heel recovery at start

I personally don’t like to look at that clip of Asafa from blocks as he does that extremely slow for the purpose of the advert. Low heel recovery for the accel phase. Watch clips of Ato Boldon,Asafa (race clips),Bolt (lots of head on clips available),Michael Frater etc. These guys display great low heel mechanics.

haha, any idea what could be horribly wrong with me? my heel recovery has gotten lower, but i had to work at it fro some reason. my natural reaction was always to overstride and i had heel recovery that went firther up than lewis’s :confused:

good point, just it was the first video i remembered where it is very easy to see his toe scrape

makes sense, ive never thought of it as wanting to extend the time the stride should take (only if more force is being applied of course)

How does heel to butt become any faster a lever than heel 200mm from butt. It is not until the heel becomes further away from the butt than the distance from knee to ball join in hip does the lever become distorted.

in the videos it looks like lewis’s step path makes the foot easier to pull through than powells because the foot is closer to the hip joint while passing under the body

Lewis heel to butt at start, notice how he almost stands up instantaniously, if he stay low like Powell and used the same mechanics ??? it wouldn’t be pretty.

Number 2, I am really curious as to what cue one would use to get an athlete to use low heel recovery without scrambling his brain (and start)?

I’m a tall guy and could see how this style could be effective for taller athletes.


It would be nice if anyone (including) number 2 could share video or their athletes making change. Unless it’s just falling into place over time, I would like to see video of changes from any means be it cues or specific training.

Think drag the toe. You Won’t drag it usually hut you will get low heel recovery.

I would presume that high heel recovery is a result of an over-emphasis on pushing on your strides (i.e. over-emphasis on back-side mechanics). Just as I would prescribe for over-emphasized heel recovery (to the back-side) during max velocity - I would emphasis the concept of “lifting through” or “stepping over” during the initial acceleration phase. I would not mention “dragging the toe” as it may actually happen and result in poor performance or, worse, tripping out of the blocks.

Usually, if athletes have the proper mechanics in their Running A drills, their mechanics in initial acceleration will be adequate. But I do believe that many people take the execution of proper running A’s for granted and they are flawed.

I can remember the many years when I took my athletes to run in a series of meets around the Mt. Sac Relays and watching a mish-mash of horribly executed drills being performed in warm-up by college athletes. Not that good drill execution always carries over to running mechanics, but it was so bad I had to avert my eyes.

I agree, no need to drag toes etc - damn Powell video is setting a new trend. Relax-Step down.

You would also remember Linford. When he broke the WR every second coach was teaching stepping side to side at the start.

Too many are copying bad traits.

Personally I have never dragged my toes when cueing drag the rear foot. It just kept me from doing what Lewis is doing in that video, pulling the heel to butt. Tellez cues push off the front block and if I really cue full extension ofF the front block I have had toe drag like Powell and Bolt.

It seems like cues are individualistic, I.e. Flicking the leAd hand doesn’t help me.

You guys have way more experience than I do though.

Exactly, “lead hand” is key for me.

and now it seems like a lot of people think being super tall like Bolt is the new thing as if the sprints are going to be dominated by tall sprinters from now on.

When did Linford break the wr? Other than the indoor 200m.

On this general topic. Strengthening the right muscles can work wonders. I’ve noticed that a simple standing hip flexor catch can help with the problem outlined here. I’ve also noticed that weighted hipflexion exercises on the machines can exacerbate it.

I’d rather get the athlete strong in the right areas than load them up with cues - although the occasional cue over several weeks can help attain this too.

And I remember guys saying back in 99 00 that tall guys like Lewis and linford had had their day and a tall guy simply couldn’t match it with the “power sprinters” and their drive phase. Too funny.

Well you can understand how some would think that, considering two of the fastest EVER are over 6’ tall and the other in that top 3 is probably 5’11.

At 58-59sec there’s a pretty decent example.


At 1:28 there’s another good example.

What Asafa is doing is clearly superior to Carl Lewis. There are some purist who will favor Carl because he’s carl, but mechanically he’s inferior in that aspect. I’m positive that if you were to have Carl and Asafa push a car down the street, Carls mechanics would instantly correct themselves.

As far as the height stereotypes, I generally think that people are cowards mentally. And most people, fans and coaches alike will take the route of what seems to make sense instead of making sense. Someone like Bolt isn’t the anomoly that the world has made him out to be. He just happens to be one of the few taller athletes who’s been allowed another path other than the 400m, high jump, or hurdles. Randy Moss is technically his football equivalent, and you see what coaches look for in recievers now.

I’ve always believe that its far more important to understand whats going on even if you can’t duplicate it, than to just do it cuz it works for someone else. I’ve had female athletes who were a hair under 13sec in the 100m who executed the mechanics of what we see Asafa doing, better than some of the guys I have who are 10.6, 10.4, 10.2 etc.