Bislett, OSLO 4Jun10


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.

Ah-ha, focusing your gaze on his glutes again, eh Esti?

He must have copped the glute guy’s ebook.

Ya you got me! Was comparing him to Jeter’s booty. Except for their preference of spandex cut, Couldn’t tell the two of em apart! :wink:

I suggest he has the same mechanics all that changes is the body position from acceleration to maintanence. The intensity (force) of a 100m run cannot be maintained for 300/400m therefore a more relaxed run will look different to the untrained eye (looking at something new).

I don’t ever see the exaggerated front-side mechanics of his 100m in his 300m. There simply isn’t the same level of aggression (either in his drive phase or at his top speed inside of that run) and he stays so smooth far longer than he currently demonstrates in 100m race situations; which goes directly to your comment on pacing for 300/400m racing, or, more directly in this case, to a 300m special endurance test run.

Would you ask your athletes to specifically ignore traditional race pacing strategies for these distances for their special endurance test runs? If the answer is yes (not presuming it is) I would think that would also encourage mechanics that were both as aggressive and dynamic as found in the shorter race being trained for…and just hold on as best they can to finish the run. :eek:

February 18 10.04

July 5: strained groin

July 25 9.94
July 29 9.82

August 16 9.95 (prelims times not available)
August 22: 4x100 relay leg
August 31 9.87

September 2 9.72
September 5 9.83
September 13 9.87

March 4 10.23

Ankle injury late April

May 30 10.10

June 7 10.07

July 3 10.07
July 7 10.07
July 10 9.88
July 24 10.26

August 15 10.38 (heats)
9.95 (heats)
August 16 9.95
August 28 9.88

September 4 9.90
September 6 9.99
September 12 9.90

May 14 9.81 (final)
9.75 (heats)

June 4 9.72w

I’m trying to track down his 200m runs as well. If you have official results not listed PM me and I will add them! :cool:

also to note, Mens 800m times were insane as was the depth of runners sub 13min 5k!!

There is not enough energy store to run the 100m full throttle and carry through to the 300m. The technique/mechanics is still the same so less force/throttle is applied.

I probably don’t know the traditional strategies you are referring to. Years ago when I asked a local high performance coach if he would assist me his answer was “”keep doing what you are then send the athletes to me””. Years later I asked several coaches including Peter Lawler, Norm Osborn and Mike Hurst for help and they were great, probably thought I was asking stupid questions they but never made me feel uncomfortable. (You may not know who they are and they probably have no idea I am at

Traditional ??? If you are referring to split runs >500m the mechanics are the same, I always use the theory that once control is lost then stop and recover before starting the next rep (count that rep as finished). When using a sled distances are halved 150m = 300m, when the sled cord (3m long) starts to bounce pull out/rep completed.