Is Relaxed Sprinting Key to High Top Speed

So apparently to learn if one knows how to relax properly there should be an increment when they run all out and when they run relaxed. If their is no difference or the max sprint is better than the relaxed then that person needs to learn how to stay relaxed.

Does this mean that one cant just sprint relaxed on race day and run faster, it has to be implemented repetitively otherwise relaxation is not beneficial.

I’m not sure exactly what you are asking here, but the answer to the question “Is relaxed sprinting the key to high top speed?” is a resounding “YES!”

And of course a sprinter must practice this. An athlete should strive for relaxation in every drill and run.

Most sprinters will find that they run faster when they go at 99% as opposed to trying their hardest and giving 100%. A new personal best often feels “easy” for this very reason. Then when you go back and try to do better, you tighten up because you are trying too hard and ultimately run slower.

I’m sure the elite are just as adept at turning OFF the appropriate muscles as they are in turning them on quickly, which is one of the reasons they are so fast…


John Smith has WHOLE WORKOUTS dedicated to relaxation. One of these is roughly 5X150 with a cone placed 50m from the finish. These are run fast but the last 50 is TIMED and you are REQUIRED to run relaxed. This workout is done most weeks for the whole season.

Another one done is 3-4 X (80+60) with a walkback rest and a longer rest between sets. The emphasis is on form rather than actual split times. BTW, Tyson Gay (with Drummond) did a version of this before his 100m heats at the OT in Eugene.

The way you learn the technique of relaxation after 60m is to DO IT IN PRACTICE.

what am asking is after years of running tight you cant just come in one day and decide to run relaxed and expect faster times, it has to be done repetively before you can see faster times from relaxation. more like a statement than a question.

If you run tight every time then you decide to run relaxed, you CAN expect an improvement right away.
More reps will yield better form for better still performance and more consistency at that new level.

Will there be a performance decrease if the sprinter is tight for the initial acceleration? I have the belief that tension at the start isn’t an issue as long as it doesn’t last very long.

It’s very hard to get rid of tension once it’s already there

Kind of like in-laws…

i dont understand the theory of being tight during accel because unlike the upright phase ur still accelerating so u should still push.