relaxing in the last 40m

hi guys,
was wondering what some ques are that you use to stay relaxed but still keep your speed up over the last 40m, my main problem is my last 20m, and i dont think its a speed end problem i think its a relaxation problem.

what i find is that usually i’m ahead of the pack at 60m but very occasionally i get run down over the last part, and because i’m not used to that i tense up.

any tips???

yeah! please! give us some advice I have the same problem

This may be a hard thing to do in the race, but if you can feel that your face is loose - that is that your cheeks are flopping around - then the rest of your body should also be relaxed.

Don’t try to force anything. Once you reach your top speed stop trying to accelerate, and stop pushing. Just let the speed that you have carry you through.

In practice when your doing some flying 20s or 30s have someone watch you so they can tell you when you look relaxed and then you’ll know what it feels like and can transfer that over to your race.

hi, i understand what you are saying but with me what tends to happen is, if i try to stop pushing or accerlate i slow down. there must be some other ques that i can use to stop this from happening. im not sure if something like this would be right, ive heard others say just concentrate on moving up and down as fast as you can??

I’ve never heard of that one used for relaxation, but you have to find something that works for yourself. Maybe try to focus on your arm-swing. Work on something in practice so you know what being relaxed feels like.

How sure are you it doesn’t come as a result of your training?

sorry was that a question for me?

Sorry, yes, it is for you and triggered from the above post of yours.

Maybe this goes to the vertical vs horizontal nature of conscious action. the problem may not be relaxation, as you say. It may be that once you start pushing, you begin t loose control and leg speed drops and you can’t get back out of it, causing you to slow down. This starts almost from the beginning- at the point where you should be stepping over and down. Check out all the arguements over on the Barry Ross thread. you can read the technical arguements, but I can tell you, from a practical standpoint, that the key to fast sprinting lies in the set-up and the up and down conscious action. The horizontal action is automatic at ground contact, and any conscious effort to impart more will bugger things up.

ok, so are you saying i should be concentrating on just up and down, or would the steping over the support knee for the last 40m be a better que???

i think its not from training because when i am in front in a race and im relaxed i win, but i dont think about what im actually doing to stay relaxed,
but when someone who comes home strong gets level with me after im 4m up at 60m i figure its due to me tightening up, coz i can feel my shoulders come up and at the end of a race i feel tired where as when i dont tighten up i feel like i can walk back down the track and run another 100m in 10.5 easy.

so i guess its a little tricky, coz yeh there might be some training factor in it all.

thanks for all the input

Charlie, what is the key to transitioning out of pushing mechanics(early acceleration) into the “up and down” action of top speed?

During the very early start action there is a lot of horizontal action. The transition problem (if there is one) occurs when you begin to loose the stride out the back, which you then can’t recover. At the point before this is about to happen, you need to concentrate on starting to “step over” to keep the sprint action underneath you and not too much behind. Where this occurs in the acceleration phase depends on the individual, his acceleration capacity, and his perception, but, in most cases, it will begin before 30m. From there, you will progress to thinking of the up and down action, mostly from the arms. Whatever the case, you must keep the reps short and alactic to give you enough opportunities to perfect one thing at a time.

Thank you.


i like to coach track technique, gym and the limited number of drills we do by the athletes feel for the drill.

but for the up and down action of the sprint i have got athletes nail it first up but others cannot get a grasp ofthe idea and feel they are chopping to much.

thinking back did you ever have similar problems and how did you rectify? was is patience and practise

Even though there is more perceptible horizontal action during the early acceleration shouldn’t the main action be to step straight down (although not step over), rather than consciously drive back? That seems to have been your coaching advice to Ashley in the Fundamentals DVD. He was trying to reach too much with the first few steps and you told him to just step down; with the stepping over motion increasing as the body becomes more upright.

If you consciously step straight down during the early accleration, the reality is that by the time the foot hits the ground the hips will already be in front of the foot.

I’d think chopping would require actively cutting off the stride. If the athlete is relaxed and doesn’t fight for leg speed it should follow naturally.

today for the 3rd time they seemed to get a better grasp of the hands to hip and face action and the leg action followed from there.

i sacrificed a SE session today for some speed progression work on the bend in an effort to pick up the up and down action.

all seemed to go well as they felt they had a better understanding of the action i wanted on the bend.

thanks again