First 3 steps

Originally posted by Treble
[b]DCW, I’ve found that sliding the foot a little farther down the pedal helps this problem out. Especially when the pedals can’t lean back any farther. …

Also, I know some people here aren’t in favor of having the head down, but in Thor’s photo, is his head really inline with his spine. I think thats what you meant when you said he could put his head down a little farther? [/b]

Treble, agreed about sliding the foot down.That’s exactly what we do to get around those small pedal blocks. :slight_smile:

Re head. Yes, that’s what I meant about head down.

When i did the 200meters the other week, i was in the inside lane and in the first 10meters, i took half a meter out of the guy outside me.

I did not use blocks eitheir.

If you look at Maurice greenes start it is great, his first two strides out of the blocks are big, and then he starts to power. My Start is pretty much like his.

If you have a tape of Maurice Starting from side on you will know what i mean.

Interesting thread…The way we are coached to come out of the blocks is supreme!..we use RANGE. At first it was hard for me to adjust to this style because of my previous coach.

I believe that this method of start is far superior to the ‘choppy fast start’. I’m covering so much ground for the first 35meters its unreal…We do timed 30m runs and i’ve clocked a best of 3.71. The key is strength and relaxation.

My block settings are: (from line) front:24" back: 36"


Originally posted by JasonUk
I believe that this method of start is far superior to the ‘choppy fast start’.:smiley:


Would it be safe to say that we agree that the theory would be to
move through the full range of motion as fast as you can. And not try to move as quick as you can in a limited range?

Sometimes people or coaches teach the quick choppy strides, because it just feels faster. A lot of times an athlete might be doing something right, and they’ll think to themselves, “this feels slow”, and they’ll change what they’re doing so that it feels fast.

You don’t always have to feel like you’re moving fast to actually be going fast. You ever notice how most people after running a PR, say that the race didn’t feel that fast?

The way we are coached to come out of the blocks is supreme!..we use RANGE

Could you tell us some details of what you do to achieve this Jason

I disagree absolutely! The best way to come out is a balance between stride length and frequency, determined by body position, strength, and relaxation. This is clearly understood once you get going. Why is it any different at the start?
3.71 at the start? How is that timed? Please post the best actual electronic 100m race times (and 60m if you have them) for you and your training group for reference.
As for popping up. A lack of contact with the back block pedal is often a sign that the athlete’s emphasis is on a fast departure of the back foot from the block rather than the application of force that should occur naturally.
For reference, please read the start description in “Speed Trap”.

The thread is heating up!

Ok… We’re coached to exit the blocks with range BUT also with balance (No over stride). The emphasis is on the split (Ato Boldon is an excellent example of this). The way we come out is an explosive bound…we DON’T run out of the blocks. We are putting our bodies in a position to run fast once out of the drive phase.

In the group we have a number of talented sprinters

we have a: 10.33 runner (6.6 60m runner)
10.48 runner (6.7 60m runner)
10.28 runner (6.6 60m runner)

I’ve run a 6.98 60m time this year. My 100m sb this season is 10.8 (those who live in the uk will know abt the head winds we’ve had this season!) This is my first serious year of training and hope to lower the times by a few tenth’s next season

Please note that the guys in the group running those times are at international level and have trained for 10yrs+

Remember that Ato, Mo, and Drummond have the power to get into that position naturally.

Originally posted by JasonUk
The emphasis is on the split (Ato Boldon is an excellent example of this).

I think Ato is a bad example. I’ve seen tape of Maurice before he worked with Smith and his start is pretty much the same. I think he gets into that position naturally like Charlie pointed out. Ato on the other hand tries too hard to get into this position and that is the reason Maurice always pulls away from him during the transition phase imo.

I don’t think Ato’s ever had any problems at the start when on form, but, as you point out, he has occasionally “pushed” during the transition phase.

Originally posted by Charlie Francis
I don’t think Ato’s ever had any problems at the start when on form

I can’t argue that he did, especially given the fact he has run under 10.00 so many times. But some of the stuff he says about the drive phase and leaving the blocks scares me. For example; pulling your knees to your chest and staying low. It actually looks like he is trying to do that. I’ve never seen another sprinter with as much thigh seperation(split) during acceleration as Ato has.This make no sence to me. I tought the more powerful you are the lower your departure angle and the faster your feet have to come down(like Ben). On a few post up Charlie pointed out they have the power to get into that position naturally. If they have this power, why are their strides bigger and (relatively)slower instead of quicker because departure angles are lower.

Mr Francis I must firstly say its a honour to be able to get REAL feed back from yourself…(not mentioning any other websites coughsmo :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m a true believer in “Its not always what looks good but what feels comfortable and works for YOU”

The choppy start isn’t effective for me…I’m a powerful sprinter.

I weight 80kg…i’m 5’9 tall but i’m long limbed…i found it hard to start with the boys who weren’t so explosive but had great cadence at the start.

I even tried to change my start to match the fast starters…but it didn’t work for me. This way of start for me is the one! I’m working on making it faster!

“Get fast or die trying” 50 pence

You’re on the right track- to find the method that suits you rather than trying to match strides with anyone else.

Thank You for saying that. I’ve been to too many clinics that try to pigeon-hole EVERY athlete to one style of start being the ONLY way to do it.

When you try to ask a 14 year old girl that has a training age of 0 to do the exact same thing as Mo Green or Ben, I think there might be a problem.

I’m gonna try and get some footage of me doing my starts posted up! Can any of you pc boffs give me an idea of how i can get this on the site…:smiley:

DCW’s the man to talk to about the technical stuff. I barely know how to work my printer.

I totally agree about the things said about coaching. It’s one thing to try to mimic what you see a top athlete do, but it’s another to actually know why they do, and how. It’s even worse in the jumping events. You should hear some of the cues I hear, that are supposed to be the penultimate step in the long jump.

During the first few strides out of the blocks, should there be full extension of the back leg. I tried both methods described above ie. short choppy, or long bound like strides. Video footage showed full extension of the latter only, with the short choppy start feeling faster. Trying to bound out of the blocks felt like I was overstriding. I tend to do use the short choppy start, but have been told (and it does feel like this), that I am not getting enough drive during those first few strides. I intend to post video footage soon, however I would like to know if full extension of the back leg is required during the first steps.


At the start, just get out in a relaxed manner and the stride length will sort itself out according to your strength level, body type, and set position in the blocks.

Thanks for the reply Charlie,

I’ve just been trying to determine what the position you have described, will look like for myself. I aim to be relaxed each time, however the main reason why I’ve been playing with the initial strides is because I was told by a coach that I needed to drive more during the initial stage. Video showed full extension of the front leg out of the blocks, but each subsequent step wasn’t. Just wasn’t sure if this was the cause of my lack of drive…