The start is determined by your ability to overcome resting inertia, which is a product of strength. That strength can be developed through a variety of methods such as calisthenics, medicine ball throws, and weightlifting, as well as explosive jumps such as standing long jumps. So as you get stronger, first through general strength training, then through more intense strength training, your starting ability will naturally improve. The key question for someone new to 100m training is where to put the emphasis when determining the distribution of training effort. Over emphasizing the start early in your training instead of late race endurance is a prescription for dismal results. Charlie was quite explicit about this, and I can attest to it from my own misguided experience years ago. As Charlie put it, start at the right of the force time curve and work your way to the left. The reason why you have to put so much effort into improving the start at the higher performance levels is because you’ve exhausted all of the other areas of improvement, and now you’re left scraping for those extra hundredths of a second.
This is very interesting discussion. I always hear football speed coaches talking about improving the start, especially the first 10 yards to make the most drop in time in the shortest time possible. However, people here are saying later phase of race is easier to make quick drops early on and start is improved later on. Of course, there are some differences with 40 yard vs. 100 meter, grass vs. track, 3 point vs. 4 point block start, no reaction vs. reaction, and turf shoes vs. spikes. However, it is a bit of surprise that its completely the opposite. Is speed endurance highly traininable? I thought speed endurance was due to mostly body structure, with longer, slender athletes with good achilles like Bolt conserving a lot of energy (of course, that also give them more top speed as well, but I thought more so with speed maintenance, as top speed can also be improved by elongating acceleration phase). Please help me get clarified by giving some nice insights.
Now you are talking about level of athlete - beginner or explosive athlete with years under his belt (or not) and the Goal i.e. having to run a fast 40y in 3 weeks vs running a fast 100m in 3 months League Championships, etc.
Beginners have to be athletes first by getting fit.
Do you use the wrist flick cue that Charlie always advised?
Think flick the wrist, loose and quick, straight from the ground out in front of you to full extension. Try not arc with the hand but go in a straight line, like you are doing a quick jab. This solved all of my problems in starting, which were: lack of inherent quickness and lack of full extension from foot to head. Now I come out in a straight line. Works for 3 pt start too but I only put the back hand by my hip and not high up.
Many ideas expressed here are not supported by research findings. However, that doesn’t mean they are of no value.
Adaptations in one part of the F V curve do not cross over to other area of the curve.
For the untrained, other activities (strength or plyometric training) will have some effect on sprint acceleration. When the athlete is well trained, improvements in strength or plyometric training will have minimal effect on sprint acceleration.
Ground contacts are relative short in sprint running, which doesn’t allow for maximal forces to be applied. Other activities such as single leg hopping or backward running have greater ground forces than sprinting.
One solution would be to increase contact time to allow for greater ground force. Unfortunately elastic energy would be lost by increasing ground contacts in humans. Quadrupeds such as Greyhounds, have stiff rear legs which allow for greater forces to be applied to the ground. Hence faster running speeds.
It is important to realize that, amazingly enough, many football players never are taught proper acceleration cues. Thus you can make an impact on the first 10 yards pretty quick by fixing the inevitable major flaws in a good (and presumably already strong) football athlete’s untrained acceleration technique.
Oh I agree completely with your statement. Yes, we Track coaches can clean up things in a hurry if need be if we do say so ourselves
In addition, many HS Track athletes are never taught that either. I had my first taste of this when I first began my career coaching it was in college many years ago and in Feb. mind you. It was a real eye opener.
The following Season after training them from Sep. to Feb. using the CFTS and some of the products here…it was like night and day.
I guess what cause confusion is definition of “beginner” or “untrained” because some athletes are really talented, and have decent performance level, but they are still beginner relative to their potential, and improve a tone on acceleration just by doing strength training.
However, I thought strength was really important for early acceleration, right? On key concept book the graph shows 0-10m is strength, 10-20 is power, 20-30 is power speed, then is speed (mostly elastic, reactive power) afterwards. So I thought first 10 was almost all strength (of course, technique too), and plays important role afterwards in a gradually decreasing manner as speed increases and more distance is covered.
This is a great explanation for people to understand how to prioritize their training.
This winter I watched a former Olympic champion work with a masters client at York for at least one hour doing block work.
I did a lot of work for my start over the years but never once for large amounts of consecutive time.
The way I think about it is you have practice starts all along the way but starts become fun as a by product of work done( over years) in many other areas as you have commented on.
Medicine ball can be used routinely for calisthenics, in conjunction with weightlifting , with your existing warm up and added in each preparation phase throughout the year.
Strength has the strongest relationship with the first contact, however on subsequent steps, it has less of a role. Total acceleration is determined by complex interaction of flight and ground propulsive forces.
If you want to improve performance over the first 30, do some lifting, which will assist the first contact and block clearance but the rest is really determined by practising acceleration.