Hey guys, I’m currently applying for masters programs in Human Kinetics. And I started thinking about thesis ideas that would relate to sprinting. I was thinking about about doing something involving biomechanics and was wondering if anyone had any orginal ideas they wanted to throw out there. I was thinking about maybe something along the lines of doing a biomechanical analysis of overspeed runs vs. max velocity runs to show some of the biomechanical errors that overspeed training creates.


That’s not the right attitude to start a project! Is this a working hypothesis of yours? :wink:

That sounds interesting as does analysing many of the ideas now popular in strength and conditing such as the use of ladders… However, for a masters thesis are you sure that isn’t too complicated. My experience is that it should be pretty simple.

Might be better phrased, “to see if there are biomechanical errors”

That’s what I meant, you should start with a hypothesis, not a certainty…

In terms of the load of the work for such a project (MSc), you can keep it simple -necessary indeed- by the parameters you concentrate on (better pre-determined in your proposal). In order to see if such an analysis is worth persuing later on -if interested in this- I would go with the quality of the elements examined -a relatively small sample can help you here.

Make no mistake though; record everything!! Then you can either eliminate, or expand, as you -or your supervisor :)- wish!

Hope it helps!

So on that note, perhaps you could simply look at how the centre of mass changes with normal running and overspeed with elite and non elite athletes? You could also try different methods of creating overspeed. That or look at foot contact position with reation to COM with overspeed. Keep it simple because otherwise you will be there processing data for ever.

Alexander Michalow is searching for someone to do his proposed experiment (see the article from supertraining - files, Analysis of sprint, or something). Basicaly goal of the experiment is to compare two groups of sprinters, which one is trained for vertical force, and the other for propulsive force (hip extension) and to compare changes in Vmax… Try to contact him personally, his nick at the site is alexmicha (see the Bary Ross on Ben… thread).

About overspeed study…
I think that comparing C.M. kinematics is not enough… try connecting-corelating some qualitative analysis from some expert on sprint mechanics (Charlie for example) with phase plots and angle-angle diagrams, this is would connect art and science and this is what I allway wanted to do…

As much as you may laugh…I have looked into the biomechanics and / or physiology of starts…thats right, sprinters starts from the blocks and whether a double legged start is more effective than the traditional start off the front leg…but no one had ever looked into in any real depth (that I am aware of)

Right away, I see a problem with that premise. I advocate the emphasis on NO LEGS. That way there is a pulse through both legs occuring at the start of the action, controled by the arms. Any conscious attempt to push with one or both legs will result in delay.

Charlie do you advocate (activating) pretensing the quads and glutes in the set position?
The analogy I got from a coach has been …if you were going to race somebody in your car and you were at a stop light waiting for the light to turn green you wouldnt want to have the car in park and put it into drive and hit the gas when the light turns green. You want to have the car in drive reving the engine with one foot on the gas and one foot on the break so when the light turns green you can simply take your foot off the break and go.

I always felt that keeping a bit of tension helped you to find your position and hold it perfectly still but I’m sure there is a great deal of variability in this. Certainly, those who lean over the line in the set position cannot do this as they’d fall out of the blocks.

Does basically ANY motion become delayed/impeded w/ conscious control? Should we have all speedy actions be either automatic or triggered by indirect cues?

I would say so. The action is too fast. The cues must be set up and conscious actions started before ground contact in the run itself or, in the case of the start, you think only about your first action (the lead arm) so that all subsequent actions are triggered automatically by the stimulus (gun).

There was a study done on overspeed training in 2003 in J Strength Cond. Res. They found that overspeed training increased stride length due to the stride landining statistically significant farther ahead of the body.

A long term training study on overspeed and/or weight sled towing would be great, but not for a thesis.

The “longer stride” due to being dragged into the ground before the foot can pass close enough to BDC, is the reason for slower results and more injuries. Someone is thinking this is good??

There was a study done on overspeed training in 2003 in J Strength Cond. Res. They found that overspeed training increased stride length due to the stride landining statistically significant farther ahead of the body.

wonder how many guinea pigs and how long it took for them to come to that conclusion?? seems like money well spent, oh well at least it never said it made them faster…