Drive Phase Training...

For lack of a better term, it comes down to the fact that when I come out of the blocks my coaches tell me I pop up too quickly instead of staying low and slowly coming up. They basically tell me to keep my head down, but does anyone else have recommendations or experience with this? Are there any specific drills I can use to stay lower to the ground, or does it just come with practicing the block start over time? Thanks.

I have seen this with the young srinters on my kids team. Basically most of the kids “pop up” because they set thier lead block way ahead of the hip. When you get into your blocks make sure your hip is ahead of your lead block. If you feel this is uncomfortable or you feel like you lack power in this position, there might be a lack of strength.

Yes, I agree with nycjay01, the reason probably is the blocksettings.

used to have the same problem, now it’s much better

i was greatly helped by:
the MB drills and keeping in touch with them from day 1, and

select a “natural” starting postition without the blocks first and then transfer it!

what the other guys said are also true though (hips, lead leg)

hope it helps!

Proper hill work should make the correct alterations (angles, and such). CF’s videos (GPP and Jane DVDs) are good guides of what should be happening with regard to initial body position, sans blocks.

Thanks, I’ll look into that stuff. I dont think the problem is in the block settings though. The coach went over them with me and readjusted them to a more natural position. Apparently I come out well from the blocks and the first 5m but between about 8-15m I just end up running straight up. Could it be something else? Just bad technique thats been reinforced through bad coaching in the past maybe?

As far as block angles are concerned look for leg angles of 90 degrees for your front leg and 120-130 for your back.

Your objective during acceleration should not be on trying to “stay lower to the ground”. Foward lean is the result of the acceration of the runner(acceleration is the cause and lean is the effect). If you stay relax, go through the full range of motion, keep your head and back in alignment, and scramble out of there you will come up at the right time.

i think its based on strength and top speed levels.

Yea, strength has a direct effect on block clearance and the first few strides.

A year or two ago, I have read that the “modern” way of setting the blocks must be - both as “flat” as possible. I think Charlie has mentioned this in one of his books as well. It works for my athletes.


A year or two ago, I have read that the “modern” way of setting the blocks must be - both as “flat” (low) as possible. I think Charlie has mentioned this in one of his books as well. It works for my athletes.


I think that since the angle of departure from the the blocks is determined by the angle of the block face and the strength of the athlete that if the settings are to steep then the athlete will either fall flat on his face or shorten the first few strides to maintain balance and as a consequence’" pop up " to soon. Setting the rear block at a slightly steeper angle than the front if stength and body requirements are in place seems to me to be the way to go.

Thanks for all the info guys. My coach and another one of the sprint coaches helped me with my start. Apparently, my blocks had been too close to the line and so I was kind of crunched up from the start, as a result I’d compensate by shortening my stride and popping up too soon. Another factor that contributed to me popping up was tightness in my hips, and now we’re starting to work that out. Also, they were right in that I needed to keep my head down. When I first came out of the blocks I would just look straight up toward the finish line, and as a result my body popped up. Now, I focus on the lane directly in front of me and come up gradually, and it seems to reinforce better form on the start.

make sure back and head keep a straight line and they BOTH come up gradually!

glad it’s getting better!