New champions of the world will be crowned soon, along with the title of the "World's Fastest Man". Behind the lightning speed are hours of training and conditioning to perfect this craft and skill we call sprinting. The questions to answer: What techniques are used in sprinting? What does the training look like for sprinting?
Intervals that are specifically designed to help execute a race. They can range in distances from 60m to 600m. An example of an interval set is doing five - 60m sled pulls, then unclipping the sled, and going straight into a full speed 200m, with 6-8 minutes recovery. This type of workout stimulates what it is like to sprint a 400m.
Clearing the blocks:
This occurs at the start of the race and is a specific skill set using the pedals at different angles to help the sprinter get into an aerodynamic position and to help them properly set up for a race. In sprinting events the start has three commands, “On your mark, set, go “.
Transitioning into full speed, and being the last to slow down. Acceleration is key for the 60m-200m. Sprinters want to maintain the turnover motion (frequency of foot making contact with the ground).
Technique and Mechanics:
Front side mechanics (pushing the body in a forward and upward motion, using the ball of the foot vs. using a heel strike). There is a constant pushing off of the ground to get good response. This especially should be done in the last 30m-50m of a sprint race (60m-400m).
As you can see, sprinting is very different than running your typical 5K. There are a different set of muscles being used and the margin for error is very small. For distance running, the preparation is based on mileage, where as in sprinting, it is based on repetition and fast twitch muscle. When watching the games this summer, check to see how the best athletes in the world accelerate, use technique and change the history of the sport!
About Hannah A.
Hannah is a FIT Expert at Fleet Feet Sports, Syracuse and spent her recent college career sprinting for SUNY Cortland. Hannah is a local athlete, having grown up in Liverpool, NY and ran for the Warriors throughout her high school career.