Is Pace Natural or Can You 'Learn' to Sprint/Run Fast

Hi - Can anyone help with advice on this please?

I have a son who's 8 year's old who is has a good footballing talent. The one thing that seems to let him down compared to his peers is a noticable lack of pace.

In all general respects he's a fit & healthy young boy who's not overweight. There doesn't seem to be anything unusual or 'odd' about his running style.

Clearly some people can run faster than others. But is it simply that you're either born with 'pace' or your not? What can be learnt or taught about technique (suitable for this tender age) that might give him that extra 'half a yard'?

Any advice gratefully received.


  • Hi, I'm no expert and have no coaching experience but I was a reasonable sprinter at school and club level in my teens.
    Technique was important and upper body strength. Also breathing (i.e. deep breath on the blocks, slow release or rapid breaths). Suggest you contact a sprint coach at your local club.
    I found that it I tried too hard to run fast I was sick - the secret for me was control and that comes from a good coach.
    Be interested to hear how he gets on - good luck!
  • Thanks Dave
    I'll see if I can find any local coaches.
  • When I was 11 I had absolutely no pace whatsoever and was useless at football. When I joined an athletics club, and stopped playing football, I became a lot faster than my football-playing mates. In fact, I became a decent footballer as I could run so fast.

    Sprinting is just like most things - the more you practice it the better you become.
  • You can learn to run quicker with the right training and coaching but don't expect to be Usain Bolt in a matter of months as speed also has biological factors. The muscles are made up of different fibres, fast-twitch fibres are useful for sprinting and it can be recognised that sprinter have more fast-twitch muscle fibres
  • PaulMarshPaulMarsh ✭✭✭
    I'm not a fastest pacer ,but run long distances, I was a fairly fast runner at school, but not a sprinter, Andrew was, but came 3rd in inter county cross country one time and did well in 10,000m, but not as good on 1500m.
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