Palmtag's 4x400

The link takes you to an outside server that I have so skillfully hacked… :smiley:

I figure I stood up a smidgen too fast, but other than that I ran a good 400. The second handoff is what really makes our race, though.

Hell of a race… That was damn exciting. That’s how all 4x400m relay races should be!

Mechanically, does anyone have any critiques of my form/race?

You can definitely see you have the gait of a distance runner, but that’s just how you run, and I dont think it’s something bad. Your form looks like good to me, like your smooth and relaxed. As far as coming out of the blocks, you’re right, you pop up pretty quickly. The question I have, is why do you run first leg? You dont exactly look comfortable coming out of the blocks, so why not put someone there who’s more of a sprinter-type and give you a different leg. Not that I’m saying you should change it at this point in the season, especially with your team going to state. Just an observation.

Well our third leg, Reggie our fast black-dude, has not been running well out of blocks during the past few invites coming up to CCS trials. Hitting low to mid 51’s. Which is far to slow for this monster of a sophomore with a 50.11 400m PR. Our second and fourth legs are pure distance runners with NO block experience at all. So they’re out of the picture. Also, I’ve not been running well as a relay leg (with a running start). Been hitting about 51.8-52.3. And considering that I ran a 51.2 in the open 400 at dual meet say 3 weeks before the CCS meet. The whole changeup issue was sort of like a revalation to our coach. One of those amazingly simple things. “Hey, Mike sucks at the relay, and is running good out of blocks, but Reggie has been sucking out of blocks … let’s see what happens when I switch them up.”

And so I took over Reggie’s duties as first leg, and he’s now the third leg. I think I can STILL split .5 seconds faster this next week. I tend to have a real fast and smooth first 300, but the last 100m I tend to start tightening up. Not physically because I’m not even tired, but with all of the other runners next to me; I get the whole “P-by-A” issue :mad:

Firstly…didn’t recognise you without that fabulous moustache!

AND THEN … the film was not quite Hollywood grade, then again neither are my eyes these days.

However…some obz. :eek:

1:Blocks appear to be spaced too close together. Separate them at least a notch or two. You get better thrust off the blocks and that should help you avoid standing up so soon.

2: Good aggression from the gun. But your left hip has dropped while running the bend and stays dropped for the entire race. This means you cannot attain triple extension in the vertical plane (ie, knee isn’t straight beneath your torso). The only time you do get excellent extension is with your rear-side mechanics at toe-off. But by then, due to the issue mentioned during the vertical, you have lost efficiency and therefore economy and quality of impulse (therefore power, therefore velocity).

3: Shoulder (leftside most visible) too tense/tight, the shoulder is turning from the spine because it (shoulder-socket) is carried too high. Drop shoulder and, instead, lift hand higher during frontside upswing. Hand should still be relaxed but should come up at least to shoulder height. That should also help you get taller due to impulse delivered in the down-back swing of the arm. The shoulder held high is often a symptom of an attempt to run “taller”. So your body/brain understood there was a problem but couldn’t sort out the source issue.

Congrats on a gutsy team effort. Botton line is you got the job done! kk :slight_smile:

KK Just to try and improve my observational abilities I watched the vid and tried to see what you were seeing.

  1. I have seen this lots of times before, though never was quite sure what the problem was - though i knew something needed changing. Would a similar thing happen if the blocks were too close to the line - leading to kyphosis (rounding) of the lumbar spine?

  2. How can you see this? I guess it is in the first 100m of the race? Is it a rhythm thing?

  3. Can see this. Have seen it before but never connected the spine turning thing with the shoulder being too high. Though it is obvious when you think about it.

Thanks for posting these observations. It’s not just the crazy mexicans that benefit. I’d like to see more commentary like this, it really helps.



Hi TC,

  1. Yes, and yes. Lack of quad strength will also be a factor reducing ability to come out low from the blocks.

  2. Just pause the video as often as you can and maybe you’ll freeze the frame at the appropriate moment to isolate the vertical. Try to catch the moment when the hip is directly above the ankle . . . then check how much extension there is at the knee joint.
    I saw the collapse of the left side from about 50m into the first 100m. Mike never got to full extension at top speed (except at toe off in rear extension). But he ran the race like a short man, contact time would have been too long and he’d be working too hard off the quad in the first 300m ,leaving him a bit weakened down the home straight. It’s the efficiency of movement/ economy of effort/energy I was referring to. The failure to achieve anything like triple extension in the vertical plane is most evident when Mike runs the backstraight. Not really a rhythm thing. It’s essentially an awareness (proprioception)

The good thing is it’s pretty easy to correct, and worth correcting because it can cut a lot of time off your run, at least a second or more right now if he can correct. You need one-on-one observational feedback from someone who can “see” standing centre-field. From there it is primarily a proprioceptive issue and then of course you have to learn to use the muscles in this new way. The training you do (assuming it is done with clean technique) enables you to become specifically strong enough to hold the position under pressure of speed and/or fatigue.
kk :slight_smile:

Really good stuff kk, obviously your a much better oberserver than me:) Hopefully Palmtag got the analysis before he left for the state meet trials, which are today.

Thanks KK, That really helped. Now all I need to do is see what I can do about my runners.



I’ve got a big video project I’ve got to work on, so I can’t chat for long. Thanks KK for your genius analysis. I did get to read it over before I left for Sacramento yesterday. I wish I could say it helped immensely, but I had a bad race. I stood straight up in about 2 steps (did set my blocks a bit furthur apart) and my hip imbalance was so strong I could FEEL myself limping the last 100m. sigh 52.0 split, and our team ran 3:27. We got smoked.

Hello Mike
A guy who can admit “I had a bad race” - rather than blame anyone else - is always going to be an athlete worth investing time and effort in. You gave your best, that’s most important. Work on your technical issues whenever you can and, over time, it will turn around for you.
kk :slight_smile:

I can’t thank you enough for your imput Kitkat :slight_smile: