Phew … The Sound Of Speed And The Man Behind The Noise

Image credit: (Photo by Jill Weisleder/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Phew…  The sound one makes when they see speed—real speed. The sound you hear when something goes fast. the sound of exhaustion you make after you have worked on Speed. Phew.

Ed Lovelace is in the Speed business.  He is a Phewsioneer and has worked with college and MLB players for years who are searching for the next gear on the speed meter.

His company, Phewsioneering, does one thing. It shares the formula of high-speed running and what it takes to be Phew fast. Improving running speed, throwing speed and bat speed are all by-products of the Phew training model.

His clients are plentiful; Andrew Velazquez, Dillion Tate, Termarr Johnson, and Jason Gonzalez to name just a few of the Phew alum. My two children, Micaela and Anthony, went from fast to Phew fast under his watch.

I had a chance to slow Ed down for an afternoon to ask the question all athletes want to know—how do I go faster? Here are his answers.

Where does elite speed come from?

Olympic sprinting is elite and sets the bar for human movement on earth. See, we get the title world’s fastest humans. This is anchored by a number. The men’s 100 meter world record is 9.58 seconds.

That number represents the person that can operate at a full range of motion over a distance that identifies the world’s fastest human. This is how we identify elite, and then we trickle down to identify it with granular specificity.

That shared, elite speed and its many sub-levels come from force generated by an athlete that converts said force into ground force reaction (GFR). Ground force reaction is the initial domino that makes all things move in baseball.

Why is traditional speed training, in your opinion, ineffective?

Traditional speed training such as cones, ladders and gadgets do not get to the core of what makes an athlete fast. That application is sensory overload and does not address the cornerstone of speed and the laws that support human beings going fast repetitiously.

The surface level of speed training does not address the law of human acceleration. 

“The human body has the capacity to accelerate up to and no further than 60 yards/meters.”

In order to fully accelerate, one has to be in shape in order to actually do speed work. World-level sprinters would say you have to get in shape in order that you get in shape.

Real speed has a deep rabbit hole. This is what I will share to make it simple—one has to prepare (get in shape) and build a serious tank of oxygen capacity whereby he/she can mitigate lactic acid production. That is monitored by what we will share in this article as “launch codes.”

Launch codes are speed jargon for force protocols that allow sprinters to monitor the ability to go fast at a fraction of 100%, let’s say 70%, then recover and go again at say 85%, recover, then lay the hammer down and go 100%.

This model is called lactic acidosis mitigation, and it’s the application of designated force by the athlete to go faster.

Here is the kicker, what we really are doing is teaching the athlete how to operate without oxygen, then go over and over again while being more fatigued than the last act of going fast and then…go again!

Yes, we teach people how to operate without oxygen. The formal terminology is we teach the athlete how to operate in hypoxic states and function. Oddly, this is traditional speed training.


How does one improve speed?

  1. Identify that he/she runs incorrectly. There is a formula to define whether they are running correctly or not: Stride length x stride frequency = Speed.
  2. Learn how to run in the proper position that provides the correct angles that allow for the athlete to produce force that in turn creates GFR (ground force reaction).
  3. Learn how to run slow at 30/40/50% capacity—repetitious levels—so that the body and athlete learn tempo so he/she can learn what 50-100% is.
  4. Know that the real speed of work law is you do not run 100% ever in practice. One hundred percent is made for the race day/competition.
  5. Eat well. No junk. Eat a lot as you will burn 2,000 calories easily working on speed.
  6. Stretch well. Fast people MUST be flexible.
  7. Create a sequence of stretches and warm-ups that you do DAILY.
  8. Rest. Rest is as important, maybe even more, than actually working on speed. Fatigue WILL lead to injury.

Describe a typical Phew workout.

There is nothing typical as it always changes and is enhanced if you’re really getting fast. But here is a typical workload we apply:

8 x 100 meter warm-up. Smooth and easy pace. No time.


3×100 meters in 15 seconds

Run 100 meters, walk back as break

GO AGAIN for 15 seconds.

500 wabbas ( who’s afraid of the big bad abs)

Take an 8-minute break and get water

That’s one set. Do six sets.

Biggest red flags you see in players sprinting?

The egregious red flag is when players run on their heels.  That single act tells us:

  1. No hip strength
  2. No sustainability of hip strength
  3. Incapable of operating from the full range of motion
  4. No sprint endurance

Another red flag is leg drag.  This is when the athlete runs, and the leg is behind. What is leg drag?  It’s simple. The key is to be as efficient as possible. If your leg is behind you, it takes time to get it from behind to out in front. Put another way, it compromises the formula of SL x SF = SPEED.

Specifically, the stride length is especially important, as it prevents the hip flexors from developing, which is the initial domino of force production.

Why the rash of hamstring problems?

That’s simple, athletes are running wrong and out of position. The hip flexors CANNOT handle the work that the hamstring systems support.

If an athlete is in an incorrect position the majority of the time and then during a game setting or realistic practice scenario gets into a full range of motion, the body is not prepared for this level of range of movement and it will protect itself as the positions are extreme. This is where hamstring pulls graded 1-3 happen, or even hip tears (most common), ACL issues, PCL issues and minuscule issues. When a hamstring pulls it’s actually the body protecting itself from an even greater injury such as a muscle tear.

Should players squat to get faster?

Weightlifting is great for speed. It serves as injury prevention and increases muscle density and increased force production which yields better results overall. But many athletes think that just squatting and lifting is going to get them faster. Weightlifting is supplemental for doing speed work. There is no replacement for what actually makes you faster and that is sprint work.

How does one improve basestealing and first-step quickness skills?

Basestealing and first-step speed are all derivatives of speed. Simply put, when you make doughnuts, you automatically get the munchkins.  Munchkins in this case are basestealing, the first step in the 60 and turn negotiation into baserunning.

Here is a world fact, the cheetah is the fastest animal on planet earth. He can go straight, left, right and up trees at will. The automatic by-product of speed is agility. If you don’t believe me, just ask the cheetah.

The start is worked on last, believe it or not. First step and the anticipation that goes with it all are developed with speed over distance! Think of running as a string of dominoes (a kinetic chain). When the first domino hits…

The rest fall in rapid succession.  Running fast/moving fast is the same way but what we do is develop explosiveness and the sustainability of it. Once it is evident that the athlete can run any requested time on command, we then back into the starts and take-offs and sync those finite detailed movements into the human acceleration formula mentioned in the beginning—which brings us to another law. Fast feet do not come from fast feet. Fast feet come from powerful hips!

Ed Lovelace; Youtube: Phewsioneering. Instagram: @gogoedlovelace. Email:


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