Bislett, OSLO 4Jun10

Powells starts are just insane! so much power

0-60 looks very very good but from 60-90 his leg action is different. whether hes show boating a little i don’t know but one thing is when hes up against bolt and gay hell be under pressure from the first step!

[b]“I broke out of my shell,” said Powell. “I was in a nutshell before, but now I’m not taking it so seriously.”

“Coach (Francis) told me to bring the man who makes jokes and clowns around off the track, onto the track, to relax and enjoy it. That’s what I’m doing.”[/b]

Powell is silly…

and he will run the same only quicker

I don’t see a great change in leg action more a change in body position.

Last year it was discussed on here about his “sitting” in later stages. It appears another year under his belt and a relatively healthy year to date, we are starting to see what he is capable of.

Remember a few years ago Bolt’s 9.72 around this time of year. Knowing the neural effect of wind aided times, we may see a low 9.6 from AP this year. The question is what will Bolt and Gay bring to the table, since they appear to be on the table getting treatment in Germany.

We should keep a race count and see when the magic #18th race is this season.

The “18th race” count could of course be distorted/shortened if Franno whacked a few more quality time trial efforts into his pre-comp phase. We have all seen the video link on this board showing Asafa hitting 300m in 31.0 and spliting 200m in 20.2. Surely that counts as one “race”.

Under the thread: “Analyse This” we can also see two pix of Asafa rocking side to side in the latter stages of his Oslo 100m. There is still something odd going on at ground contact. I have not seen a quality photo of him executing triple extension to anything like the extent routinely displayed by his nemesis Bolt.

Instead, and I hesitate to comment because I am not close to the action these days, the pix of Asafa suggest to me that he is still breaking contact prematurely - perhaps in a bid to lift his knees.

If he is lifting his knees, it is tantamount to creating a reverse cycle, the opposite motor pattern to what I would suggest was the kind of downward impulse likely to produce quality of contact resulting in vertical thrust and therein a longer stride during the deceleration phase of, say, the last 30 metres of 100m race.

I have formed the view that to a large extent the knee lift should be a consequence of vertical impulse downward into the floor which lifts the torso high enough to execute clean recovery mechanics. Those recovery mechanics morph into the “step-over” action which results in the thigh being presented frontside and parallel to the floor.


Great comments as always! Interestingly, this year’s 200 and 400 bests are quite below years previous, but we have seen the killer time trials.

I’m curious if there may have been a shift in training away from longer work and geared more towards faster runs earlier in the season??

Here is photo of the “sit” from years past, also he has definitely hit the weights since then!

Powell’s mechanics are certainly unique (visually anyway). I would argue that from the video of his last two races that he is ‘emphasizing quality of ground contact’ this season in a way he has not before.

Gone is the quick stepping of the past. He has turned instead into Justin Gatlin, with slower turnover but with his entire focus on accelerating from as high a knee height as possible into the ground. His stride, particularly over the final 20-30m looks ‘constructed’ in contrast to the smooth rhythms of Bolt and Gay; Gay being on the frantic-smooth side of things.

You can’t argue with the results though as he is producing wonderful performances right now. To me it just looks like he hasn’t put in the mileage with these exaggerated mechanics for it to stay smooth through the entire race.

It would seem that he has different mechanics for different distances. Overlapping his 100m race with the first 100m of his 300m training run video, the contrast in mechanics and rhythm are quite remarkable. He looks like two completely different athletes. The 300m Asafa being silky smooth with more balanced front and rear-side mechanics, the 100m Asafa with exaggerated front-side without nearly the safe smooth rhythm.

I wonder again if what we see in the last 20-30m of his 100m at this stage of the season is just a lack of speed endurance/strength through the unique range of motion he is using in his 100m racing style?

Whatever it is, he is certainly getting power into the ground.

Here is a good view of powells run in the 4x100 at Beijing, its his best run ever IMO, prob good for 9.6x if it was a normal race.

His technique seems smoother than in his recent runs.

This is usually true -and not necessarily in the same season- if a faster than PB but windy time is achieved (e.g., a 9.6x), which can also be run later on under legal conditions. The excellent 9.72 is not a new territory for Asafa though. Of course, this doesn’t mean he can’t produce a 9.6x (I hope so!)

As for technique, I think the less consistent it is, the more the chances it will break under pressure (remains to be seen).

AP went 9.72 in 2008 Rieti

I agree with Nik. Asafa’s future performances will not so much be predicted by his current runs, as it will be his ability to stick to a consistent plan with training, technique and therapy. I think we all agree he has the potential to run faster. The question is, can he stay healthy in both body and mind?

NumerTwo what do you think about his new “technique”?

I don’t think it is a 100% drastic change from Rieti and it may just be him showboating a little as X-man alluded to.

It is difficult to say if there has been a concerted effort to change his technique. It may be more the result of general prescriptions that are taking part in training (therapy, recovery, workload, race readiness), as well as his ability to relax and “have fun” as has been alluded to in interviews.

As I learned from Charlie, many technical problems are not a result of a deliberate intent to do something a certain way. It is more the result of tightness and lack of mobility in the musculature and soft-tissues. If these issues are resolved in the preparatory periods, then technical problems will not rear their head in competition. Tightness and soreness is also the result of progressions that are not smooth and gradually introduced, as well as mismanagement of training volumes and recovery periods.

While some may say that Asafa or his coach has changed his technique, others may say that he is simply much better prepared.

What impact could the result of his increased musculature overall? Possibly cause of tissue circumstances as #2 mentioned.

As we saw with Ben, increased musculature does not have to be a detriment, particularly if you are well coached and not overloaded with glycolytic work. Additionally, you must have consistent and regular physical therapy and massage to keep the muscles supple.

If the upper body musculature is handled properly, I do believe it can help with power, counter-balancing the force production of the legs. The shoulder-to-hip rotation relationship (as Charlie indicated in one of his key diagrams) confirms that upper body strength and musculature can contribute to sprinting performance. Integrate this with good technique, appropriate sprint volumes and smooth progressions, and I think you will have success.

John Smith’s 100m sprinters also had good musculature and were technically proficient.

In today’s online chat with Asafa Powell, he stated that he has lost 4kg of body weight since last season. The appearance of increased musculature may thus simply be a result of improved leanness.

BTW: His first 9.72 was in Lausanne, not Rieti: I love the camera angle at 4:39. It gives you an idea as to how fast 9.72 really is.

Good correction on Rieti! It was one line from the Rieti time in IAAF. Interesting about the body weight! His glutes do look larger this year compared to the image a few posts above.