“But Da, kids know how to run.”  A quote from my 7 yr old grandson when I told him my ‘occupation’.

Unfortunately kids don’t know how to run and my job is to correct that.  And so to bio mechanics, or what are all the body bits and pieces supposed to do.

Basically, during a sprint, we have to apply a force to the ground to get an equal and opposite force reaction.  Simple physics.  Disregarding wind resistance the only opposing force is gravity.  If we apply our force straight down we go up and down.  If we lean forward and push we are using gravity to help us move forward.  Imagine balancing a long stick in the palm of your hand.  If you keep it upright and balanced it wont move, but as soon as it tilts forward you have to start moving with it. (force application).  If you move fast enough you can maintain that angle so you have force + gravity =speed.

We need to harness this equation with our body angle when we run.  Different body angle at different speeds.  We have to develop power to control the most acute angle (starting) and technique to control our power output through the race.

Let’s look at our body as three parts of a whole, torso (hips to shoulder), limbs (arms and legs) and balance (head and neck).

Our torso needs to be strong, core strength, to counter the cyclic forces of the limbs.  The feet are going to travel through a rotation coming off the ground, folding heel to butt, swinging through above the opposite knee and extending straight until coming in contact with the ground again.

With the arms locked at 90 degrees at the elbow the hands do a quarter circle from the hips to eye level in the same time it takes for the foot to do it’s complete rotation.  The hand is at the hip, starting upwards as the foot drives off the ground.  Get this right in ‘tempo’ runs (50/80%) and your technique is 3/4 done.  The most common mistakes are; not allowing the hands to reach eye level and not having the feet recover higher than the opposite knee.  And of course a balanced head.

And that’s why we DO DRILLS