video of my start, new 40, any coaches in Portland, OR?

I redid my 40 on a different track, took the advice about really driving harder on the first steps, not so quick and choppy. I also filmed my start as well.

Here are the vimeo vids. I also loaded them on .

40 yd -
15 yd start -

My 40 time with driving harder(maybe its the track?) was definitely .1 seconds faster. I can tell I’m not getting full extension in my hips on the start…I look closed and hunched in. I really want to get better at this! Any advice or goals I should shoot for to correct this? Certain box jump height? Double BW Full depth squat?

Anybody know of a sprint coach in Portland, OR?


Nice, much better to watch frame by frame on upmygame.

It could be an explosive strength issue. You’re not getting that full extension off of each step because it takes a lot of strength and power to get in to those low positions.

This might be an odd analogy but think of a running lunge position while driving, obviously this is a little exaggerated, but try lengthening those steps out without reaching for them. So by pushing through the back take by powerful steps.

As you progressively get stronger and more explosive, you’ll see that body angle come lower. Right now if you draw a line from the extension of your foot to your head, its a pretty high angle.

It will take some time for these angles to adjust with training.

Thinking about lengthening your stride is probably going to result in overstriding and/or analysis paralysis. It looks to me like you simply need to be able to create more force over a shorter period of time. This will come naturally as you sprint more and spend more time in the weight room.

One drill that I really like to help straighten out acceleration mechanics is a lying start. Simply lie down on the track on your stomach. Then scramble up and run. Don’t worry too much about form or anything. The only cue that I like during this drill is to drive your arms. Do this for a few weeks and you should see a difference.

thanks and I’ll do those starts. I’ve heard a lot of recommendations of getting stronger in the weight room now…does anyone have a metric they have seen/coached their athletes to that does seem to correlate with a better start?

My back squat(full depth) is 310 for 1 rep. My Bw is 190. How much higher does it need to be? Should I squat only 3/4 depth or jump squats instead…cause it seems that you never get the full squat angles when sprinting!

When you look good on the track, then you will know you are strong enough :slight_smile: Given your numbers, I would expect you to look better on the track, so the problem may be simply that you have strength but not power.

More sprinting, especially accelerations should help. Also, perhaps some plyometrics and power cleans (if you know how to do them correctly!)

Many of these issues could be resolved through use of specific sprint drills on the track or on a slight uphill. Use of a light dragging sled may also work. But most of your issues are around proper acceleration posture and delivery of power (as others have stated).

this is great to hear! My plan is then to focus on:

  1. 10-20 yard starts on the track (week5 -week 8 of the GPP graphs)

  2. hills again?

  3. expl. med ball starts…I didn’t do these much during the 8 weeks of hill GPP.

  4. rebound depth box jumps. I’m at 26.5" inch right now. I start on the top of box, drop off and rebound back up. I figure if I consistently do these in the weeks to come and slowly inch up, I’m hoping to feel some tendon-muscle changes and be more explosive. (sets of 5, 5-6 sets a day, 3-4 times a week)

Any thoughts on my #4 plan? Thanks again for the help. This is a really important goal of mine…I hope I can break 5.0 in the next few years in the 40 yd.


Hey there,

It will take a few years to improve. However, if you can find a group to run with, things will probably come along a lot faster.

One way or the other, invest in as many of the products as you can, because there is a ton of theory to absorb so you can design a truly effective training plan.

yeah, deff the first few strides your hardly getting your knees up at all, very choppy (can only imagine how choppy it used to be…)

Like said, belly starts are great. Same with medball throws - see the dvd’s on how to perform these. They are a must.

I wouldnt say strength is an issue - its just you dont know how to get yourself into the “sprint position”. It looks more like an ultramarathon chuffel

Your knees need to gain some serious height, around a 90deg bend at the waist - were seeing only around 20deg here! Your triple ext’ing though, though perhaps too much behind your body and not enough in front of your body.

Right arm isnt staying bent on the swing down and keeps driving Back behind you, focus on driving Down only, not back.

Hips - hard to tell in them pants, but looks like your hips are rotating behind you massively - hence the problem with the triple extension staying behind you for so long. You need to keep them fairly neutral. (perhaps weak hip flexors? or just tight butt or hammie? or both?)

cool man, hope it helps

just looked again - your posture changes like about half way.
at the start, your all Front Side mechanics without doing any triple extension
then at half way, your all rear side mechanics… most of my above post was on your 2nd half.
for the 1st half, you have to learn to get much lower angles and keep from your shoulders down to your ankles in a straight line whilst keeping tight angles to the ground. - hills, med balls, sleds

Super helpful…yeah, it totally looks like a shuffle. Three things I’ve taken away from this.

  1. over reaching with my drive leg
  2. arm swing needs to focused differently.
  3. drive the knees up.

I’m confused about Front Side vs Rear Side mechanics…what does that mean?


Front side mechanics = looking from the side, most of your stride is In front of you
Rear side mechanics = looking from the side, most of your stride is Behind of you

“Frontside mechanics refers to the actions of the legs that occur in front of the body. Similarly, backside mechanics refers to the actions of the legs that occur behind the body.”

Thanks again for the clarification.

I had a coach comment on my video on and his suggestions are sound. He commented on my 15 yd and 40 yd. I did feel tense, like I was pushing against a wall, on his runs. I particularly found his comments about my arms reaching forward and sweeping back, and the ensuing mechanical issues that occur because of that motion, to be particularly helpful. View here if you want to see the comments.

15 yd comments40 yd comments

Anyone know of a coach in Portland, OR?

Remember, it’s running not quantum physics thinking too much is bad. Most 8 year olds can run well because they don’t think (or haven’t been f’d-up by some coach yet)!

yeah, i don’t know about that… Not these days anyway.
2yrs ago, i watched a primary school x-country. Each age group, male and female was always WON by some kid who Looked liked they knew what they were doing, just like u said. However, 2nd and onwards - haha, completely diff story. They look horrendous. For some reason, each age group, male or female always had just ONE kid who could run.
Age groups were Prep, grade 1 and 2 and 3.
I’ll have a look next yr at the grades 4 - 7 and see if there are more at the front looking well.

Hence, this yr, i have had my boy (grade 4) doing a lot more running around, even body weight squats, lunges, burpee’s etc just to get some fitness and strength so he isnt so weak - i do it in a way he loves doing so! Except burpee’s, they are used as punishment… He quickly learned…
Its taken nearly all this yr, and he is now starting to run with form, not flopping around like a rag dole. By yrs end he should be fine.
The girl in yr 2 on the other hand - she came out running! 18mnth difference, and she is as fast as the boy. She looks Right and loves doing it.

I come across more people who cant run for the life of it than those who can. However, with good coaching, esp those over 16yrs age, they can adapt very fast to new running mechanics and learn to run fast pretty quickly. Even the “slow kid who everybody beat” can become substantially faster once they learn mechanically how to run. So many just don’t have a clue on how to run. For one of the most simplest movements around, so many get it wrong.