Too much Vertical Displacement and Hip Height?

Lately when I sprint I feel as though I’m in the air too long. As if I’m disconnected from the track. Usually starts around the 20m mark as I’m transitioning up. So after 6+hrs of reading the forum, I think there are a couple of things I had a faulty perception of, please correct me if I’m wrong:

1.) Too much air time isn’t good - I linked lots of air time with hip height which seems to be incorrect. I assumed that being in the air longer was a good indication of force application (thanks to the research on vertical forces at maxV).

2.) Foot contacts should not be heavy - What I’m gathering now is that actively trying to punch the track (SMU Study) increases breaking forces and GTC so I guess that theory is out the window.

Look forward to the feedback…

You have any film?

Clip 1 - 30m from blocks
Clip2 - 42m from blocks
Clips 3 & 4 - 10m split after a 20m accel from standing start

I add 2m to each run for timing purposes.

I’ve read this article and also watched the Merritt video a dozen times. I understand that the body moves in a wavelike pattern over the ground bur curious as to whether or not there can be too much vertical displacement. I guess a better way to describe it would be bounding down the track. There’s a lot of research on force application increasing > SL & SF but no real cue as to how to execute thats what led me to the forum. Actively trying to punch the track seems to leave me waiting in the air for the next GC. I understand “stepping over” guess the question is am I “driving down” or just “stepping down”?

BEGR8, the quality of the video is really poor, however from what I can see via slow motion you have solid mechanics.

As you imply, the only way there is “too much” vertical displacement is if you’re bounding; however, if you’re bounding this will be made evident by increased GCT and ultimately slower times. I do not see any evidence of bounding in your video; however, it would be useful for you to capture higher quality video.

Stepping down is the right feeling when you’re upright; whereas when you’re in early acceleration the feeling should be pushing as there is much more muscle/mechanical work associated with early acceleration.

elite sprinters have described the feeling of max velocity as ‘floating’ and this is consistent with the lesser proportional contribution of muscle/mechanical work and more reactive/elastic.

Not sure what you used to record yourself, however, even most smart phones these days have at least 60fps at 1080p whereas the newer Iphones have up to 240fps at 1080p which is phenomenal for slow motion review.

If you feel like you’re bounding, then your hips are probably dropping.

Thanks for the feedback. Sorry the video quality was poor, using an digital camera because I train solo. The times are slow which is what’s confusing. I’m 35 and ran a PB this past Dec in the 60m. It was only 6.89 but that’s a huge improvement for me. PB in the 100 and 200 is 10.52 and 21.03 from 2008, best 60 at that time was 7.10. Back then my bench was around 245 and squat around 415. DL was non existent.

After using CF methods I’ve improved over the last several years to 320 Bench, DL 445, and I stop after a few sets of triples at 515 on the squat. So for my first race of the season to be an indoor PB I thought I was headed in the right direction.

I’ve run 3 - 100m races this year. 10.84,10.91,10.86. Which to me don’t align with 6.89 or even the 7.10 from '08. Last year my best runs were 5.93 for 50m and 10.74 into a - 4.8. I’m in better shape than last year so I’m at a loss. What’s even more confusing is when I run a standing start everything feels fine but the minute I get in blocks things fall apart at 30m. I struggle to get my hips up and get stuck backside. I’ve had sessions where I’ve run 7.0 for 60 and then come back and run 6.40 and have no idea what I’m doing right or wrong. I never know if Superman or Clark Kent is going to show up on meet day.

I thought it might be SE at one point but I can run 12.30 for 120m (standing) pretty easy but can’t seem to find the same form from the blocks. The thing I sense being different in the 120 is I feel like I’m just turning over almost like running downhill. From the blocks I feel like I’m floating more. Perhaps it’s my transition, idk.

Sorry for the overload, I’m only a basket case on the track.

50m Lane 8 Blue Top/Black Tights -

Good race video. What I see in this video is you possibly becoming upright prematurely out of the blocks as it appears your eyes are visible almost immediately. Now, this isn’t necessarily a flaw as Ben Johnson did the same thing and you are clearly build very powerfully.

