Keeping The Fire Lit

May 9, 2023

It’s hard to believe that in my 19th year of professional sports, I’ve still found an area in my training that can improve.

And it is within my running technique.

For all of these years, I never really knew what my legs needed to do while running. I mean, I know I needed to run, but the legs have to be in a certain position. It wasn’t until a recent training session that I learned.

My coach likened it to a Z shape. He allowed me to lean on his shoulder as he physically took my leg and brought my knee up in front of me. My shin followed up toward my thigh, my foot near my bottom but not touching it. My foot followed as well but it locked into a dorsiflexed position - in other words, my toes pointed up toward my knee. If you were to look at me from the side, the way my leg and foot were positioned created a Z shape. As I stepped down with that leg, the opposite leg mimicked the same Z shape.

Next, I needed to get my arms to follow. Instead of having my shoulders shrugged as I tend to do sometimes, we worked to relax them down so that I could get a full arm swing while running. The arms serve as a pendulum where the arms can swing freely backward and forwards. The arms dictate what the legs do. Move the arms fast and freely, and the legs will follow.

Ultimately, all this does is allow me to utilize my height, open my stride, and cover more ground on the runway in long jump and in the 100m sprint.

It currently feels as though I take a lot of strides in the 100m and the reason is because I am. Now, that I have a greater understanding of how to run, I should be able to open my stride, cover more ground, and reduce the amount of strides that I take in a race. The hard part will be to lock all of this in.

The beauty is that we’ve found another area where I can grow and that’s exciting. It keeps that fire lit and gives me something to look forward to when I show up to the track each day.

Once I lock this in, I’m hoping to drop my 100m time significantly, and I’ll be looking forward to having some huge jumps this season.