Sprint Start Mechanics

Posted In: The Classics

  • Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #71217

    My coach has us set our blocks up the way you describe for the back foot.

    How I described I like it or how I described Powell?

    Do you do the same with the front foot as well? When I am in the blocks with such a setting it feels awkward.

    I like the toes of both feet in contact with the ground.

    ELITETRACK Founder

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    Josh Hurlebaus on #71228

    How I described I like it or how I described Powell?

    How you like it, with the toes on the ground.

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #71229

    [quote author="Mike Young" date="1217480774"]How I described I like it or how I described Powell?

    How you like it, with the toes on the ground.[/quote]Yeah. I’ve found that it provides more stability and theoretically, it should also put the plantarflexors on greater stretch which should aid (very slightly) force production.

    ELITETRACK Founder

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    getit on #71173

    Mike- I know that you are a huge proponent of having the heels touching the pad to create a stiffer pillar on the start

    Tom Tellez talks about how you might get less of the stretch reflex of the leg when you set your blocks to have your heels touching the pad. I wanted to see what you guys think about this and what angles the blocks should be set at. You can hear the interview at https://www.athleticscoaching.ca/default.aspx?pid=11&spid=82&sspid=103
    He starts discussing it around 29 minutes.

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #71248

    Tom Tellez talks about how you might get less of the stretch reflex of the leg when you set your blocks to have your heels touching the pad. I wanted to see what you guys think about this and what angles the blocks should be set at. You can hear the interview at [url=https://www.athleticscoaching.ca/default.aspx?pid=11&spid=82&sspid=103]https://www.athleticscoaching.ca/default.aspx?pid=11&spid=82&sspid=103[/url]
    He starts discussing it around 29 minutes.

    He actually discussed this point quite a bit in the recent ELITETRACK super clinic at the Olympic Trials in Eugene. He was questioned about it though because even when the midfoot is on the pad, there’s still a quite obvious stretch reflex of the gastroc complex when viewed sagitally with even a standard camcorder recording (i.e. high frame rates aren’t necessary). With this in mind he didn’t seem to be as definitive as it originally seemed.

    ELITETRACK Founder

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #71996

    In Beijing there were a ton of athletes short and tall VERY high on the blocks…I saw 2 athletes with their feet 4-6″ above the ground. Obviously this isn’t something that one could do on ‘standard’ starting blocks since it requires an extra high pedal but this seems to be something that is either being coached or athletes are doing ‘XYZ does it so that must be why XYZ runs fast’ reasoning. I’m personally not aware of any American coaches that are instructing the athlete to be several inches high on the blocks but it’ll be an interesting trend to follow. Is this the new ‘head down = drive phase’ phenomenon?

    ELITETRACK Founder

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    Fando on #81857

    Is there a specific reason to put the heal/midd foot on the rear block?

    Is it to have a better tension on the rear ankle and so produce more power?( this is what i think)

    Any thoughts of the lenght of the first strides? i think that the first one should be long and powerful, but what about the others?

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    JeremyRichmond on #81896

    Is there a specific reason to put the heal/midd foot on the rear block?

    Is it to have a better tension on the rear ankle and so produce more power?( this is what i think)

    Any thoughts of the lenght of the first strides? i think that the first one should be long and powerful, but what about the others?

    The second step is usually 3-4 cms longer than the first step. Sprinters with an average 100-m time of 10.73s had a first step of 100.85cm and a second step of 103.77cm (Coh et al. 1998). Matic Osovnikar had his worst 20-m time (0.12s slower than average) when his first step was 106cm compared to 103cm normally (Coh et al. 2006)although one could easily contend that many things can go wrong over 20-m. The study is posted on this site.

    Mike Young
    Keymaster
    Mike Young on #81999

    I could be remembering incorrectly but I believe Dr. Mann’s recent research on American sprinters indicated that the 2nd step was actually shorter than the first (in <10.10 sprinters).

    I personally like to see the mid-foot on the block in the set position because when force is applied it's going to touch back anyhow so I'd like to eliminate any delay.

    ELITETRACK Founder

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