You just heard the starting gun of the race, you're angled 45 degrees, driving your legs and doing great. Now what? After the first few strides, gradually lean up with your torso so there's a 5 degree lean. Your stride length and frequency should hit top gear. Your eyes should be focused straight ahead. Within 20 meters you should have some of these technique points:
Having a great start doesn't make or break a race. But it really helps. this is where muscle strength and power make a big difference. However technique is still key. The main points to accelerating quickly (in running or any sport):
Growing up everyone had that one gym classmate that could just burn you in a race. You always heard a common phrase from teachers and coaches: 'You can't teach that speed'. This is true to an extent, but my belief is that these kids just have a knack for the fundamentals of running fast. Some of these techniques can still be taught. As a refresher from the last running series: running is a simple formula:
SPEED = Stride Frequency X Stride Length
If you look at the 100m dash finalists, they're all different heights, weights and muscle sizes. Each has found their own way to manipulate the number or length of their steps to be lightning fast. The legend Usain Bolt for example has a big advantage with his monster leg length. He only needs around 40 steps for the 100m dash!
All this speed comes at a cost. The faster you run the bigger the muscles you end up using the more energy you use. For example when sprinting you're using more glute max and hamstrings; whereas jogging you use more calfs and lower leg muscles. But a lot of the same rules apply as jogging:
'Don't Worry It's Just an Ankle Sprain'. How many times have we heard this? Be it friends, doctors, coaches, we all think ankle sprains are no big deal. Tell the Toronto Raptors that. If you're from Toronto, you know forward Demar Derozan suffered a lateral ankle sprain a few weeks ago and they've lost most games since!
Ankle sprains are the MOST common injury in sports and exercise. In the NBA there are approximately 100 every year! This is an injury to the ankle ligaments (attach bones together), usually caused by rolling your ankle. Around 80% of them will be lateral (outside) sprains. This is from quick twisting or pivoting of the foot on the ground (like when DeRozan does a crossover). There are a few reasons these can happen:
Dead Bug Exercises For Core Control
Ok let's be honest, there are a thousand ways to train your abs and mid-section. But building off our most 2 weeks ago, we need to build a foundation of control for our low back and pelvis before progressing to dynamic movements.
'Dead Bug' exercises are an absolute staple of improving core control. It ensures proper activation of the local muscles like Multifidi and TrA (pictured above). This stabilizes each spinal segment so that when huge movements occur, shearing forces to the low back are limited.
Shown below is a basic dead bug exercise:
Notice my legs and arms move independently of my pelvis. Your back should not change position and your pelvis should not tilt when you move your limbs. It needs to be done SLOWLY to get the benefit. You can also use a rolled up towel or band behind your back to tell if your spine changes position.
These become pretty easy with practice, so there are countless variations (ex. perform with both arms extended). Driving home the point, this does not give you jacked abs, it is to retrain the brain to get co-ordination of the spine and pelvis when doing other movements.
Milner Chiropractic and Sports Injury Clinic