100 meter video losing speed

This is the tape of Indiana Girls State Trials.


The girl in lane 2 (blue and white uniform) ran a 12.31 (FAT)…she ran a 25.21 in the 200 (FAT) She had about a 3 to 5 meter lead with about thirty meters to go and then was caught by the pack. I know that she pops straight up, but is that causing all her problems at the end of the race. I beleve her explosiveness, power and top end speed is the caliber of a sub 12 runner.

Any suggestions would be great…is her problem technical, strength, endurance and breathing.


Sean McGinley

Just a couple thoughts:

I would say it’s mainly a top speed issue (related to technique). I wouldn’t focus too much on stuff like breathing…just make sure she IS breathing.

In my opinion, sometimes saving a bit of energy at the start can greatly improve the latter stages of the 100m. I would guess that she probably thinks that since people catch her towards the end, she needs to obliterate everyone to 60m so she tries extra hard at the beginning of the race.

You can be way ahead at 60m but if you are out of position (leaning forward) or out of energy from a 110% start then you’re out of luck. You have to be in position (posture / energy management) to finish the race.

What do you think?

You say it is a matter of her top speed due to technique. What are her technique flaws?

  • She holds her breath when she runs…what ways can I improve that (in and outs)

  • Is she leaning too far in her posture.



Ah specific questions. I guess I cannot escape this one easily :o .

First thing, just taking a cursory look at the video where she loses ground you can see that she is REALLY pushing out the back even compared to the other girls. All that leg motion behind her body after the foot leaves the ground is basically wasted motion and a major reason why she loses ground to the others at this point. Charlie talks alot about thinking “step down” at top speed instead of the “reach and pull” or “push hard” that alot of people cue. If you think “step down”, it should reduce the huge backside action and keep things more “frontside” (which will be faster & more energy efficient).

Regarding breathing, I will just say this. I once had a 7m long jumper who ran 12…yes 12. One day I was talking about breathing and he’s like “wait, you’re supposed to breathe in a 100m?”. I was like ‘dear god, yes’. Long story short he ends up running 11.54 after a few races where he doesn’t hold his breath all the way. I wouldn’t do anything special here, just let her know that it’s ok to breathe during the race (and tell her she should breathe naturally). I wouldn’t over-think the specifics of breathing.

Does this explanation make more sense? More specific?

Thanks for all the help…this should be my last question for you.

Do you have any drills or any suggestions to try to elimante the unneeded movement in her back cycle.

Does anyone else have some suggestions.


There are many possibilities. I’m sure you could potentially receive alot of opinions on this. It’s not always a thing that’s easy to fix. Sometimes it takes months or even years. Here are my ideas:

1- Depending on her personality, I would probably make her aware of the issue. If you think telling her would cause her too much worry, then don’t tell her about it.
2- If you are making her aware of it, have her do some runs trying the step-down technique. Once she gets used to the technique, her runs should improve. If an athlete makes some change and receives some positive feedback (stopwatch) then that is a very good thing.
3- Make sure she has good core and posterior chain strength from weight training and abdominal work.

More of my opinion here… The ‘backside mechanics’ problem can also be sourced back to the start of the race. Sometimes the athlete will get a great start but end up in what I call the “oh shit” position where they run a good time to around 50m but their posture & body lean cause them to be slightly off balance (often leaned forward) and they will struggle to complete the remainder of the race. If you are doing block starts in practice, when you get to around 30m, you can ask yourself “could I finish the 100m comfortably?”’

Her issue could be related to any of the things I mentioned in any of my replies (and possibly some things I have missed). I don’t know if there are any drills that would help that much. I think it’s a more global issue.

Maybe you could get more responses if you uploaded a higher quality video of that race. It’s hard to see things in the existing video.

Also I’m sure Charlie could provide analysis for a fee.


What is your fee?

Does anyone else have some thoughts on the video…I enjoy getting different thoughts.

Thanks in advance.

I know that some people on this thread may not be a fan of this but…

Try some stiff leg dollies. At least thats what I call them. Its where you keep one leg straightened and then use the other leg to repeat the “B” drill on alternating steps. ’

Ex- keep right leg straight and then step over the right knee with left foot, bring free leg under the body with a close angle, bringing knee to optimal height, lower half of left leg will NATURALLY swing forward to some extent, then step down to achieve triple ext. The key here is to not let the trail leg, free leg or in this case left leg extend too far behind the center of mass or body center

You can contact me at info@charliefrancis.com if you need more info.
I’m late into this and the Vid is not up now but my initial suspicion is centered around the energy lost by popping up and the overall time in the full upright sprinting position. Of course in the picture she is pushing back way too much but that may be the result of energy lost at the start.