[quote author="Isaiah Miller" date="1344029894"]I was wondering if we should focus on pushing as long as possible during acceleration or getting the foot back on the ground as quickly as possible? I recorded a video of myself using both of these techniques, but I am not sure which one is faster.
The push the ground as long as possible method “looks” slower, but that could just be a result of the increased stride length. The get the foot back on the ground technique “looks” faster, but that could be a result of taking choppy steps.
I’m not sure which is faster, but I will be doing a sprint session today and I will time them.
Does anyone else have any experience with this?
You never want to spend more time on the ground. You want to spend as little time as possible and maximize your power output with each contact.
It’s the exact opposite of a Bobsled push start. You want long pushing strides with long ground contact time. If you’re in the air you’re not pushing the sled.[/quote]
I just watched a few videos that I purchased from Charlie Francis and read his books again. He is spot on with his knowledge of the sprints. He says “sprinting should feel easier the stronger you become. He also says “many of the athletes he coached were still trying to push too long because they were not accustomed to how easy the action becomes the stronger you get.”
All of this makes sense and your bobsled analogy just reconfirms these things. The bobsled is heavier so the ground resists it’s movement more which means you will initially be pushing for a long time, but as the bobsled begins to pick up speed your pushing will not be able to match the speed at which the bobsled is moving, so you should just jump on it and ride since the resistance has become very little and momentum is doing a majority of the work.
Thanks for helping to remind me that each push becomes easier and the stronger you are the easier the push.