Altered running mechanics for jumping

Im writing this as a pole vaulter, but it should be the same for long and triple jumpers.

My question is, should the mechanics of the running during the run-up for one of these jumping events be different, if only slightly, from those for say the 100m sprint?

I understand the final approach strides will be different to accomodate the take-off, and that the athlete is not neccessarily flat out on the run way but should there be a difference in the style taught?

I guess the style of running may be different to some extent but the adaptive methods that come from sprinting (ability to produce force quickly, relax during high intensity effor etc) are kind of similar. I hear Bubka could run a mean 100m!

It is kind of a specificity question. If you ever read Siff’s article on specificicity in the NSCA journal (I think) he talks about the many different faces to specificity. You have to work out which training methods will be most neurologically, metabolically, technically specific to your event and go from there.

Anyone else have any ideas?


running mechanics are always the same and should be addressed the exact same a pole vaulter the only thing you cannot use is your arms but your legs and general postion will be the exact same action.

in reference to LJ/TJ,the running form is the exact same.the purpose of the run-up is to accelerate to top speed and translate the speed into either vertical or horizontal leap.on the run way the mind won’t be focussed on running,it will be more focussed on either clearing the height or jumping as far as training running thoughts will be addressed but in the actual event those thoughts will be natural and the mind will auotmatically focus on the leap/jump

look at carl lewis running the 100m compared to hin on the LJ run way.whats the difference?


I always noticed a bit of a bounding and knee drive in the elite/higher level jumpers during their run ups. Not so much in the long and triple, but some. Mainly I noticed that exaggeration in the PoleVault and Hi-jump. Are mine eyes decieved?

The setting is different; so it ’feels’ a little bit different. However, this is by no means a conscious ‘difference’ it’s mainly due to an – hopefully – unconscious focus on being powerful at the takeoff. Since the run-up distance is approximately 40m, much of it is acceleration, but in a smooth controlled manner – kind of like a “drive phase”. Extreme angles (forward lean) and such, in the beginning of the run, is of course pointless, especially for a pole vaulter – your position, when starting should be more upright.

When you do run-ups in practice, the whole format of the run – for instance, acceleration and momentum at the takeoff – is as important as the running mechanism itself. So, if you change the mechanism but feel uncomfortable approaching, you have made a bad trade.

The “bouding effect” or “knee effect” that Palmtag mentioned is usually a way to naturally provide momentum at the takeoff (look at the Russians); it makes it a little bit easier to increase the stride frequency just before takeoff. The really fast guys usually mange without them since they have a natural drive over the board.