Some block starts

I will keep this thread going as training progresses… the camera is mine so I can film everything. Thanks for the input and keep it coming. I’ll work on issues 1 by 1.

Two simple things to try next block session without making major changes to your stride:

1 - Slightly higher hip position in set - maybe 1 inch should suffice.

2 - Less emphasis on backside arm mechanics. Just think about keeping your arm swing front-side dominant.

If I were to change anything else, I would have you keep your head in line with your spine (i.e. don’t tuck your head so much).

Try #1 first, then work on #2. For my sake, can you film the changes as they are made from rep to rep?

Got some video of today’s session that I’ll post once I get home and edit it. I went into the reps with your adjustments in mind but my mind went blank once I pushed off… I meant to have my computer with me to make in-session adjustments but ended up leaving it at home. My set position was higher so that my rear hamstring was slightly forward rather than perpendicular. On one work rep in particular my front leg comes through nice and low on the first step… and it happened to be the fewest frames/steps it’s taken me to get to the 5m mark yet.

video is up:

1 rep standing 4pt: higher hips in set position
2nd rep (warmup), 3rd rep(work rep): front side arm action (had a stopwatch strapped on my right hand on the work rep which is why it flops in front… won’t be doing that anymore)
also on the second rep in the long sleeves the low heel on the second swing phase caught me off guard and I had the sensation of falling… but in a good way.
4th: submax rep w/ exaggerated heel recovery

double posting alot lately…

What type of camera did u use for this?

Flip UltraHD… shoots 720p at 30fps. I used Camtasia Studio to record what was going on on my computer screen, opened the videos with quicktime, advanced frames manually by pressing the right arrow, and trimmed the videos and put them together with Camtasia.

Go back and watch the shin angle of your front leg, it’s dropping down closer to track from the set position as you take off. You were doing it in the first video and now with a higher hip in the second video it’s become more noticeable.

Chances are you’re trying too hard to power out like NumberTwo said, you’re stance is a little cramped and needs to be elongated, you’re driving too hard off the back block, or some combo of these.

Great arm split

Are you thinking “big steps big steps” while driving? vs just letting it happen once started and ripping the arms back and forth.

Nice spots… I noticed this as well but it’s not something I’ve compared with Asafa, Usain, Mo. These settings are standard… 2 steps to the front block, 3 to the back… front pedal as low as it goes… back pedal up one click. I’ll move them back a touch for next session. I really just run out of the blocks… if I push for anything it’s frequency. Being crammed in the set position and having good core/post chain strength may be giving me too much time pushing in block extension and resulting in a monstrous step. One thing I always used to think while I was under my previous coach was “knees to chest” and after awhile it must have stuck… it’s all well and good that I’m getting this kind of hip ROM but is it to a point of diminishing return?

There are still some issues here that have probably been ingrained over time. I’m not a big fan of the backward swinging arm driving up so high off the initial stride. It can negatively influence posture (drive angle) on successive strides and result in the knee driving up too high. You have to think of cyclical activities as finite in terms of the range of motion travelled. If that back arm drives too far back and up high, it delays the next stride and arm cycle. A backside arm mechanic moves your center of mass backwards. This in turn results in your foot strike on touchdown to land much further in front of your center of mass, creating a braking effect.

It is obvious you have a tendency to slam your arms backward. This will happen automatically. This is why I’m encouraging you to think only of an arms swing from eye level to hip level (hand range) for your acceleration phase – resulting in a more front-side arm mechanic. This will shift your center of mass forward and prevent you from over-striding out front. This is why Charlie always had his athletes perform standing starts with both arms out in front of the body. They should cross at a point in front of your body, not at your hip.

It is a hard concept to impart, but it will make a difference in your acceleration abilities. Try doing a start with only front-side arm mechanics (i.e. not passing by your hip). It still will, but not as dramatically as it is now.

Also, can you set your camera perpendicular to your lane right in line with the start line? Your are shooting from an angle behind the start line which makes it harder to see how your set position lines up (as well as your knee angles).

Thanks for the input. Charlie’s advice makes things so easy to understand. Ill get a shot in line with the line next session. Used to using poorer quality cameras and not being able to get more than 2 steps without shooting at an angle.

Good insight on this issue no2…

HJ 10,

Are going for a specific number of strides for the first 10m or are you just going for power?

If I think anything it’s just “be fast.”

Today’s session:
First 2 reps were warmup, 3rd rep was warmup but went out a little longer 3rd rep was the start of a 60m, last rep was submaximal
For arm action I thought about bringing my thumbs up to itch my ribs.


I think it’s really starting to look better. Less reaching and staying inside your sweet-spot for your limb mechanics.

How does it look to you? How does it feel?

Great job.

Anyone else seeing improvements?

Yes, definitely looking smoother. Much less dipping of the front shin especially on the final rep. Arms still look powerful but quicker with a less pausing at the end range of motion.

One thing I noticed is your shoulders progressively get more vertical on every rep, in the early reps you’re leaned out over the line in set position and by the last rep your arms are perpendicular to the track.

On the later reps I focused more on having pressure on the pedals. These blocks are not what I would use ideally as the pedals are wavy and seems like my whole foot never quite can apply pressure. I feel more comfortable when they have only one curve but these do a heck of a job sticking into the track. Will hopefully have my Gill National blocks up and running this week.

Thanks, it looks good to me and it’s nice to see improvements after limited sessions wit the camera. What I still don’t like is that on block extension my rear knee angle closes alot and I feel like that first step could be shortened although in my mind during the rep I’m thinkin of getting the foot down quick.

As for how it feels… it feels really good although sometimes the lower heel recovery still isn’t automatic. Also feels like on full length accels my first 5m or so is holding back before I can really be quick. After some more repititions I’m sure it’ll feel better. Cueing to step over the opposite knee really helped me with top speed mechs and it must have just stuck for any time I’m running fast. Next session I’m going to see if cueing a step over the ankle or shin will work with early accel and I’m going to contrast speed sessions with some light sled work periodically to see if the low heel happens automatically with those…