Tempo & Ground Contact Time


You emphasize the importance of tempo sessions for sprinters for recovery /reg, muscle capilarization, aereobic cond, relaxation etc etc but I am wondering if this type of training can have an negative effect on sprint ground contact time and sprint mechanics.

Tapes of tempo workouts seem to show foot strike further ahead of centre of gravity than during sprints and certainly GCT appears much longer.

The question arises if the above assertions are correct would the neural imprint for sprinting be effected to a significant degree or do the pro’s
outweigh the cons?

your comments would be appreciated.

I can’t speak for Charlie, but my opinion would be that with all the other work that you do that does not involve those negative running aspects, the 2-3 days a week that you do tempo would not really affect you that much. Also, you do a warm up jog and drills, etc. that involve more proper sprint mechanics, so again, the tempo would not be as detrimental.

I can see the GCT, but as for footstrike, I can’t understand why you would land in front of your COM. I never do that and still manage to do the sessions correctly. Maybe it’s overstriding as a way to manage slower speeds, maybe?


In my opinion … only if you manage to fool your body into thinking ‘this is perfect sprint form’. Maybe this is one of the reasons you should stay under 70 or 75% … to keep the slow/fast elements separated. Ofcourse tempo session han help your sprint technique also, not by thinking about how you run but more like … you JUST run.

sprinter68,thats true what you say about the feet landing in front of the COM but when you jog were do they land? in front of your COM and does it affect you or have any hinderance on your sprinting.when doing tempo try and develope a consistant rhythem which in turn will aid relaxation thus leading to easier faster runs without the effort.just focus on keeping the runs smooth and don’t try to push the arm/leg action as it won’t happen while doing run at such a pace.the foot should land under the knee and the knee should land near enough under the hip or slightly ahead.

also don’t forget that while running at such speeds as 70%+/- ground contact times will increase as the speed is fairly average.the faster you run the less time you spend.