Blocks (putting feet completly on the pads)

The season I have been plaqued by bad starts. I have been trying new things to improve it. I have notice that when i am in the set position my back foot is not completely on the pad. I was wondering if anyone else does that and is it incorrect. I have also noticed that wehn i look at pictures of people in the blocks there feet are completely on the pads.

If your foot is too far off the pad, your heel will rock back when the gun fires.

ive noticed that has been happening. That might be why i get beat out of the blocks. I guess i need to change my settings and get that foot on the block.

It may help to change the angle of the blocks, especially the back block. I like my back block as close to vertical as the blocks allow.

What I’ve noticed the past few days in the races I’ve watched and from videos is that when the athletes get into the in your marks position the toes are touching the block and then in the set it is that the heel/sole makes complete contact with the blocks (duh!). Before now, I had never even noticed or even thought about this :rolleyes: , now I’m going to check when I practice blocks if when I go to set the sole indeed plants firmly on the blocks. If it’s not then that’s definitely a problem, because when the shot fires first the foot will go back to get planted on the block and then go. Heh. Pretty obvious conclusions and it seems to happen subconsciously, but now I’ll be conscious about it during practice and make sure that’s right. I think that might have been a problem in some poor/erratic starts I’ve had in recent races. It felt like I wasn’t transmitting force/exploding right (lol, actually I wasn’t exploding out of the blocks at all!).

^^^^ same with me. I did some tempo work yesterday and Played around with the blocks, I change my setting and it feels great. Cant wait to Hit it today.

what adjustment did you make?

I put the front block closer to the front of the blocks and the back block i moved back some. I then adjusted the back blocks setting. I put it all the way down on the lowest level. But you will have to play with them. It took a while but now when i get in the set position my foot is completely on the back block with ease.

I think that there are other things to put in consideration along with full contact with the rear block. I mean body position and angles. I don’t know? May be you should start measring and checking you optimal angles for a good burst out of the block. But after all, block settings is something that differs from one to another. But then I just wanted to ask charlie. What are best theoratical angles of the knees at the set position for the best start. The rest can be calculated and measured.

Don’t move the pedals up closer. Thats gonna make it worse. If the pedals are adjustable, lean them back as far as they go, and slide more of your foot down on the block. If you move the pedal up more, you’re just gonna keep getting more restricted in the blocks, and there will be no stretch in your calf.

I’m with lowering the angle to minimum. It always feels better. But I guess it depends on personal preferance to a degree. I mean some people love to increase that angle and there is no way that you can make them come out of a block with a low angle. Specially the rear one

i guess so tooo…i really appreciate ur opinions fast11…can u post us ur workouts…besides charlie i guess u said bfr tht it all depends on concentrating on the arms and the angle of burst will just come easily…right?


I tried moving the angle all the way up for one of my athletes, and they still (albeit slightly) rocked back at the gun. What gives?

I’m sorry man I can’t spost my workouts sessions here. Its not that I don’t want to share or anything. I’d love to help each and everyone as much as my knowledge would help. But the thing is that I believe that my program only fits me and me only and that its so personalized that I don’t think it will help others much.

i have noticed alot of athletes doing do with the hind set position try to have both front and back feet placed totally onto the pads as minimum delay will occur.with the rear foot off the block in set position the foot has to travel back onto the block then exert pressure.therefore if you place the rear foot totally onto the pad you are exerting pressure straight away with no delay.

avoid delays in any manner!

More importantly, you get more time of contact on the rear block which enables you to generate way much greater force for the first step. Something that will feel a bit slow but will show results after the following few steps.

There’s a tendency by many athletes to “wind up” after the gun, trying to exert more force. You must emphasize that the movement is only forward. Don’t worry about the force, just flick the lead hand forward and let the rest take care of itself.

Charlie, I am in my competition phase at the moment and need some advice with regards to starts…during training yesterday I was told that I needed to use my hamstrings more from the blocks.I have always been lead to believe that starting power comes from the quads. What role does the hamstrings play and what cues or drills can I do emphasis this part in the drive? For all you stats cats I’m 5ft 9 tall with block settings as 22.5 inches to front block and 33.5 to back block. With these settings I find that I can push of blocks with a lot of force…

This leads me to question 2! I have got the hand flick cue on the ‘B’ of the bang working beautifully! But…when driving out should i be pushing of BOTH pads? Front pad only? Or Rear pad only? Should this action me done with a Dorsiflexed foot? I’ll try and get some footage of my starts so that you can see what i’m doing :slight_smile:

Jason,whoever told you to push with your hs basically hasn’t a clue.when exerting force off the pads its a whole lower body movement with co-ordination from the arms.

my basic tips are to- relax in the blocks and have a clear mind with no thoughts what so ever.thoughts will slow down will react faster than anyone else once you are relaxed and clear-minded.

don’t think about driving off either block as when the gun bangs you will naturally drive off both blocks.its a natural movement to use both pads and something which can cause an athlete to react slower due to the thinking process again.

when setting up blocks to suit you make sure when in the set position that you have the standard angles of 90’ front and 135’ back

Firstly thank you for the response X! I think you have mis-understood me when I refer to the use of the hamstrings during the drive phase…from talking to him (the coach) after the session we did, I had a feeling that he was refering to the recovery phase out of the blocks…I’ve always had a low recovery from blocks anyway…from looking at footage that i have of Mo,Bernard,Collins etc I can see that the recovery phase at the start is non-exsistant hence the reason why i was confused to what he was saying about using hams more at the start. When I’m driving my mind is like perspex! thats what training is for (thinking)…another question that has just sprung to mind is breathing…does anyone here find it uncomfortable to hold the breath in at the start? I used to take a deep breath in at the start but found that it messed up my reation…now i just breath normally and work on my breathing once i’ve had block clearance…It would be interesting to hear others views on this!