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Frequently asked questions about running technique. HSI members answer.
Find out the answers to the following questions:
- Are the arms important in sprinting?
- How do I improve my speed?
- How should my foot hit the ground?
- I have watched you guys, and know that the start is very distinctive. Can you tell me about it?

Michael Johnson's strategy in running 400 meters.
The start is still important even though it's a 400 meters. For me, being a 200- and 400-meter runner, it's important that I don't get in the same aggressive mode as I am in a 200. So I want to get a good reaction but then stay a lot smoother in the 400 - basically, get a good start and establish a pace in the first 100 meters since this is the area where the pace of the entire race is really going to be started.

Speed Training: Arm Action
The arms play a significant, yet overlooked, role in sprinting and speed development. Without specifically and regularly addressing proper arm mechanics within your speed training program, full speed potential will not be realized. Today we will address this issue so that we can continue to make improvements on the athletic field.

Top 10 Speed Training Myths
- You can train hard every day.
- The harder the workout, the better the result.
- Flexibility won’t help you get faster.

Sprint Training for the Developing Athlete
This article is designed for younger athletes who have done little training. It contains the main points of a long term approach.

Training for 400m
The 400m event is a difficult one to prepare for as it requires the meshing together of the training to develop basic sprinting speed with the endurance of 400m specific speed. How to put all aspects together to develop the best performances at the right time is the difficulty.

General Outline of Bruny Surin's Training
This article on Canadian sprinter Bruny Surin's training was originally taken from his website. Training process is described by Michel Portmann, Bruny's personal coach.

Coaching the Sprint Hurdles
One of the difficult areas to manage as a coach is the development of your sprint hurdlers (110 meter High Hurdles / 100 meter High Hurdles). The books out there will give you plenty of technical things to learn and apply, but what I want to touch on is the practice session itself. One of the biggest problems continues to be the fact that we take our best sprinters and sprint them and then take our second-tier sprinters and hurdle them.

Beginning Hurdle Training
Suppose you are a young coach with little track & field experience. In your pre-season meeting with your other coaches--three or four, some "walk-ons" (maybe you are a "walk-on"). It is discovered that last year's hurdle coach won't be back and no one wants to coach the hurdles. The jump coach, shot put and discus coach, and the distance coach all give convincing arguments why they can't coach hurdles, and why you should coach hurdlers since you have the sprints and relays. Disarmed, you reluctantly agree to take on the responsibility.

Coaching the Hurdles: The Role of the Hurdle Coach
The role of the coach is to generate enthusiasm, discipline, concentration and dedication for the training regiment. The coach must act as a barrier, during practice, for outside contaminates and interference's. The coach must also be counselor, friend, disciplinarian and savior at any given time. Creating a mentally harmonious workout environment is the coach's highest priority in order to get the most out of the athlete.

Coaching the Hurdles: Terminology
Hurdles terminology

Coaching the Hurdles: Cycle Training
The method of cycle training (variable effort training) is to adopt the principles of "diminish and return" whereas the elite level athlete can not train at maximum efficiency levels day in and day out. By varying the workload based on an athlete's ability to recover, the training regiment can produce maximum efforts without need to curtail quantity or quality.

Coaching the Hurdles: Static Hurdle Training
Lead Leg Drill
Rhythm Drill
Trail Leg Drill

Hurdle Workouts
Invented by Mr. Wilbur Ross, this drill is widely recognized as the single most important workout for the elite athlete during the competitive season.

Getting It Done In The Zone
Your palms are sweating, your heart is pounding and you feel as if you're going to jump out of your skin. No, your lotto numbers didn't come in. Ed McMahon and Dick Clark have not driven up to your house to give you the 10 million. And, no, this is not an IRS audit. It's mere moments before a track and field starter sends off the 4x100 meter relay. This one event has caused more collective anxiety than all the individual sprint races combined, because of the fine line between a great race, a slow race or a DNF (did not finish). The sprint relay gives the coach the "Penthouse to the Outhouse" (and vice versa) experience because no matter how hard you've practiced, the unexpected seems to be the order of the day.

110 and 100 Meter Hurdles - Drills and Training
These events and their indoor versions (55 or 60 meters) require athletes to negotiate barriers during a race. Athletes who are successful in these events will have the speed of your top sprinters and often are successful at jumping events, 200 meters and 4x100 meter relay legs. This article will discuss start differences between the sprints and hurdles, takeoff and hurdle clearance, workout variations, drills and training suggestions for different weeks. Because of the short distance to the first hurdle in both the men and women's races athletes need to be in an upright posture sooner than flat sprinters. Let's begin by looking at the start and getting your athletes into the blocks.

The Stick Drill
An Effective Tool for Improving Stride Frequency, Rhythm or Stride Length

Teaching the Beginner Sprinter the Block Start
Align the blocks in the direction of the sprint start in your lane. To begin, place the starting blocks one-foot length from the starting line. The front pedal is two feet length from the starting line. Next, place the rear pedal three feet lengths from the starting line or place the front pedal one and one-half to two feet lengths from the starting line. Place the rear pedal two and one-half to three feet lengths from the starting line. Both hands and fingertips are placed on the track behind the starting line.

A General Workout for Sprinters
The following workout is for hurdlers, sprinters and sprinters who run 400 meters.
To be a sprinter, you have to train like a sprinter. You should work on the areas that improve and develop the phases of sprinting.

SPRINTS: Periodization
Periodization is the ability of the coach and athlete to organize your season to reach an optimal performance at the right moment. This involves introducing the athlete to levels of stress and recovery that will enable them to hit their best effort with the lowest potential for illness or injury.

Sprinter Training Program
Sprinting is a very difficult combination of aggression, relaxation, technique, and efficiency. The 100 meters is sometimes labeled as the easiest most complicated event in sport! And contrasting bodybuilding, gaining too much size can become a negative. Generally speaking world-class sprinters are not that large, anywhere from 155-180lbs. In fact, what's interesting is that some sprinters do not lift weights at all! But for those of us who aren't as genetically gifted, the ultimate goal is having incredible strength to weight ratios, lean body mass, and a well developed CNS (central nervous system) for a fast reaction and the ability to explode on command.

Improving Your Start For Sprinters
Having an effective start is a critical part of the short sprints. In this article, I will explain the start, exercises that will improve your start, and a variety of other technical aspects that go along with it.

Clyde Hart coach to Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner. Part 1.
Clyde Hart can stake a claim to being the greatest 400m coach of all time.
He has guided Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner to the top but there is far more to the man than that. He has worked with a 3min 50sec miler and 1min 44sec 800m runner. On top of that the man from Baylor is always fun to listen to.

Clyde Hart coach to Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner. Part 2.

Clyde Hart coach to Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner. Part 3.

Clyde Hart coach to Michael Johnson and Jeremy Wariner. Part 4.

Coaching the 800/1500-1600
When coaching the 800-1600, the coach must find the right combination of both speed and endurance for that particular athlete. The coach must first determine if that athlete is a 400/800 type or a 800/1600 type.

Restoration and the Transitional Period Between Cross Country and Track Season
Restoration is a very important component of any exercise training program. Hans Selye, back in the 1950's, outlined the stress-adaptation syndrome of which recovery was a key to adaptation and compensation. Further research of Matveyev (USSR) and Harre (GDR) in the 1970's applied Selye's basic research in a stable and useable training philosophy. They applied work to recovery ratios to the training of athletes and establishing training cycles where exercise and recovery were theoretically quantified.

The Total Distance Runner
Many distance coaches have trouble getting their runners to enjoy track. Distance runners enjoy the wide open spaces of cross country running, but many feel confined by running continuously around a track. Ifthey become bored and lose interest it results in poor performances. Athletes who are great cross country runners may become only good or average track runners.
On the other side are middle distance runners who should be good cross country athletes, but don't perform up to their abilities. They feel intimidated by running 3 miles in cross country and bored by the daily distance runs. They see no point to distance workouts and would rather be on the track running shorter, faster intervals where they can see more progress.

"An hour before start" by Valery Borzov
This article, condensed from the original text, is from the vault of Legkaya Atletika (1979), and is the great Russian sprint champion’s account of his own mental preparation prior to a race.

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