By Steve Bennett
B.Sc. (Physiology) ATFCA Level II
This article is designed for younger athletes who have done little training. It contains the main points of a long term approach.
It is initially much more important to improve balance, posture and stability of the trunk than it is to improve leg or arm strength.
Sprinters should develop overall fitness in a way that does not involve jogging. They should however BE ABLE to jog for a long distance without a problem. Overall fitness can be acquired through dance, medicine balls, skipping etc. A variety is best. Progressive circuit training is great.
Improving the ability to have the type of speed that comes with little effort is the goal. Athletes need to always practise relaxing when running. The is a skill that must be practised from a young age. RACING can often be a time of practising the bad habit of trying too hard especially in the very young. The ability to run fast and have it look easy is of the highest importance. The quality of an athlete that can have very fast steps is the first thing that needs to be developed from a young age.
Sprinters should not be instructed to run on their toes or to pump their arms high. -It is better to develop a foot that is moving backward before impact and a foot carriage that is as close as possible to the shin (Dorsiflexion). -Arms should be held with relaxed fingers and the main focus of effort should be a backward stroke. They should also not move very far forward from the body.
Maximum speed is the most important quality to develop on a regular basis. This should be done with maximum speed experiences over short distances. eg Flying start 20-30m runs or Standing start runs over 30-40-50 or 60m. The athlete should perform these runs at maximum relaxed speed in sets of 3 with rests between of 3-5min where they stay active and between sets they should do other balance or trunk activities for maybe 10-15min.
Taken from the Australian Little Athletics website
When doing a standing start, try to remember the following:
When doing a crouch start, try to remember the following: