Good form in sprinting

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The element of running in a form of sprinting, dashing, maneuvering is part of virtually all sports and athletic activities, just look at American football, soccer, basketball just to name a few. As such the distance in question varies greatly, it can be just a few short steps on the court, a mad dash on a field and as long as several hundred meters on the track. One thing in common is always the speed of movement.

And given the speed things become intense. There is no time to think, there is no time to regroup, to redo, and almost impossible to adjust technique, etc. Everything and anything you do might change the outcome.

So how do you keep your good running form? ‘Keep’ or ‘maintain’ are probably not the right terms to use when talking about sprints. There is not enough time to keep or maintain anything and it should go without saying that you must do your homework (i.e. stringent technique work, strength conditioning, etc.) so during that one brief moment in space and time when everything you worked for is on the line you become a lean mean high performance machine. Your technique must be close to perfect and you must be focused because you will only have a fraction of a second or a few seconds at the most to make a difference.

Focus

This is not going anywhere. This ability is central and essential to your success in sports (and many other things in life of course). Staying focused for an intense ‘blink of an eye’ sprint is not that complicated and will help you remain collected and calm. Not complicated doesn’t mean easy to do, so again, ability to focus must be honed.

Stay compact

When things are moving fast you won’t be thinking about much but you can have a cue to stay compact. The more together you are literally and figuratively the easier and faster you will move. You must obviously already posses the necessary physical strength required to maintain good form and stay compact.

Stay relaxed

Tense muscles and a stiff body do not work efficiently. Keep your body relaxed, yet focused and stay calm. Always.

Perception

The last but not least and, as a matter of fact, the most important factor – perception. This is a great topic of an enormous importance that we will write about more in upcoming articles. Perception is not something you use for this thing and don’t use for this other stuff, perception is something that you gradually develop and it will make you a better athlete. Your highly attuned perception will help you keep and further develop your good form among other things.

There are some very talented athletes that are blessed with fantastic innate perception. They might not even know what they operate with, they just do what they do. But not all is lost for others because just like technique, perception can be developed and improved. And that’s nothing to sneeze at. When there is no time to think all you have is your highly developed skill and finely attuned perception.

In short distance events your perception is everything. While running on a track is not quite like the zigzag movement that we see as part of other events it presents it’s own challenges. But in all instances, perception of your bodyweight specifically is everything. Perception is also the governing factor of proper timing of pulling your foot up. And it’s connected to your ability to maintain high cadence. High cadence is connected to being faster and more efficient.

If you’re a sprinter or if quick bursts of running are a part of your event you must work on developing your perception more than anyone else. That alone will help you more than anything else to stay in good form during the moments when it matters most.


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File under: Running, Strength, Technique, Training
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5 responses to “Good form in sprinting”

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  3. […] given advice is more of an advice for a training session or on running form. You’re told to “warm up, stay upright, land on forefoot, focus on posture”, etc. […]

  4. […] athletic activities, but it’s not all just running of course. We’re dealing here with sprinting, dashing, zig zagging, coming to a sudden stop and then suddenly dashing again, and so on. The […]

  5. […] to middle distance and short distance, first and foremost – maintain focus. Great running, after all, like excellence in golf, […]