Anyone who has watched or played sevens rugby knows that speed wins matches. In this section I've listed a few drills to help develop your speed over short and long distances. Being quick is both about acceleration and being able to maintain a high top speed. I've listed a couple of speed sessions below to help get you started:
Don't forget to warm up and cool down before training to reduce to risk of injury.
Short distance sprints
To develop your acceleration you should focus on short distances. Mark a distance of roughly 10 meters which has plenty of room after to slow down. This could be on a track or playing field. Now, the key here is to remember this isn't fitness. We are focusing on speed. So you should give yourself a minute or 2 rest period between each sprint so that you have time to recover.
When sprinting you need to give everything, don't hold back or the session is pointless. Start from a low position, say 3 point start with one hand touching the floor. During your first steps you should keep a low center of gravity powering through your arms and legs. As you go into your 3rd or 5th strides you should start to open up into a more upright position gradually. You may only be fully upright as you reach your marker, this is fine. Push yourself through your marker and slow down gradually.
I would recommend between 5 and 10 sprints for a session before you should take a full rest. This could be a slow jog for 5 minutes or a 10 minute walk. To vary your sprints try starting from different positions: press up position, on your back facing backwards, spinning one way then the other.
Resistance training is a great way to develop those muscles for sprinting and can be done by anyone, you don't need expensive equipment like parachutes, bungee cord or medicine balls. Simply find yourself a hill or sand dune. The steeper the incline the more intensive the session. I'd recommend a nice steep hill that has roughly a 10 meters distance you can run up.
When running up the hill remember this is not fitness so take time to rest between sprints. Focus on powering through your strides with your legs and arms. Your arms help a lot when you're running and help to counter balance your leg movement. Although you might be restricted to carrying a ball with them when playing. There's a lot of running you will need to do off the ball so it's good to develop a good action.
Depending on the incline you might not need to start in too low a position. If it's a gradual incline try using the techniques in the sprint training. If it's a steep hill start standing and focus on your running technique maintaining your speed through the full distance.
Long distance sprints
Maintaining your top speed is about both fitness and muscle development. To develop your muscles for sprinting there's nothing better then long distance sprints. Try the sprint sessions outlines in the short distance but over 100 meters. It's very tiring maintaining a top speed for this duration so make sure you have ample rest between each run.