I thought I would talk about some of the different drills I am doing to practice and improve my sprinting technique. These are the drills I am doing short distances now but am going to increase the length as my back becomes stronger.

Starts:

  • Initially I started the motion slowly and in control. This allowed my body to warm up and for the movement to become a bit more natural.
  • Gradually I picked up the speed until I was going as fast as I could.
  • The most beneficial drill was lifting and lowering the hips and trying to start from different positions.
  • Repetition, repetition, repetition!

Drive Phase:

  • It is the first few steps after the word ‘go’ so often this gets practiced when starts are practiced.
  • During this phase your knees drive forward aggressively to practice this I do aggressive knee drive/high knees. I am not going for speed but for power and aggression.
  • If you have some sort of resistance it also works for it allows you to lean forward and pull emphasizing the need for a knee drive.

Transition Phase:

  • This is where you transition from the drive phase to the acceleration phase. The drive phase is punctured with a forward lean and long extending strides. The acceleration phase has the athlete standing up straighter kicking their feet out in front with less emphasis on the long extending back leg.
  • To practice this I would do a four-point start and then take just three steps then transition to standing- I did lots and lots of repetitions.

Acceleration Phase:

  • This is when you pick up any last speed.
  • The arms are kept at ninety degrees and pump back and forth in a straight line. The knees drive forward and the feet kick out. The toes brush the track and release earlier to allow the cadence to come up.
  • High knees
  • Butt kicks
  • A’s- where the knees come up and the leg kicks out
  • B’s –where the knees come up and the leg kicks out and then the bottom of the foot kicks the track.
  • Sitting on the ground with the legs out in front of you start moving your arms at ninety degrees as fast as you can. You will be able to feel the moment that your arms can generate.

Deceleration Phase:

  • This is the last forty to fifty meters and is where you start to lose speed. The technique does not change much the emphasis is on keeping the cadence up.
  • I have not been able to do much to practice this part because I have not been able to reach that point of fatigue to practice sustaining my speed.

I will be honest and say some of these drills like block starts and the A’s and B’s drills had me tripping over my feet and looking pretty ridiculous. I am sure the other people on the track were entertained by my lack of coordination. I don’t think I will be practicing these drills when the track team is practicing!

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