Best way to go about block starts

So I’ve begun working on block starts and I am having some trouble. First, the guys I train with are telling me that I’m raising the position of my body far too early and that I am not staying low or driving my legs through the ground. I doubt this is a strength issue as I can ½ squat 405lbs and squat 315lbs regularly to parallel. But then again I could be wrong. Can anyone give me pointers for beginning block starts as I feel quite awkward? What is the key thing I should focus on to develop proper technique? In addition, I have been told that the front leg should be at a 90 degree angle and the back leg at 120 degrees. What is the best way to achieve this static position (in other words how should I measure my blocks)? Right now im measuring one shoe (US mens size 10.5) from the starting line to the front of the blocks and then two shoes from the front of the block to the first block pedal (my right foot) and two and a half shoes from the front of the blocks to the back block pedal (my left foot). Im 5’10 170 lbs and have short lower legs just to give one an idea of my build. My strong leg is my right leg and I tend to place that leg forward, but a key problem I sense when in the set position is a lack of power from my thrust when pushing against the block. Indeed I do feel as though I am simply standing up.

Try 2 & 3 shoes instead of 1 & 2.5

To set up a starting point with the blocks try.

Kneel with your knees up to and behind the line, dorsiflex position of front footpad. Place the rear footpad level with the back of the front one. Front up two clicks, rear up 3.

Jtime: Make sure you have a shoe length space between the front pedal and back pedal.

2 foot lenghts is usually the length of the shin for reference.

I have a question about block starts:

If you train alone, how do you practice without a coach firing a gun?

might sound a little far fetched, but it actually worked. Get a recording done of the start proceedure (Runners to your marks - set - clap) and play it through your phone or device with speakers.

Somebody needs to create an IPhone / Blackberry app to to help us practice starts for those times when you have to hop a fence to get into a track and there are no randoms standing around willing to help.

Is this the standard for beginners in America? Here the most used setup is 0 clicks front 1 click rear, even by some pro athletes (and by me).
What setup do you use? And what about the best (Bolt, Gay, Powell, etc)?

I have not even visited America so I doubt it, I don’t see the heel in contact with the blocks on tv.

I sense when in the set position is a lack of power from my thrust when pushing against the block. Indeed I do feel as though I am simply standing up.

With the footpads high, big toe along the ground and heel in contact with the blocks on set the feeling is not “I am simply standing up”

And what about the best (Bolt, Gay, Powell, etc)

They have the big toe along the footpad.

What setup do you use?

I don’t run, as a coach I work up to what I posted, I start where you are now. sounds like you a pro runner, what mark you off.

  1. Strength sounds fine but speed of movement could be an issue. (good to squat 405lbs but if it takes an eternity) try relating a standing long jump or timed bounds over 10m or 20m and how many it takes (sbi).
  2. Block settings are individual (from your starting line - 1,2,3 = 1 to the blocks, 2 to your 1st foot and 3 to the back)
    2b. At on your marks position - I would maybe look at ankle of your front leg being at the back point of your glutes and your rear leg thigh at a 90 to the ground.
    On set, hips above your shoulders with no fwd or bwd movement of the body.
  3. block ht is individual - I would suggest bwd pressure on the rear pad (not a straightening of the leg - no pivoting on the block of the foot/leg just loading of the foot.

Hope this helps

Ops, I didn’t notice your location, I assumed you were from USA/Canada, sorry.

No, I am absolutely not a pro, but I ran against some of them. :slight_smile: I only noticed a great difference in the block setup, and “you” was referred to all the forum members.

Added it before answering your post