Whether in our warmup, workout, cool-down, or to supplement your training in the gym, we all do our share of running. You’ve heard us talk about running mechanics before but most of our tips are typically geared towards maximizing efficiency and minimizing impact over longer distances. Today I’d like to touch on an essential principle of sprint mechanics where speed is the primary emphasis. It goes without saying that in sprinting our goal is to accelerate as rapidly as possible, hold our top speed, and decelerate either rapidly or gradually. Typically the acceleration phase is where most athletes and coaches focus, and I’ve even heard that many NFL scouts put more weight into athletes’ 10-yard and 20-yard sprint times than the 40 yard dash itself.
We could all bear to improve our acceleration if for no better reason than to be able to outrun the approaching Zombies when necessary like in October’s Run for Your Life 5K. A few things to keep in mind is posture (big surprise) and the angle of your shins relative to the ground. The videos below were posted on the CrossFit site back in 2007 from now Oklahoma State University Track & Field Coach John Baumann on some simple drills to improve your sprinting acceleration and posture. If you listen you’ll hear him cue the athletes on keeping their chest up (posture) and shins parallel to the ground improve ground contact force.
On a similiar note, shin angle is also key to improving lateral change of direction. This video was recently posted on Eric Cressey’s site on how shin angle contributes to better lateral acceleration and stability.
Simple things to master that will greatly improve your sprint mechanics and ability to accelerate in any direction.
Monday: Clean and Press followed by 5 Rounds of 7 Handstand Pushups, 8 V-Ups, and 9 Box Jumps.
Tuesday: Back Squat followed by 10, 9, 8,…, 1 of Kettlebell Clean & Jerks, KB Swings, and Goblet Squats. Oh and don’t forget that after a 2 minute rest we sprinted 500+ meters around the block for time.
Wednesday: Snatch for heavy doubles and AMRAP 15 of 30 Double Unders, 25 Situps, 20 Burpees, and 15 Pullups.
Thursday: Skills day that focused on Pistols, Handstands, and Cartwheels.
Friday: Bear complex…enough said.
Saturday: Please share any Row PRs, consecutive Pushups PRs, consecutive KTE PRs, or Sandbag Carry PRs from today’s workout.
Break up & Complete Any Which Way You Choose:
60 Ball Slams
50 Push Ups
40 Knees to Elbows
750m Sandbag Carry