I to be observing a track exercise recently and also noticed sprinters coming out of the block onto a 10 meter acceleration ladder. Ns counted the steps and also it was exactly seven (7).

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The 10 meter note is straightforward to see because that is the finish of the 4x100m relay pass zone.

First, for the 100m and 110m hurdles, I understand the prominence of strides to the first hurdle. The reason is your lead leg. (400mH can alternate, which is one more story) So relying on your lead leg, and also your preference for your behind block setting, that number will be one of two people 7 or 8.

But back to the 100 meter sprint. Why 7 Strides because that the first 10 meters?

I asked them (in my broken Italian) and they said they review it somewhere. Some an excellent coach must have actually noticed this, and therefore it was the rule.

Seven is the magic number?

Thanks to the USATF’s Andy Ferrara, we have high rate videos the Beijing’s 2008 Olympic 100 meter final.

If you take it a look, and also compare your splits, you will see Richard Thomson hitting 10 meter in exactly 7 steps. Thompson’s break-up was 1.80 compared to Bolt’s 1.85, but BOLT TOOK six STEPS. (in Berlin 2009, Bolt was 1.89 because that the an initial 10 meters)

Thompson was quicker than Bolt because that 10 meters. Fine golly-gee, seven must be the optimal number, right? that guru was correct?

Let’s take it a look at the next 10m. At 20m, Bolt is ahead by Thompson through 0.02 (2.87 come 2.89)


See likewise Sport Psychology - component 1

I don’t have to do the remainder of the math together we all know the outcome.

Sure, Bolt is taking much longer to reach a fixed variety of strides (i.e. Very first 10 strides = 2.62 seconds compared to Thompson in ~ 2.50 seconds!), yet last time ns checked, they provided gold medals for the faster time over 100m, no 10 strides, or 41 strides for that matter.

Somehow, the sweet spot (or PB or WR) lies somewhere in between your stride rate and stride frequency. Combination that v tremendous strength on the soil while you have actually ground contact. There’s nothing you have the right to do when in the air unless you have wings.

With the development of Bolt, we have a brand-new group of people advocating the longer stride theory again.

We deserve to go back as at an early stage as Bud Winter’s group with the longer strides theory, which can be plainly demonstrated by Tommie Smith. Describe his book, “So You want to be a Sprinter?” if you are lucky to own a copy (they sell for over $150 in the rare publication section)

(Side note: Bud Winter actually promoted 3 rules, the other two were greater cadence or “leg speed”, and also maintaining her top finish speed)

Take a look at Carl Lewis or Mike swamp videos from the 1980s and 1990’s and also you deserve to see the long stride concept made anyone rethink their mechanics. 

Then Andre Cason showed how a fast cadence with shorter strides can do the trick. As soon as Maurice Green dominated the sprints, the (and john Smith) had actually us believing that was every in the cadence. Also today, Walter Dix take it 48 strides!


See likewise 400 meter maintain Workouts (Annual Plan)

Chambers, who claims that “attention come detail” in coaching has actually been the an essential to Jamaica coming to be the sprint funding of the world, is confident of beating Bolt in 2009.

“Usain can do the 100 meters in 41 strides,” Chambers said. “I would take 43 or 44. However I have better stride frequency: 4.96 per 2nd compared come 4.65. To beat him I need to maintain my frequency and improve mine stride. Beijing to be his time to shine, but he’s only human.”

So currently we are back where that all began with the much longer stride theory. Come me, it’s a exactly assumption, IF the much longer stride is a an outcome of better leg and also hip strength and also power.

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Plus running relaxed, the course!

UPDATE indigenous London 2012


London 2012 Olympic 100m Semi-Finals 2of3 (Usain Bolt 9.87 easing)

Athletes in Lanes, native Left to ideal (with variety of strides come 10m mark):

9 Gerald Phiri (7.5) 8 Richard Thompson (7.0) 7 Ryan Bailey (7.0) 6 Daniel Bailey (7.0) 5 Dwain Chambers (7.0) 4 Usain Bolt (6.5) 3 Su Bingtian (7.5) 2 Antoine Adams (7.5)


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Beijing 2008, Coaching, Featured Story, track & ar
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100 meters, Bud Winter

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About Jimson Lee

I am a master Athlete and Coach currently based in London UK. My various other projects include the Bud Winter Foundation, writer for the IAAF New studies in Athletics newspaper (NSA) and a member the the Track & ar Writers the America.