Hey Sprinters! Below you will find basic descriptions (HOW TO's) of our core sprint running events. Waconia Track considers athletes to be on the "Sprinter Squad" if they are competing regularly in the 100, 200, Hurdle & 400 race distances. Please take some time to explore the events below and start to learn about BEST PRACTICE in regards to our sprint events.
How to Run the 100 & 200
"Race Strategy for personal success"
#1 Drive Phase- “B for the Bang”
Objective- To leave blocks and prepare for the first strides.
-100m- 0-20 meters of race
-200m- 0-30 meters of race
Exhale as the gun goes off
Trunk straightens (straight line through head, spine and extended rear leg) and lifts as both feet press hard against the blocks
Back leg drives forward into a high knee action
Drive the lead arm up so that it reaches the forehead, forearm parallel to the ground
Continue to push the ground back and away until the toes come off
Let the upper-body unfold naturally
#2 Acceleration Phase
Objective- To get to maximum speed in the shortest amount of time
-100m- 20-50 meters of race
-200 meters- 30-50 meters of race
Slight forward lean of the body
Shoulders held back and relaxed
Arms move with a smooth forward/backward action- not across the body- drive back with elbows. (hands move from shoulder height to hips)
Elbows maintained at 90* angle
Hands relaxed, fingers slightly curled
Leg action- Step Over, Drive Down.
The more force you apply to the ground, the more effective your acceleration, the higher your top speed, and the slower your rate of deceleration. This is achieved by stepping over the opposite knee and DRIVING the foot down into the ground so that foot strike takes place on the ball of the foot and beneath the hips, achieving full extension of the hip. Toes are dorsiflexed. (pointed up)
#3 Float or Stride Phase (think cruise control on a car)
Objective- To run at maximum speed with minimal effort over a given distance.
-100m- 50-75 meters of race
-200m- 50-120 meters of race
The shoulders drop behind the hips
Slight forward lean, becomes slight backward lean. (standing tall)
Foot strike takes place out in front of the center of body
Still stepping over and driving down, but toes are now plantarflexed (pointing down) instead of dorsiflexed.
#4 Re-acceleration/ Phase
Objective - FINSHING STRONG
-100m- 75-100 meters of race
-200m-120-200 meters of race
Similar to Float/Stride Phase, but more emphasis on...
1) Keeping leg action fast and light. (Step Over, Drive Down)
2) Maintaining fast arms- (more urgency on arm drive)
3) Staying relaxed in the neck, face and shoulders
Lean at finish line. (as you come to finish line, stick chest out slightly, as the time stops as your chest area crosses the finish line.)
The last 20-25 meters, over exaggerate your arm drive.
How to run the 400 - 4 Phases of the 4 Hundred
PHASE ONE - ACCELERATION TO MAX SPEED (0 - 50/70M)
During a 400 it is extremely important to hit your maximum velocity quickly (instanrly) and hold it for the first 50 to 60 meters of the race. The athlete should be quick out of the blocks and really pumping the arms and legs. (Starting FAST is critical to get you body ready to ROCK and to keep yourself in the race...This IS NOT an event for a conservative start!)
PHASE TWO - CRUISE CONTROL (70 - 200M)
After a quick start an athlete will want to find a fast, but sustainable tempo and hold strong for the next 130 to 150 meters….hit Cruise Control. (Hint: this cruise control should be set slightly higher than the speed limit) Note: during this cruise control the arms movement is normal, we are actually trying to save the arms a bit for the final 200, so keep your feet turning over quick and try to conserve your arms. (Basically your arms don’t need to PUMP as hard during this phase of your 400...we save the arms for the kick at the end)
PHASE THREE - 200 METER TIME CHECK
A 400 athlete should arrive at the 200 line about 2 seconds slower than their BEST (PR) open 200 time. Example: if you run a 26 sec. 200 meter dash...during a 400 you should arrive here around 28 seconds
PHASE FOUR - ALL OUT & ARMS
Welcome to Pain...yep the final 200 meters of this race involves DIGGIN DEEP and seeing what you are made of! (Are you the hammer or the nail?) This phase involves mentally (and hopefully physically) trying to RE-accelerate to the finish line. This re-acceleration will be helped by involving your arms again and simply trying to get every last once of energy out of your body in search for that new PR! Note: an individual’s ALL OUT phase starting point may be lengthened or shortened throughout the season as an athlete becomes stronger and more accustomed to the 400 race distance. ex/ a younger developing athletes may hold on to the cruise control (Phase 2) a bit longer and hit the ALL-OUT & ARMS at 125 meters because our goal is to “hit the wall” AT THE FINISH (not too soon or to late) AS ALWAYS...the Waconia Finish is 10 feet PAST the finish line, so lean in and look solid on the finish! #BAM
1) This may be the TOUGHEST race on the track...if you want to have success in the 400 be prepared to HURT
2) Hurt = you may be a 400 runner if you like to repeatedly slam your hand in a car door...you may be a 400 runner if you enjoy sitting next to Sara Winkels on the bus to Marshall...you may be a 400 runner if you enjoy touching electric fences while standing knee deep in a pool of water
3) 100% of the 400 strategy is INTERNAL...there is no time to “make moves” on your opponents or watch the field in order to surge at the correct time...this is an event where you push the gas and go go go, while paying attention to your numbers and your body technique throughout the race
4) Start - in order to set yourself up for success in the 400...ALL athletes should start in Blocks…if you’re not in blocks, you’re not serious about the race!
DON'T DREAM OF WINNING, TRAIN FOR IT - Mo Farah