killer transition (between blocks and top speed)?

I don’t know how many of the people on this website suffer with problems between the blocks and the ending because it would seem if you have a lot of force out of the blocks the transition to the top speed and finish would follow. This is not true for me though. I am stuck in a rut. I come out of the blocks very very powerful and I am with the guys, then they seem to pull away for about or up to 10 to twelve meters between 30 and 40 meters. THen I come up out of my drive and then I catch them all before the end of the 100 meters. I ran a 10.49 but I know if I had that transitional phase better I would run a 10.30 because I loose so much. Any suggestions?

Thank you

I was just letting anyone know that what is so funny about me catching everyone at the end is that I am a 5’4’’ guy, and usually that means very very fast beginning.

Sounds like me! Good for 20-30 meters, lose positions from 30-60 meters, catch up at the 80-100 mark.
I am about a second slower than you though hehe. I know my acceleration window and top speed window is much shorter than yours but it sounds like we have decent strength but not as good max velocity. Then our speed endurance (slower than max velocity) combined with our strength moves us up at the 80 meter mark)

the succesful transition from blocks to top end is achieved usually in the 3rd to 5th step. a lot of strong starters lose their position because lack of arms. we focus on it in the beginning of the race then we dumb up and totally forget about the importance of driving our arms throughout the entire drive phase. if you are a short runner this is even more improtant because of the high turnover rate. your arms and legs need to be working together. if your legs are strong and fast but your arms are slow and weak there is an imbalance which results in a loss of speed. the what happens is that you get into your running form at about 40m and your turnover ratio and overall speed is superior to the rest of the pack so you catch up when this is supposed to be the time of separation. it is a simple correction, which most of them are

Another interesting thing is that my arms are approx. my leg length.? Is this bad

Arms 33’’ Legs 34’’

One of the real killers in this section of the race is the “quick peek” to see where you are. ( it’s like a teeter toter- your head goes up and your butt goes down, causing your mechanics to breakdown. Keep your head in line with your back and let your back dictate body position.

When I drive I don’t think I’m taking a peak but I guess I am. Could this also slow me down from reaching my top speed so quickly and could it also even slow me down from reaching the top speed I could reach?

It would cause a serious problem.

I did speed tonight and one thing I was conscious of thinking was Charlies advice on head movement out of the blocks.

NO PEEKING keep your head down.

It Really made a HUGE difference and when I came up at around 35-40 meters I could really feel myself stepping over and having nice high hips into the transition. Really a GREAT cue!! Probably the best cue I have ever learned!

I am taking tomorrow off and then I’ll post the results of the race on Sat night. I might run the 100meter AND the 400 meter just as a training run/baseline.


This thread has just made me realise what cocked up my last race -
I was hoping to be towed along by faster runners and even tho I wasn’t ‘peeking’ big time - I was far more aware of them than I should have been - and that’s why my form / concentration was poor -
lesson learnt 2 weeks late -

it is a big deal when we are talking about peeking too early. I believe that we all agree on this point. however the application of this is simply a matter of practice. I have a girl I am training now and she has great strength and speed endurance (p.r. times of 11.9 and 24.9) and yet she was peeking and therefore completely up at 15m. we have worked on the maximum effort phase of the first 15 - 20 metres of her 100m where I have her driving out with great power and effort. this way now she isnt even seeing anything but the track for at least 25 - 30m because before you know it you are at 30. we havent had time yet to work on her transition phase but I have extended out her drive phase appx 10 - 15 metres. this has improved her time to ( 11.81 and 24.7) not much but she is only 15 years old.

the times posted on my last post are hand times. her 100m fat pr is 12.10s and 200m is 25.03s

I think another problem for younger sprinters (training age) is the illusion that you are going top speed as you begin to step over. This causes one to maintain at what is probably the 94 to 96 percentile range instead of accelerating after your drive phase.

You should be stepping over well before the acceleration phase is over.

Could the feeling of stepping-over when upright infact be you raising the knees to high? Is this possible if you are already stepping-over when accelerating?

Being a light weight I may have it wrong, but what I have been doing is breaking the acceleration phase into two distinct phases. After block clearance I focus on a drive phase which transitions for me around 28 meters into the completion of the acceleration phase around 55m. Drive is when I am strongly (not tightly) increasing my stride length by armdrive focus until my SL is maximized. I by then am more erect and begin to focus on stepping over and marching faster than ever before holding excellent form. Once arriving at top speed my acceleration is complete. Thoughts or corrections please.

Don’t complicate things. If your back is flat on block departure, just pump the arms till you’re fully upright. As long as you leave your head in line with your back at all times, you should be fine. Watch the Ben video as it’s a good example of this.

Wow!!! I see what you mean. Thanks for your response Charlie. I bet we’ll have better sprinters who will sprint instead of thinking of hitting my phases this year. My nationals are in 3 days. Should I keep my focus or go out there "flat back and arms a pumping?

I wouldn’t introduce any changes so close to the meet. You can fix things after.