DavidG's Sprint Training Log

Just had my first outdoor competition of the year, a Division 1 SAL match for Radley AC.

[FONT=Arial, Verdana]10.9 in the 100m with what I thought was a bad start, as I seemed to stumble on my first foot strike out of the blocks, but it equals my PB and is by far the fastest opening run I’ve had to date.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Verdana]
[FONT=Arial, Verdana]21.7 in the 200m, although I was screwed over by the time keepers on that one. I was timed at 21.47 which should have been rounded up to 21.5, but the goldfish of a timekeeper managed to forget my time, but then remembered there was a 7 in it, so wrote down 21.7! Bloody useless. I would have made a complaint but it was hand timed so it doesn’t really count for much on the Power of 10, but I know for my own reference that it was 21.5 really so I still know where I’m at after my WWT which is the main thing. And again, by far the quickest opening 200m I’ve ever had.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Verdana]
[FONT=Arial, Verdana]We then ran 42.5 in the 4x100 which was only 0.3 off the division and club record, not bad considering that was the first time the 4 of us had ever run in a relay together.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial, Verdana]
[FONT=Arial, Verdana]And to finish off the day, we won the match overall too! So it’s looking like it could be a very good season ahead![/FONT]

Nice openers!
Manual start + finish, or auto-start + manual finish?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Manual at both ends as far as I know. The final 2 matches are at our home track which will have electronic timing/photo finish though which is good.

Yup. Sort of like your 21.5 vs. 21.7 event, I’ve seen officials at a small local meet simply make up times because the times for 1-2-3-4 didn’t match the finishing order in a close 100m…

Are u using the 4x50 as spec end?

It’s not uncommon to see a closely finished race be put down as 11.0, 11.1, 11.2, 11.3. When you know full well they have only done that to separate the places.

I’ve got to the point where I just ignore manual times now, they are okay as a guideline but I’d never use them on anything official.

You made a comment about seeming to stumble out the blocks … And I watched your video of your sled runs several times… You look very good and strong but I noticed your arms are too far back and not helping you the way they need to.
If you stumble ever out of the blocks it can be because your have more power than you are able to convert at this time … this is good news.
So now I want to understand a bit more about your arms?
We spent a great deal of time doing arm drills , I did a ton of arm pulls, and I started paying a lot more attention to using my arms in the drills. I don’t know exactly what to tell you do but I see for sure that when you are able to get your arms ( which appear very long which is great physiologically speaking) out in front of you more so you will be able to utilize the strength and power attributes you have already developed.
Have you done many hills? Hills can be very helpful in developing the arm action because you can feel the arm action in a more pronounced way.

Oh and don’t let the turkeys at the meet get you down. You did a great job and sometimes the people running the meets forget the reason why they are there. You will get your electronic times it might just take a bit longer than the time line you hoped for.


Review this again as their is some discussion regarding arm action and drills. You may have seen is already but it’s a great resource.

Thanks for the feedback Angela :slight_smile: It does make sense that my arm movement during the start phase could be too long, and would then be getting out of sync with my foot strike rate and causing the stumble. I think arm drills are definitely required though, as I don’t tend to do many arm specific drills.

I just watched the CF video, very informative! And what’s being said does make sense, although when I then see a video like the one below it seems to contradict what they are doing? (arms not at 90 degrees and swinging back much further)


Due to the high forces required to change the direction of arms (and legs), they will open past 90 at the back, and close under 90 in the front for pretty much every runner out there. Doing drills at 90 degrees is very controllable due to much slower forces, but this generally translates to good arm action at speed.

Okay so the ideal situation would be that the arms only pivot at the shoulder?

And when swinging the arms during a sprint, should you be consciously trying to lock that lower half of the arm in position or just letting it rotate over/under as it swings?

David, I dont think you should consciously try to lock your elbow. In my case this always lead to some level of tightness, for me its just trying to reduce swing as much as possible with out compromising relaxation.

Saturday 27th April
3 lap slow jog
15 minutes warm-up drills
Speed drills over low hurdles
2 x acceleration runs
5 x 30m block starts @ 100% w/3 min recovery
10 minute rest
2 x 220m @ 95% w/15 minute recovery

Just keep in mind that though the footage is great in this slo-mo of Bolt, this was one of Bolt’s worst races of the season- he barely comes back to beat Nesta Carter in the final few strides. You can still clearly see that the focus is on pulling down with the arms, and not back like you see at the sub-elite level.

Very interesting that you mentioned that. Now watching the video back with that in mind it’s actually really obvious from the way the shoulder moves that the arm is being pulled down hard, but is only swinging back because of the momentum it already has.

I use a cue for my guys of simply trying to hammer a table in front n then let swing naturally

It’s very interesting- I have recently picked up an athlete that formerly played pro hockey at the AHL level. He has no concept of the correct use of arms in sprinting, and being a hockey player, tries to muscle everything!

It’s been neat working on his technique. I’m still trying to figure out how to coach the arms with a “minimum of verbal cues” as Charlie suggests. What does everyone feel the most effective drills for teaching arm technique are?

I’ve mostly been trying to get his arms working right in the A-Skip and B-Skip for the time being.

Below is a slow motion look at US 2012 Trials in the 100m. I found this interesting- I’ve been coached down south, and a LOT of US coaches advise the full straightening of the arm on the downswing to gain “maximal hip extension”- I’ve been taught this by a Pfaff acolyte, and I think Seagrave teaches this as well, and my understanding is that this is prevailing USATF orthodoxy.

As you can see, Gatlin seems to use this technique but I feel like it could create excessive backside swing with the arms. What are everyone else’s thoughts on technique differences between Mills / Francis groups and USATF coaching? I find the Jamaican technique perhaps a little conservative yet very sensible- in other words very similar to CF’s.


Monday 29th April
1 lap slow jog
20 mins warm-up and stretches/exercises over 7 hurdles
2 x acceleration runs
3 sets of 4 x 60m @ 95-100%
2 minutes between runs and 10 minutes between sets

Do you have times on those 60s? I have been following your journal and I understand that “95-100%” refers to effort, not to actual percentage of best time (which is the standard CF method). Do you know what percentage of your 7.00 60 meter best these runs were at?

I’m not asking to criticize you - there’s obviously a multiplicity of ways to skin the sprinting cat - I’m genuinely curious. 2 minutes is just a little more than an immediate walk-back and set back up for me. I would guess that if my 60 best is in the 7.1-7.2 area (I really don’t know), I probably would have a hard time break 8 seconds by the end of the workout. You?