May 21, 2017 – Starting Fast

Hawkins

Hawkins

Having a great start doesn’t make or break a race. But it really helps. this is where muscle strength and power make a big difference. However technique is still key. The main points to accelerating quickly (in running or any sport):

  • Body Angle – You want to aim for around 45 degrees. You want the chest and eyes angled to the ground, this relaxes your back and neck muscles
  • Triple Extension – the back leg should have full extension of the hip, knee and ankle for the first strides, to maximize power generated
  • Triple Flexion – the lead leg should have great flexion of the hip, knee, and ankle with foot contact (like a coiled spring)
  • Arm Swing – you want big, powerful arm movements to counterbalance the opposite leg movements. Front arm should flex high with elbow 90 degrees, back arm should fully extend

All of these techniques work to convert energy horizontally and forward. If your arms aren’t moving correctly you lose energy sideways. If your torso angle is too vertical you lose energy upwards. Counterbalance is key, because leg forces can be more than 1500 Newtons of force! Tomorrow I’ll talk about accelerating and hitting maximum speed

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