Coaching Sprinting

Discussion in 'Coach Talk' started by Dawsy, Jun 24, 2012.

  1. Dawsy

    Dawsy Barefooters
    1. Australia
    2. Canada
    3. International

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    18
    So most of my training/reading has been focused on distance running. One area I've really neglected is sprinting.
    Just wondering if anyone had any tips on where to start learning about sprint training (particularly barefoot)?
     
  2. Last Place Jason

    Last Place Jason Barefooters
    1. Michigan

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    944
    Likes Received:
    320
    For me, there's not a significant difference in the coaching points. All the same principles fo good form applies, as do the guidelines to transitioning. It takes time to build pace just as it takes time to build distance.
     

  3. Dawsy

    Dawsy Barefooters
    1. Australia
    2. Canada
    3. International

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    18
    It seems that there's a lot more pushing with the feet involved in sprinting though. Is this still done when sprinting barefoot?
    Are there any notable barefoot sprinters?
     
  4. Footsie

    Footsie Barefooters
    1. Germany &...

    Joined:
    May 19, 2012
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    120
    Steven Sashen (invisible shoes guy) is a sprinter who these days apparently still gets down to 14sec bare and 12sec in spikes for 100m (age group 50+). He might have said something about it over on his site blog or forum.
     
  5. Dawsy

    Dawsy Barefooters
    1. Australia
    2. Canada
    3. International

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    18
    Of course! Good thinking, I'll hit him up.
     
  6. Jimmy Hart

    Jimmy Hart Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...
    2. Texas - Dallas
    3. International

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    33
    Sprinting does require pushing where as distance running can be done without it. There's really (as far as my knowledge goes) no way to "sprint" without pushing off to at least some degree.

    The sprinting form is slightly different than slower distance running as it requires more of a knee lift than the longer stuff does but the basic mechanics are the same. You'll also drive more with your arms and have them higher and more out front of you when sprinting.

    The transition to sprinting bare is to be done slower than straight distance running. The forces produced in sprinting are markedly greater and not being prepared for that can lead to some serious injuries. Even the most veteran barefoot runner would need to be cautious when trying to start sprinting barefoot. In fact they shouldn't sprint at first but just do some 100m repeats at a faster rate than their average running pace. The idea would be to work on the mechanics and form while going marginally faster and then build from there.
     
    Bare Lee likes this.
  7. Dawsy

    Dawsy Barefooters
    1. Australia
    2. Canada
    3. International

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2011
    Messages:
    83
    Likes Received:
    18
    This is great stuff, thanks a lot :)

    So assuming that the transition to faster running has been made, and they want to move up to sprinting, how would their form need to change? I've read conflicting things...eg is a faster or slower cadence preferred when sprinting? How about stride length?
     
  8. Jimmy Hart

    Jimmy Hart Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...
    2. Texas - Dallas
    3. International

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    33
    With sprinting there is less control of things like stride length and cadence do to forces being applied and distance traveled. You can't really apply things like a 180 cadence to something that lasts 100 meters and only 10-15 seconds. The keys to sprinting form are really more about being a power position with your frame. The torso is more upright with a slight lean forward. The knees raise higher, depending on the natural mechanics of an athlete I've seen the knee drive go as high as hip level. The arms are typically at a 90 degree angle and the hands drive up and in towards the head (they do not cross the body). Everything else is pretty much dictated by the speed at which you are travelling. One of the cool things about sprinting is that you can't really mess with it the way you can distance running. You can't really over stride because you'll jar yourself so much that teeth will fall out (maybe not literally) and things like cadence and a lot of the other little nit picky form cues go out the window because you're moving so fast and producing so much force.
     
    Bare Lee and NickW like this.
  9. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,978
    Likes Received:
    6,574
    Thanks Jimmy, this makes a lot of sense to me. I've recently taken to pushing my pace precisely because form issues just seem to fall into place at faster velocities, and I feel noticeably smoother and fluid. Just bumping up to a 8+mm pace seems to do the trick, and when I sprint, I feel like a real runner again. As you noted in an above comment, though, there is a lot more impact force on the forefoot, so I've been taking it slow.
     
  10. Jimmy Hart

    Jimmy Hart Barefooters
    1. Arizona -...
    2. Texas - Dallas
    3. International

    Joined:
    May 11, 2010
    Messages:
    760
    Likes Received:
    33
    Lee try getting slightly more knee lift when you run. I don't mean high knees or anything but maybe raise your knee drive an inch or so and see how that feels on your forefoot. Adding a little lift should put your foot more underneath your body at your ground connection point and take some of the force pressures away. It will also give you a more compact drive angle which can make it easier to go faster.
     
  11. Bare Lee

    Bare Lee Chapter Presidents
    1. Minnesota
    2. Presidents

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,978
    Likes Received:
    6,574
    Thanks Jimmy, today's my fartlek day, so I'll check it out.
     

Share This Page