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The Need For Speed Series: Part 4 “Practice Makes Perfect”

Part 4 of our series focuses on the acceleration phase of sprinting.

For Part 1 of our Need for Speed Series Click Here

For Part 2 of our Need for Speed Series Click Here

For Part 3 of our Need for Speed Series Click Here


Whether you are looking to steal a base, score a try or run a marathon; running is a skill that can be taught and running faster is a quality that can be developed. 

But like many skills, it takes practice and there are a lot of detailed components of sprinting to get good at. In earlier posts we discussed the acceleration phase, top speed phase and deceleration. We talked about the biomechanical, coordination & energetic aspects of each of these phases.

But we can also break it down even further into the phases of each stride.

  • The drive phase is defined by the NSCA as beginning when the ball of the lead foot creates forceful contact with the surface and ends when the foot leaves the surface.
  • Your contact with the ground should be underneath the line of your hip joint using the ball of your foot and should be a very forceful contact characterised by extension (or straightening) of the hip, knee and ankle-termed “triple extension”.
  • The drive phase should be as short as possible and is completed when the ball of the foot leaves the ground.
  • The recovery phase of each stride begins as the ball of the lead foot separates from the ground and continues until the foot returns back to the ground.
  • An ideal recovery stride requires a specific sequence-you first bend your knee and pull your heel towards your backside as quickly as possible.
  • You then drive the heel forwards with the intention of keeping your foot higher than the opposite knee.

As you can see, there is a lot more to running fast than just running, which is why…..“practice makes perfect”.

Watch the video below for a more detailed explanation of the skill of running.

If you want to learn how we develop the skill of running, watch the video below from a recent staff training session.

Hopefully that gives you a better understanding of the different phases and aspects of speed. If you are looking to improve your quality of life or perform better with your sport then feel free to book in with our team. This will make sure you have the best chance of achieving these goals by getting a thorough assessment and an individualised program.

To book an appointment click the ‘Book Now‘ button!

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For more information on running, click the link below!

More Information on Running!