This is where the most noticeable change in technique occurs. It is during this stage where the athlete finally starts to look up and stand up a bit straighter. They change from doing the work behind the body to doing more work in front of the body allowing the cadence, or speed, of their stride to increase tenfold. The front foot kicks forward and grabs the track way out in front of the athlete and then releases the track just past the body to kick the heel up and through to start the stride again. The body is no longer angled way forward and the athlete is able to stand up taller. The arms are kept at ninety degrees and drive forwards and backwards to help pick up momentum and speed. The faster the arms drive the faster the legs will be able to go. It is important not to waste energy or momentum by swinging the arms side to side. Keep them driving straightforward.
The photos below compare my body positioning to Usain Bolt. The photo was taken from a video during the 100m final at Rio this past summer. You can see my body angle is still bent forward where as Bolt is standing much taller. My arms are at ninety degrees but need to drive more aggressively to allow for the same range of motion that Bolt has. My back leg is much farther behind me whereas Bolt has almost released the track and his leg is not nearly as far behind him. His knee is bent at a greater angle allowing that leg to draw through much faster and with much more force and momentum. I am still working on developing the specialty stride. To do that I am taking time to practice A’s and B’s as well as high knees with an emphasis of keeping my chest up and my feet moving fast but clean.