stride length vs. stride frequency

Some more questions for anyone with time to answer.

Is their anyway to assess were an athlete needs work concerning stride length or frequency? As I mentioned in other posts, I only run about 11.6-11.7. Right now I take exactly 51 strides for 100 meters. Does this in itself tell me anything about my strength levels or need for higher frequency or greater stride length?

How tall are you?

Until you are running a lot faster you probably need both!

First thing to think about at that level is getting really fit through general conditioning and developing a sound technical base. Look out for a good coach rather than worrying about length or frequency.

I am 6-1.

Thanks topcat, I kind of thought thats what the answer would be, I obviously need both.

51 strides if fairly normal for 11.6 at 6’1. Don’t worry about improving one more than the other. Improvements will come to both.

looks like you have a 2 meter stride with approx. 4.4 strides per second. Depending on your leg length (trochanter) this could be good or need improving. 4.4 is a quite decent rate and puts you around 25 ft per second.
11.6 would make me look at the maturity of your acceleration phase. The 1st solution would be to get Charlie’s GPP DVD and get started on some quality work. (sorry for the shortness headed 2 work.)

I am planning to purchase Charlies materials as well as Speed Trap very soon. I do alot of research about speed training and I think Mr. Francis is the best out there. I plan to coach track and field at the high school level and I want to implement charlies philosophys. Educated coaches are hard to find around here, and with this kind of knowledge I think someone could put together a very dominant sprint program.

Thanks for your input. Where did you come up with 25 feet per second? That works out to 7.6 meters per second, which is awfully slow. Is that my average pace? That puts me above 13 seconds. I run a 30 meter fly in 3.3 second with about 15-16 strides. This is over 4.5 strides per second, this is closer to 9.1 m/s (30 ft).

What do you mean by the maturity of my accel phase? I use a video camera to time my 30 m from first movement at 4.1. Does that tell you anything?

Thanks again.

my bad, bad math in my head and not a calculator. I should have said approx 28/29 ft per sec.

the 30 time is good, but that 4.1 should equate to a 3.0 something fly, a 6.9-7.06 60m, and an 11.0-11.1 100m.

I would set cones or some measuring device to see were my acceleration falls off (since you have video) and get an idea of how far you speed up. You might want to start with 10 or 5 meter increments. You will have a natural fall off (increment time getting shorter) and then a leveling off, and then a increase (longer).

This should give you a rough idea of how far you accelerate. Mature (world class) sprinters can accel upwards of 60 meters, my dIII athletes come in barely able to get 22m. Hope this helps.

Would anyone care to offer comments on my start? I have never had any quality feedback about this (or other mehanical issues for that matter) Any help would be appreciated.

It looks like your rear foot isn’t fully in contact with the blocks.

Your hips look too low in your set position as well.

There might be more, but I’m not experienced enough to see it.

you are too cramped in the blocks they need to be moved back also “on your marks” position your shoulders need to be over your hands. You need to watch the Fundamentals 1: Speed & Strength download. It shows all the drills etc you need.


I am planning to buy some materials very soon.

Is the goal to get the first foot down as quickly as possible or to get the first foot down as far as possible from the line? (down the track)

Has anyone seen this video? Asafa’s front leg in the blocks actully touches the track before his rear leg! Is this normal?

It is not normal to drag one’s toe like that, but he can do whatever he wants since he’s the WR holder :).

It depends on departure angle. It is often suggested that low heel recovery is important with the first few steps- and dragging the toe forward is about as low as you can get! This is not an indication of any problem and I think it’s more a matter of how much push-off he gets from the back block- he uses less than some, leading to this lower heel recovery.

(PS Sorry- pushed the wrong button and wrote in here by mistake!!)

see above!

It could be the speed of the video or that particular start but his lead hand sure does move slowly-the opposite hand moves backwards well before the lead goes forward or so it seems.

I’m not sure if that is indicative of his typical start, though.

Cool. I’ve picked up Charlie’s expertise through forum osmosis!