While this isn’t necessarily an essential component, I don’t like how your hands flop around. I’d like to see stability in your wrists and hands by keeping them bladed with fingers splayed throughout.

The European tables I have convert your 6.89 to a 10.68 and the USATF tables place you between 10.64 and 10.67. Clearly this is reflective of speed endurance being in place.

Now, was your standing 12.30 for the 120m hand timed or electronic timed?

When you describe that you struggle to get your hips up and get stuck backside, this is usually reflective of excessive anterior pelvic tilt resultant of forcing the angle of acceleration. The hips drop and the anterior tilt causes ground contact to occur farther in front, GCT is lengthened, and you kick out the back.

Granted, this is easier said then done, however, think of your block position as posture A and your max V position as posture B and you’re only objective is to transfer from position A to position B as smoothly and gradually as possible. This is accomplished by ‘letting it happen’ versus ‘forcing anything to happen’.

Well that race looks familiar. I’m in the lane next to him. Lol.

That race I definitely popped up. Easy correction. The 12.3 is more of an average but hand timed. I’ve run under 12 sec h/t but with a bit more effort. Posture A & B seem simple enough. As for posture B, when i get into design posture i feel as though im leaning back. It doesn’t look like it on video so maybe it’s just perception. I’ll be sure to change the hand/wrist posture as well.

In my 60m race I had really good frequency but felt like I had no knee lift similar to the race video. Does my knee lift seem okay?

Would you equate stepping over with turning over? Granted the ROM is optimal. I’m trying to wrap my head around whether or I should be punching the ground or just increasing my frequency. I know more power is needed to go faster, question is how and when is it employed. I’m assuming all the power output would be employed on the way to Max V.

Ok, the USATF tables have (mt) hand timed conversions for 60m and 120m out of the blocks. So if we convert your 6.89 to a hand timed 6.65 then, on the USATF tables, that equates to between 12.40 and 12.44 for the 120m out of the blocks.

You are well below those 120m hand times, considering you stated that you are able to go sub 12 with effort, from a standing start so I agree that speed endurance is not the issue and it must be race execution.

Your knee lift in the race video looks solid. The training video is very low resolution so it’s quite blurry to capture a still, however, it appears as if your knee lift is the same if not subtlety greater. Keep in mind the camera angle of the race video is downward so knee lift will appear less in comparison to your training video in which the camera angle is parallel.

Stepping over, literally, refers to stepping over the support knee which is essentially a symptom of collapsing the recovery knee as it cycles through (creating a shorter lever arm that requires less mechanical energy to mobilize). This coupled with greater hip height, resultant of more ground contact force, equates to the foot stepping down from a greater distance.

Turn over is a term more frequently used to describe rate/frequency.

The delivery of force is absolutely a function of time (time dependent) and at max V, regarding the elite, it’s happening in less than .08

This is why most weight training for the T&F sprinter is general (beyond block clearance and the first few steps).

While the ground contact force increases with each step up to max V, the feeling you should experience is less and less muscle work with each step.

Form looks great Chris. Knees really get up there, probably at the threshold as any more and the distance between the knee and your hip would shorten.

Thank you sir! Just had an “ah hah” moment. I’ve been equating the feeling of muscle work with force application. Well off to the track now. Sun is shining and the run faster doesn’t seem like as much of a crap shoot now. Thanks again!

Chris has your back and has that same race here- front on

and the


THanks, Ive realized that too much knee lift is detrimental. Both me and berg8 have been suffering from being practice super stars. Also then going into meets and doing something different. Need to find race patterns and stick with it.

Indeed, the end game is always the automation of preparatory efforts of key transference. This envelopes all psychological/technical/tactical/physical attributes of preparation. when successfully instantiated, the result is unforseen levels of consistent and reliable contest execution

Pulled my hamstring about 20m into that race and hobbled the rest of the way. Nice race view though. Took 48 steps to 100m. I was wondering what my step count was.