; there is a definitely a point of diminishing return in transfer to speed.  For beginners, it is a different story, they can gain from anything”

“Too frequent, heavy lifting, it interferes with technical development and the ability to relax”

“It is easy to combine maximal weights when you are working on initial acceleration, jumping development, but when you are working with higher speeds (maximal strength training) can mess technique up”

“I have some guys who lift very little, but are immensely strong when I test them”

“Always combine heavy lifting with jumping.  I use jumping as a potentiation for lifting, and I use lifting as potentiation for jumping”

“Intra and intermuscular coordination is very different in the gym than it is in sprinting”

“The most important hamstring training is upright sprinting”

“We do eccentric training at the beginning of the preparation when we don’t do too much upright sprinting, to be on the safe side”

“I’m a big believer in assisted sprinting, but I’m a bit more scared of supra-maximal sprinting”

“When you come to the end of the SPP period, training is more of a mix, you’ll blend more qualities in one session”

“On the 100m on the world level, pretty much everyone is neural-driven”

“Work capacity in sprinting for me is to be able to tolerate higher and higher loads at a higher intensity”

Show Notes

Håkan has a very interesting and insightful Instagram account for interested coaches.

About Håkan Andersson

Håkan AnderssonHåkan Andersson has more than 30 years of experience as a coach and consultant.. He has had periods of serving as the national sprint and relay coach, and is/has been personal coach for many successful track and field sprinters including Swedish national record holders Peter Karlsson 100m 9,98w/10,18 and Johan Wissman 200/400m 20.30/44.56.

Apart from track and field he has been working with speed and power development in a verity of sports and with many different types of athletes, including former world record holder and multiple swimming world champion in the 50m butterfly; Anna Karin Kammerling and Swedish super heavy weight boxer Otto Wallin.

He has worked as a consultant with professional ice hockey and soccer players, The Swedish National Soccer team, Bolton Wonderers Premier League Soccer Club, GIF Sundsvall Soccer Club, Örebro Soccer Club, The Sundsvall Dragons Basketball Team and many others.

Håkan Andersson is a frequent speaker in Sweden and has been invited to lecture about development of speed and power in Norway, Denmark, Finland, Holland, Italy, Estonia, Canada, England, Scotland and Qatar.

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